When Arnold Palmer drove up Magnolia Lane on the eve of the 1962 Masters, he was in a confident mood. He'd already won it twice, as well as the U.S. and British Opens, but this was to be his "Annus Mirabilis" -- the year he cemented his reputation as a global sporting superstar.
I don't know if you have ever done it, but for a long time it seemed like everyone had at least once or twice said "Jack Nicholson" when they meant "Jack Nicklaus" and vice versa. It seems weird if you think about it... yes, the names are similar, but it's hard to imagine that Nicklaus and Nicholson often share a similar context. Nicholson isn't winning Masters. Nicklaus isn't winning Oscars. But the strangeness of having two people that famous with similar names seemed more than many of us could handle. Eddie Murray and Eddie Murphy shared a similar connection.
The localness of what we did down at the paper defined everything. Even as a kid brand-new to the staff and brand-new to the newspaper business, hired to work during summer vacations, I could tell that.
Professional golfers and hackers alike try all sorts of unusual things to avoid the dreaded three-putt: cross-handed grips, staggered stances, elongated putters. Jayson Woodbridge has his own trick. He swings with one hand.
K.J. Choi is the only Asian among the world's top 10 golfers and the first South Korean to win a PGA Tour card. Nicknamed "The Tank" after his days as a competitive weightlifter, Choi realized his passion for golf as a teenager and pursued a professional career against the advice of his parents. His golfing inspiration was a book written by the legendary "Golden Bear" Jack Nicklaus. Choi attributes his success to Nicklaus' "My Way," where he learned the grip, swing and other fundamentals of his game. This year, Choi won the Jack Nicklaus memorial tournament, and he discusses in detail his hopes for climbing further up the world rankings.
AKRON, Ohio -- The Presidents Cup logo hasn't appeared on the side of a milk carton yet under the headline, "Missing!" But it's close. In what constitutes a great piece of trivia, the Presidents Cup is going to be held -- shhhh! -- next month in Montreal.
The late-afternoon sun slants low through the Osage orange trees off the 7th hole at Inniscrone Golf Club, burnishing the bunkers with a soft, warm, wintry glow. Here in the mushroom country of Pennsylvania, these mock orange trees-battered by wind and scarred by lightning-flank the fairway like wounded veterans in a memorial parade for some forgotten hero.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Fred Couples bent backward on the 13th fairway, looking as if he might start doing some yoga right there in Amen Corner. There was a little twist to the left, a little twist to the right.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Fred Couples bent backward on the 13th fairway, looking as if he might start doing some yoga right there in Amen Corner. There was a little twist to the left, a little twist to the right.
An excerpt from Fanatic: 10 Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die by Jim Gorant, published by Houghton Mifflin June 2007. Copyright Jim Gorant. For more information go to jimgorant.blogspot.com
(AP) -- About the only negative memory Phil Mickelson has of Sunday at the Masters last year was finishing his third round in the morning. The sudden clicks of a camera from the tower over the 18th tee when he was at the top of his swing led to a wild shot and ultimately a bogey that reduced his lead to one shot.
SI.com: Tiger 2.0updated: Tue Mar 27 2007 12:57:00
"I am, by nature, a control freak," Tiger says with a smile.
Augusta National's image as an exclusive (and exclusionary) institution is a reflection of the club's co-founders, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. As the most famous glam-ateur in the game's history, Jones was the face of the club, the front man who hung out with Hollywood stars and heads of state. Roberts was an enigma -- a man with an eye for detail and innovation both as the club and Masters tournament chairman for 45 years, he was also myopic in his world view, once infamously muttering, "As long as I'm alive, golfers will be white, and caddies will be black." Thirty years ago, Roberts, in declining health, wandered out onto the world's most famous course and blew his own brains out. The legacy he left is one of intrigue, with fact and fiction intertwined like coffee and fresh cream before the spoon gives them a stir. Here's the truth, half-truths and downright fairy tales about the man behind the curtain for so many years at the Masters.
"I never imagined this would be coming up again," says Ping chairman John Solheim, whose father, company founder Karsten Solheim, sued the USGA and the PGA Tour in 1989 after they tried to ban the square grooves used in the company's Eye2 irons. (The Eye2's were deemed conforming, and both suits were settled out of court.) On Feb. 27 the USGA proposed new regulations on grooves, arguing that current designs impart too much spin on the ball, especially from the rough, thus de-emphasizing the importance of driving accuracy. Like his father, Solheim is not buying the argument, but the USGA is soliciting feedback on the proposal, so, Solheim says, "we will put in our comments and wait to see what they decide." If the USGA stands by the specifications of its new proposal, does he foresee more legal action? Responds Solheim, "I'm not going to say anything about that at this time, because I'm praying it won't get that far."
While it's hard to remember the Masters without Tiger Woods, here, from the pages of our sister publication Sports Illustrated, is a decade-old snapshot of something you'll never forget: the nail-biting quiet before Tiger's first Masters as a professional in 1997, and the aftereffect of the most dominating performance ever seen up to that time in a major championship. (Unattributed lines excerpted from stories by Rick Reilly, John Garrity and Jaime Diaz.)
It's too bad Tiger Woods had his PGA Tour winning streak end at seven last week in Arizona. It means we'll miss the debate about whether his streak was comparable to Byron Nelson's famous run of 11 straight victories in 1945.
There's a formula for the resort communities cropping up all over the country: golf courses designed by the likes of Tom Fazio or Jack Nicklaus; restaurants owned by celebrity chefs; on-site spas with everything from facials to deep-tissue massages.