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Ar n o l d Pal m er F o reword It’s my great pleasure to welcome golf fans on both sides of the Atlantic to the third annual edition of Arnold Palmer’s Guide to the Majors. This publication was born out of my love and affection for the game’s four Major championships, not to mention my long association with them, and I hope it will prove to be as enjoyable and as informative a read as the two previous editions. Back in 1960 in a conversation with Bob Drum, a golf writer friend of mine, I proposed the idea of a modern Grand Slam, comprising the U.S. and British Opens, the Masters and the U.S. PGA Championship. Because the great amateur championships of the United States and the British Isles hadn’t been regarded as Majors for many years with most of the best players turning pro at an early age, it seemed to me that the game at the highest level needed to have four peak moments during the season that stood out by comparison with all other tournaments. To have the world’s best players teeing it up together at least four times a year is a remarkable achievement, considering the diverse commitments and numerous commercial pressures that continually eat into their time. Yet it is at these four championships that the media spotlight glares most brightly and that weaknesses and strengths in a player’s game are most clearly illuminated. On that basis I think it’s fair to say that most players’ careers are ultimately judged by their records in the Majors, and I sense this tradition will continue long into the future. Even though the United States remains at the epicenter of tournament golf, it is significant that the last three Major winners have originated from South Africa, Northern Ireland and Australia. There’s no doubt that the game is now realizing its global potential. Golf ’s imminent return to the Olympics in Brazil is bound to generate interest among countries previously indifferent to the sport and it’s surely only a matter of time before more great champions emerge from both the Far East and South America. In this respect, the sight of 14-year-old Tianlang Guan making the cut at the recent Masters was both astonishing on an individual basis and proof to me that any lingering barriers to the game’s worldwide development have been swept away. Turning to more short-term matters, the thrilling finish at the Masters, with Adam Scott more than making amends for his disappointing collapse towards the end of last year’s Open at Lytham, sets up the rest of the 2013 Majors perfectly. Certainly, I expect the competition to be as fierce as ever with Tiger Woods now back in his stride and Rory McIlroy showing glimpses of form. But given the strength of the rest of the field these days, this pair of supreme talents cannot expect to have things their own way at Merion, Muirfield and Oak Hill—far from it. These are courses that demand a disciplined strategy and skillful shot-making. Any lapses in concentration will be punished. Nowadays, my golfing activities pretty much consist of occasional casual rounds with friends and a fair amount of time on the practice tee. However, my passion for the Majors remains undimmed and I hope some of this passion rubs off on all the readers of this guide. Accordingly, I’d like to wish golf fans everywhere a wonderful time watching and following the Majors of 2013. Yours in Golf,

Arnold Palmer

011


ar nieskingdom .com

magazine


Contents

Arnold Palmer Interview

022 The King looks forward to an exciting summer of

golf with great Major championships to remember

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034

040 044

058

050 054

062

054 058

Majors Scenesetter

The editor asks whether Tiger Woods will soon renew his assault on Jack Nicklaus’s Majors record

Adam Scott

The 32-year-old Australian breaks his Major duck and banishes his demons from the 2012 Open

2013 Masters Review

Bill Elliott reflects on a tournament that yielded many thrills but also plenty of controversy

1958 Masters

A stroll down Memory Lane to the year when Arnold Palmer won his first Major at Augusta

Review of the 2012 Majors

Our writers recall the events of last summer at Olympic Club, Royal Lytham and Kiawah Island

Webb Simpson

A star was born in San Francisco as two former US Open champions stumbled down the stretch

Ernie Els

The Big Easy claimed his fourth Major on the Lancashire coast but it was anything but a stroll

Rory McIlroy

062 The wonderboy from Northern Ireland

spreadeagles yet another world-class field

066

Greatest Shots Part 2

Four decades’ worth of brilliance, starting with that iconic 1-iron by Ben Hogan at Merion

Merion Hole-by-Hole

072 One of America’s greatest courses is back on the US Open trail after a gap of more than 30 years

40

078

Muirfield Hole-by-Hole

The man in charge of tweaking the links reveals what lies in store for competitors at the Open 013

THE MAJORS 2013


Editor

Publisher

Art Director

Contributing Writers

Paul Trow

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124

098

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090

104 114 120 124

154

130 144 154

104

163 170

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THE MAJORS 2013

Oak Hill Hole-by-Hole

Kerry Haigh of the PGA of America talks about the examination that awaits the players in August

Career Appreciation

Harry Vardon’s rags-to-riches story would be an incredible work of fiction were it not all true

The Influence of Scotland

A generation of golf workers crossed the Atlantic over a century ago to spread the gospel Stateside

Scottish Golf Travel

Steve Killick heads north of the border for a fantasist’s tour of the outstanding golf resorts

Five to follow

A quintet of competitors who (we think) have a better chance of Major glory than most in 2013

Player Pen Pictures

Thumbnail sketches of the credentials on offer from a selection of the other leading players

Masterful Mercedes-Benz

Robin Barwick explains why the iconic German marque is the car of choice for Major Championships

Final Round Charges

Arnold Palmer at Cherry Hills showed the way for golfers trying to win from way off the pace

Donald Ross

North-east Scotland gave birth to Glenmorangie whisky, superb golf courses and a genius designer

Leon Harris

Designers

Graham Taylor Kieron Deen Halnan

VP Operations Joe Velotta

Directors

John Halnan Steve Richards

Executive Assistant

Carla Richards

Advertising Sales

Sam Crumbe Jon Edwards Andy Fletcher Jason Lyon Deric Piper

Founding Contributor

Arnold Palmer

Enquiries

Advertising: ms@tmcusallc.com Editorial: jh@tmcusallc.com General: info@tmcusallc.com Subscriptions & copy sales: joe@tmcusallc.com ISSN 2050-0637

Golf in the Sun

Some tips for readers on where to go with their clubs to escape the vagaries of Britain’s weather

2014 Major Venues

Pinehurst No.2, Royal Liverpool and Valhalla are all on ‘red alert’ in preparation for next season

Major Winners

A complete list of every Major winner from the first Open in 1860 up to the Masters in April

Last Page

Jack Nicklaus on the lessons he learned during his first Masters win exactly half a century ago

Matthew Squire

Clive Agran Robin Barwick Nick Bayly Ross Biddiscombe Iain Carter Tony Dear Bill Elliott Ben Evans Andy Farrell Adam Hathaway Karen Kay Steve Killick Paul Mahoney Lewine Mair Peter Phyllisen Jack Ross Dave Shedloski Tony Smart Reade Tilley Martin Vousden

Contributing Photographers

Dale Concannon Historic Golf Archive Patrick Drickey/ stonehousegolf.com Getty Images Leon Harris John Mummert Evan Schiller Giuseppe Velotta

Special Thanks

Pete Bevacqua Cori Britt Christine Corbett Mike Davis Peter Dawson Ron Driscoll Kelly Elbin Doc Giffin Kerry Haigh Mile Jedinak Pete Kowalski Matt Shaffer Russell Talley

themajorsofgolf.com

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USA

© 2013 TMC USA, LLC Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The articles appearing within this publication reflect the opinion of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher. The contents of advertisements and advertorials are entirely the responsibilty of advertisers. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited submissions and manuscripts.


PATRON AND OFFICIAL OUTFITTER OF THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

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U S G A Foreword

A

t the United States Golf Association, we are tremendously excited for our 2013 championship season, which is highlighted by our return to Merion Golf Club for the U.S. Open after 32 years. I first played Merion during a junior tournament when I was 16, and I have marveled at its wonderful architecture ever since. Merion is a true historical landmark in the world of golf, and we are excited to see how it will challenge today’s best players when it hosts its fifth U.S. Open in June. Hopefully, this year’s championship will add to the list of great moments in time that already have taken place at Merion: Bob Jones’ 1930 U.S. Amateur Championship victory to seal his Grand Slam, Ben Hogan’s triumph in the 1950 U.S. Open after coming back from a near-fatal car accident and Lee Trevino’s playoff win over Jack Nicklaus in the 1971 U.S. Open. In addition to Merion, the 2013 USGA championship schedule features events at a pair of other historic sites: the 44th Walker Cup match at the National Golf Links of America on Long Island, and the 113th U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Francis Ouimet’s upset victory at The Country Club in the 1913 U.S. Open. In a playoff, Ouimet, a 20-year-old amateur who lived across the street from the club, defeated Ted Ray and Harry Vardon, a pair of British professionals who at the time were giants of the game. Ouimet’s win was a huge milestone, helping to popularize the game in America. Fifty years later, The Country Club was the scene of another three-way playoff when Julius Boros defeated Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer. Despite the loss, the 1963 U.S. Open fell in the middle of a great stretch of golf for Arnold. He won six Majors between 1960 and 1964, including the 1960 U.S. Open. In addition to the victories, Arnold lost in playoffs for the 1962 and 1963 U.S. Opens. Arnold won many titles, but what made him a true champion was the way he always displayed the admirable qualities of integrity, sportsmanship and respect, whether he won or lost. These attributes are what still make him so respected and popular, even after his retirement from the game. We at the USGA are proud of our long association with Arnold Palmer, who has done so much for the game. He competed in the last U.S. Open at Merion in 1981, and his insights into the course and championship are to be treasured. He has taught me a lot about golf and life, and I suspect everyone who knows him can say the same.

Mike Davis Executive Director United States Golf Association

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R & A Foreword

O

n behalf of The R&A, I am delighted to welcome the publication of the third edition of Arnold Palmer’s Guide to the Majors. We have been blessed with Arnold’s enthusiastic support of The Open Championship spanning more than half a century.  Back in 1960, The Open was far from the massive global sporting showcase that it is today and very few of the leading American players took the trouble to travel across the Atlantic to take part. But Arnold’s decision to try to add the Claret Jug to his victories at the Masters and US Open earlier that season can be seen in hindsight as the catalyst that triggered renewed interest in The Open amongst his contemporaries on the PGA Tour.  He narrowly missed out to Australia’s Kel Nagle on that occasion, but he only had to wait a further 12 months to fulfil his destiny and become The Open champion at Royal Birkdale and then, for good measure, he made a successful defence of the title at Troon in 1962. Since then, nearly all of the game’s leading players have lifted the Claret Jug—Nicklaus and Player, Thomson and De Vicenzo, Trevino and Miller, Weiskopf and Watson, Norman and Faldo, Ballesteros and Woods, to name but a few. High on that roll call of great champions, of course, is Ernie Els, who showed great nerve and no little skill down the stretch at Royal Lytham & St Annes last year to overtake long-time leader Adam Scott and lift the Claret Jug for the second time in his illustrious career. As Ernie was also the champion golfer when The Open was last staged at Muirfield, back in 2002, the fact that golf ’s oldest championship is returning to the home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers in July for the first time since then provides an apt and poignant symmetry. Every Open Championship at Muirfield in living memory has been packed with drama and outstanding golf, and I’m certain we can all expect more of the same this time around. In the meantime, may I extend my best wishes to the players and the fans, all of whom will once again play an invaluable part in what is sure to be another vintage summer for golf ’s Major championships.

PETER DAWSON Chief Executive The R&A

019


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P G A of Am erica F o reword

T

he PGA of America is thrilled to return the PGA Championship this year to Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., one of the world’s most demanding golf courses. We celebrate the playing of the season’s final Major in 2013 while recognizing the 50th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’ first PGA Championship triumph, at the Dallas Athletic Club. It is also historic that Nicklaus raised the Wanamaker Trophy for a fifth and final time in 1980 at Oak Hill, in the process equalling the record for the most PGA Championship titles, previously held by Rochester’s own, Walter Hagen. So dominant was Nicklaus’s performance that week in western New York that he won by seven strokes, establishing the standard for the largest margin of victory since the Championship was converted to stroke play in 1958. Fast forward to 2012, and another rising star, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, did Nicklaus one better, winning the 94th PGA Championship by eight strokes over the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina. McIlroy and the strongest field in Major championship golf will encounter a formidable test at Oak Hill’s East Course, which is one of just three venues to play host to all four of the rotating U.S. men’s Major championships—the PGA Championship, U.S. Open Championship, Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, and U.S. Senior Open Championship. Oak Hill is also home to the “Hill of Fame” where 37 of golf ’s greats, including Messrs Nicklaus and Palmer, are honored with a bronze plaque affixed to those magnificent, tall trees that sit atop an amphitheater surrounding the 13th hole. We are pleased that Tom Watson, our 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, will be inducted in the “Hill” during the week of the 95th PGA Championship. Mr. Palmer is a PGA member himself, and has always been a strong supporter of the PGA professional. Accordingly, we are delighted to continue to invite the 20 top finishers in our PGA Professional National Championship to join the best players in the world each year in the PGA Championship. Thus, we are enormously proud that the PGA Championship is the only all-professional Major, and we are honored that Arnold continues to use this publication to lend his expertise on all four of our game’s Majors. We look forward to the culmination of yet another Major campaign at Oak Hill. It is sure to produce a most worthy champion for the history books!

Peter Bevacqua Chief Executive Officer The PGA of America

021


Thoughts from the King 022

THE MAJORS 2013


TIGER AND ARNIE SHARE A JOKE FOLLOWING WOODS’ REMARKABLE 8TH ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY MASTERCARD VICTORY AT BAY HILL IN MARCH

The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida, is one of the key tournaments on the PGA Tour schedule. Just a couple of weeks or so before the first Major of the year, the Masters at Augusta National, it provides an outstanding indication of the form of many of the serious contenders. Following both events, Mr Palmer spoke to Reade Tilley about how they unfolded and looked forward to the remaining three Majors in 2013

Q | Following Tiger Woods’ eighth victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, how do you now rate his chances of equalling or perhaps overtaking Jack Nicklaus’s tally of 18 Major championships? be tough.

wouldn’t say they’re similar, certainly all of them require a high standard of golf of the players. Oak Hill specifically. I’ve had some success there in the past [he finished seventh at Oak Hill in the 1956 US Open, the second top-10 of his Major career]. It’s the kind of course where you have to make good shots, and you have to hit the fairways.

Q | If that’s to happen, then surely his physical condition will

Q | How would you set up a US Open course? Narrow fairways,

Arnold Palmer | I think he can get it done, but it’s going to

play a role?

AP | It does, but that’s not a problem. He’s very fit physically, and he can do that. But the mental side is a different matter. He’s doing great, but it’s going to be tough.

Q | How do you rate the venues for this year’s remaining

Major championships—Merion, Muirfield and Oak Hill?

AP | They’re all great courses, and each presents its own challenges. We’re sure to see some great golf at all of them this year.

Q | What are the particular difficulties that each of these courses presents?

AP

| They all favour accuracy to some degree and, while I

firm greens, thick rough and tight pin positions are the norm, or would you give the players more attacking options?

AP | I would keep it as it is. I think they’ve done it right. From

the start, for the whole time, they’ve done a great job keeping it to the standard and style of play that it should be.

Q | Four Major championships have been won in the past

couple of years by players using belly putters. How would you resolve the differences between the game’s governing bodies over the R&A/USGA ruling to ban their use by 2016?

AP | Everybody tries them at one point, and I know quite a

few people who have had success with them, but the USGA has looked at this.

023


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Q | What do you make of the ruling? AP | It’s long overdue. My position is

that I’m still against them. I think you know any part of the golf club that touches the body is something that you really need to take a look at very seriously. Unless I miss my guess, they will eventually go away totally. You will not be able, or allowed according to the rules, to anchor a putter or any other equipment on your body. I think that’s something they should do. They stopped Sam Snead from the croquet-style putt, and they did that immediately. So I think it’s necessary.

Q | Have you heard anything about a move to limit the distance the ball can fly for pros?

AP | I know the governing bodies are talking about it but I

haven’t heard anything. I hope they do. I would love to see them cut the distance down. And I know they’re talking about it because I’ve talked to them.

Q | What do you think about the communication and role of the R&A with the USGA?

AP | The R&A is a great organisation. Along with the USGA

it’s the backbone of the game, and I always believed the Open Championship was one of the most important tournaments because it speaks to the origins of golf. When the British went out and colonised all these places, from America to India, they brought golf. It’s the origins of the game. That’s why I went over there and played in the Open, because it was so important. And it still is!

on the top professionals’ playing schedules, do you feel any of these could be elevated in status to that of a Major?

AP | I’d keep it at four. You have to do that. Keeping the Majors

Q | You came second three times in the PGA Championship.

at four provides strategic points in the season. You have to do that to keep the importance of these tournaments in comparison with all of the others.

AP

Q | And it’s good for fans and sponsors, for the excitement level? AP | Yes, exactly. [Laughing]

Do you feel there was a consistent reason for falling short— perhaps the time of year? | Well, I could come up with a lot of excuses about why I never won that title but I’m not going to do that. I was not eligible to play in it in the early years according to PGA Rules. That’s one reason. I did come close a few times when I thought I should have won it but didn’t. It could have been a number of things or it could be that I just didn’t play well enough.

Q | What do you miss most these days about not playing in the Majors any more?

AP | Of course, for me every tournament was a Major, and that’s

Q | Who are the current contenders in Majors, in your view? AP | You can go right down the list: McIlroy, Tiger, Luke Donald… Q | Considering Donald has held the No.1 spot but hasn’t performed well in Majors, do you set any stock in the world rankings? Are they important?

AP | I do believe they’re important because they let you know where everybody stands overall.

how I looked at it. So I miss that. That’s how it should be for these players—they should be playing every tournament to win.

Q | And they give everyone a target? AP | Yes!

Q | So in terms of emotions or strategy, the night before a Major

Q | Donald seems a strange case because he’s obviously an

AP | Yes, that’s it!

AP

was the same as the night before any other tournament for you— it was just about getting ready to go out there and win?

Q | Now the four World Golf Championships, four FedExCup Playoffs and the Players Championship are all key tournaments

luke donald is yet to win a major, but this superb pitch to the 18th at wentworth in surrey sealed his victory in the 2011 british pga championship

outstanding player, yet when it comes to the Majors he’s only a member of the supporting cast at best. Why?

| He’s not doing as well, is he? He should break through somewhere, though. The same goes for Justin Rose and Lee Westwood. Also Brandt Snedeker—he’s a good player, quick as well.

025


Q | What about courses that are purpose-built for big tournaments, like they seem to build in China, for example?

AP | That’s a good point. When a world golf tour incorporates

the Majors, we’ll have to see which newer courses will host the events. China is building those types of course. We’ll have to see.

Q | Do you think penalising 14-year-old Chinese player Tianlang Guan a shot for slow play at the Masters was fair?

AP | Well I wasn’t up on everything around that, but I think slow play is something I see too much of. We should keep an eye on it and it should be penalised when they see it.

Q | How impressed were you by Adam Scott’s bounce back from last year’s Open to win a green jacket and his first Major?

AP | I’ve always been impressed by Scott. He’s a great player, a young guy who’s athletic. I would expect him to do a lot more.

Q | Why do you think Angel Cabrera plays so well at Augusta when he struggles to make a cut anywhere else on the PGA Tour?

a well-dressed ian poulter in Full Flow during this year’s wgc-accenture match play championship at dove mountain in ariZona

Q | Which courses that don’t stage Major championships

AP. I don’t know Angel well, but I always enjoy watching him play. He’s a great competitor and I like the way he plays—to win. He’s very competitive and he did a great job.

AP | There are going to be a number of newer courses that stage

Q | Which players would you identify as likely winners of

would you like to see introduced to the rota and why?

Majors in the future, but we’ll have to wait and see which ones those are. It’s going to be the decision of the PGA and the USGA. They are pretty good at moving their championships around, but with events like the Masters and the Open, they’re pretty well set and established. The Open has a set rota of links-type courses and the Masters is always at Augusta, of course. We’ll have to see, but some of these new courses will hold Majors eventually.

Q | Do you think Bay Hill is good enough for a Major? If so, which one—the US Open or PGA Championship—and why?

AP | It is, but we already have a tournament. We could host the [US] Open, but it would be a while before that happens, I think.

Q | Does the age-old issue of the heat in Florida in midsummer count against Bay Hill?

AP | I think that’s one of the reasons. Q | What other ways are there, apart from adding huge amounts of length, to toughen up courses to Major championship standard?

AP | Merion is a perfect example of that. It’s a great course that’s

risen to Major level, and it’s [achieved] that by tightening things up, thus requiring a high quality of play and a lot of difficult shots. I think we’re going to see a lot of great golf there this year.

Q | Among the newer courses, it seems like they have to hang around for a while before they’re “Major ready”?

AP | Yes, it takes time. You have to have a reputation for good golf and quality.

026

THE MAJORS 2013

future Major championships, and why?

AP | There are a number of younger guys who I would certainly be looking out for, and there are still some guys who’ve been around a while who could get it done but haven’t yet. Sergio [Garcia]—I’ve always thought he would, and I still think he could—and [Ian] Poulter, certainly.

Q | Is Poulter’s Ryder Cup success—but lack of Majors or regular season victories—due to the way the courses are set up?

AP | I don’t think so. I think the personality is more a factor

than the way the golf courses are set up. It’s how they look at the championship they’re playing in, like the Open, the US Open or the PGA. Of course, the Masters sometimes sets the pace for what these guys do the rest of the year. If they have a good start, then the potential is there to continue.

Q | What’s your take on Rory McIlroy? AP | So far he looks pretty doggone good. He could be a major factor in the game of golf, as is Tiger Woods.

Q | Do you think his equipment change has been a big deal? AP | It depends on individuals again. Some guys can just pick up

clubs and play. Hell, I won the Houston Open one year and used two different sets of clubs through the tournament. They were both Wilsons.

Q | Really! Why? AP | I was looking for a blade, an iron head that pleased me, and I couldn’t find it, so I just changed sets of irons. ★


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During the early part of 2013, golf became boggeD Down with issues that have only a tangential relationship with the playing arts anD skills that most of us aDmire anD relish. Paul Trow expresses the hope that the game can return to what it Does best now that the year’s three remaining major championships are speeDing into view

“R

ules is rules,” Tiger Woods intoned wearily after completing his second round at the Masters in April. He was reacting to the news that 14-year-old Chinese amateur Tianlang Guan, who was threatening to upstage him as the week’s centre of attraction, had just been docked a shot for slow play by John Paramor, the European Tour’s chief referee, and might thus miss the cut (to most observers’ relief, he didn’t in the end). As the world No.1 spoke, little did he realise that some 12 hours later he would find himself embroiled in his own personal skirmish with the rules, or, to be precise, with the Masters committee’s interpretation of the rules. The details of what happened after Woods’ ball unluckily rebounded off the pin back into the water in front of the 15th green while he was mounting one of his trademark charges up the leaderboard are documented on pages 40-43 of this guide. Suffice to say, his reinstatement for the weekend after signing for an incorrect score appears to have been valid within the rules. But it highlighted yet again the unwelcome theme that has dominated men’s golf at the highest level so far in 2013. The year began with the long-expected recommendation from the USGA and R&A, the game’s rule-making bodies and, respectively, the organisers of the US Open and Open Championship, that anchored strokes be outlawed from 1 January 2016. As anchored strokes would be pretty difficult to pull off with any other club, this was a direct assault on the long putter when jammed either into a player’s midriff or under the chin. This triggered howls of anguish from several high-profile players who have earned a more-than-lucrative living in recent years while using a long putter. Among other things, Adam Scott’s thrilling victory at Augusta National—following wins by Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, Webb Simpson at the 2012 US Open and Ernie Els at the 2012 Open—means that four of the last six Majors have fallen to someone wielding said contraption. Leaving aside the question of whether it’s possible for a player to win a Major while putting badly, both Els and Simpson insist there was nothing remarkable about their

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putting stats during their weeks in the sun. But the general level of opposition within professional ranks was enough to prompt both the PGA of America and, more stridently, the PGA Tour to disagree with the proposed new rule. So as things stand, long putters will in effect be banned in two and a half years from the game the rest of us play while the world’s leading professional tour will retain them. During the interim, there will no doubt be plenty of discussion, both by officialdom and in the media. The outcome at this stage is anyone’s guess, but as theatre agents and newspaper editors are fond of saying, “this one will run and run”. Another governance issue unlikely to disappear any time soon is the PGA Tour’s ruling, after at least three months of equivocation, that Vijay Singh had no case to answer in connection with his use of deer antler spray. Singh, winner of three Majors and 56 other tournaments worldwide, has recently turned 50 and is now free to tilt at the vast quantities of prizemoney on offer to him on the Champions Tour. As with the Woods incident, it seems the Fijian brought this on his own head by admitting to using the spray in a Sports Illustrated interview, even though the PGA Tour had warned players against it back in 2011. The key word here is ‘warned’. This was not a ruling because deer antler spray isn’t a banned substance. However, it does contain a banned performanceenhancer connected to human-growth hormone IGF-1. The World Anti-Doping Agency, to which nearly every governing body in sport defers on such matters, pronounced that deer antler spray was not “prohibited unless a positive test results”. They then pointed out, somewhat unhelpfully, that there is no test available for detecting it in a routine blood sample. So the PGA Tour had no option but to let Singh off the hook. Such controversies always help to sell newspapers (or more pertinently these days promote online blogs and stimulate chat-room activity), but there’s always a danger they’ll undermine the exploits of the game’s leading players and the integrity of tournaments, most notably the four Major championships. Even more worryingly, the collective impact of these matters is to make the game look a bit silly. This is especially unfair on the governing bodies and their senior executives who have its best interests at heart and are currently


Let’s Get Back on Track 029


anchors away: ernie els (top left), adam scott (middle left), Keegan bradley (bottom left) and webb simpson (middle right) have between them landed four of the last six majors. david graham (top right) won the 1981 us open at merion where rory mcilroy (below right) hopes his new niKe clubs will shine

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engaged in an energetic and well-coordinated marketing campaign to ‘grow the game’ As far as the fans are concerned (the people, remember, who love playing, watching, discussing and reading about golf ), headlines, ideally, should be about feats of derring-do in the white-heat of battle by players blessed with incredible skills, not the intricacies of sub-section six, paragraph three, line seven of some arcane piece of small print. Arnold Palmer, our founding contributor, introduced the game to a much wider audience in the early 1960s at a time when television sets were becoming readily available to ordinary households. His ‘Big Three’ duels with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were seen by millions of viewers who previously wouldn’t have crossed the road to watch a tournament. Their message was ‘this game might be highly competitive but above all it’s fun.’ A few years later, Tony Jacklin and Seve Ballesteros played a similar role in popularising golf across Europe. The legacy of these great men, none of whom ever lost sight of the fact that they were entertainers as well as sportsmen, must continue to be nourished; and nowhere can this happen to greater effect than at the four Majors which this guide celebrates.

dominated by the FedExCup Playoffs in America and the Race to Dubai in Europe. Indeed, as we contemplate the next few mouth-watering months there are many intriguing questions to be answered. Can Woods sustain his electrifying start to the season following pre-Masters victories at three of his happy hunting grounds—Torrey Pines, Doral and Bay Hill? Is Nicklaus’s record of 18 Major crowns still a realistic target or is it fading into a pipedream with Woods becalmed on 14 for the last five years? Can Rory McIlroy come to terms with his new Nike clubs and regain the world No.1 spot? Will the likes of Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker ever fulfil their undoubted talent by claiming that elusive first Major? Does the mercurial Phil Mickelson have a fifth Major title in him, perhaps at the US Open where he has finished second five times? Will another broom-handle putter sweep all before it? Only time, as the old platitude goes, will tell.

Is Nicklaus’s record of 18 major crowns still a realistic target or is it fading into a pipedream with Woods becalmed on 14 for the last five years?

O

nce all the brouhaha has died down, as it surely will, the 2013 Masters will ultimately be remembered for the heroic way Scott banished the demons that must have been lurking ever since he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in last year’s Open at Lytham. He certainly didn’t have it easy at Augusta (though at least this time he didn’t have to contend with the Big Easy). Instead, Angel Cabrera hounded him all the way and just when he thought a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd green had sealed Australia’s first green jacket an imperious approach to within three feet of the cup from the burly Argentine, the 2009 champion, condemned him to a playoff. Thoughts of letting slip another Major must have been swirling around in his head like a mob of wombats, but they never showed and on the 10th green, the second extra hole, he slotted a similar-length birdie putt to spark a nation’s jubilation and the unzipping of several million cans of Foster’s. From brouhaha to ‘brew ha ha’ in one unforgettable, celebratory moment, one in which the generous and sporting Cabrera fully played his role. Under normal circumstances, this would be the perfect launch-pad into the summer, when the remaining three Majors take place, and then on through the autumn which is now

F

irst up amongst the forthcoming Majors is the 113th US Open over the East Course at Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, from June13-16, followed by the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Course on the east coast of Scotland from July 18-21, and the 95th PGA Championship over another East Course, this time at Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, New York, from August 8-11. Taking these events in chronological order, it is pleasing to see Merion back in favour after an absence of 32 years since the last of its four US Opens. Not that it’s ever been out of favour, having staged more USGA championships, 18, than any other club. At 6,996 yards, the East is shorter than any US Open course since 2004, but it’s still more than 450 yards longer than in 1981, when David Graham became the first Australian to win America’s national championship. The whole course is shoehorned into 126 acres of land, an extremely small area for a layout of such standing. But herein lies Merion’s charm—it’s always been different. For instance, when the club decided to create the East in 1910, instead of engaging a fashionable designer with a proven track record it commissioned club member Hugh Wilson, a Scottish émigré with no experience in golf-course architecture 031


whatsoever, to go on a seven-month trip to Britain to study its links layouts. Several features of the course as it is today resulted from Wilson’s findings, not least the plethora of Scottish-style bunkers which Chick Evans, a leading amateur player of the time, dubbed the “white faces of Merion”. More eccentric are the wicker baskets that crown the pins and have been used since the course opened in 1912. The story goes that Wilson got the idea on his sojourn from a local shepherd whose staff had a wicker basket perched on top to hold his lunch for the day so no animals could get at it. One effect of this innovation is that the baskets, unlike flags, give no indication of wind direction at the green. Merion’s first date with sporting immortality was in 1930 when Bobby Jones completed his Grand Slam in the US Amateur Championship, while its first two US Opens were won, heroically, by players battling against severe sickness, Olin Dutra in 1934, and crippling injuries, Ben Hogan in 1950, less than a year after cheating death in a head-on car accident. Then came Lee Trevino’s playoff win over Nicklaus in 1971 after which he quipped: “I love Merion, and I don’t even know her last name.”

I

Curtis Strange, along with a dramatic Ryder Cup in 1995 that was poached at the death by Europe, or more specifically by Faldo in his singles match against Strange, and two PGA Championships—won by Nicklaus in 1980 and the unheralded Shaun Micheel in 2003. The East and West courses were both laid out by Donald Ross and opened in 1926, but they owe their appearance today more to the planting of 75,000 oak, maple, elm and evergreen seedlings across the 355-acre site by Rochester doctor, Oak Hill member and enthusiastic amateur botanist, John Ralston Williams. Golf journalist and local historian Sal Maiorana wrote years later: “As you walk the grounds of Oak Hill today, you can’t help but gaze skyward at the majestic trees that dominate the landscape. They soar to the heavens, lending both an unmatched beauty and a treacherous detriment to one’s scorecard.” Oak Hill first established itself as a championship venue in 1941 when the Times-Union newspaper posted a $5,000 purse that attracted an impressively strong field, including Hagen, Hogan and Sam Snead, who was the eventual winner. Many changes have been made to the East since then, first by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., in the early 1960s and later by Tom Fazio. So in light of the fact that Trevino has won a Major at all three of this year’s venues (though never at Augusta, note), which of his skills should an aspiring champion seek to adopt? A sense of humour would certainly help, especially as many trying moments lie ahead. The ability to move the ball from left to right would also seem to be an asset along with nerves of steel on greens that are likely to be slippery at their very easiest. None of these layouts is monstrously long in the context of the modern Majors, though anyone who expects them to be a pushover as a result is deluding himself. However, some people just can’t help themselves. Indeed, echoing the world No.1’s words at the start of this article, “Fools is fools”. ★

n 1972, Trevino was the (highly fortunate) winner of the 12th of 15 Opens to have been staged at Muirfield, home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and scene of Nicklaus’s first victory in the championship six years earlier. Trevino’s chip-in on the 71st hole, a shot he rushed in annoyance at what had gone before, consigned Nicklaus to one of his 19 second places in the Majors and knocked the stuffing out of Jacklin who was leading at the time. One thing is certain, though, there’s no luck about the quality of the champions that Muirfield has produced since it staged its first Open in 1892 (won by the celebrated amateur Harold Hilton), just a year after being laid out by ‘Old’ Tom Morris specifically to host the tournament. Along with Trevino and Nicklaus, it reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of golf history—Harry Vardon, James Braid, Ted Ray, trevino sends a long Walter Hagen, Alf Perry, Sir Henry Cotton, putt on its way in the 1972 open at muirfield Player, Tom Watson, Sir Nick Faldo and Els. Well, we’re probably being a bit generous to Perry, who won at a time when very few of the leading Americans bothered to enter. But in the case of the last name on that list, Els, if proof was ever needed of his enduring class it came the last time the Open was staged at Muirfield, in 2002 when he prevailed in a fourman playoff to claim a title he had come close to winning on several previous occasions. The fact that Els won his second Claret Jug last summer therefore adds much potential spice to this year’s championship. Oak Hill has staged three US Opens, won respectively in 1956, 1968 and 1989 by Cary Middlecoff, Trevino (him again!) and

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ADAM SCOTT CELEBRATES WITH HIS CADDIE STEVE WILLIAMS ON THE 72ND GREEN AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL AFTER HOLING THE PUTT THAT PUT HIM INTO A PLAYOFF WITH ANGEL CABRERA

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Great Scott


For generations, Australians have been numbered amongst the world’s finest golfers. During that time, the torch down under was passed from Peter Thomson to David Graham to Greg Norman—all great champions. Now Norman’s own protégé has come good in the game’s ultimate cauldron—Augusta National—and an eight-decade load has been lifted from a proud nation’s shoulders. Paul Mahoney gets the new champion’s take on his historic victory

’mon Aussie!” It was the iconic moment of the 2013 Masters and Adam Scott hadn’t even won the green jacket yet. His primal scream revealed just how much pressure he was feeling. But as his 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th green in the final round disappeared into the cup, that yell wasn’t just for personal glory and redemption for Royal Lytham & St Annes, where he bogeyed the last four holes at the 2012 Open Championship to hand the claret jug to Ernie Els. It was for a nation, for a continent, and for his hero Greg Norman. It was a glorious moment of relief and, just for a second, Scott admitted he let himself believe it had sealed Australia’s first victory at Augusta National.

But burly Argentine warrior and 2009 champion Angel Cabrera, playing in the final pair behind him, had other ideas and stuffed his approach to within three feet of the cup. So Scott had to win the Masters all over again, the second time via a playoff and a similar-length putt. That arms-aloft, arched-back salute on the 10th green—the second extra hole after pars had been traded on the 18th where Cabrera almost holed a chip—brought to an end nearly eight decades of hurt. To that point, Australians had won just 15 Major championships but not one of them was the Masters. Until now! And it provided a memorable climax to a tournament that up until then had threatened to be more memorable for rules controversies than seat-edge competition and great golf. First there was the one-shot penalty handed to 14-year-old Tianlang Guan

for slow play in the second round, but who still made the cut to finish 58th at 12-over-par and claim the Silver Cup as low amateur. Then there was the possibility of Tiger Woods being disqualified but ultimately receiving a two-shot penalty for an incorrect drop on the 15th fairway in round two. That seemed to check his Saturday progress and Woods finished in a tie for fourth on fiveunder-par. Thus on the eve of the final round of the 77th Masters, the names of three Australians were writ large on the giant leader-board to the side of the 18th green. Tucked in behind the joint leaders—Nashville’s Brandt Snedeker (who eventually tied for sixth) and Cabrera—was Scott, just one shot adrift at six-under-par, while Jason Day (who finished third) and Marc Leishman (who tied fourth 035


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with Woods and Danish tyro Thorbjorn Olesen) were on five-under-par. But the Augusta ‘Aussie Curse’, not to mention the ‘Ghost’ of Greg Norman, was the hot topic of conversation. Day and Scott had continued the Australian tradition of acting out the bridesmaid’s role by finishing joint runners-up to Charl Schwartzel at the 2011 Masters, but the Great White Shark’s misfortunes have long been the stuff of Augusta folklore. In 1986, he birdied the 14th through 17th only to fly his approach at the last into the patrons to the back right of the 18th green. The resulting bogey handed victory to 46-yearold Jack Nicklaus who had earlier blitzed his way home in 30 shots. The following year, Norman narrowly missed a putt to win on the 18th then watched in horror

just a fact,” Scott said. “You can’t not deal with that. We’ve got another great chance. Three of us are right there knocking on the door. So there’s no better time to never have to deal with that question again than if you go out and play good. Aussies are proud sporting people, and we’d love to put another notch in our belt, just like any great sporting country. This is one thing that one of us would like to do tomorrow for sure.” Scott didn’t need reminding that Australians had finished second at Augusta eight times, and if you think the Curse began with Norman, think again. Many Australians still talk in hushed tones about the time Jim Ferrier blew a four-shot lead while limping round the back-nine in 41 to allow Jimmy Demaret to pass him in 1950. Then there was Bruce Crampton,

“GREG WAS MY IDOL AS A KID, AND HE WAS, ON AND OFF, THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD FOR 10 YEARS” as Larry Mize chipped in from 140 feet on the 11th, the second hole of their sudden-death playoff. There was more heartache to come in 1996 when the ‘c-word’ was more than whispered at Augusta. To put it bluntly, Norman had choked away the six-shot lead he held at the outset of the final round by the time he emerged from Amen Corner. In the end, he shot 78 to Sir Nick Faldo’s 67. All Faldo could do was hug him in pity, and say: “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” So did the Australians believe there was a curse? Like superstitious actors calling Macbeth the Scottish Play, an Australian reporter couldn’t bring himself to ask about the Curse on Saturday night. He sugarcoated it, prompting Scott to talk about the Burden after the third round. “It’s

GREG NORMAN AND NICK FALDO WERE BITTER RIVALS FOR TWO DECADES BEFORE THE AUSSIE’S IMPLOSION AT THE 1996 MASTERS. IN THE END, FALDO COULD ONLY OFFER SYMPATHY TO HIS BEATEN OPPONENT

who came up three shots shy of Nicklaus in 1972, and Jack Newton, who tied with Gibby Gilbert behind Seve Ballesteros in 1980, before Augusta ushered in the infamous Norman era. “He handled himself so well in all of these situations,” Scott said. “Greg was my idol as a kid, and he was, on and off, the best player in the world for 10 years. As I was six to 16, he had a huge influence on me and every other kid growing up playing golf. I know he’s going to be excited watching the outcome.” Norman did indeed watch, from the sofa of his Florida home— no doubt hiding behind a cushion and peeking at his TV through the gaps in his fingers covering his face. “I fell to my knees when Angel hit that shot right in on top of the 18th,” Norman told the 037


Golf Channel on the Monday morning. “I sent a text out to hundreds of people saying, ‘All of the golfing gods can’t be that mean to Australia.’ He [Scott] wanted to win the Masters not only for himself but for Australia. “He’s achieved the milestone. It will not surprise me if he wins more Majors than any other Australian golfer in history.” That’s bold talk, even from Norman. After all, not only would that achievement eclipse the Shark’s two Open Championships, it would also entail overtaking Peter Thomson’s five. Scott took a bow as he entered the media centre to attend his champion’s press conference resplendent in his green jacket. He was close to tears talking about his country and hugging his father Phil, a former club professional, by the 10th green. “It’s amazing that it’s my destiny to be the first Aussie to win,” he said. “Just incredible.” He also spoke with honesty, warmth and gratitude for Norman who, in 2009, controversially chose an out-of-form Scott to be one of his wildcards for the Presidents Cup. Scott’s game at the time was in freefall. His world ranking had dropped from third after

Adam Scott Australia Born: 16 July 1980 Turned Pro: 2000 Major Win: Masters 2013 Professional Wins: 21

the 2008 US Open to 53rd and he had missed cuts in 10 of his last 14 events and in four of the previous five Majors. “It was kind of a gut-check time,” Scott said. “My game was in a bit of a rut, to be fair, and I wasn’t enjoying it. But Greg as the captain had a lot of faith in me, and belief that I could win a point for his team, so he gave me a pick, and I didn’t want to disappoint him.” Norman explained his decision and faith in his apprentice: “I believed in him. Sometimes when somebody gives you a pat on the back, you’re suddenly not in that big dark hole that you thought you were.” Scott remains in awe of his boyhood idol. “Most of us would feel that he could have slipped a green jacket on,” he said. “He’s given me so much time and inspiration and belief.  I drew on that a lot and part of this definitely belongs to him. A phone conversation isn’t going to do it for us.  We’re really close, and I’d love to share a beer with him over this one.” ★

“IT WILL NOT SURPRISE ME IF HE [SCOTT ] WINS MORE MAJORS THAN ANY OTHER AUSTRALIAN GOLFER IN HISTORY ”

SCOTT RELAXES IN THE GREEN JACKET DENIED TO NORMAN, HIS MENTOR

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THE MAJORS 2013


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Su nd a y B e st

AFTER THREE DAYS OF UNEVENTFUL, ALMOST FORMULAIC GOLF INTERRUPTED ONLY BY TWO CONTENTIOUS RULES ISSUES, THE 77TH MASTERS BLOSSOMED INTO LIFE ON ITS FINAL DAY LIKE AN AUGUSTA AZALEA THANKS TO THE COURAGE AND SPORTSMANSHIP OF TWO OF THE GAME’S MOST POPULAR, AND RESPECTED COMPETITORS. Bill Elliott WAS ON HAND TO DISH OUT PRAISE WHERE IT WAS DUE, AND ALSO TO DELIVER A FEW PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

F

unny Masters. Not in a ha-ha sort of way, but in a ‘did I really just see or hear that?’ fashion. Fantastic, high-quality climax preceded by two days of rules debates and, in between, some really quite dull golf. In the end, however, the first Major of the year invariably produces the sort of late Sunday rollercoaster ride that ensures the legend lives on. So it happened this year with Adam Scott becoming the first Aussie to win at Augusta by playing the best golf of his life to beat off the challenge from Angel Cabrera. Everyone assumed the former champion was just along for the ride. Ranked 269th in the world, he was the forgotten man in every pretournament debate even though he won just four years ago and lifted the US Open in 2007 at Oakmont. He even brought his son to act as caddie during the week. I mean, how serious could he have been? Turned out he was very, very serious indeed. Playing at breakneck speed—speed is always relative and in golf anything more than a slow crawl is indeed breakneck—Cabrera was a consistently class performer over the four days. Scott, meanwhile, was the man who found redemption to slip inside the nice green jacket he also picked up. Quite why the Australians have not won a Masters before is just one of those insoluble conundrums, right up there with ‘is there life beyond death?’ and ‘why does America melt cheese on everything?’ Last summer in England he seemed to have scarred his career and perhaps ended his chances of ever winning a Grand Slam event when he imploded over the last four holes of an otherwise immaculate week at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey, he went, each dropped shot thumping deep into his psyche and his sporting soul. 041


Instead of winning the Open Championship, Scott conceded it to a grateful Ernie Els. This sort of experience does one of two things to a player: (a) it effectively destroys him, or (b) it makes him stronger. No one, certainly not Scott, knew which of these two categories he had fallen into. At least he didn’t until the final enthralling moments of this 2013 Masters. Oh, he had told us before that he thought playing so well for so long at Lytham had convinced him that, yes, he could win a Major. But deep down? Not until he entered the old crucible of potential humiliation again would he, or we, know for sure. Now we all know and it may very well be that Scott will pick up a few more big ones before he is finished—or at least until the proposed ban on anchored putters comes into force on January 1, 2016. Between now and then Scott has eleven more glittering windmills to tilt at. After that, when his long putter has to be hung on some wall, who knows? What we do know is that until he took up this controversial club a few years ago he was going backwards, his putting was poor and apparently getting poorer. Well, his putting at Augusta was superb. But then no one wins a Masters without putting out of their skin for four days. When he holed a longish birdie putt at the 72nd hole, his relief and jubilation were clear for all to see as he stood, pelvis gyrating like a latterday Elvis on the 18th green while he yelled “C’mon Aussie” at his New Zealand caddie, and former Tiger Woods employee, Steve Williams. Williams, to be frank, is not everyone’s cup of tea, but this hard-nosed Kiwi couldn’t care less about that. What is also beyond dispute is that he’s a caddie of the highest quality and one who certainly knows how to help a nervous player over the finishing line. At Lytham, he and Scott made errors; at Augusta, they were near perfection. As was Cabrera. He s t o o d intentl y watching f r o m the final 042

the majors 2013

JASON DAY’S PUTTER WENT COLD ON HIM ON SATURDAY AND HE FOUND HIMSELF WITH TOO MUCH TO DO IN THE FINAL ROUND

SCOTT AND CABRERA SHARE A SPORTING EMBRACE AFTER THEIR PLAYOFF EXPLOITS

“Well done, you are a great, great player”

fairway as Scott made that birdie to move a stroke ahead. A less focused individual would have capitulated at that moment. Instead Cabrera hit the most exquisite approach to within three feet and rolled his ball in to set up a playoff for the second consecutive year. It was a response that said much about the Argentine’s nerve as well as his natural ability to strike a golf ball with the purity of a master technician. It was as fine a shot under the circumstances as the old game has ever applauded. And Cabrera was equally classy when he saw Scott slam-dunk his birdie putt at the second extra hole (the diabolical 10th), stepping forward to grasp his opponent in a bear hug before saying: “Well done, you are a great, great player”. It was a terrific end to one of the more interesting Sundays in Georgia. Maybe we could have done with a few more so-called superstars in the mix, but it would be curmudgeonly to suggest that between them, Scott, Cabrera and another young Australian Jason Day did not offer up competition of the highest order. Curmudgeonly? Actually, just plain wrong. Tiger Woods, as ever, flirted with his supporters, edging towards the sharpest end of the leader-board but never quite making it. His putting, he said, killed him, the fluctuating speed of greens drenched in cool rain all afternoon confusing even his hard-wired brain. I am sure this is true, but he was really undone two days earlier when his calculated pitch to the 15th green smacked into the flagstick and rebounded into the water. It was a lousy piece of luck for his ball would have screeched to a halt four or five feet from this fluttering hooligan. It was a piece of misfortune that scrambled Woods’ head momentarily and he ended up taking an illegal drop as he confused two different rules. Not that anyone present noticed. One of those hawkeyed TV fans did, however, and rang CBS to complain that he felt Woods had taken a drop that had given him an advantage. CBS passed this on to the Augusta National rules committee and the chaps looked long and hard at the


television evidence before deciding that it was all okay. Surprisingly, they didn’t intercept Woods before he signed his card. Had they asked the player, presumably he would have said that he had dropped his ball two yards further back and then played exactly the same shot confident that this time his ball would not career into the flagstick. At which point, a chastened Woods would have been docked two strokes and told to sign his card accordingly. So it was not until a late night TV interview that Tiger revealed what he had done, still blissfully unaware that he had transgressed. Oops! Double oops! The following morning, after much discussion, the committee decided to invoke that part of Rule 33 that allows them to “waive disqualification in unusual or extreme circumstances”. Cue uproar, the golfing world divided into those outraged at what was perceived as special treatment for a special player and those who feel it was fair enough merely to apply the two-stroke sanction. Here I admit I am in the first camp. On Friday night, when told that Chinese teenager extraordinaire Tianlang Guan had been penalised a stroke for slow play, Woods

FINAL SCORES (US unless stated; Par-72) 279 Adam Scott (Australia) 69 72 69 69 Angel Cabrera (Argentina) 71 69 69 70 (Scott won at second playoff hole) 281 Jason Day (Australia) 70 68 73 70 283 Tiger Woods 70 73 70 70 Marc Leishman (Australia) 66 73 72 72 284 Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) 78 70 68 68 Brandt Snedeker 70 70 69 75 285 Sergio Garcia (Spain) 66 76 73 70 Lee Westwood (England) 70 71 73 71 Matt Kuchar 68 75 69 73 286 John Huh 70 77 71 68 Tim Clark (S. Africa) 70 76 67 73 287 David Toms 70 74 76 67 Ernie Els (S. Africa) 71 74 73 69 Dustin Johnson 67 76 74 70 Fred Couples 68 71 77 71 Nick Watney 78 69 68 72 288 Branden Grace (S. Africa) 78 70 71 69 Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 75 71 73 69

shrugged and remarked, “rules are rules”. Quite so, and one can’t help but feel that two wrongs do not make a right and that Woods would have done himself an enormous favour if he had politely thanked the tournament committee for their efforts but told them he was leaving. I guess he is just too much of a competitor to have taken that positive PR route. But then the PR surrounding 14-year-old Guan’s penalty

FOURTEENYEAR-OLD TIANLANG GUAN MADE THE CUT DESPITE A SLOW-PLAY PENALTY

289 Bill Haas 71 72 74 72 Jason Dufner 72 69 75 73 Bo Van Pelt 71 74 70 74 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 68 74 73 74 Steve Stricker 73 70 71 75 290 Michael Thompson 73 71 79 67 Rory McIlroy (N. Ireland) 72 70 79 69 Richard Sterne (S. Africa) 73 72 75 70 Stewart Cink 75 71 73 71 Luke Donald (England) 71 72 75 72 Fredrik Jacobson (Sweden) 72 73 72 73 Charl Schwartzel (S. Africa) 71 71 75 73 Justin Rose (England) 70 71 75 74 Bernhard Langer (Germany) 71 71 72 76 Jim Furyk 69 71 74 76 291 Martin Kaymer (Germany) 72 75 74 70 John Senden (Australia) 72 70 75 74 Zach Johnson 69 76 71 75 292 Ryan Moore 71 72 81 68 Ryo Ishikawa (Japan) 71 77 76 68 Paul Lawrie (Scotland) 76 70 75 71

was also hugely negative for the game. Perception always rather wearily trumps fact and given that the audience for a Masters includes many millions who watch no other golf this seemed a rather unbending censure of a baby-faced prodigy who was exceeding all expectations. Especially when one contemplated the pace of so many older, experienced professionals who seem to think anything approaching quick is a blatant sign of weakness. Thankfully, Guan made the cut anyway—by, as it happened, a single stroke—so further PR disaster was averted and he charmed everyone with his own prodigiously mature response to the whole rather sorry episode. Quite when Guan will play again in a Masters remains to be seen. There are already those backing him to win it sooner rather than later, but the sporting world is littered with once great youngsters who discover that this greatness does not follow them into the hurlyburly of adult life. We’ll see. While we wait, congratulations are due to Scott. He is a nice bloke and a pro sportsman who loves art, architecture and reading books with quite long words in them. If for no other reason, this makes him a worthy Masters champ. There are, however, many other good reasons for his stunning success. Well done, mate! ★

293

294 295

297

300 301 302 304

Brian Gay 72 74 74 72 Vijay Singh (Fiji) 72 74 74 72 D.A. Points 72 75 72 73 Robert Garrigus 76 71 72 73 Rickie Fowler 68 76 70 78 Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 73 73 76 71 David Lynn (England) 68 73 80 72 K.J. Choi (S. Korea) 70 71 77 75 Lucas Glover 74 74 73 73 Peter Hanson (Sweden) 72 75 76 72 Trevor Immelman (S. Africa) 68 75 78 74 Jose Maria Olazabal (Spain) 74 72 74 75 Bubba Watson 75 73 70 77 Keegan Bradley 73 73 82 69 Sandy Lyle (Scotland) 73 72 81 71 Phil Mickelson 71 76 77 73 Scott Piercy 75 69 78 75 Tianlang Guan (China) {Am} 73 75 77 75 Kevin Na 70 76 74 81 John Peterson 71 77 74 80 Carl Pettersson (Sweden) 76 70 77 81 Thirty-one players missed the cut

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T he Win tha t C h a n g e d th e G ame 044

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WE DIDN’T KNOW HIM THEN, NOT REALLY. In 1958, the club professional-greenkeeper’s son from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was just a hardworking American guy from the sticks who cut a nice figure in slacks and had some talent on the course. It didn’t matter that he’d been a professional golfer for three years, that he’d distinguished himself in college and as an amateur.

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hen arnold Palmer won the st. Petersburg open at the Lakewood Country Club, Florida in the spring of 1958, his eighth PGA Tour victory, the March 24 New York Times devoted almost as much space to Ted Kroll’s hole-in-one during the tournament: “the fifth hole-in-one of his career,” it read (Kroll finished out of the top 20). The only quote attributed to Palmer following the victory was in regards to his stepping back from a putt on 18 after a camera shutter went off—big noise in those days. “I just didn’t have the nerve to hit it,” Palmer reportedly told the Associated Press (AP). But the quote seems suspicious now we know nerve is something Palmer had plenty of, too much if you asked some people—some people in 1958, that is. That Palmer—the Palmer with nerve, the Palmer of Arnie’s Army, the Palmer eventually known as the King, and now as ‘Mr Palmer’—was introduced to the world just weeks later at Augusta National. It was sooner than some liked, and sooner than all expected. All except for Palmer himself, and those closest to him. You see, Arnie knew he was good. And after he made that eagle at 13, he knew he was going to win the 1958 Masters. From then on, everybody would know him, and everything would change.

Venturi to March to Inevitable Victory?

iT was hardly GoinG To be worth watching the Masters in 1958, if you read the papers. Everyone knew Ken Venturi had it in the bag—he’d come so close in ’56. Then again, Sam Snead was there, and Ben Hogan. And there was the ’57 champ Doug Ford, though the beat writers weren’t optimistic about him: “Only Doug himself and possibly a very few others have paid much attention to the possibility of his becoming the first player ever to win the Masters two years in succession,” read an AP report, which then quipped, “Ford picks himself to win, just as he did a year ago.” Most of the papers ran the stuff from AP’s Hugh Fullerton, Jr., who was writing about Venturi and the big names, and giving space to Japanese players Torakichi Nakamura and Koichi Ono, both great putters. Notably, Lincoln A. Werden got it right in the New York Times, listing Palmer among the contenders. No wonder there’s a golf journalism award in his name today.

How Did Palmer Get an Invite to the Masters?

Azalea Open. His frustration, compounded by a midnight drive across South CaroaccordinG To The aPril 2 lina to reach Augusta National, didn’t help New York Times, there were red faces Palmer’s focus, and he admits he played around the staid, straight-laced Augusta “abysmally” in his practice round, accomNational golf course days before the panying Hogan and Jack Burke. His play1958 Masters kicked off. A 23-year-old ing partner and friend Dow Finsterwald salesman from St. Louis named Allen played well enough for the two to win a W. Perkins had managed to sneak into friendly wager, but the atmosphere in the Augusta National, obtain a locker in the locker room afterwards was anything but, bachelors’ quarters and putt a few balls as Palmer recounted in his autobiography, around the practice area before getting A Golfer’s Life: “A little while afterward, as onto the course (where Snead, Hogan we were changing in the club locker room, and Venturi were playing). I heard Ben Hogan remark to Jackie, ‘Tell He hit five 7-iron shots to the first me something, Jackie. How the hell did green before being spotted by Johnny Palmer get an invitation to the Masters?’” Spence, a pro who recognised the pracTo this day Palmer’s not sure if Hotice shots to the 1st hole as a breach of gan meant for him to hear the comment protocol and alerted security. Perkins or not, but it was unlikely that Hogan was promptly booted out—after he intended the words to have the effect cleaned out his locker. Attendants had they did. “The question burned me up assumed the prankster was an amateur and set my mind on showing him why Masters entrant, and had extended him the hell I’d been invited to the Masters. every courtesy prior to his removal. So perhaps I owe Ben a tip of the cap While Perkins was enjoying a fine for helping me focus my mind on my April Fool’s joke, Palmer was in North business the way Pap always insisted I Carolina, fuming off a Monday playoff would have to in order to win a major loss to Howie Johnson in Wilmington’s golf tournament.” oh yes, this was going to be a great Masters. 045


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Day One

Day Two

Venturi Takes Venturi rallies to Retain Stroke Lead Stroke Lead in Masters in Opening Leader recovers with 72 for 140 Round

Coast Pro has 68 on ‘easy’ course The firsT day went largely as the writers would have scripted, with Venturi shooting 68 to take a onestroke lead. He was having a fine year so far, atop the money list and coming off a solid victory at the Baton Rouge Open in early March (where Palmer tied second). Memories of the San Franciscan’s “almost win” in 1956 were fresh on the tips of writers’ pens as well, his pace-setting opening round of 66 that year—and his dramatic collapse with a final round 80. Three-time Masters champ Jimmy Demaret, who finished day one tied for second, observed that greens slowed by rain and the complete lack of a breeze made the course “never easier than it was today. This isn’t Augusta; it’s not scientific,” he said. Palmer came back in 33 to tie a further shot back with Belgian Flory Van Donck and U.S. Open champion and former Masters winner Cary Middlecoff. But Arnie was still mentioned near the bottom of most articles. Aside from Middlecoff finding an 18-inch snake near his ball on the watery No.12, which Snead picked up by the tail and flung away, day one was otherwise uneventful.

The second day continued the planned narrative, with papers exclaiming Venturi’s mastery during his battle to maintain the lead. “One of the most brilliant nine-hole efforts ever recorded in the Masters,” wrote Werden about the front-runner’s second-half 32, which followed a front-nine 40. A double-bogey at 8 didn’t help Venturi and a three-putt on 9 added to the tension, but three birdies in a row to finish gave the writers what they were looking for, and the newsmen’s hero walked off course a happy man with a total 140. His playing partner, Billy Joe Patton, was happy as well, having added a bit of drama to the afternoon. After knocking his tee shot into the water at 16, Patton took a penalty and dropped another ball in front

Day Three

SNEAD AND PALMER GET 68s, TIE AT 211 IN MASTERS

of the tee. Using a 7-iron, he put that ball within two feet of the pin, causing former PGA champion Henry Pickard to exclaim, “That was a millionto-one shot!” Palmer was three back, listed third among a group of six golfers at 143, which included Art Wall, Middlecoff, Chick Harbert, Finsterwald and Snead, who’d had eight one-putt greens in a 71. The weather, which had thus far confined its misery to the evenings, was starting to make its presence felt, and day two played cold, wet and grey. Despite that, even defending champ Ford finished in a good mood with his two-day 145. “It’s the same total I had after 36 holes last year,” he told reporters. “I’m in just the right spot now.”

PeoPle who oPened the New York Times the morning of April 6 might have been surprised to see Palmer’s name in the headline on the sports page, just after Snead’s. Both had shot third-round 68s, and both were now tied for the lead. Venturi had fallen into a tie for fourth, but no one was counting him out. From Werden’s article: “Slammin’ Sam, who will be 46 next month, found himself sharing the leader’s spot with 26-year-old Arnold Palmer of Latrobe, Pa.” In fact, Palmer was 28, but it hardly mattered. Nor did the rain overnight, nor the overcast sky on Saturday. Palmer’s front nine saw seven pars, plus birdies at 3 and 6. But he found the water on 12, the short hole that’s been called one of the toughest par-3s in tournament golf. This was the year that “Amen Corner” was born, coined by Herbert Warren Wind of Sports Illustrated in reference to the trio of holes 11, 12 and 13. Easing up with his 7-iron from the tee on 12, Palmer skipped his ball across the pond and watched helplessly as it fell back into the water, eventually managing a 4. On 13 he used a brilliant 1-iron to get his second shot to the green, birdied that, escaped a trap to birdie 15, then made par over the next two holes. The final hole saw a fantastic 20-footer for birdie, and suddenly he was atop the sports pages with his 68. Venturi was down but not out, telling reporters after the round that he’d slept just fine and would continue to do so. “Sleep, I’ll say I did,” he told the press. “I went to bed at 11 and woke up at 9. I never have any trouble sleepPalmer tips his cap to the gallery of Masters patrons after holing a putt on the 18th green in 1958 ing on tour, either.” 047


Sunday

Palmer’s 284 Beats Ford and Hawkins by a Stroke

Winner Cards 73 on soggy course iT was weT. really weT. Nightly rains had soaked the course, and writers were using words like “soggy” and “bog” to describe Augusta National. After some talk of postponing the final round, it was decided that play would continue, and everyone headed into the mire. Snead got in trouble early with a 2-iron on the 1st hole that put him in the muck. It took him another three shots to get to the green, and he eventually had to settle for a 6. By the end of the day, he was on 290 for 72 holes. Palmer was paired with Venturi, and they were putting on a fine show. By the time they came to 12, Venturi had narrowed Palmer’s lead to a single stroke—and here’s where it got interesting. “My concentration was great and my adrenaline really pumping—a bit too much perhaps,” Palmer said of his tee shot that cleared the green and ended up plugged between the putting surface and a trap. He believed he was entitled to relief without penalty under the local weather rules that were in effect. Arthur Lacey, the official on the scene, disagreed and ruled that Palmer had to play the ball as it was, embedded. What happened next still causes debate, but Palmer ultimately told Lacey he didn’t agree with the ruling and therefore intended to play two balls, leaving the final call as to which ball counted up to the tournament rules committee. After punching the embedded ball out of the mud, he double-bogeyed for a 5. He dropped his second ball at the 048

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same spot where his tee shot had come to rest, chipped it a few feet from the hole then holed for 3. After Venturi made par, both headed into 13 knowing one of them was one stroke ahead. Unsure either way, Palmer was undaunted, whacking a 3-wood to the green at the 475-yard par-5 and then sinking an 18-foot putt for eagle. Venturi made birdie, but couldn’t hold it together at 14, where he missed a two-footer and made bogey. By 15, Bobby Jones himself had come out in a golf cart to tell Palmer that the rules committee had ruled in his favour, and it seemed nothing could stop Arnie. Venturi seemed unsteadied after the ruling, carding bogeys at 15 and 16 to fall too far behind to contend, and eventually tied for fourth. Buoyed by the ruling and by the support of fans and local soldiers from Camp Gordon, many of whom were manning the scoreboards and posting messages urging him on (marking the first assemblage of “Arnie’s Army”), Palmer duly sealed his victory. Jim Gorant of Sports Illustrated wrote on its 50th anniversary: “It’s appropriate that Palmer’s breakthrough victory came from such a brazen act of will. It was a prime example of his harddriving, confident personality. He would take any risk, try any shot, and never lose faith in his own beliefs and abilities. That was what led him to challenge the rules official and to hit the shots that others couldn’t or wouldn’t. This self-confidence and bold nature drove him to success on and off the course and drew others to him.”

Palmer receives the first of his four green jackets from 1957 champion Doug Ford

A Champion is Crowned

walKinG off The coUrse after 18, Palmer had to wait more than an hour to learn if his final-round 73 and total 284 were enough. Come-from-behind challenger Fred Hawkins made things interesting with a narrowly missed birdie attempt at 18 that would have tied for first. Joining him in the hunt, surprisingly, was Ford, who also finished one putt away from a playoff. Newsreel footage shows spectators milling around in the background, talking to each other, collecting their belongings and leaving the tournament ground as Ford slips the Green Jacket onto Arnie’s shoulders. There’s no crowd around him, no onslaught of reporters, no galleries screaming for autographs. Palmer himself recalls there was no “hoopla and ceremony” at all. He was given the trophy, the jacket and the winner’s cheque, headed off to fetch his Chrysler, then drove downtown with his wife, Winnie, and a small group from Wilson

Sporting Goods to Augusta’s Town Tavern for a celebratory dinner. The next few days saw Palmer described as “the husky 28-year-old athlete” and “a steel-nerved Master” as reporters sought to get a hold on what had happened at Augusta. The victory helped to open doors that led to Palmer’s lifelong partnership with manager, friend and agent Mark McCormack, who eventually marketed Arnie’s image to the world. It also told Palmer something he needed to know about himself, that he could be the best player in the game. Everybody knows that now—Palmer won the Masters three more times (narrowly beating Venturi again in 1960) and took seven Majors altogether, along with numerous other victories. His legendary status in the game, and his character and reputation off the course, are well established now. Today, everybody knows Arnie. But it wasn’t always that way. “I always felt something powerful in Augusta,” he reflects, “and I knew my time would come.” it did, in 1958. ★


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Victor y Sa lu te s

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THE 2012 MAJORS WERE A HEADLINE WRITER’S DELIGHT. EFFORTS SUCH AS ‘WEBB FEAT’, ‘EASY DOES IT’ AND ‘RORY GLORY’ ARE SOME OF THE POPULAR DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAMATIC VICTORIES ACHIEVED BY MESSRS SIMPSON, ELS AND MCILROY OVER THREE OF GOLF’S MOST CHALLENGING COURSES. Jack Ross AND Peter Phyllisen LOOK BACK ON LAST YEAR’S US OPEN, THE OPEN AND PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

n the eve of the 112th ugly 77 and, along with Watson, missed the cut. US Open, two themes Woods followed his first-round 69 with a dominated discussion at 70 and stood in a three-way tie for the lead at San Francisco’s Olympic one-under par with Jim Furyk and David Toms. Club. The “terrestrial” theme There was a time when Woods surrendering a focused on the demanding Lake Course, site of 36-hole lead in a Major was unthinkable, but four prior Opens, where narrow, reverse-banked Olympic proved that the long-time world fairways and small, well-bunkered greens would No.1—notwithstanding two tour wins earlier surely present the players with a severe test given in the season—was still not the Tiger of old. He the unseasonably warm and dry conditions. stumbled to a 75 on Saturday, when his putter Yet there was also an “ethereal” theme, as failed him, and was a non-factor on Sunday. fans speculated whether the hex exploited by Early Sunday afternoon, fog drifted across Olympic’s giant-killers (Jack Fleck in 1955, Billy Olympic, enveloping co-leaders Furyk and Graeme Casper in 1966, Scott Simpson in 1987 and Lee McDowell (one-under par after 54 holes) as they Janzen in 1998) would again lead to a marquee walked to the 1st tee. They had put themselves in player losing his grip down the stretch on that position with what McDowell described as Sunday—a fate inflicted in turn on Ben Hogan, “Jim Furyk golf ”—play conservatively, hit fairways, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Payne Stewart. take few risks, putt well, and capitalise on the rare The place was also abuzz about the Thursday grouping of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and recently-crowned Masters champion Bubba Watson, but it degenerated into a nightmare for the two lefties. Woods fared better, his 69 being good enough to tie for second. Defending champion Rory McIlroy, looking nothing like the flawless player who brought WEBB SIMPSON PLAYED BY FAR THE BEST GOLF OVER THE WEEKEND AT Congressional to its OLYMPIC, FINISHING WITH TWO 68S knees in 2011, had an 050

THE MAJORS 2013

birdie opportunities that come your way. Sunday was a different story. McDowell struggled early, with four bogeys on the front nine. The usually accurate Irishman hit only three fairways all day. But he still made a birdie putt on 17 to close to within one stroke of Webb Simpson, who was anxiously watching proceedings unfold on the clubhouse television. McDowell then produced a fabulous wedge shot on 18, where the pin was virtually inaccessible just behind a cavernous bunker, but his lengthy downhill putt to tie never had a chance. As disappointing as Sunday was for McDowell, it was excruciating for Furyk. Things unravelled on the par-5 16th, which, at 570-yards, was playing 100 yards shorter than its listed yardage. Furyk duck-hooked his tee shot, had to pitch back into the fairway and ended up with a bogey. Needing a birdie on the shorter par-5 17th to tie Simpson, Furyk’s 222-yard 4-iron from the first cut of rough came up well short in a bunker, and he could manage only a par. Meanwhile, Simpson, a graduate of Arnold Palmer’s alma mater Wake Forest, emerged from the shadows with two solid 68s on the weekend to become Olympic’s latest stealth champion.


E  

rnie els had mixed feelings as he settled an old score with Royal Lytham & St Annes in northwest England by overhauling his close friend Adam Scott over the closing holes of the 141st [British] Open Championship. The big South African had twice come close to lifting the Claret Jug at the Lancashire links—in 1996 and 2001—but on this occasion, instead of faltering down the stretch, he covered the back nine in 32 shots while long-time leader Scott contrived to bogey the last four holes. While the Big Easy was celebrating the end of his own decade of torment in the Majors, he was also painfully aware of how the 32-year-old Australian, almost 10 years his junior, felt having blown his best chance to date of winning a Major. “It’s a crazy, crazy game. I can’t really believe I’ve won. This was one of the greatest days of my career,” Els, who trailed Scott by six shots at the turn and by four with just four holes to play, said. “I played well all week and saved my best until the end. Playing this tough, tough back nine in four-under par, given the circumstances, makes it one of the best rounds of my career. It’s an amazing feeling.” “I’ve blown Majors and other golf tournaments before and I just hope he doesn’t take it as hard as I did. [But] the bigger your lead is, almost the bigger the tension is. When a guy’s one shot behind, you play harder. When you’re four ahead, you’re not quite playing your game. I just had a feeling he might be thinking that way, so I aimed to get in the house with some kind of a number... but I needed to be aggressive. That’s

why I played the way I did. “I feel for him, going for his first one [Major win]—I’ve been on the other end more times than I’ve been on the winning end, so I know what Adam’s feeling like. He’s got all the talent in the world, though. He’s one of my best friends out here on Tour and I love seeing him play well. Thankfully he’s young enough. He’s got the next 10 years. I’ve won four [Majors] now—I think he can win more than that.” Scott, who carded a seven-under-par 64 on day one and led by four shots after three rounds, continued his serene progress on a windswept Sunday until unexpectedly bogeying the 15th from a bunker. At the time it seemed a mere blip, but when he followed up with a three-putt bogey on the 16th—his 3ft par putt spun in and out of the cup to make the gallery gasp—it was clear something more sinister was afoot. From the middle of the 17th fairway, he hit a 6-iron that turned left, ran down the slope and bounced into shin-high grass—just after hearing the roar for Els’ 15ft birdie putt on the home green. “I thought, ‘Hold on. We’ve got a problem here,’” McDowell, who was playing with Scott in the final group, said. Scott, taking 3-wood, found more sand off the tee at the last but he still had a chance to force a playoff, only for his A MISSED EIGHT-FOOT PAR PUTT 8ft par attempt to CONSIGNED LONG-TIME LEADER ADAM SCOTT TO SECOND PLACE miss on the left. BEHIND HIS GREAT FRIEND ERNIE ELS “I know I let

a really great chance slip through my fingers today,’” Scott said, adding almost prophetically: “Hopefully I can let it go really quick. I’m sure there will be a next time and I’m sure I can do a better job of it.” However much inner turmoil Scott experienced, he was well aware of the incredible joy Els’ victory and return to form had brought to his family—especially nine-year-old Ben, who has autism. Els, who defends the title in July at Muirfield, the scene of his previous Open triumph in 2002, had played well for most of the year but his putting was costing him dearly, despite his switch to a belly putter. “When you’ve been where I was, you have no confidence in putting—you don’t want to have that one coming back,” he said. “Obviously in March I looked like an absolute fool. People were laughing at me and making jokes about me and really hitting me low, saying I’m done and I should hang it up. So it was great to come through and make a putt like that [at 18] and make pressure putts all the way on the back nine.” Els’ victory was the third in four Majors by players wielding a belly putter—following Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship and Simpson, who sat out Lytham because wife Dowd was about to give birth to daughter Willow Grace. And in April, Scott made it four out of six at Augusta. But given the recent joint R&A-USGA ruling about anchored strokes, which comes into effect in January 2016, there won’t be too many more. 051


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ory mcilroy claimed his second major title and regained the world No.1 spot at the tender age of 23 with a record eight-shot victory in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. The young Northern Irishman began his final round with a three-shot lead before surging away from the pack with a bogey-free 66 for a 13-under-par total of 275. At no stage on the last day did he look in any trouble over the Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course even though England’s Ian Poulter managed to cut the deficit to a couple of shots with an astonishing run of seven birdies in 12 holes. In the end, McIlroy’s success was as emphatic as his eight-shot triumph in the 2011 US Open at Congressional, Maryland. And at 23 years and three months, he is a month younger than Tiger Woods was when he won his second Major. In fact, one has to go all the way back to the late, great Seve Ballesteros’ 1980 Masters victory to find a younger double Major winner. With the completion of the third round delayed until Sunday morning due to weather disruption, the players went out in three-balls for their final 18 holes. Poulter, six shots adrift of McIlroy after 54 holes, promptly birdied each of the first five holes, added another at the 7th and established himself as his Ryder Cup teammate’s only serious challenger with a seventh birdie at the 12th. Ho w e v e r, McIlroy was not standing still either. After birdies at the 2nd and 3rd, he picked up his third shot to par when he reached the 541-yard par-5 7th with a drive and 5-iron. At that stage, the back nine looked set to 052

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stage an enthralling duel only for Poulter to hit the buffers with dropped shots at 13, 14 and 15—each time after missing the green and failing to get up and down. Minutes later, McIlroy made a 15ft birdie putt at 12 to take a six-shot lead and, in effect, consign his rivals to a battle for second place. A five at the 18th meant that Poulter had finished with four bogeys in his final six holes for a 69 that dropped him back into a tie for third on four-under-par with his compatriot and close friend Justin Rose, who roared home in 66, Sweden’s Carl Pettersson, who had hung around the top of the leader-board all week, and defending champion Bradley. McIlroy, guarding against the schoolboy errors that cost him a seemingly unassailable lead down the stretch at the 2011 Masters, made steady pars from 13-17 before icing the cake with a 15ft birdie putt at 18 to wrap up the biggest

winning margin in the PGA Championship since it became a stroke-play event in 1958. The runners-up spot went to a professional for whom the words ‘unheralded journeyman’ could have been coined. David Lynn, a 38-year-

old Englishman who was playing his first tournament in America (indeed, the 2003 Open was his only previous Major appearance), birdied the 16th and 17th to sneak ahead of the group on four under. And a par at the last for a closing 68 earned Lynn, who has won just once in 371 European Tour starts, a cheque for $865,000 and an invitation to the 2013 Masters. After winning the first tournament ever contested by 99 of the world’s top 100, McIlroy said: “It was a great round of golf—I’m speechless. The game plan was just to play solid. I got off to a bit of a shaky start, but settled into it and I thought my putting today was phenomenal.” Poulter said: “It was a dream start. I pushed him [McIlroy] but I ran out of steam at the end. It was a great day. It’s just a shame I couldn’t quite finish it off.” Pettersson was also left to reflect on what might have been after being handed a two-shot penalty for flicking a loose RORY MCILROY IS impediment on his CONGRATULATED BY HIS FATHER GERRY backswing while FOLLOWING HIS PGA TRIUMPH playing out of a hazard on the 1st in his final round. His par there thus became a doublebogey six. To his credit he bounced back with three straight birdies, but thereafter he was never a threat to playing partner McIlroy. Woods was never a factor either, closing with a 72 for a twounder-par total of 286 and a tie for 11th. “I came out with probably the wrong attitude,” Woods said. “I was too relaxed and tried to enjoy it, and that’s not how I play. I play intense and full systems go. That cost me.” Meanwhile, McIlroy, the first 54-hole leader to win a Major in 2012, ended a streak in which 16 straight Majors had been won by 16 different players. He also made it seven victories for the Irish out of 22 Majors. ★


2012 Roll of Honour US Open

Lakes Course, Olympic Club, San Francisco, California; Par-70; June 14-17 281 Webb Simpson 72 73 68 68 282 Michael Thompson 66 75 74 67 Graeme McDowell (N. Ireland) 69 72 68 73 283 Jim Furyk 70 69 70 74 Jason Dufner 72 71 70 70 David Toms 69 70 76 68 John Peterson 71 70 72 70 Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 74 70 71 68 284 Ernie Els (South Africa) 75 69 68 72 285 Retief Goosen (South Africa) 75 70 69 71 John Senden (Australia) 72 73 68 72 Casey Wittenberg 71 77 67 70 Kevin Chappell 74 71 68 72 Lee Westwood (England) 73 72 67 73 286 Steve Stricker 76 68 73 69 Aaron Watkins 72 71 72 71 Fredrik Jacobson (Sweden) 72 71 68 75 Adam Scott (Australia) 76 70 70 70 K. J. Choi (South Korea) 73 70 74 69 Martin Kaymer (Germany) 74 71 69 72 287 Nick Watney 69 75 73 70 Tiger Woods 69 70 75 73 Justin Rose (England) 69 75 71 72 Blake Adams 72 70 70 75 Raphael Jacquelin (France) 72 71 73 71 Jordan Spieth (Amateur) 74 74 69 70 288 Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) 72 69 71 76 Matt Kuchar 70 73 71 74 289 Francesco Molinari (Italy) 71 76 72 70 Beau Hossler (Amateur) 70 73 70 76 Davis Love III 73 74 73 69 Robert Karlsson (Sweden) 70 75 72 72 Kevin Na 74 71 71 73 Charlie Wi (South Korea) 74 70 71 74 Scott Langley 76 70 70 73 Alistair Presnell (Australia) 70 74 75 70 Morgan Hoffmann 72 74 73 70 290 Hunter Mahan 72 71 73 74, Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 73 70 74 73, Sergio Garcia (Spain) 73 71 71 75. 291 Zach Johnson 77 70 73 71, Ian Poulter (England) 70 75 73 73, Patrick Cantlay (Amateur) 76 72 71 72, Rickie Fowler 72 76 71 72, Alex Cejka (Germany) 78 69 70 74. 292 Bob Estes 74 73 71 74, Steve Le Brun 73 75 69 75, Hunter Hamrick 77 67 71 77, Matteo Manassero (Italy) 76 69 73 74, Angel Cabrera (Argentina) 72 76 69 75. 293 Branden Grace (South Africa) 71 74 73 75, Jesse Mueller 75 73 74 71, Simon Dyson (England) 74 74 74 71, Hiroyuki Fujita ( Japan) 75 71 73 74, Nicholas Thompson 74 74 72 73. 294 Michael Allen 71 73 77 73, Jonathan Byrd 71 75 71 77, Jeff Curl 73 75 71 75. 295 Darron Stiles 75 71 73 76, Bo Van Pelt 78 70 76 71, Matthew Baldwin (England) 74 74 73 74, J. B. Park (South Korea) 70 74 77 74, Kevin Streelman 76 72 72 75, Jason Day (Australia) 75 71 76 73. 296 Phil Mickelson 76 71 71 78, Marc Warren (Scotland) 73 72 74 77. 297 K. T. Kim (South Korea) 74 72 74 77. 298 Keegan Bradley 73 73 75 77, Stephen Ames (Canada) 74 73 79 72. 299 Rodney Pampling (Australia) 74 73 74 78. 301 Jason Bohn 70 75 78 78. 303 Joe Ogilvie 73 75 76 79.

The [BriTiSh] Open

Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire, England; Par-70; July 19-22 273 Ernie Els (South Africa) 67 70 68 68 274 Adam Scott (Australia) 64 67 68 75 277 Tiger Woods 67 67 70 73 Brandt Snedeker 66 64 73 74 278 Graeme McDowell (N. Ireland) 67 69 67 75 Luke Donald (England) 70 68 71 69 279 Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 68 68 71 72 Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) 65 77 72 65 280 Zach Johnson 65 74 66 75 Matt Kuchar 69 67 72 72 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 72 68 73 67 Dustin Johnson 73 68 68 71 Vijay Singh (Fiji) 70 72 68 70 Alexander Noren (Sweden) 71 71 69 69 Mark Calcavecchia 71 68 69 72 Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) 69 66 71 74 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) 71 69 73 67 Ian Poulter (England) 71 69 73 67 281 Hunter Mahan 70 71 70 70 Steven Alker (New Zealand) 69 69 72 71 Bill Haas 71 68 68 74 Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 72 68 68 73 282 Nick Watney 71 70 69 72, Steve Stricker 67 71 73 71, Bubba Watson 67 73 68 74, Matthew Baldwin (England) 69 73 69 71, Simon Dyson (England)72 67 73 70, James Morrison (England) 68 70 72 72, Peter Hanson (Sweden) 67 72 72 71, Carl Pettersson (Sweden) 71 68 73 70. 283 Jason Dufner 70 66 73 74, Rickie Fowler 71 72 70 70, Anirban Lahiri (India) 68 72 70 73. 284 Keegan Bradley 71 72 68 73, Jim Furyk 72 70 71 71, Paul Lawrie (Scotland) 65 71 76 72, John Senden (Australia) 70 71 75 68, Gary Woodland 73 70 70 71. 285 Francesco Molinari (Italy) 69 72 71 73, Kyle Stanley 70 69 70 76, K. J. Choi (South Korea) 70 73 71 71, Troy Matteson 70 72 71 72, Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 70 72 70 73, Richard Sterne (South Africa) 69 73 73 70. 286 Justin Hicks 68 74 69 75, Ross Fisher (England) 72 71 74 69, Joost Luiten (Netherlands) 73 70 69 74, Greg Chalmers (Australia) 71 68 71 76, Rafael Echenique (Argentina) 73 69 71 73, Simon Khan (England) 70 69 71 76, Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) 73 70 71 72, Bob Estes 69 72 74 71, Lee Westwood (England) 73 70 71 72. 287 Fredrik Jacobson (Sweden) 69 73 73 72, Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 70 69 72 76, Greg Owen (England) 71 71 71 74, Yoshinori Fujimoto ( Japan) 71 70 73 73, Gonzalo FernandezCastano (Spain) 71 71 72 73, Harris English 71 71 70 75. 288 Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) 67 75 73 73, Ted Potter, Jr. 69 71 74 74, Dale Whitnell (England) 71 69 72 76, Jamie Donaldson (Wales) 68 72 72 76. 289 Garth Mulroy (South Africa), Retief Goosen (South Africa), Sang-moon Bae (South Korea), Lee Slattery (England), Charles Howell III. 290 Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Jeev Milkha Singh (India), Adilson Da Silva (Brazil). 291 Juvic Pagunsan (Philippines), Chad Campbell, Toshinori Muto (Japan), Martin Laird (Scotland), Brendan Jones (Australia). 292 Tom Watson, Branden Grace (South Africa), Warren Bennett (England), Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand). 294 John Daly, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spain). 298 Andres Romero (Argentina).

US players unless stated

pGA ChAmpiOnShip

Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, South Carolina; Par-72; August 9-12 275 Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) 67 75 67 66 283 David Lynn (England) 73 74 68 68 284 Keegan Bradley 68 77 71 68 Justin Rose (England) 69 79 70 66 Ian Poulter (England) 70 71 74 69 Carl Pettersson (Sweden) 66 74 72 72 285 Steve Stricker 74 73 67 71 Peter Hanson (Sweden) 69 75 70 71 Jamie Donaldson (Wales) 69 73 73 70 Blake Adams 71 72 75 67 286 Tiger Woods 69 71 74 72 Adam Scott (Australia) 68 75 70 73 Graeme McDowell (N. Ireland) 68 76 71 71 Ben Curtis 69 77 73 67 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 68 78 70 70 Bubba Watson 73 75 70 68 Tim Clark (South Africa) 71 73 73 69 287 John Daly 68 77 73 69 Bo Van Pelt 73 73 67 74 Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 70 76 69 72 288 Seung-yul Noh (South Korea) 74 75 74 65 Pat Perez 69 76 71 72 Robert Garrigus 74 73 74 67 Joost Luiten (Netherlands) 68 76 75 69 Jimmy Walker 73 75 67 73 Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 70 79 70 69 289 Trevor Immelman (South Africa) 71 72 70 76 Jason Dufner 74 76 68 71 Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) 75 74 71 69 Marc Leishman (Australia) 74 72 71 72 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) 69 77 72 71 290 Bill Haas 75 73 69 73 John Senden (Australia) 73 74 72 71 Greg Chalmers (Australia) 70 76 72 72 Luke Donald (England) 74 76 74 66 291 Phil Mickelson 73 71 73 74, Vijay Singh (Fiji) 71 69 74 77, Fredrik Jacobson (Sweden) 71 75 73 72, Rich Beem 72 76 72 71, Marcel Siem (Germany) 72 73 71 75, Y. E. Yang (South Korea) 73 74 74 70. 292 Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 68 75 74 75, J. J. Henry 72 77 70 73, Jim Furyk 72 77 70 73, Martin Laird (Scotland) 71 74 79 68, David Toms 72 78 72 70, Gary Woodland 67 79 75 71. 293 Dustin Johnson 71 79 72 71, Retief Goosen (South Africa) 73 75 75 70, Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 70 79 74 70, Ernie Els (South Africa) 72 75 73 73, Paul Lawrie (Scotland) 73 75 71 74, Scott Piercy 68 78 78 69. 294 Brendon de Jonge (Zimbabwe) 71 78 72 73, Francesco Molinari (Italy) 70 75 74 75, K. J. Choi (South Korea) 69 77 75 73, Sang-moon Bae (South Korea) 72 78 71 73, Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland) 73 76 72 73. 295 Ryo Ishikawa ( Japan) 69 77 79 70, Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 70 77 74 74. 296 K. T. Kim (South Korea) 69 77 77 73. 297 George McNeill 71 76 80 70, Ken Duke 71 78 74 74, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 67 78 75 77, Chez Reavie 74 76 73 74. 298 Alexander Noren (Sweden) 67 80 73 78, Marcus Fraser (Australia) 74 75 78 71. 299 John Huh 72 78 79 70, Toru Taniguchi ( Japan) 72 76 78 73. 300 Zach Johnson 72 73 76 79. 304 Matthew Every 72 76 74 82. 306 Cameron Tringale 69 78 77 82.

053


WEBB SIMPSON POSES WITH THE TROPHY FOLLOWING THE FINAL ROUND AT THE 2012 US OPEN AT THE OLYMPIC CLUB IN SAN FRANCISCO

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THE MAJORS 2013

Copyright USGA/Jed Jacobsohn

Webb Feat


Copyright USGA/Joel Kowsky

A lot has happened in a short time for Webb Simpson. Runner-up on the 2011 PGA Tour money list, he took further strides into golf’s stratosphere by winning his first Major last June and then making his Ryder Cup debut. Between those landmarks, his second child was born. Dave Shedloski hears how he balances his career, family and faith

hether you agree with public displays of religious conviction or not, there’s no question Webb Simpson’s heart is in the right place. Last July, a few weeks shy of his 27th birthday, this fresh-faced young man with rosy cheeks and piercing blue eyes skipped the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, a course where he would surely have been a strong contender, so he could stay at home in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Dowd for the birth of their second child, daughter Willow Grace. Absent though he may have been, he was far from forgotten as only a few weeks earlier he had shown maturity beyond his

years to post a disciplined, come-from- struggle down the stretch on television. behind victory in the US Open at The “It was really nerve-wracking, especially Olympic Club in San Francisco. when Graeme made birdie on 17,” he Over the course of just two seasons, admitted. “You never wish bad luck on Simpson has broken through big time. a player, but when he missed his putt to Following a 2011 campaign when he tie me on 18, I was pretty happy. won twice and pushed Luke Donald “I’ve never thought I couldn’t win a all the way to the No.1 spot on the Major but I had improved my swing and PGA Tour money list, he seized his first had one of those weeks. Then I thought, chance to win a Major and went on to ‘how did Tiger Woods win 14 of these?’ make his Ryder Cup debut at Medinah. The level of pressure is so much greater Thanks to a pair of 68s on the than at a regular event. I couldn’t feel weekend at Olympic, Simpson edged my legs on most of the back nine. It past two former champions, Jim Furyk grew my respect for Tiger all the more. and Graeme McDowell. In doing so, “[I’m] just thankful to God.  I he became only the third American to couldn’t have done it without Him. I claim his national championship since probably prayed more the last three 2004, and the first player since Jerry Pate holes than I’ve ever done in my life.” in 1976 to win at just his second attempt. Victory speeches these days seem Self-effacing and polite almost to take their cue from the Oscars as to a fault, Simpson sat quietly in the champions reel off a shopping list of clubhouse with Dowd after handing in ‘those without whom’: parents, coaches, his card and watched the final groups fitness instructors, sports psychologists, 055


Webb Simpson USA

Born: 8 August 1985 Turned Pro: 2008 Major Win: US Open 2012 Professional Wins: 3

SIMPSON (RIGHT) AND BUBBA WATSON WERE HOT TO TROT DURING THE 2012 RYDER CUP AT MEDINAH COUNTRY CLUB

sponsors, agents, caddies, wife or girlfriend. million from his first full season, in 2009. They all get a mention, so why not God? But when veteran caddie Paul Tesori took up “It controls everything,”  Simpson, who Simpson’s bag, he was far from impressed. “It comes from a church-going family but didn’t [Simpson’s swing] was way too handsy. It was truly embrace Christianity until he was at some of the worst action I’d seen,” Tesori said. “I college,  explained. “With all the pressure and said, ‘buddy, you must have a strong mind’.” As expectation we deal with, my faith helps me. I he has since proved, Simpson does indeed have don’t think I could do what I do without it. No a strong mind along with a first-rate short game. matter how I play, my relationship with Jesus is He’s also a fast learner but believes he has to be the most important thing.” in an era defined by the excellence of Woods. Not surprisingly,  Simpson’s playing partner “The game’s changing,” Simpson said. on his Ryder Cup debut was fellow Bible study “The Tiger effect is inspiring people to play group member Bubba Watson. Their faith and at a younger age. The prime age of a leading friendship made them an obvious double-act for player 10-15 years ago was mid-30s. Now it’s Davis Love, the US captain, but their personalities closer to the mid or late 20s. I respect Keegan couldn’t be more different. Simpson is the quiet Bradley’s game a ton, but when he won one [a guy, an introvert; Watson, last year’s Masters Major] I wanted to win one too. Everybody is so champion, is the crowd-pleaser, an extrovert. He competitive in this world we feed off each other. is Abbott to Simpson’s Costello. “When you have I think the game will continue to evolve like that.” the same faith, I think it helps,” Simpson  says. Simpson is evolving, too, both as a person “But people can see we’re different players. We and a player. “When you talk about winning played well together in the 2011 Presidents Cup a Major, especially the US Open which is in Australia and we told Davis way before the probably the most important tournament an Ryder Cup that we wanted to play together. American player can win, you experience the “I’ll never forget hitting that first tee shot. highest form of joy in your profession. [But] I could hear my heart beating. I’ve never been that doesn’t compare to the highest form of joy to a tournament in my life where the crowd was in your personal life—having children. so loud. We just had a blast. I love playing with “My wife and I are very fortunate to have Bubba. He takes it seriously but he also takes two healthy kids. Having kids puts everything time to joke around. The crowd loves him. I’m in perspective, and your priorities change. You a little calmer on the outside but I’ve always have less time for yourself, less time to practise, thought of myself as a lion on the inside. ” and you have to adjust more to their needs. But Simpson has risen quickly through the that just means you have to be a little more ranks since he turned professional in 2008 after efficient with your time. I think I’m learning playing on the victorious US Walker Cup team more about how to do that every day.” the previous year at Royal County Down in Despite this commitment, he may soon Northern Ireland. He successfully negotiated have to find more time to practise his putting Tour school and straight away earned $1.2 following the ruling that will in effect outlaw 999 056

THE MAJORS 2013

the belly putter from 2016. Simpson has been using one since 2004 and he disagrees with the imminent ban. “I’m friends with a lot of R&A and USGA guys, and I know they’re trying to do it for the betterment of the game. But it’s a poor decision. If you look at the stats, last year there was no one in the top 20 of the ‘strokes gained’ category who anchored a putter. So you have to throw out the argument of ‘it’s an advantage’ right there. I hope they don’t ban them but I’ll be ready if they do. I practise with a short putter at home. I don’t want to be shocked by it.” Mentioning the word ‘shocked’ is a reminder that last year’s US Open extended Olympic’s tradition of shepherding an underdog to victory at the expense of a proven champion. In 1955, Jack Fleck beat Ben Hogan in a playoff; 11 years later, Billy Casper did the same to Arnold Palmer in another playoff; in 1987, namesake Scott Simpson thwarted Tom Watson; and in 1998, Lee Janzen eclipsed Payne Stewart. Casper’s upset of Palmer gave Simpson, who grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina with a brother and four sisters, good reason for ensuring he completed the job at Olympic. “He [Palmer] means the world to me,” Simpson, who attended Wake Forest University on the Buddy Worsham Memorial Scholarship—named in honour of Palmer’s roommate who died in a car crash while at college, said. “I played four years at Wake under his scholarship, which was a huge help. I’ve always been a big fan of the King and what he represents. I had the opportunity to play in his tournament [at Bay Hill] twice as an amateur, which opened my eyes to the PGA Tour and how good these players are. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy to me through the years. “Hopefully, this win will make him smile.” And that’s exactly what happened. Two days after his victory, Simpson went on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program for a short interview. While he was on the line, Palmer called in to congratulate him. “I have a smile all the way across my face,” the King said, beaming with pride. ★ Additional reporting: Paul Mahoney


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Easy Does It! VICTORY AT LYTHAM BROUGHT ELS MUCH JOY, BUT ALSO A TINGE OF SADNESS AT THE COLLAPSE OF ADAM SCOTT DOWN THE STRETCH

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THE MAJORS 2013


Ernie Els is not only the defending Open champion, thanks to his inspired finish at Lytham last July, but also the defending venue champion, having lifted the Claret Jug the last time it was contested at Muirfield, back in 2002. Martin Vousden caught up with him recently for this exclusive interview

n the early 1990s, those of us who regularly covered the European Tour started to hear about this hot new kid from South Africa with a goofy name. Then at the 1992 Benson & Hedges Championship, played over the Jack Nicklaus St Mellion course in Cornwall, we had our first real view of him. Tall, slim and not hit too many times with the ugly stick, what impressed most, however, was the easy-going, relaxed charm that quickly became Els’ trademark. The phrase ‘laid-back’ could have been coined purely with him in mind. More than two decades later, and a few pounds heavier, he is a multiple Major champion, though he remains as affable as when we

first met. True, he can be forthright in his opinions and I expected nothing less than a straight answer when I kicked off our recent interview by asking him to look back over the past twenty-plus years and give an assessment of his career. “I feel blessed, to be honest,” Els replies. “When I was growing up, Gary Player was my hero and just to have emulated some of what he achieved is a big deal for me. It’s been a long journey and a great ride, but hopefully I’m not done yet. I feel like I have some more wins in me yet.” But last year he didn’t get off to the best of starts because, significantly improved form in the run-up to the Masters notwithstanding, he didn’t quite do enough to get into the field at Augusta, for the first time since 1993. So the obvious question was, did this spur him on to perform better at the year’s remaining Majors? “No, I don’t think so. Listen, I obviously didn’t want to miss the Masters or miss the WGC-Cadillac

Championship at Doral either. But it was my own fault. I put myself in that position by not playing well the previous year. At the time, all I was focused on was turning things around and getting my game back to where I wanted it to be. “I’d decided I wasn’t going to watch the Masters on television, but then Louis [Oosthuizen] got into contention so I switched on at the weekend and was pulling for him. It was strange not being there because Augusta has been a big part of my life for the last 20 years, but I coped okay. Thanks for asking, though! [laughs]”. Two months later, Els recovered from a disastrous opening 75 in the US Open at The Olympic Club to put himself in contention with rounds of 69, 68. But two bogeys in the last three holes meant he closed with a 72 that dropped him out of a tie for second and dumped him into ninth place on his own. And his prospects for the 141st Open looked slimmer than a super-model when, the 059


Ernie Els South Africa

Born: 17 October 1969 Turned Pro: 1989 Major Wins: 4 (US Open 1994, 1997; Open 2002, 2012) Professional Wins: 63

ELS ALSO RATHER ENJOYED HIS FIRST OPEN VICTORY, AFTER A PLAYOFF AT MUIRFIELD IN 2002

week before, he slumped to a tie for 52nd in the about this year’s Open Championship venue, Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Muirfield, that inspires Els like no other course. But even though form is temporary, Els So what makes it so special? proved seven days later that class is permanent— The big South African, now 43, says: much as Player did in 1962 when he won the PGA “Everything. It’s the ultimate, honest test of golf. Championship at Aronimink, Pennsylvania, a Everything is right there in front of you—great week after missing the cut in the Open at Troon. bunkering, no tricks, no gimmicks, just a great, When Els holed what turned out to be his great design. I’d say it’s my favourite golf course in winning putt last July at Royal Lytham & St the world. It feels like it’s been a long wait to go Annes, a course where he had twice previously back there and obviously I’m looking forward to it.” come up just short in pursuit of the Claret Jug, Els’ affinity with Muirfield prompts my the long-time leader Adam Scott was still on the next question: does he regard the championship course, still in a strong position and still favourite itself with the same affection? “Everyone knows to win. So Els was denied the champion’s it’s my favourite,” he replies. “I love the history celebratory walk up the 18th fairway, but it of this tournament, I love the whole vibe when seems this did not diminish his emotional buzz. you arrive early in the week, and it’s been well “No, nothing can detract from the joy of documented how much I love links golf. It’s the winning the Open. I felt bad for Adam, because purest and most enjoyable test of golf. There’s losing a tournament in that way hurts. I know nothing else like it in my mind.” how that feels. But holing that putt on 18 [from And has his playing schedule changed as 15 feet for birdie] and feeling the support and the a result? “The schedule is looking good. I do love from the crowd was an incredible moment believe the Open champion should play all for me, for Ricci who was on the bag, and for my around the world and represent the game of family watching. It’s a memory I’ll always cherish.” golf, but at the same time I’m also planning Each Major victory, and each year as a my schedule around the Majors; I really like champion, has its own significance, so it was the venues this year. And looking ahead I’m obvious to ask how being the current champion guaranteed a start in all four Majors now for differed from 2002. “I think if anything I’ve five years. My mindset is to see each one as an enjoyed this one even more,” Els says. “Maybe opportunity to win one of these things.” it’s an age thing, I don’t know, but if you’d asked Focused as he remains on achieving further me that same question a few years ago I wouldn’t victories at the highest level, Els is one of the have thought it was possible because winning at more rounded individuals in the game’s higher Muirfield was the highlight of my career. But echelons with many interests away from the yeah, this one has definitely been very special.” cut-and-thrust of tournament play. In particular, With due deference to Lytham, along with his wine and course-design businesses are his US Open wins at Oakmont in 1994 and flourishing, his foundation to identify and Congressional three years later, there’s something nurture up-and-coming South African golf 999 060

THE MAJORS 2013

talent is now well-established and his autism charity, prompted when his son Ben, now nearly 11, was diagnosed with the condition a few years ago, is raising impressive sums of money. So playing on tour is no longer his ‘be all and end all’, but Els is still prepared to express a view with conviction even though he knows it may be controversial. Most recently he has been a high-profile opponent of the proposed ban on anchoring clubs that would effectively outlaw the long putter. But his views have changed over time. Several years ago he famously criticised fellow South African Trevor Immelman for using one, saying that nerves were a part of the game and if you had trouble with the short stick, take a pill. As it proved, he was making himself a hostage to fortune because in 2011 he put a belly putter in his own bag, explaining the about-turn thus: “If they ban it, that’s also fine with me. But as long as it’s legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.” So where does he stand now, specifically, if the PGA Tour refuses to accept the ban? Would he continue to support that stance even if it leads to a bifurcation of the rules? “There’s no short answer to that question. Obviously winning a Major with a belly putter, you’d expect me to support that cause, but when it’s been allowed for such a long time, why ban it? There’s no data that really confirms they have to ban it. If 90 per cent of the guys were using it, or if the guys using it were top of the putting ranks, then it would be different. But that’s not the case. I was ranked 71st in putting when I won at Lytham! So in all honesty, I’m not too sure what their reason is behind this whole thing.” This comment was made before Scott redeemed himself at Augusta to become the fourth winner in the last six Majors to use a belly putter. Els points out that the USGA and R&A asked for his views when the matter was only at the discussion stage. “They spoke to a lot of other players as well. I said at that time I wasn’t altogether in favour of the ruling, but I respected their decision,” he confirms, displaying the diplomacy, and class, that has always been his hallmark. ★


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Ror y Glor y THE SIZE OF RORY MCILROY’S EIGHTSHOT TRIUMPH IN THE 2012 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP AT KIAWAH ISLAND WAS ALMOST MATCHED BY THAT OF THE RODMAN WANAMAKER TROPHY

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The roller-coaster ride that catapulted a phenomenon named McIlroy to two scintillating Major triumphs and the very pinnacle of the world game has the words ‘agony’ and ‘ecstasy’ written all over it. Iain Carter tries to put the young miracle maker’s past 12 months into a longer-term perspective

he vaulting peaks and catastrophic troughs of Rory McIlroy’s career are enough to bring on a bout of sea sickness. His highs smash the mightiest of records while his lows plumb the depths of despair and frustration. With two Majors to his name, the recently-turned 24-year-old has already made an indelible mark on the game— indeed, his margin of victory at both the 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA Championship was eight strokes. On-song, his self-confidence knows no bounds. When he plotted his goals for the 2012 season, he justifiably identified a desire to become world No.1 and a multiple Major winner. The first

objective was achieved by early spring tournament to right the ship, the WGC when he held off Tiger Woods to win Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. the Honda Classic in Florida. At this McIlroy consulted his putting coach point, McIlroy seemed ready to become Dave Stockton and the key message was the great man’s long-term successor.  more to do with attitude than technique. Of all the players to have reached the “He said to me, ‘Just go out and play with top of the rankings, only 14-time Major a smile on your face. Enjoy it. This is winner Woods did it at a lower age. But what you’ve always wanted to do since by the young Northern Irishman’s own you were a little boy,’” McIlroy recalled. admission, he took his eye off the ball as The words of the former US an unexpected slump followed. Ryder Cup captain and double PGA He missed the cut in his defence of champion were taken on board and the the US Open at San Francisco’s Olympic result was a share of fifth place and a Club, having already suffered early exits heady infusion of confidence. in the BMW PGA Championship at Sixteen Majors had passed with Wentworth and Players Championship 16 different winners, McIlroy among at Sawgrass. In the Open at Lytham he them thanks to his record romp in the could only manage a share of 60th place. 2011 US Open at Congressional. Now The season that had promised so much at the PGA he felt capable of breaking was turning sour and there remained the sequence and satisfying his goal to only the PGA at Kiawah Island.  become a multiple Major winner. Between the Open and the “I like what I see,” he told reporters on year’s final major there was only one his arrival at Kiawah. He later revealed: 063


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ending win at the DP World Tour Championship Rory McIlroy in Dubai. By then he had wrapped up the money Born: 4 May 1989 list on both sides of the Atlantic. He was the Turned Pro: 2007 undisputed player of the year on both the PGA Major Wins: 2 and European Tours, and riding the crest of a wave (US Open 2011; PGA Championship 2012) as world No.1, not to mention golf ’s biggest star. Professional Wins: 10 “I realise that every time my face is on TV or I’m playing in a tournament, that I’m a role model for a lot of people and a lot of kids look up to me,” McIlroy admitted he needed to smile more McIlroy said. “I try to do my best in that regard.” despite not seeing much return from hours spent This perspective, allied to burgeoning success on the practice range. For him it’s a case of putting on the course, amounts to a sponsors’ dream. It the finishing touches together when he’s out was no surprise that Nike came calling, with a playing. “Certain players feel like they need to be club deal worth a reputed $125 million over five on a range for two or three hours a day,” he said. “I years. In Abu Dhabi last January, McIlroy was the feel I practise much better on the course when I star attraction at a glitzy launch but his career can see different shots and work it off different was due for another plunge. He insisted it was his targets. I’ll still go to the range and work on things swing and not the new clubs, but after missing but once I feel comfortable I want to go out on the cut in the Middle East and losing in the first the course and make sure it’s good out there.” round of the WGC Accenture Matchplay in the By the time the Masters came into view this Arizona desert he was in free-fall. mercurial talent was convinced he’d ironed out A year on from going to world No.1 for the the swing faults that blighted his start to 2013. first time he tumbled to ignominy while trying to “It’s just silly mental errors now,” he said ahead defend the Honda Classic title. Midway through of finishing second at the Texas Open the week his second round he appeared destined to miss before Augusta. McIlroy couldn’t convert that another cut and simply walked off the course. encouraging result into a concerted challenge This wasn’t the behaviour of a role model for the green jacket, but he still headed off into but of a player in meltdown; incapable of finding the remainder of the year in high spirits.   the form that had brought him glory and riches After all, no one knows better than him so early in his career. His management company the nature of his career: “If I have to take the blamed an aching wisdom tooth but the pain lay down moments to experience those huge highs, much deeper in McIlroy’s psyche. The words of then I’ll take them.” And when you’re talented Stockton to simply go and enjoy the game had enough to be halfway to a career Grand Slam been forgotten. Golf had become a chore and at 23, you’re entitled to feel the next high is to compound matters Woods was back on form, not too far away—no matter how queasy the and on course to usurp him as world No.1. journey might make you feel.★ Northern Ireland

THE MAGIC MOMENT WHEN AN ECSTATIC MCILROY FIRST REALISED HE COULD WIN A MAJOR—IN THE 2011 US OPEN AT CONGRESSIONAL

Copyright USGA/Hunter Martin

“My locker was right by the window overlooking the putting green, the beach and the ocean. I was thinking to myself ‘I just have a good feeling about this week.’ I said it to JP [Fitzgerald, his caddie], to my dad and to my whole team: something about this feels just right. I felt from the start of the week that it could be special.”  McIlroy opened with a 67 that left him a stroke behind leader Carl Pettersson. Then the field confronted 30mph winds that swept the Ocean Course and McIlroy had to dig deep to remain in contention. On a day that proved the toughest on record at a PGA Championship, he shot a second-round 75 which was threeover par but three strokes better than the field’s average.  The weather worsened on day three when a huge thunderstorm struck South Carolina. McIlroy was one of 26 players unable to complete the third round, but by the time the hooters sounded he was sharing the lead with the veteran Vijay Singh, twice a PGA champion. Growing confidence had yielded five birdies in eight holes as well as a remarkable par save after his ball wedged in a tree on the 3rd. McIlroy knew that Sunday would be a long day but that a second Major was within touching distance. With the course soft and receptive, he completed a 67 for a three-shot lead.  Indicating his relaxed state of mind that lunchtime he slept so soundly between rounds his father Gerry had to wake him in time for the closing 18 holes.  They proved a breeze. Just 66 blows were required, only 24 of them were putts and he went bogey free to move to 13-under-par. No one in the field could live with this display of near golfing perfection. “My focus was on getting to 12-under-par,” McIlroy said. “I got to 12 and I stood on the 18th tee. I was seven ahead and I said to JP, ‘I’m going to win this one by eight as well’. I just birdied the last for good measure.” This is the essence of McIlroy. Nothing done by halves. When he wins, he wins big. This was the PGA’s largest winning margin in its strokeplay history, eclipsing Jack Nicklaus’s seven-shot triumph in 1980. Suddenly, a year that McIlroy had graded as a ‘B’ was now an ‘A Plus’. “To make a good season a great season you need a Major championship,” he said. “Now I’ve had two great seasons in a row.” There followed two victories in the FedExCup Playoffs, three points in the Ryder Cup (despite nearly missing his tee time before a singles victory over Keegan Bradley) and a season-


rory Mcilroy 2012 PGa Champion

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ben hogan’s iconic 1-iron into the heart of the 18th green at merion put him into a playoff for the 1950 us open.

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IN ASSOCIATION WITH , THIS IS THE SECOND ARTICLE IN A THREE-PART SERIES DEVOTED TO THE MOST MEMORABLE SHOTS EVER PLAYED AT THE MAJORS. THE PERIOD IN QUESTION SPANS FOUR DECADES OF CHAMPIONSHIPS, FROM 1950 TO 1989. Andy Farrell GUIDES US DOWN MEMORY LANE

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ith the US Open returning there this summer for the first time in more than three decades, Merion seems an appropriate place to start this second instalment of our review of some of the greatest shots in the history of Major championships. It was at this historic course on the outskirts of Philadelphia in 1950 that Ben Hogan played one of his most famous shots. It came at the 18th hole with Hogan needing a par to get into a playoff. After a shortish drive, he struck a 1-iron into the heart of the green, around 40 feet from the pin. Now Hogan was one of the greatest ball-strikers there’s ever been, so what was the big deal? The circumstances surrounding the shot were simply remarkable. Just over a year earlier, he was severely injured in a crash when his car was hit head-on by a Greyhound bus. After extensive surgery and a hazardous recovery, during which he almost lost his life due to blood clots in his leg, Hogan had finally returned to the game. Amazingly, he went on to win the 36hole playoff against Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio. But it is the 1-iron at the 72nd hole that endures as the iconic symbol of this extraordinary achievement.

“The greatness of the shot lay not in the brilliance of the result—it lay in the determination of the man swinging the club,” wrote David Barrett in Miracle at Merion. “The determination of a man who had overcome near-fatal injuries to return to the highest level of golf when such a return didn’t seem possible. The determination of a man who could keep alive the dream of a storybook victory in the game’s most important championship, if only he could find it within himself to execute a sound swing under intense pressure on legs that were aching badly. The determination of a man who had practised more than anyone, just so he knew he had a swing he could rely on. When the chips were down, on the 72nd hole of the 1950 US Open, Hogan executed the swing.” Hogan had won the first of his four US Opens in 1948 and had been unable to defend the title in 1949. After winning in 1950, he did so again in 1951 at Oakland Hills. This time the crucial shot came at the 10th hole in the final round. A recent redesign by Robert Trent Jones had produced a notoriously difficult course. After his drive at the 10th, Hogan was left with almost 200 yards to a back-right pin position tucked behind a deep greenside bunker pinching in from the right. Hogan hit a

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two-iron that missed the left edge of the bunker final round of 65—and a two-shot victory. and then took the slope of the green round to Last year’s Open at Royal Lytham & St the right. His ball finished two and a half feet Annes showed once more the importance of away from the hole. That birdie set up a back finding the fairway at the final hole. Adam Scott nine of 32 which gave Hogan a two-shot victory. put his tee shot in one of the many bunkers At the prize-giving, he said he had “brought this lurking to punish just such a lapse, made his course, this monster, to its knees.” fourth successive bogey and lost by a stroke to US Opens usually reward outstanding Ernie Els. But not so Tony Jacklin in 1969. His long-iron play and Ken Venturi, who was mentored by the ultimate ball-striker, Byron Nelson, felt as confident with a 1-iron as with any club in his bag. He proved it in sweltering heat at the 1964 US Open at Congressional when he hit the pin with the club at the par-3 16th hole during the final round. Jack Nicklaus did the same at the 71st hole at Pebble Beach in the 1972 US Open on his way to victory, while in the Open Championship Tom Watson’s 2-iron to the final green at Royal Birkdale in 1983 will never be forgotten by those who saw it. It sealed an historic fifth Claret Jug for Watson. One of the most famous drives of all time came at Cherry Hills in the 1960 JacK nicKlaus famously remoVeD his sWeater before unleashing a gigantic DriVe off the 18th tee at st anDreWs in 1970 US Open. Arnold Palmer was seven off the lead going into the final round when, over a final drive at Lytham was a thing of beauty that lunchtime sandwich, he was told by Bob Drum, bounded down the fairway with BBC television his friend from the Pittsburgh Press, that he commentator Henry Longhurst exclaiming: was too far back. Palmer disagreed. “The hell I “What a corker!” A first home victory for 18 am,” he said. “A 65 would give me 280, and 280 years was the result. A year later, Nicklaus found always wins the Open.” Palmer had failed to himself in a playoff at St Andrews with Doug drive the green at the 346-yard 1st hole in each Sanders. After a tight tussle, Nicklaus played up of the previous three rounds but now he let rip the drama by removing his sweater and hitting and smashed it to 25 feet. The charge was on. A his drive through the 18th green on the Old birdie put him on the way to an outward 30, a Course. A chip and a putt later, victory was his.

A couple of 3-woods from the fairway deserve a mention from the Open during the 1950-89 era. Roberto de Vicenzo, after so many near misses, was battling Nicklaus at Hoylake in 1967 when his second at the par-5 16th (the 18th for the 2006 Open and last year’s Women’s Open) soared over the corner of the internal out of bounds (the practice range) to set up a crucial birdie. A year later, Nicklaus was again the hapless playing partner at the par-5 14th at Carnoustie when Gary Player guided a threewood through the Spectacles, the pair of bunkers that hide the green, to two feet for a devastating eagle. When it comes to the mid-irons, Palmer’s never-saydie attitude in the 1961 Open is marked by a plaque at what was then the 15th hole at Birkdale. He was in an awful lie, surrounded by thick rough and willow scrub, but thrashed a six-iron as hard as he could. Dave Marr said the divot resembled a “Caesar salad for ten”. Improbably, Palmer finished on the green and 15 feet from the hole. One of the most romantic shots in Open history came on the 8th hole at Troon in 1973. Gene Sarazen, at the age of 71 and 50 years after his first visit to the course, holed in one with a 5-iron at the 123yard “Postage Stamp”. Sarazen also birdied the hole the next day on his way to missing the cut. In 1976, Jerry Pate won the first major in which he played as a professional. It was the US Open at the Atlanta Athletic Club and from the rough about 190 yards from the 18th green with a long carry over water he hit a fiveiron that pitched four feet from the hole and

“He slammed a howling monster of a shot that blazed up to the high grass behind the green”

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stopped two feet away. He had two putts for the win but only needed one. The following year, Turnberry witnessed the “Duel in the Sun”, one of the greatest battles ever for the Claret Jug. For two days in blistering sunshine on the Ayrshire coast they went toe-to-toe but Watson arrived at the 18th hole leading by one. He hit a seveniron to three feet but knew it was not over. Nicklaus was in thick rough beside a bush but somehow smashed an 8-iron onto the green. Not content with that miracle, Nicklaus, as Watson knew he would, holed from 35 feet for the birdie that kept his rival ‘honest’ to the very end. For British fans of a certain vintage, the greatest ever 7-iron was struck by Sandy Lyle from a fairway bunker at the 18th hole at Augusta National in the 1988 Masters. Lyle needed to clear the lip of the bunker which his ball did by a fraction of an inch. It flew all the way to the back tier of the green before slowly, but inexorably, rolling back down towards the hole. It ended up about 10 feet away and one putt later Lyle was the first Briton to don a green jacket. The previous year at Augusta, Larry Mize had become a hometown winner of the Masters by holing an outrageous chip from right of the green at the 11th hole. It came at the second extra hole of a sudden-death playoff and killed off Greg Norman’s hopes of winning a green jacket. This was not the only time the Shark suffered a cruel fate at Augusta, or elsewhere 070

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for that matter. Only the previous autumn, in the 1986 PGA Championship at Inverness, Bob Tway, who had trailed by four shots going into the back nine, holed out of a bunker in front of the final green to deny long-time leader Norman.

“Why you S.O.B. You’re something else. I’m really proud of you” —Jack Nicklaus to Tom Watson WATSON CHIPS IN BESIDE THE 17TH GREEN DURING HIS 1982 US OPEN VICTORY AT PEBBLE BEACH

If those two daggers to the heart left a permanent scar on the Australian, Jacklin suffered something similar in the 1972 Open at Muirfield. Lee Trevino chipped in three times during the final two rounds but the most extraordinary of these came at the par-5 17th in the final round. Tied with Jacklin, Trevino was making a mess of the hole and was still off the back of the green in four. ‘Super Mex’ was not at all happy with himself at throwing away the

title and despite the difficulty of the shot, from rough to a slick green, he wasted no time. He had hit the chip before Jacklin had even marked his ball on the green but it ran straight, true and into the hole for a par. Jacklin was so shocked he three-putted from 15 for a bogey. “I had the heart ripped out of me,” Jacklin said. He never again contended at a major. Even Nicklaus found out what it’s like to be thwarted by a dazzling chip. On the 17th hole at the 1982 US Open at Pebble Beach, Watson chopped out of thick rough and straight into the hole to secure what proved to be his only victory in his national championship. No review of this era, though, would be complete without mention of Severiano Ballesteros, and particularly Seve at the Open. His grand entrance onto the scene was marked with a stunning chipand-run between the bunkers at the closing hole as a 19-year-old in 1976 at Birkdale. Three years later, he deliberately drove right of the 16th fairway at Lytham, got a drop from the parked cars, and floated a terrific 9-iron onto the green before holing from 20 feet for a three. In 1988, again at Lytham, there was the chip that so nearly went in from beside the final green to secure his third Claret Jug; but perhaps his finest moment came when he celebrated in first-pumping style after sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the home green at St Andrews to clinch the 1984 Open. Pure, unbridled joy! ★


The game has changed dramatically since Merion Golf Club last hosted a US Open in 1981, writes Jack Ross. The dominant thinking of late has been that the venerable layout, around 6,400 yards back then, was too short to provide an adequate test for modern professionals and advanced technology. Fortunately, the USGA reconsidered after Merion provided a strong test for the 2005 US Amateur Championship. Compared to some US Open course remodels, changes to the East Course are modest. It has been lengthened to almost 7,000 yards (still relatively short by today’s standards), but the contestants in June will confront very much the same layout that Ben Hogan faced during his victory in 1950. Director of golf course operations Matt Shaffer explained that the main changes entailed narrowing and shifting fairways, and lengthening the rough to 3½ inches. He noted that Merion’s rough is a “hodge podge” of many grasses and weeds: “We just let it grow. You could have six or seven different lies in the same area.” Merion’s small, highly-contoured greens feature five varieties of bent grass, and will probably run about 13 on the Stimpmeter. “If you get any faster, you lose cups,” said Shaffer, referring to hole location options. The 12th green was completely rebuilt because its pitch was too steep. Bunkers on holes 2, 15 and 16 have been repositioned, but 95 percent of the traps remain in their original location. A new tee has been added to the uphill par-3 3rd, which can now play as long as 256 yards. 072

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All photos copyright USGA/John Mummert

Magnificent Merion


No.1

Par-4, 350 yards

This is a birdie opportunity, but the hole is deceptive because the landing area in the fairway is narrower than it appears. With the teeing ground situated beside the clubhouse patio, this is one of the classic opening shots in golf. A longiron or fairway wood is likely to be the club of choice, though this would still leave a wedge into the green. A sycamore tree to the right of the tee poses a distinct threat to players attempting to drive the green, which pitches from back to front.

No.2

Par-5, 556 yards

This is an underrated and deceptive hole. It may be played conservatively as a three-shotter, or attacked with a driver or 3-wood. Out-of-bounds looms close on the right, and the rough on the left is some of the deepest on the course. Players will face the choice of laying up short of the cross-bunker about 35 yards in front of the green, or attempting to fly it with their second shots. The putting green is relatively flat. Expect to see eagles and birdies, but bogeys or worse lurk in the event of mistakes.

No.3

Par-3, 256 yards

This is a very difficult hole because of the complexity of the deep green, which Shaffer described as “diabolical with many subtle breaks”. Both the 219- and 256-yard teeing grounds will be used. The green pitches steeply from back left to front right. Players who miss left will have difficulty keeping a recovery shot on the green. The bunker at the front right of the green is one of the deepest on the course.

No.4

Par-5, 628 yards

The famed “White Faces” of Merion dominate this hole, as the strategically-placed bunkers dictate strategy. This is one of the most difficult fairways to hit on the course because of its pronounced right-to-left slope. The second shot is complicated by the inability to see over the cross-bunker. Expect to see many players lay up with an iron to leave themselves with a lofted club for their third shot to a green that slopes from back left to front right and is fronted by a creek.

No.5

Par-4, 504 yards

Birdies will be few and far between on this demanding hole. The hole doglegs from right to left with a stream bordering the left side of the fairway for its entire length. The fairway also slopes from right to left, presenting a hook lie for a long-iron approach shot into the most severely sloped green on the course. Shots right of the hole will leave exceptionally fast putts, so a par here is an excellent score.

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No.6

Par-4, 487 yards

No breather here – another difficult and long par-4 that starts with a semi-blind tee shot over a crest to a bowl-shaped fairway. Most players will aim down the left side in order to leave themselves with a slightly uphill, mid- to longiron approach shot to a green that is pitched from the back left to the front. Again, take your par and move on.

No.7

Par-4, 360 yards

This is the first of a stretch of holes that provide birdie opportunities, but a good tee shot here is essential. Most players will hit long-irons from the teeing ground to a semi-blind, angled drive zone, leaving a lofted approach shot. A slightly pushed tee shot brings overhanging trees and out-of-bounds into play. The large green is perched upon a knob and has three distinct plateaux. A severe drop-off to the left will leave a difficult up-and-down.

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No.8

Par-4, 359 yards

This is a good birdie opportunity if played properly, but bogey is a distinct possibility for anyone who misses the green. Most players will hit fairway metals or long-irons to an S-shaped drive zone bordered by thick fescue rough. The relatively short approach shot is to a small green that is protected by deep rough and bunkers, and has challenging contours and slopes from back left to front right. Temptingly, tee markers could be moved up to promote the option of driving the green.

No.9

Par-3, 236 yards

This difficult downhill par-3 offers a multitude of challenges depending on the tee placement, hole location and wind direction. Most players will hit something like a 6-iron to the front hole location, which is deceptively tough given the water hazard that sits in front and to the right of the green. However, a long-iron will generally be required to carry the left bunker if the pin is positioned at the back of this angled green. There will be many more bogeys than birdies at this hole.


No.10

Par-4, 303 yards

While the opportunity to drive the ball onto the green will be in virtually every player’s compass, that might not be the best strategy on this deceptive hole. The shape of the hole requires a fairly severe right-toleft curve around the corner. The conservative play is a 200-yard shot from the teeing ground to an extremely narrow fairway. Any player who attempts to drive the green and misses to the left will end up in deep fescue rough and consequently have difficulty holding the green with his pitch shot.

No.11

Par-4, 367 yards

Most players will hit a long-iron or hybrid from the teeing ground on this hole, which was especially kind to Bobby Jones en route to completing the final leg of his Grand Slam in 1930. Even though the tee shot is blind, it is essential to hit the fairway which is flanked by Baffling Brook on the left. Otherwise, players will be forced to lay up short of the brook, which hugs the front, right and rear of a teardrop-shaped green. This is a birdie hole if played properly, but there will also be plenty of bogeys, and double-bogeys.

No.12

Par-4, 403 yards

This left-to-right dogleg places a premium on the tee shot to a fairway that also slopes severely from left to right. From the left side of the fairway, players will face an approach with the ball well below their feet. The right side leaves a flatter lie, but it’s bordered by extremely penal rough. The green slopes from back left to front right, and any approach missing long or left will leave a treacherous up-and-down.

No.13

Par-3, 115 yards

Without question this is the easiest of Merion’s short holes, and players will inevitably be envisioning birdies with a wedge in their hands. However, the oval-shaped green is probably the smallest on the course, and has challenging contours. The view of the putting surface is obscured by the huge bunker that guards the front of the green, while players finding the back bunker will be confronted by a delicate shot.

No.14

Par-4, 464 yards

Driver will be the club of choice on this uphill dogleg left par-4, which features bunkers in the drive zone along with high fescue rough to the left. A successful tee shot will leave a mid-iron to a large green that features a wonderful variety of contours. Approach shots that miss the green to the left will be in danger of bouncing off the closely-mown knoll and running out of bounds.

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No.15

Par-4, 411 yards

Players will hit anything from long-iron to driver off this tee, probably the most intimidating at Merion given the left-to-right dogleg and out-of-bounds down the left side of the fairway. The preferred shape of shot is from left to right, but bailing out to the right into deep bunkers or thick rough will likely result in bogey. It is of critical importance to keep the ball below the hole on one of Merion’s most severely sloped greens.

No.18

Par-4, 521 yards

An outstanding finish for a US Open, this could well prove to be the hardest hole over the course of the week. The difficult drive is semi-blind over the quarry to a landing area that pitches downhill and steeply from right to left around 300 yards out. The ideal shot shape is left to right, but anything mis-hit risks failing to carry the quarry. A tee shot that carries the quarry but is short of the downhill ridge leaves a mid-to-long-iron off a relatively flat lie. A tee shot past the ridge will leave a short-tomid-iron approach, but is likely to be complicated by a difficult downhill/sidehill lie. The challenging green is somewhat dome-shaped, so it is better to be long than short when playing to it.

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No.16

Par-4, 430 yards

This hole begins one of the most exacting finishes in championship golf. Many players will hit 3-wood on the famous Quarry Hole to stay short of the hazard and leave themselves with a medium-to-short-iron approach to a two-tiered green that features a pronounced depression in the front right. If played properly, this is the last realistic birdie opportunity before the ominous 17th and 18th holes.

No.17

Par-3, 246 yards

This exacting penultimate hole with an amphitheatre setting will be played at either 195 or 246 yards, depending on conditions on the day. The hole is slightly downhill to a green which is guarded by deep bunkers and features a pronounced ridge in the front that must be carried with the tee shot. The contours tend to feed balls to the back right portion of the green. Front hole locations will be very difficult to target.

Out: 3,736 yards (Par-36) In: 3,260 yards (Par-34) Total: 6,996 yards (Par-70)


1368 / 2013

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Muirfield, home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, is widely regarded as the fairest test of golf on the Open Championship rota for three sound reasons, writes Martin Vousden. First, it consists of two loops of nine, one inside the other going in the opposite direction, so the wind, almost always a feature on links courses, especially in Scotland, never blows from the same direction on two consecutive holes. Thus, if your game is favoured by the wind blowing from a particular point of the compass, you won’t have an advantage here. Second, the fairways where the pros will be hoping to land their tee shots are relatively flat, with few of the capricious mounds and bumps seen on most links. So in contrast to Royal Troon, for example, you are unlikely to see a well-struck tee shot down the middle take a particularly nasty bounce and end up 20 yards into the rough. The third factor is that, unlike St Andrews or Royal St. George’s, when you stand on the tee you can see the hazards and problems, and the challenge they present—there are virtually no blind shots or hidden bunkers at Muirfield. But changes have been made to 15 holes since the 2002 Open by Hawtree Limited, the design company that the R&A uses, much as the USGA calls in Rees Jones when any of its championship courses need updating. The description of each hole is courtesy of the Honourable Company. Comments in italics are from Russell Talley, associate architect with Hawtree Limited. 078

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All photos David Cannon/Getty Images

Majestic Mu i r f i e l d


No.1

Par-4, 450 yards

A difficult opening hole into the prevailing wind. Because the narrow fairway swings gently to the right the tee shot should be kept to the left half. This leaves a clear view of the green, past bunkers short and right. The green merges with the fairway and is essentially flat. Talley: We have re-instated a fairway bunker on the left in the drive area and on the left side of the green we have created a depression (not too deep). The back of the green has been extended by a metre-and-a-half.

No.2

Par-4, 367 yards

A much underrated hole which does not yield as many birdies as its length would suggest. In the right conditions it can be driven by the big hitters but out of bounds runs down the left side, coming within 15 feet of the green. The percentage play is a long-iron from the tee to the left side of the fairway leaving no more than a short-iron to a tricky, well-bunkered and contoured green. Talley: The new championship tee adds no more than 10 yards. The right greenside bunker has been changed and a few that were out of play away from the green’s edge have been removed. The three greenside bunkers have been brought more around to the front and the back left portion of the green has been slightly extended to offer another pin position.

No.3

Par-4, 379 yards

At 290 yards the fairway virtually disappears into a narrow gully between bunkered mounds. Downwind it’s smart to lay up into the left side of the fairway to get a view of the target, followed by a short-iron to a long green that climbs towards the back. The green is heavily bunkered at the front, so you need to be up. If the wind is coming from the east, this becomes a tough second shot. Talley: No changes to the tee or driving area. The dune on the right of the green approach has been pulled back to widen the approach and two greenside bunkers on the right have been shifted left and are now closer to the green. They have been slightly brought forward, and are more visible with their new position and with the work on the dune in that area. The back right of the green has been slightly modified so that the ground is mildly undulating rather than flat.

No.4

Par-3, 182 yards

This hole is played from an elevated tee to a plateau green that is 40 yards deep. It demands accuracy of length and line to avoid the ball being thrown off into bunkers right and left at the front and grassy hollows all round. Talley: A cross bunker in the driving area has now been filled in. And the front left bunker of the green has been reformed and the ground re-contoured on the approach so it now gathers more shots.

No.5

Par-5, 561 yards

One of the most critical tee shots on the course, coming into the fairway at a slight angle over a row of five bunkers on the right. Play too safely and you can run out of fairway and into more sand, on the left. Down the prevailing wind the green is in easy reach, but the entrance is narrowed by bunkers left and right. Talley: The back tee was not quite aligned with the hole so we’ve twisted it a bit. The front left greenside bunker is tweaked a little but it’s a subtle change.

079


No.6

Par-4, 469 yards

This is probably the most demanding hole on the course. Almost always played in a crosswind from right or left, the tee shot is over the crest of the fairway, leaving only sky to aim at. Then the hole sweeps down and away to the left to a climbing green set against the backdrop of Archerfield Wood. This unusual background on a links, and the hidden hollow short of the green, make the pin look a lot closer than it is in reality. The second shot is a tough one to judge. Talley: The tee here never looked quite right so we have re-profiled its side slopes, and made it wider. Front left of the green was a flattish area and we have created some rolls and undulations—‘broken ground’. The front right bunker has been moved across closer to the putting surface and the back of the green has been extended back to its original position.

No.7

Par-3, 187 yards

Played uphill into a prevailing wind that can push the ball into the lone bunker on the right, or knock it left into one of three bunkers, or further down the steep slope on that side, it is often an achievement just to get the ball onto the putting surface. The exposed green, which drops from back to front and right to left, can become very quick. Talley: No change.

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THE MAJORS 2013

No.8

Par-4, 445 yards

Place the tee-shot correctly and this becomes a relatively easy par-4, but the critical factor is knowing where to put it. The carry over the cluster of bunkers on the dogleg corner is 284 yards. Most players opt for a 3-wood or long-iron for position in the left half of the fairway to set up a shot over the cross-bunkers to a green that drops away at the back and left. Talley: We have filled in a few of the fairway bunkers on the right because they weren’t really in play. There’s new broken ground, undulations, to the front left of the green and a new bunker back right, along with some slight alterations to the green’s surface back right, which has allowed a new championship pin position.


No.9

Par-5, 558 yards

Usually played into the prevailing wind, the tee-shot landing area is squeezed between a deep bunker to the left and thick rough on the right. Many players will lay up, but even off a solid drive it’s difficult to chase a running shot past the bunkers on the right to a green set close to the out-of-bounds wall down the left. Talley: We rebuilt an old wall and extended the tee back 50 yards. There’s a new bunker on the right of the fairway in the drive area. Towards the green, of the four bunkers that were on the right, two have been filled in and the other two moved further left into the fairway. There’s also a new bunker greenside right.

No.10

No.11

Par-4, 472 yards

Southwest prevailing winds push the tee shot towards bunkers on the right edge of a narrow ribbon of fairway. A low ridge with twin bunkers crosses the fairway 100 yards short of the green. The traps shouldn’t come into play, but they effectively mask the green from full view. It takes two fine shots to find this flat green between two bunkers on the right and one to the left. Talley: The tee has been moved right to create more of a dogleg left-to-right. Three fairway bunkers have been moved to the left. The green has been extended closer to the two bunkers front right.

Par-4, 389 yards

This is a completely blind tee-shot over the crest of a hill to a fairly generous fairway with bunkers on either side. The second shot requires great control into a small, sharply contoured, heart-shaped green which is almost completely surrounded by deep bunkers. Talley: At the left side of the driving area there was a bunker but it was too far out so we have brought it in. We also added a fairway bunker right but they’re staggered, with the left one being closer to the tee. The green has been extended closer to the two frontright bunkers.

No.13

Par-3, 193 yards

An extra 32 yards have been added to this already difficult uphill par-3. At 46 yards deep, the green should be an easy target, but it is never more than 15 paces wide and angles off to the left towards a hollow in the dunes. On top of that, it is severely bunkered on both sides, drops sharply from back to front and falls away to the right. You just have to stay out of the sand. Talley: No change.

No.12

Par-4, 382 yards

The bunker layout to the right of the green means the tee-shot should be left of centre, and short of the fairway bunker. This will guarantee maximum control for the second shot. The long, thin green sits at a slightly lower level than the fairway, is heavily bunkered on both sides and drops away sharply at the left and back. Talley: The front right of the green has a bunker that has been brought across to the left and an old bunker that was on the left approach has been filled in. The greenside bunker left has been re-profiled and brought slightly forward with a run-in aspect created for the left side approach.

No.14

Par-4, 478 yards

Played from an elevated tee into a stiff breeze from the prevailing southwest direction, this can prove a demanding par-4. The fairway squeezes down to its narrowest point at 280 yards, just beyond restrictive bunkers left and right. It can then still be as much as a long-iron to a plateau green which falls away on all sides and is protected by a lone bunker just off the right edge. Talley: A new tee has added about 20 yards to the hole but nothing has been done to the driving area. The front right bunker has been brought forward and there’s new broken ground to the left of the green.

081


No.15

Par-4, 447 yards

This is another hole where you want to hit a driver, but the smarter play is probably a long-iron short of the bunkers which protect either side of the leftto-right dogleg fairway between 250 and 290 yards. The green is known to members as the Camel’s Back, and there are real three-putt possibilities if the approach does not find the right section of a large putting surface. Talley: A new tee has been added and at the green a front-left bunker has been moved to the right.

No.16

Par-3, 188 yards

In effect, there is only half a green to aim at from the tee. Anything pitching down the left side will be in danger of sliding off into either sand or rough. The clubbing can vary from as little as a 6-iron to a full-blown 2-iron, depending on the direction of the wind. However, the sensible and percentage play is to direct the ball towards the middle of the green and settle for taking on an outside chance with the putter rather than attacking a tight pin position and courting disaster. Talley: No change.

No.17

Par-5, 578 yards

In normal conditions this will be easily reachable in two shots, but into a strong easterly wind the crossbunkers 100 yards short of the green come into the equation. Five bunkers on the corner of the dogleg of the hole as it sweeps to the left dictate that the drive must stay straight. The receptive green is set back into the dunes behind bunkers left and right of a narrow entrance. Talley: A new tee has added about 30 yards to the overall length but the bunkering hasn’t been touched.

No.18

Par-4, 473 yards

One of golf’s great finishing holes. Two bunkers cut into the fairway on the left side as the fairway reaches its narrowest point, but any tee shot hit too safely to the right is threatened by more sand on that side. The prevailing crosswind from the right enhances the difficulty of both the drive and the second shot to a long, rising green deeply bunkered on either side. Talley: A new back tee is in place but no other changes have been made—it was already a great finishing hole.

082

THE MAJORS 2013

Out: 3,645 yards (Par-36) In: 3,600 yards (Par-35) Total: 7,245 yards (Par-71)


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All photos copyright Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America

Mighty Oak Hill

The arboreal magnificence of Oak Hill Country Club’s East course will be on display at this year’s PGA Championship, but the trees will mostly be charming the spectators. “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of trees that protect Oak Hill’s fairways from wind, but which also make it difficult,” says Kerry Haigh, Chief Championships Officer of the PGA of America. Indeed, the “magnificent, mature trees” that border nearly every fairway, favour accurate golfers. “You have the ability to create shots and manoeuvre shots if you do miss,” he says, “but there are more occasions here where precision will benefit over some other venues. Being out of position is certainly going to cost players, unless your short game is razor sharp, but then the greens are tough as well.” As it stands today, Oak Hill is in fantastic shape, benefiting from restorative work done on three holes (No’s 5, 6 and 15) a couple of years ago that brought them back into harmony with the rest of the course. That, and Oak Hill’s legacy of excellence, should make for a fantastic championship. Haigh tells Reade Tilley what the players will be facing... 084

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No.1

Par-4, 460 yards

The 1st is a strong opening hole, a dogleg left with a new tee that’s added 20 yards. Players may take a driver or 3-wood off the tee and if they hit it long enough it will get an extra 30 or 40 yards of run off a downslope which starts about 260 yards out. There are trees on the left, and out-of-bounds down the right. A creek bisects the fairway beyond driving range though we did have one ball in there during the [1995] Ryder Cup. From the ideal drive it’s a mid- or short-iron in, assuming there’s no wind. The green, protected by bunkers front left, front right and to the rear, is challenging, so your short game needs to be sharp from the beginning.

No.3

No.2

Par-4, 401 yards

This is a short par-4, dogleg right. You need to hit the fairway off the tee as there are deep bunkers both left and right, starting from 250-260 yards out. Most players will probably lay up short of those, though a driver is still an option. You’re only hitting a short second shot anyway, though it’s uphill to a small, well-bunkered green, sloping from back to front. If you go long, getting down in two will be nigh impossible because there’s a grass swale back right which leaves a treacherous chip down the hill to wherever the cup is. Keeping the iron shot below the hole is likely to present the best birdie chance.

Par-3, 214 yards

This is the most challenging par-3 on this course, probably one of the most difficult in the whole of championship golf. The green is elevated and small. It’s only 20 paces deep and basically falls off front and back. Anything long goes over a huge drop-off and down into a swale. There are bunkers left and right, and it’s always been a pretty firm putting surface. Also, it’s fully exposed to whatever wind happens to be blowing. It’s not as severe as some of Oak Hill’s greens contour-wise once you’re on it, but the problem is just hitting and holding it. This hole will give up very few birdies and always ranks as one of the hardest at Oak Hill.

No.4

Par-5, 570 yards

The only par-5 on the front nine and a clear birdie chance. The fairway is a near “S” shape, turning first from left to right, with two deep bunkers on the right side of the dogleg. It’s only 270 yards to carry the second trap, so the aggressive play is to hit a power-fade. With trees tightly flanking the fairway, a straight tee shot will go into them, so not everyone will take driver. Those who cut the corner successfully, though, should be able to go for the green in two if the wind isn’t against them. There are swales filled with bluegrass rough right and left of the green plus a narrow knob of a plateau at the back.

085


No.5

Par-4, 428 yards

The scene of much heartache during various championships. The tee shot is aimed through a narrow chute with ‘goal post’ trees left and right. We keep pruning them back, but players still hit them and the ball drops down, doesn’t even reach the fairway. It’s similar to 18 at Augusta. The fairway is slightly more forgiving width-wise than most at Oak Hill, but Allen’s Creek runs alongside the right edge up to the green. Tom Kite pushed his drive into it in 1989 when he had a three-shot lead in the final round of the Open and eventually tied ninth [behind Curtis Strange]. The creek runs diagonally from bottom right of the green to back left and if you go long there’s a grassy swale beyond.

No.8

Par-4, 428 yards

You get your first look at No.8 when you drive into Oak Hill. It’s a slightly uphill par-4, short-ish but by no means easy. Players often take 3-wood as they don’t need to hit a driver. It’s a pretty straight hole, unlike most of the other par-4s which are doglegs. In fact, it’s probably the only straight hole on the front nine. There are three deep bunkers in the landing area of the fairway: two left, one right. Then it’s a medium- or short-iron to a large green that offers some interesting hole locations, especially on the back-right portion. The green is surrounded by bunkers—short, left and right—and beyond there’s a four-to-five-foot drop.

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THE MAJORS 2013

No.6

No.7

Par-3, 175 yards

Par-4, 461 yards

No.9

No.10

A great viewing hole for spectators, this is the easiest of the par-3s and reachable with 6-iron at most and perhaps as little as 9-iron. A creek winds around the front, left and rear of the green while a deep bunker guards the right side. The back-right hole location will be the most difficult to get to. In the 1989 Open, they had four holes-in-one here in less than two hours on the first day [achieved by Doug Weaver, Mark Wiebe, Jerry Pate and Nick Price]. Costantino Rocca also had a hole-in-one here during the 1995 Ryder Cup. This, too, is a green that’s been brought back to its original shape, but the hole is no pushover—there’s also a lot of potential trouble here.

Par-4, 452 yards

This is a superb left-to-right dogleg around a cluster of huge trees and thick rough, known as Death Valley. Accuracy is crucial from the tee, which has been moved back 35 yards, with the ideal drive finishing in the left half of a right-to-left sloping fairway. The approach is uphill, and it’s impossible to see the putting surface from the fairway. The green, with bunkers front and back, is long, and narrow to the rear. With deep hole locations, balls will roll off the putting surface, especially on the left side where there’s a steep slope. And with the rough likely to be thick, up-and-downs from this spot will be few and far between.

A wonderful par-4, now 30 yards longer, with a partly blind tee shot to perhaps the narrowest fairway on the course. A creek runs down the right side before crossing the fairway at 350 yards. You can’t reach the point where it crosses, but you can certainly reach where it starts to turn from right to left, so you need to draw your tee shot. If you push it, you can run out of room and end up wet. Also, a huge willow hangs over the creek, blocking out any approach shot from too far right. The green—22 yards deep and sloping from back to front—is a tough target. A tree front right is also a threat. Accuracy, thus, is of prime importance and hitting the fairway is crucial.

Par-4, 429 yards

On Thursday and Friday, this beautiful par-4, downhill and playing shorter than its yardage, will be the first hole for half the field. There’s no need to hit driver here. The fairway cambers left to right, so to hold it players will either shape a draw against the lie of the land or aim down the left of the fairway. It’s essential to play from the short grass to control the second shot into a small, well-bunkered green with a slope in its middle. Trees and a stream encroach from the right of the fairway about 50 yards short of the green and could come into play for those who hit driver off the tee. It’s a birdie opportunity length-wise, but only if you hit the fairway.


No.11

Par-3, 226 yards

The longest par-3 following the addition of 30 yards, but by no means the most difficult. Requiring a long-iron to a receptive target in the prevailing left-to-right wind, it made headlines when Howard Clark had a hole-in-one during his singles match against Peter Jacobsen in the 1995 Ryder Cup. It’s one of the less severe greens on the East Course, but there’s still a bit of movement. The creek running in front of it and then down the right side will snare a few balls even though it’s not particularly adjacent to the green. There’s a bunker between the green and the creek on the right as well. Good hole!

No.13

Par-5, 598 yards

No.12

Par-4, 372 yards

A classic short par-4, with trees unusually close to the edges of the fairway left and right, and an overhanging tree that’s kind of propped up with a metal buttress. The tree is leaning, a bit in play but not really, some 150 yards off tee. You have to shape the ball from left to right into the landing area and if you miss the fairway it’s tough. The green can’t be driven, but with a subtle downhill slope the longer hitters can get to within 50 yards of it. The smart play will be to take a long-iron and leave a 150-yard approach. Even though the second shot is short, the green is very slick and sharply sloped, and will provide a robust test of a player’s putting skills.

Tom Watson will be this year’s honoree at the iconic “Hill of Fame” par-5. The creek crosses the fairway at about 300 yards, so some players will decide they don’t need to take driver, even from the back tee. Depending on the wind and tee location, a few will no doubt try to carry the creek this year, but no one has ever reached the green in two from the back tee. The second shot heads uphill back towards the clubhouse, turning from left to right across two deep bunkers down the right. Trees on the left can block the approach to a severe, back-to-front-sloping amphitheatre of a green. When Fred Couples holed a putt here in 1995, the loudest cheer you’ve ever heard echoed right through the clubhouse.

No.14

Par-4, 323 yards

Under certain circumstances, this short, uphill par4 is drivable. Players will have the option either to see how close they can get to the green or lay up, avoiding a bunker up the left some 240 yards off the tee, and leave themselves an uphill pitch shot for an approach. The green consists of two tiers with a huge ledge between the levels. The back of the green drops down quite a way towards the 15th tee, which is out of bounds. So if you do go for it and your ball pitches up on the top tier and bounces over, you could find yourself reloading. A huge tree overhangs the green, and balls often ricochet off it. It’s great risk-reward fun.

087


No.15

Par-3, 181 yards

A surprisingly tough, downhill par-3 that requires a mid-iron to a narrow target in a prevailing leftto-right wind. This is the other green to have been contoured back to its former shape. The pond immediately to the right of the green was also moved closer when the putting surface was modified—it was always pretty close but now it’s literally on the edge. The wind seems to affect a lot of tee shots, and the green is tough to hit anyway. It’s easy to go through the green but that leaves a difficult up-and-down. A couple of bunkers guard the left side and certain hole locations make putting awkward. It can be challenging, but also rewarding.

No.18

No.16

Par-4, 439 yards

This hole plays much shorter than its yardage. Most players will carry the ball far enough to hit the fairway on the downslope and run another 30-plus yards. The fairway cambers right to left, and players certainly don’t need to hit driver. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the fairway has a very narrow landing area, with trees left and right, and the slope down the left will kick anything errant into deep rough. Most approaches will be struck downhill with a short iron to the flattest green on the course, with the least slope. The West Course next door is out-of-bounds, but if you hook it a long way left off the tee you can get there.

No.17

Par-4, 495 yards

Along with the 5th, this is probably the toughest hole on the course. Climbing steadily from the tee, it doglegs from left to right at the top of the hill—precisely the point where you need to aim it. With trees on the right side of the dogleg, a fade is required from the tee—a straight drive simply puts you through the fairway. Hit it into the heavy rough or pine trees on the left and you will probably be chipping out sideways. The second shot, usually with a longer iron, is no gimme, to an undulating, well-bunkered green with a steep drop-off back left. It’s especially difficult to stop your second shot close to a lot of the hole locations on offer on this green.

Par-4, 482 yards

The tee shot, also to a left-to-right dogleg, needs to be long enough to leave a mid- or long-iron approach shot. It’s a little less daunting than at 17, but it’s still difficult. There are deep bunkers on the right side of the dogleg, around 290 or 300 yards out, and trees all the way down the left. Between the end of the fairway and the front of a shallow, elevated green there’s a huge hollow covered with bluegrass rough. Shaun Micheel hit a fantastic 7-iron second shot absolutely stiff here to clinch the 2003 PGA Championship. It’s certainly a challenge— to my mind 17 and 18 are two of the strongest finishing holes you’ll find anywhere in Majorchampionship golf.

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THE MAJORS 2013

Out: 3,589 yards (Par-35) In: 3,545 yards (Par-35) Total: 7,134 yards (Par-70)


The finest red now on the best greens

We share the same etiquette.


Prince Harr y

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THE MAJORS 2013


T

here’s a scene at the beginning of the movie The regime he had created for himself as he pursued his ambition Greatest Game Ever Played where a group of thugs to become recognized as the world’s best professional golfer. In evict a poor family, including a young boy, no more 1899, he became the professional at the South Herts Golf Club than eight years of age, from their small cottage on where he remained until his death, aged 66, in 1937. Jersey in the Channel Islands. It was the late 1870s Having reached the pinnacle of the British game, Vardon and the cottage and the land around it were needed to build was invited to the United States in 1900 to undertake an the Royal Jersey golf course so affluent local citizens could try extensive tour of exhibition matches to promote the American out this wonderful new game. public’s interest in golf, and to publicise a new golf ball named The movie is based on a true story about Francis Ouimet, after him, the Vardon Flyer, made by the A.G. Spalding company. a young, skinny amateur golfer who caused a sensation in During this tour, he played in the US Open for the first time at 1913 when he won the US Open at The Country Club in the Chicago Golf Club and won by two shots from Taylor. Brookline, Massachusetts in a playoff against two top British At the time, Vardon was known for his accuracy. Indeed it professionals, Ted Ray and Ouimet’s idol Harry Vardon. was said of him, only half-jokingly, that if he played the same During the course of the film we discover that the young course twice in a day, in the afternoon he’d be playing out of his boy evicted from his home in Jersey was Vardon and, whether morning divots. He also hit the ball with considerable power and or not this scene is apocryphal, it is a fact that he grew up it was this quality that the Americans most admired. In a book in poverty. Another fact is that, even though he became the about his first trip to America, he wrote: “At that period, the finest golfer of his Americans were not generation, he had sufficiently advanced to battle all his life [in golf ] to appreciate against the class the finer points of THE NAMES VARDON, BRAID AND TAYLOR boundaries that the game. They did, STRUCK AWE INTO THE HEARTS OF EVERY excluded him from however, appear to OTHER GOLFER THROUGHOUT THE TWO genteel society. thoroughly enjoy the DECADES THAT PRECEDED WORLD WAR I. Born on May 9th, type of ball I drove. I 1870 in the parish of hit it high for carry, THESE MEN WERE KNOWN AS THE GREAT Grouville in southeast which resembled a TRIUMVIRATE AND BETWEEN THEM THEY Jersey, Vardon was home run.” WON THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP 16 TIMES. soon studying local The 1900 tour golfers at play and has been credited BUT THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL WAS experimenting with with creating the first VARDON, TO WHOM Tony Smart PAYS A sticks and marbles. significant interest FITTING TRIBUTE Growing up, he in golf in the US and worked as a caddie and, it lasted most of the along with his younger year apart from a brief brother Tom, showed break for Vardon to a genuine aptitude for playing the game. However, Vardon’s father return to St Andrews to defend his Open title (he finished did not approve of golf and he was forced to become a gardener. second) over the Old Course. During his time in America, As luck, or fate, would have it, Vardon’s first job involved Vardon traveled over 20,000 miles, going as far west as Chicago working for a retired Army officer who was a golf fanatic and and touring extensively throughout the southeastern states. At gave the promising youngster his first set of proper clubs. Not each stop, he played the best ball of the two best players in town, long after, in his early 20s, Vardon followed his brother into or a top professional in a singles contest. He lost only 13 of his earning his living from the game. In 1896, after working for a 65 best-ball matches and just once in 15 singles matches. few years as a greenkeeper, he was appointed club professional On his return to Britain, Vardon continued to win regularly at the Ganton club, a heathland course that plays like a links as part of the Great Triumvirate that dominated golf from the nine miles inland from Scarborough. mid-1890s until the outbreak of World War I. Both Taylor and The same year he won the first of his six Open Championships Scotland’s James Braid won five Opens during that time. (a record to this day), defeating defending champion J.H. Taylor by Vardon won the Opens at Prestwick, again, in 1903 and at four strokes in a 36-hole playoff at Muirfield. Royal St. George’s, again, in 1911. Then, in 1913, he embarked He won the Open again in 1898 at Prestwick on Scotland’s on another exhibition tour of the US, this time in the company west coast, and successfully defended the claret jug the following of fellow Jersey professional Ted Ray, a powerful ball-striker year at Royal St. George’s. By then, Vardon, more driven than his who had won the 1912 Open at Muirfield and idolized brother, was reaping the dividends of the demanding practice Vardon. As with Vardon’s previous visit, this trip is credited 091


with further spreading the gospel of golf, but on this occasion it owed much to Vardon and Ray’s dramatic defeat in the US Open by the unknown 20-year-old Ouimet, who lived just across the road from The Country Club. The next year Vardon won his final Open, and his third at Prestwick. By the time the war ended, in 1918, Vardon was 48. Even though he did make one more trip to the US Open in 1920 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, where he finished second to Ray, he never won another major and thereafter never really contended in any big tournaments. However, at that 1920 US Open Vardon was involved in another fateful golfing collision of sorts when he found himself playing for the first two rounds with an 18-year-old called Bobby Jones, who went on to win 13 majors (including the US and British Amateur Championships) between 1923-30. At the end of his playing career, during which there were only two majors for British professionals to play in annually, this incredible golfer had recorded one win and two second places in the three US Opens he played in, and six wins, four second places, two thirds, and eight other top-ten finishes in the 30 Opens he contested. His record could have been even better but for the poor putting that dogged the latter half of his career. In the 1913 US Open, he missed a 10-foot putt to win on the final hole of regulation play, and seven years later he missed a much shorter putt that would have forced a play-off with Ray. “I think I know as well as anybody how not to do it,” he once said of his

HARRY VARDON PLAYS OFF THE 1ST TEE (TOP) AND FROM A FAIRWAY (HERE) ON THE OLD COURSE AT ST ANDREWS DURING THE 1905 OPEN WHICH WAS WON BY HIS RIVAL JAMES BRAID

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struggles, caused by a life-threatening bout of tuberculosis in 1903 that permanently damaged the nerves in his right hand. None the less, Vardon won at least 62 tournaments during his career, and probably several more that have not been recorded. Vardon has been called the “father of the modern golf swing.” He was certainly the first to make a science of the swing, working out its

mechanics in such a way that beginners could understand them even if they were unable to emulate them. Contrary to popular opinion, he didn’t invent the famous Vardon grip, though he was responsible for popularising a method that is still used by over 90 per cent of golfers worldwide. Every facet of the game benefited from his influence. He designed several courses, including the Hotchkin at Woodhall Spa, an inland masterpiece in Lincolnshire where the English Golf Union today has its headquarters. He was also an accomplished coach and wrote several golf instruction books. After his death, the PGA created the Vardon Trophy, awarded annually to the player on Tour with the year’s lowest scoring average. And in 1974, Vardon was chosen as one of the initial group of inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Less meaningful was his ranking as the 13th best golfer of all time by Golf Digest in 2000. With due deference to ‘Old’ Tom Morris, though, he was unquestionably golf ’s first global superstar who brought the erstwhile rich man’s game within reach of ordinary people for the first time on both sides of the Atlantic. Not a bad epitaph for a young lad born into abject poverty. ★


Golf Tourism Scotland ‘Best Course’ 2011 and 2012

KingsBarns, st andrews, Fife, scotland, KY16 8QD

+44 (0)1334 460860

kingsbarns.com

‘Best course built in Europe in the last 50 years’ —Golf Week USA


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Courtesy USGA Archives

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here’s no telling how many people from the British Isles crossed the Atlantic to make a fresh start in North America during the latter part of Queen Victoria’s reign. But there’s no doubt the Scottish influx, in particular, had an indelible influence on the growth of golf in a country that went on to produce so many of the world’s finest players, courses and tournaments. Surprisingly, perhaps, Canada was in the vanguard of golf ’s arrival in North America with the formation of Royal Montreal in 1873 and Quebec Golf Club two years later, followed by a course in Toronto in 1876. The U.S. love affair with golf, however, remained non-existent until February 1888 when Scotsman John Reid, a steel merchant from the town of Dunfermline in the Kingdom of Fife, laid out three holes on a 30-acre cow pasture in Yonkers, New York. Thus was born the country’s first course, Saint Andrew’s Golf Club. Like fellow émigré Andrew Carnegie, who also hailed from Dunfermline and made his fortune in the same industry, Reid, although not a golfer of note, was smitten with the game having played it since childhood. Carnegie, the world’s richest man at the time, was one of the club’s early members before returning to live in the county of Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands where he bought Skibo Castle and acted as patron to Dornoch Golf Club. In 1894, Saint Andrew’s and four other new courses—The Country Club at Brookline near Boston, Shinnecock Hills on Long Island, Newport Golf Club on Rhode Island and Chicago Golf Club—formed the United States Golf Association for the purpose of administering the rules and creating the U.S. Open. The modern jewel that is Shinnecock Hills, host to three US Opens in recent times, was built in 1891 with the aid of 150 Native Americans from a plantation adjoining Great Peconic Bay. They worked under the

direction of Willie Dunn, a native of the town of Musselburgh, a few miles south of Edinburgh where several of the early Open Championships were staged. Famously, Dunn was recruited by William K. Vanderbilt and two wealthy associates when they tracked him down to a project he was overseeing near Biarritz in southwest France. Next door to Shinnecock Hills is the National Golf Links, created shortly afterwards by Canadian-born Charles Blair Macdonald, who studied in his youth at the University of St Andrews and had previously put his learning to good effect by ushering Chicago Golf Club into existence. Coincidentally, Philadelphia insurance broker Hugh Wilson, with no previous design experience, also made a pilgrimage to Scotland to learn what he needed to know to complete the incomparable layout of this year’s US Open venue, Merion. Reid and Dunn were but two of hundreds of Scottish golfers who flooded into the New World during the last decade of the 19th century. Three Scots—James Foulis (1896), Fred Herd (1898) and Willie Smith (1899)—along with two Englishmen—Horace Rawlins (1895) and Joe Lloyd (1897)—won the initial five US Opens before Willie Anderson, from North Berwick near Musselburgh, claimed four of the first six to be played in the opening decade of the next century. By then, more than a thousand clubs had opened in the United States with five brothers from Carnoustie near Dundee having done as much as anyone to lay the foundations that transformed golf from a niche pastime into a sport of genuine stature. Needless to say, Alex, Willie, George, Jimmy, and Macdonald Smith, who sailed to America around the turn of the century, were all formidable players. During that period, at least 300 sons of Scotland’s east coast, unable to earn much more than a pittance from the game at home, moved to America to take up the comparatively lucrative positions that were opening up in abundance for professionals and greenkeepers.

Despite his brother Willie’s earlier triumph, Alex, the eldest of the Smith clan, was regarded as the top player in the American game, and following several near misses he finally won the US Open in 1906, a victory he repeated four years later. After that, the brothers continued to compete for major honours though Willie later moved to Mexico to become that country’s first professional golfer. By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, home-grown American talent was inevitably emerging. But the Scots were far from finished. Aberdeen’s Willie Macfarlane outlasted the great Bobby Jones to win the 1925 US Open at Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts, while another Scottish immigrant who made his mark, admittedly as a naturalised American citizen, was Tommy Armour. The winner of the first Open to be played at Carnoustie, in 1931, he was blinded in one eye during World War I but still managed to perform at the pinnacle of the game. Not forgetting Martin Laird, three times a PGA Tour winner in recent seasons, Armour, who also won the 1927 US Open and the 1930 PGA Championship, was probably the last in a lengthy roll call of Scottish-born golfers capable of beating the leading American players on a regular basis in their own back yard. Ironically, the shift in power towards US players during the game’s formative years was largely due to the expert tuition they received from Scottish pros. In 1913, young American amateur Francis Ouimet recorded a sensational win in the US Open at The Country Club, an achievement immortalised in Mark Frost’s wonderful narrative, The Greatest Game Ever Played. Afterwards, Ouimet, who never turned professional, preferring to work instead as an executive in the sports goods business, put his success down to the guidance of Montrose-born Charles Burgess. Jones, arguably the finest golfer of his generation, was also taught by a Scot, 095


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LEFT TO RIGHT: HARRY HOLBROOK, ALEXANDER KINNAN AND JOHN REID WATCH FELLOW PLAYER JOHN UPHAM PUTTING DURING AN EARLY GAME OF GOLF AT SAINT ANDREW’S GOLF CLUB. HOLLBROOK’S SONS, WARREN AND FRED, ARE THE CADDIES

Stewart “Kiltie” Maiden, while Alex Smith was partially responsible for the prowess that enabled Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen to win 18 major titles between them. Not only did the Scots influence the way the game was played in America, they also had a massive role to play in shaping its courses. Arguably, it is the Scottish course design triumvirate of Tom Bendelow, Donald Ross and Dr Alister MacKenzie—every bit as potent in their field of expertise as the leading players of the time, Harry Vardon, James Braid and J.H. Taylor—to whom the game in the US owes its deepest debt. Bendelow, from Aberdeen, crafted more than 800 courses across the US and Canada between his arrival in New York in 1892 and his death in Chicago in 1936. First employed in New York as a newspaper compositor, Bendelow acquired a reputation for producing low-cost courses, thanks to his flat fee of $25 for visiting and “marking out” a plot of land. True to his origins, he initially concentrated on pioneering municipal golf centres, but later he turned his attention to more ambitious projects, notably his layout during the early 1920s of Medinah No.3, the scene of three US Opens, two PGA Championships and last year’s Ryder Cup. 096

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Ross began his career as a greenkeeper at Dornoch (150 miles north of Carnoustie and a short distance from the famed Glenmorangie distillery) before working under “Old” Tom Morris at St Andrews. He was ultimately responsible for the construction of 413 courses in the US before his death in 1948, and his portfolio of masterpieces includes no fewer than four US Open courses—Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina, Oak Hill at Rochester in New York State, Oakland Hills in Michigan and Seminole in Florida. Meanwhile, MacKenzie, born of Scottish parents in the English county of Yorkshire, trained as a doctor and served in the second Boer War (1899-1902) before abandoning his medical career to design courses in the United Kingdom in association with Harry Colt. The first prominent designer who had not been a leading player, he published Golf Architecture in 1920 before emigrating to the US where his two most notable achievements were Cypress Point on the Monterey Peninsula in northern California and Augusta National in Georgia, which he created in tandem with Jones. The quality of this Tartan trio’s creations, and the requirements of the clientele they served, varied greatly, but there can be little

argument that each deserves his position in the course architects’ pantheon. It is possible that golf would be no bigger in America today than, say, cricket or rugby union had its founding fathers from across the Atlantic not warmed to their task with such intensity and commitment. The result is that today the US is the game’s epicentre, and the contribution from those early Scottish settlers cannot be overstated. The game would probably have found its way Stateside eventually, as it has done to almost every country in the world, but if its arrival in America had taken place 10 or 20 years later, then who knows whether we would have ever witnessed, and celebrated, the skills of Hogan, Nelson or Snead, let alone the likes of Jones, Hagen and Sarazen? A visit to the USGA headquarters confirms the legacy of those pioneering Scots—from playing and teaching to course design and maintenance—and the important role they played in establishing the game’s rich heritage. Golf today is a mighty oak, yet it originated from the humblest of acorns. Indeed, few industries or companies can claim to have grown so significantly in 125 years. And to think it all began with a mere cow pasture in Yonkers! ★


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Steve Killick has long been a connoisseur of the delights of scottish golf, especially when a 5-star hotel, fine dining and lashings of malt whisky are thrown in for good measure. but even he was spoiled for choice when he set off on the dream trip of a lifetime around the country that gave birth to the game

Ho ma ge to C al e d o ni a We’ve arrived! The BA flight from London City to Edinburgh has landed and having picked up our baggage and golf clubs, we drive south towards the border. First up is the 50,000-acre Roxburghe Estate, home to a fine old country house where we rest our weary heads after a warming glass of Glenmorangie and a piping hot meal. Our golfing odyssey around the cream of Scottish golf resorts has begun. The par-72 course at Roxburghe was opened in 1997. Oft feted as one of Scotland’s top five inland courses, Roxburghe has wide, rolling fairways and views to match—none more so than at the par-5 14th, Viaduct, where the River Teviot hugs the left side of the fairway. Four tee positions can mean a 7,111-yard challenge off the tips on this beautiful, tree-lined track or a more sedate 5,660 yards from the forward boxes. From Roxburghe, we veer north to acquaint ourselves with the West Links 098

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at North Berwick. While Turnberry on the west coast has Ailsa Craig as its middle-distance reference point, this famous old layout looks across to Bass Rock, regular home to 80,000 nesting gannets. There’s much to enjoy here— stone walls, deep revetted bunkers and one of Scotland’s most amazing greens. The 16th may only stretch to 378 yards, but the large oval green is bisected by a deep gully. Finish on the front section when the pin’s at the back, as I did, and getting down in fewer than four putts, as I didn’t, is good going. I never find it easy to leave North Berwick and its welcoming first-floor bar, but we must head back towards the Scottish capital, pausing en route at one of golf ’s most exacting layouts: Muirfield, home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers since 1891 and venue for this year’s Open Championship. On my first round here, I was greeted by an amiable, yet respectful caddy who asked me if I’d

prefer being addressed by my first name or more formally. I told him the former was fine. Having been instructed by the starter that we’d be playing the front nine off the championship tees I hit a cracking opening drive, flush out of the screws. My caddie beamed at me and said: “That’s a great drive, Steve. You’re almost on the fairway.” If you’re lucky enough to play this historic course then 36 holes are a must, but make sure you allow sufficient time to enjoy a hearty roast lunch between tee times. Virtually next door to Muirfield are two attractive, though somewhat exclusive clubs. Archerfield has two loops of 18: the Fidra and Dirleton. The latter offers a mix of traditional links on open, undulating terrain while the former is tree-lined. Having contended with the gorse and cavernous bunkers over this enticing 36-hole combination, a stay at well-appointed Archerfield House seems the obvious move.


ROYAL DORNOCH SKIBO CASTLE

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CASTLE STUART ABERDEEN

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ROYAL TROON MACHRIHANISH DUNES

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kingsbarns on a sunny evening is a joy to behold

Whereas visitors’ tee times are available at Archerfield, the Renaissance, a Tom Doak design hard by it, only allows members and their guests to play. The club is currently spending £5 million to create three new holes overlooking the Firth of Forth plus a luxurious, four-storey clubhouse that will cover 34,000 square feet and open just before the Open. Continuing northwards, we cross the Forth Road Bridge and enter the ancient Kingdom of Fife where, local sages will tell you, there are more golf courses than traffic lights. But despite this rich variety, we mustn’t spurn the opportunity of playing Kingsbarns, quite simply one of the greatest courses to have been built anywhere over the past 20 years. Gazing out to sea on a clear day at Kingsbarns is sheer delight to the senses. Rightly described as the Turnberry of Scotland’s east coast, it’s stunningly beautiful, physically testing and brilliantly designed by architect Kyle Phillips. The par-5 12th is known as Orrdeal, after the former landowners and also because, at 566 yards invariably into the prevailing wind, it’s some test of golf. This and the short 15th where one hits across the beach are, for me, the two outstanding holes, but in truth there isn’t a single weak hole on this magnificent layout. The clubhouse is relatively small so after downing a beer and picking up some mementoes we head for the ‘auld grey toon’ of St Andrews, the base for seven courses controlled by the town’s links trust.

Once we’ve arrived in the town it’s a ‘no brainer’ to make our way to the 1st tee of the Old Course. Only then does it feel we’ve arrived at the spiritual Home of Golf. How many great players have stood here over the centuries? How many nerves have been jangled by that opening tee shot? Yet happily there’s plenty of fairway to aim at with the 18th running parallel, so it’s like trying to land your ball in a small county. Just relax, aim slightly left and enjoy every minute. Being honest, the Old Course has some disappointing holes: notably 8, 9 and 10. But the senses are revived once battle is joined with the monumental par-3 11th, and all is forgotten when the infamous Road Hole 17th, with ‘that’ bunker on the left edge of the green, has been negotiated and a decent drive struck up 18 across the old stone bridge on the Swilken Burn. The Old Course is a haunting experience and everything that can be said about it almost certainly has. Heading inland to Perthshire, we arrive at another landmark golf hotel, Gleneagles, just outside Auchterarder. Here we enjoy some of the finest dining Scotland can offer on an atmospheric estate featuring the Jack Nicklausdesigned PGA Centenary course that will host the 2014 Ryder Cup. The PGA Centenary is a stern test, though far from impossible to navigate around safely, and in comparison rather dull in comparison to the gentler, more subtle and much older, James Braid-designed King’s and Queen’s courses.

In search of perhaps Scotland’s most brutal golfing challenge, we drive through Dundee to track down the Championship course at Carnoustie Golf links. Generally reckoned to be the toughest Open venue, certainly in Scotland, Carnoustie can be almost unplayable when the wind blows. My first time there was on such a day and having reached the turn with what I thought was satisfyingly solid golf I asked my partner, who’d been marking my card, how I’d scored. “You’ve just shot 51,” he said. Things got a lot tougher on the back nine. When Tom Watson won the Open here in 1975, beating Jack Newton in an 18-hole playoff, he failed to par the 250-yard par-3 16th once. And the two closing holes are equally fraught with danger—just ask Jean Van de Velde who tossed fame and fortune into the Barry Burn on 18 in 1999. It comes as no surprise that truly great golfers, like Ben Hogan, Henry Cotton, Gary Player and Watson, have all won at Carnoustie. If time is short, we might end our tour here and come back another time to enjoy the delights of the Highlands and West Coast. Whatever, neither should be missed. The Highlands are accessed via the A90 towards Aberdeen where even more courses delight the senses. If time allows, stop at Montrose and play the famous old links where the greens are slick and true. When I visited the area, two courses north of Aberdeen—one old and one brand new—were on the agenda. 101


Wherever you pitch up, though, try to play Cruden Bay, one of Scotland’s most scenic links, in passing. We stayed at Meldrum House Hotel, a delightful country-house hotel with superb golf instruction which offered not only fine dining and a possible sighting of the resident ghost but also proximity to our next two destinations. The first was Royal Aberdeen, a strong enough links to have hosted both the Walker Cup and Senior Open. The second, a cause of some controversy, was the Trump National development at Balmedie, designed grandly by Martin Hawtree with soaring tee elevations amidst giant sand dunes. At the time of writing, a second Trump course, the Mary MacLeod (named after Donald Trump’s mother), and a 140-room luxury hotel were being planned. Trump’s dearest hope is that one day his first venture on British soil will host the Open. Bidding farewell to Trump’s vast canvas, we sought another memorable challenge, albeit on a smaller scale. First we check into the Rocpool Reserve, a boutique hotel in Inverness, before taking on Nairn Golf Club overlooking the Moray Firth. This is old-fashioned golf, as one would expect from a course with design input from Archie Simpson, ‘Old’ Tom Morris, Braid and Ben Sayers. A slicer’s nightmare, with the North Sea in play on six of the first seven holes, it’s a long way north yet has almost the lowest rainfall in Great Britain. So whilst we may lose lots of balls to a watery grave, we still shouldn’t get too wet. A few miles down the coast towards Inverness is Castle Stuart Golf Links, the brainchild of developer Mark Parsinen who was also the driving force behind Kingsbarns. Many believe this course, which opened in 2009, is every bit as good. Certainly, with spectacular views of the Black Isle and several stirring tee elevations— none more so than on the 1st and 10th—Castle Stuart, which will stage the Scottish Open for a third successive year in July, has proved to be a classical addition to Highland golf. Prior to crossing the Moray Forth to access our next ‘ancient and modern’ golf experience, we enjoyed an overnight stay in Glenmorangie House, a tastefully-restored, sixbedroom country home with the warmest of welcomes, superbly-appointed accommodation, sumptuous local cuisine and, most importantly, an abundance of whisky from Glenmorangie’s nearby distillery. Suitably rested and refreshed, 102

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turnberry is arguably scotland’s finest course

we pitched up at Royal Dornoch, where golf dates back to 1616. After a gentle start, the Championship course at Royal Dornoch crashes into life like a Beethoven symphony— from the 3rd hole onwards this is links golf at its quintessential. Larks sing high in the heavens, gorse and dunes flourish unrestrainedly, and fiendish run-offs turn the raised greens into most elusive targets. It’s impossible to escape the conclusion that a course was always meant to be here, just as we golfers are meant to play it. From Dornoch, we went west and uphill to Skibo Castle, which was built, with nine holes, by the steel billionaire Andrew Carnegie towards the end of the 19th century. These holes were soon forgotten and it took until 1992 for a new course to emerge, designed by Donald Steel. It has since undergone a few improvements and is now regarded as more challenging and prepossessing. Being a guest of the Carnegie Club, as it’s known officially, is a special experience with exalted levels of hospitality and comfort matching the quality of the course. I’m always sorry to leave the Highlands’ rich

golfing tapestry, but leave we must to conclude our pilgrimage by heading for the west coast where, it’s said, if you can’t see Ireland in the distance it’s raining and if you can it’s about to rain. We stop on our way at a club with possibly the most beautiful setting anywhere—Loch Lomond, laid out on the largest expanse of inland water in Great Britain. Not only are the banks ‘bonnie’, the golf is pretty special too with 16 out of 18 holes cocooned in splendid isolation from each other. This is a long, tough track, so don’t expect to improve on Retief Goosen’s course record of 62, just take in the glorious scenery of this Tom Weiskopf gem and enjoy the opportunity of being on a course that few people ever get to play. Should you not manage to play at Loch Lomond, there’s always The Carrick, owned by hotelier De Vere and designed by Canadian Doug Carrick. Here, the front nine takes the low road beside the loch whilst the inward half takes the high road. The 10th tee offers a fabulous view down the loch and also up to the brooding Ben Lomond. But whether you’ve


LEAVING THE BEST UNTIL LAST

gone high or low, a warm welcome awaits you after your round in the Claret Jug bar! After journeying south to Glasgow, we board a Learjet for a detour across the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Arran to Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsula. A small white bus with a big black sheep painted on it delivers us to our hotel, the Ugadale, which has been lovingly restored by American developer Southworth, creator of the wild and wonderful Machrihanish Dunes course. But before we take on the Dunes, we play the layout we can see from our window over breakfast, the original course at Machrihanish. The first tee shot, depending on how high the tide is, is either across the Atlantic or the beach. This alone is worth the trip but the next 17 holes are pretty special too. True lovers of golf should seize the chance to come to this lonely yet beautiful spot. Now it’s almost time to fly home, but we still have three Open venues to take in on the Ayrshire coast. We start with Prestwick, where the first Championship was held in 1860, where ‘Old’ Tom took his first head professional’s job,

and where his son, ‘Young’ Tommy, scored both the first recorded eagle and hole-in-one. Ghosts of famous, antique golfers still haunt the wild, adjacent dunes, but there’s also an element of Victorian derring-do about this place, none more so than on the par-3 5th, Himalayas, where the tee shot must be lofted over the most enormous sand dune. Next door to Prestwick is Royal Troon, venue of Arnold Palmer’s 1962 Open victory, so we can almost hop over the fence for our penultimate round, even though it’s probably best to go through the front door. Troon is a classic ‘nine out, nine back’ links with bunkers everywhere, many of them invisible from the tee. It also boasts the shortest par-3 on the Open circuit—the 123-yard, Postage Stamp 8th. The secret is to get your score going out and defend it coming back as there are some brutal par4s to encounter amidst thickening gorse and increasingly slick greens. Come to think of it, the same can be said about most of the great courses Scotland has to offer. ★

our final port of call was the glorious, 5-star turnberry resort, the most beautiful of all scotland’s open Championship venues. one’s breath is particularly taken away by the sharply undulating greens, meandering dunes and ocean-hugging holes on the ailsa course, scene of four opens. With stunning views of arran, the mull of Kintyre and the granitedomed ailsa Craig, this is a golfing shrine we shall return to for as long as we draw breath. the coastal holes from 4 through 11 are as thrilling as they are spectacular. and along the way, we pass the iconic lighthouse built in 1873 by the remains of a 13th century castle thought to be the birthplace of robert the Bruce. the lighthouse, which overlooks the 9th green and 10th tee, is due for decommissioning in 2015, and conversion into luxury accommodation for golfers. originally, turnberry’s two courses were known as No.1 and No.2. No.1 opened in 1902 to a design by Willie Fernie and No.2 came of age when re-jigged in 1923 by Braid. the property was used as an airbase during both the First and second World Wars with the hotel serving as a hospital for the wounded. a memorial honouring lost airmen was erected beside the 12th green on No.1, which was renamed ailsa following mackenzie ross’s redesign in 1951. the other two courses at turnberry today are the Kintyre, redesigned in 2001 by steel from the old arran, formerly No.2, and a ninehole practice course, now known as the arran. other facilities include the Colin montgomerie Links Golf academy and a pitch-and-putt layout. the resort’s hotel, a commanding presence with its gleaming white walls, clayred roof, stacked chimneys, gabled windows and kilted doormen, looks down over an 800-acre estate and across the Firth of Clyde. the highlight of its six restaurants is the 1906, marking the year the hotel was built and featuring recipes invented by the great French chef Georges auguste escoffier. meanwhile, the spa offers bespoke, day-long treatments, a 20-metre swimming pool with a whirlpool and a state-of-the-art fitness studio.

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As

each year dawns, we find ourselves contemplating an ever-lengthening roll-call of golfers with a realistic chance of winning one of the game’s four premier titles. The last 25 Majors have been shared by 20 different players and, given the number of Tour pros routinely shooting in the low-to-mid 60s on the world’s hardest courses, that trend could well extend through 2013. Modern equipment, improved fitness and flexibility levels, and judicious use of sports psychology have all played a part in keeping several stars of the previous generation in the hunt as well as accelerating the progress of up-and-coming youngsters.

Somewhere in the middle, though, are several names that have graced the upper echelons of tournament leaderboards for well over a decade, seasoned campaigners who might feel— with some justification—that now is their time. It all makes for a heady cocktail as we anticipate a potentially electrifying two-month period with three Majors at stake. Heading the cast of serious challengers, of course, is current world No.1 Tiger Woods, who will be doing his damnedest to add to his tally of 14 Majors. Other notable contenders we expect to make an impact include Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter and Geoff Ogilvy.

Words: AdAM HATHAWAy

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the majors 2013


Tiger Woods USA

Born: 30 December 1975 Turned Pro: 1996 Major Wins: 14 (masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005; Us open 2000, 2005, 2008; open 2000, 2005, 2006; PGa Championship 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007) Professional Wins: 99

Immediately after Tiger Woods limped to victory in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines on a broken leg, anyone suggesting that five years might elapse before he added to his total of 14 Majors would have been universally ridiculed. But the well-publicised unravelling of his personal life that started in 2009, his subsequent divorce, further injuries and prolonged breaks from the game culminated in him dropping out of the world top-50 in October 2011. It was a spectacular fall from grace but, if nothing else, Woods is made of stern stuff and his resurrection started almost immediately. This year he is once again the man to beat in the Grand Slam events he dominated for 11 years after collecting his first, the Masters, in 1997. The 37-year old is back at the top of the tree rankings-wise after winning three times on the PGA Tour in 2012 and starting the current season with three more victories, all on courses that have previously been happy hunting grounds. Woods won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill to regain his No.1 ranking. ‘Tiger is back’ was the cry going into the Masters but despite being a constant presence on the leader-board Woods could only finish in a tie for fourth behind Australia’s Adam Scott. However, many people felt he should not have even played the last two rounds after dropping his ball in the wrong place on the 15th on the second day. He was hit with a two-shot penalty the next morning, but the tournament committee decided not to disqualify him for signing for an incorrect score. Some muttered that the right thing for Woods to do would be to disqualify himself but all the resultant controversy washed right over him as he climbed back up through the field, though without ever quite getting involved at the business end of the tournament. So that was another Major gone by without Woods moving closer to Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 Grand Slam wins. However, even if the old invincibility in Majors is becoming a fading memory, everyone in the game knows that Tiger is a threat once again and it seems inevitable that the famous red shirt will be catching the eye on the final day in many of the rest of this season’s big tournaments. Woods has been working with Canadian coach Sean Foley, an expert in biomechanics, since 2010 and their labours are now paying off. Meanwhile, off the course the most significant thing to happen to the world No.1 is that his personal life has become more stable since he started dating skier Lindsey Vonn. Also the ‘Rory Factor’ has helped stir the competitive juices in Woods once again. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy became the centre of attention towards the end of last year with a runaway victory in the PGA Championship, three other wins and a much-heralded ascent to the pinnacle of the world rankings. There is nothing Woods likes better than having a target and having successfully knocked McIlroy off his perch he can now reset his sights on Nicklaus’s landmark. Don’t bet against him doing it.

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Justin Rose England

Born: 30 july 1980 Turned Pro: 1998 Best Major Finish: 3rd (PGa Championship 2012) Professional Wins: 12

Justin Rose has been in the limelight so long it is sometimes difficult to accept that the South African-born Englishman will not be 33 until the end of July. He famously appeared on the scene as a gawky 17-year old amateur in the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale when he chipped in at the last to tie for fourth place behind Mark O’Meara. He then seemed assured of a rosy future, but it was not all plain sailing and a string of 21 consecutive missed cuts and a chronic loss of confidence meant he did not win on the European Tour until the Dunhill Championship in 2002. His breakthrough win on the PGA Tour—the 2010 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village—was also a long time coming, but he followed it up a month later with victory in the AT&T National at Aronimink. He is now one of the big boys on tour – second place to Tiger Woods at Bay Hill earlier this season took him to a career-best third in the world rankings—and he is strongly fancied to consolidate on last year’s win in the WGCCadillac Championship at Doral by annexing a Major. In total, he had eight top-10 finishes in 2012 and rounded off the season with a tie for third place in the PGA Championship behind Rory McIlroy at Kiawah Island. A consistent start to this season—four top-10s in six starts—gave Rose high hopes going into Augusta and after two rounds he was in a tie for seventh before fading to a share of 25th spot. Rose won three out of five points at last year’s Ryder Cup at Medinah and his brilliant, come-from-behind victory over Phil Mickelson in the final-day singles proved he is not cowed by pressure situations. In the race for the Majors he has a few years in hand on some of his European teammates who also have not yet broken their duck.

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Phil Mickelson USA

Born: 16 june 1970 Turned Pro: 1992 Major Wins: 4 (masters 2004, 2006, 2010; PGa Championship 2005) Professional Wins: 47

It is not often Phil Mickelson leaves Augusta National in poor spirits, but he did this year when a final round of 73 saw him finish in a tie for 54th place after failing to break 70 in any of his four rounds. But the left-hander – with four Majors to his credit, including three Masters titles – still remains a force in the game even though he will turn 43 on the final day of the US Open at Merion in June. There would be no more popular winner that week or at either of the season’s other two Majors. His aggressive style endears him to the galleries as does his ready smile and tireless willingness to sign autographs. But behind the cheery demeanour, Mickelson has had a lot of serious issues to contend with since his wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer. A professional since 1992, he came on the radar earlier than most players when he won the 1991 Northern Telecom Open as an amateur. Unlike so many brilliant youngsters who fizzle out after a dazzling start, he has lasted the course and certainly has the power to equal Sir Nick Faldo’s tally of six Major wins. Mickelson, a winner at the Phoenix Open at the start of the season (his 41st on the PGA Tour), is always ranked amongst the favourites for the Masters, but his record elsewhere is also far from mediocre. He has had nine top-10 finishes in the US Open, including five runners-up spots, two in the Open and eight in the PGA Championship, including his win in 2005 at Baltusrol. Mickelson should have won the US Open at Winged Foot in 2006 when he finished with a double-bogey at the last and missed out to Geoff Ogilvy. His record in the US Open shows his gambler’s game can cope with tight lay-outs although this term his best chance of a fifth Major may come in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

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Ian Poulter England

Born: 10 january 1976 Turned Pro: 1994 Best Major Finish: 2nd (open 2008) Professional Wins: 16

If Ian Poulter was not quite a legend of European golf before last year’s Ryder Cup at Medinah, he certainly is now. The in-your-face, never-say-die Englishman is Europe’s go-to man whenever the going gets tough, and his five birdies in a row while partnering Rory McIlroy in the Saturday fourball outings in Illinois sparked the most dramatic revival in the match’s history. Poulter, whose contribution to his side’s 14½-13½ win was a perfect four points out of four, may be the ultimate team man but he can also play a bit when he’s on his own as he has shown with 16 tournament victories dating back to 2000 and highlighted by two World Golf Championship titles. The only accolade missing from the 37-year old’s CV is a Major, but like his countryman Luke Donald he first needs to contend more regularly. The man from Hertfordshire did not arrive on tour via the traditional route and as his on-course dress sense demonstrates he has hardly done anything conventional since. To the amazement of many local golfers who knew him well, he turned professional at 16 with an official handicap of four (it was actually a few strokes higher). At the time he was working behind the counter in a pro shop, but eight years later his burning desire and competitive edge had carried him to his first European Tour title—the Italian Open. After winning the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills in China at the back end of 2012, Poulter entered the current campaign brimming with his usual confidence, but a run of three top-40s proved to be the prelude to a missed cut at the Masters. Among other things, a win in one of this season’s three remaining Majors – he has six top-10 finishes to date, including three in 2012 – would raise the profile of his IJP Design clothing business even higher and propel his personal Twitter following through the 1.5-million barrier. As he proved at Medinah, anything is possible.

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Geoff Ogilvy Australia Born: 11 june 1977 Turned Pro: 1998 Major Win: Us open 2006 Professional Wins: 9

Adam Scott’s heroic win in the Masters was long overdue, both for the player and his country. But in the hullaballoo some people seemed to forget that Australia already has a Major champion prowling the fairways of the PGA Tour in the shape of Geoff Ogilvy, who claimed the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot in dramatic fashion. As Colin Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Padraig Harrington all blew their chances down the stretch, Ogilvy calmly parred the last two holes amid the chaos for a one-shot win, a cool $1.225 million and one of the game’s most coveted trophies. With eight top-10s to his credit in the Majors, he is clearly a force to be reckoned with, although his record in big tournaments over the past two years has been mostly a tale of top-20s and missed cuts in equal measure. Ogilvy, a distant relative of the British royal family, has not exactly ruled the fairways this year either. Having slipped out of the top-50 in the world rankings, he failed to qualify for the Masters, thus ending a run of seven straight appearances. Strangely, he could have sneaked into the field for this year’s first Major had he skipped a lot of the early-season tournaments and allowed other players to slip below him in the rankings, but that is alien to Ogilvy’s mindset, so full credit to him for going about trying to qualify in the right way. An impressive second place in the Honda Classic has been his best showing on tour this season, but from his first ten starts he has also missed six cuts. Ogilvy only managed one top10 in 20 starts last year, but he did make 18 cuts and clocked up 10 top-25 finishes. This suggests he’s not a million miles away from clicking again. He’s also a three-time WGC winner, and a confidence-building finish is probably all he needs to be a contender in the Majors again.

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Best of the Rest Other players to watch out for...

Brandt Snedeker USA Born

8 December 1980

Turned Pro

2004

Best Major Finish

tied 3rd (masters 2008)

Professional Wins

8

Nashville’s top golfer became a $10 million man after winning the Fedex Cup last season, so he’s now more worried about adding a major title to his portfolio than where the next nickel or dime is coming from. snedeker scooped his jackpot with victory in the campaign-ending tour Championship at east Lake in atlanta, while joint third in the 2012 open Championship at royal Lytham & st annes followed by a tie for sixth at augusta National in april show that the 32-year-old has the game to win a major. he carried on where he left off in 2012 with three top-three finishes plus victory in the at&t Pebble Beach National Pro-am, but a rib injury then halted him while in full flow. Not only did it hinder his preparation for the masters, it forced him to sit out the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Despite missing his first two cuts back on tour, snedeker found himself in contention amongst the azaleas—sharing the lead with angel Cabrera after three rounds. His closing 75 was a trifle ugly, but his overall showing at augusta proved he’s not scared of the big occasion. he might be a relatively short hitter by modern standards, but the stats show he’s near the top of the bill where it counts—making birdies and, even more importantly, scoring average. Consequently, he certainly can’t be discounted as a major candidate.

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Keegan Bradley USA Born

7 June 1986

Turned Pro Major win

Angel Cabrera Argentina Born

Jason Day Australia

12 September 1969

2008

Turned Pro

1989

PGA Championship 2011

Major Wins

2 (US Open 2007; Masters 2009)

Professional Wins

4

Professional Wins

50

Born

Luke Donald England

12 November 1987

Turned Pro

2006

Best Major Finish 2nd (US Open 2011); Tied 2nd (Masters 2011) Professional Wins

2

Born Turned Pro

7 November 1977 2001

Best Major Finish Tied 3rd (Masters 2005; PGA Championship 2006) Professional Wins

14

Nephew of LPGA legend Pat Bradley, he took the game by storm when he beat Jason Dufner in a playoff for the 2011 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club—the first Major in which he played. Only two other players have achieved that feat in the past century— Francis Ouimet at the 1913 US Open and Ben Curtis at the 2003 Open. Not surprisingly Bradley, who also won the HP Byron Nelson Championship, was named rookie of the year. He stole the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational from Jim Furyk last year, but will soon be learning to live without his belly putter.

The big-hitting Argentine broke through in 2007 after holding his nerve to win the US Open at Oakmont by a shot from Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods. Prior to that, he had racked up six top-10s in Majors. He claimed his second Major, the 2009 Masters, with a playoff victory over Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell, and nearly made it two green jackets in four years at Augusta this April. A superb birdie at the 72nd hole put him into another playoff, against Adam Scott, but the Australian pipped him with a birdie on the second extra hole.

Born in Queensland to an Australian father and Filipino mother, Day became the youngest ever winner on the Nationwide Tour in July 2007. Three years later, his first PGA Tour title came at the Byron Nelson Championship. He finished second in both the Masters and US Open in 2011, but last year his appearances were curtailed by an ankle injury. This season he has returned to form with four top-10s from his first nine starts, highlighted by third places in both the Masters and WGCAccenture Match Play Championship.

The most enigmatic of today’s leading players, he became the first man to top the money list on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011 and spent 55 weeks as world No.1 following the first of his two consecutive wins in the BMW PGA Championship in May 2011. He has a superb Ryder Cup record with ten wins and a half from 15 outings while his short game is the envy of his peers. But his Majors record is disappointing—just seven top-10s in more than a decade, mostly achieved by going low on the last day when not really in contention.

Jamie Donaldson Wales

Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño Spain

Rickie Fowler USA

Jim Furyk USA

Born Turned Pro

19 October 1975 2000

Born Turned Pro

Best Major Finish Tied 7th (PGA Championship 2012)

Best Major Finish

Professional Wins

Professional Wins

6

Finished 19th in the 2012 money list thanks to his maiden European Tour win in the Irish Open at Royal Portrush and a tie for seventh in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island—only his fourth Major appearance. He struggled to make an impact after initially gaining his card in 2002, but has improved his ranking each year since 2008. He should climb further in 2013 having won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January. The highlight of his amateur career was to help GB & Ireland finish second in the 2000 Eisenhower Trophy.

13 October 1980 2004 Tied 20th (Masters 2013) 7

This Madrid native captured his sixth European Tour title at the 2012 BMW Italian Open, but it came too late to qualify him for the European Ryder Cup team, captained by compatriot José María Olazábal. Emulating Seve Ballesteros, Fernández-Castaño claimed his maiden victory at the KLM Open in Holland and finished 2005 as rookie of the year. Playing more in America this year, he tied third in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He also promotes a number of tournaments on the European Tour via his company, GFC Golf and Business.

Born Turned Pro

13 December 1988

Born

12 May 1970

2009

Turned Pro

1992

Best Major Finish Tied 5th (Open 2011)

Major Wins

US Open 2003

Professional Wins

Professional Wins

2

After playing twice in the Walker Cup as a teenager, he has been a breath of fresh air on the PGA Tour. Known for wearing his alma mater’s trademark orange colours on the final day of a tournament, Fowler, quarter Japanese and quarter Navajo, rides motorbikes in his spare time. Won his maiden professional title in Korea in 2011 and claimed his first PGA Tour victory in last year’s Wells Fargo Championship. Distinguished himself as a Ryder Cup rookie after receiving a captain’s pick in 2010, but failed to make the US team at Medinah last September.

26

The career highlights for the grinder with the looping swing came when he won the 2003 US Open at Olympia Fields and scooped the $10m FedExCup jackpot at the Tour Championship in 2010. Despite finishing 12th on the PGA Tour money list, he won’t look back fondly on 2012. After a playoff loss in the Transitions Championship, he tamely surrendered leads down the stretch in both the US Open at Olympic and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. His singles defeat by Sergio Garcia in the Ryder Cup at Medinah will also have hurt.

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Stephen Gallacher Scotland

Sergio Garcia Spain

Born

Born

1 November 1974

Turned Pro

1995

Turned Pro

Peter Hanson Sweden

9 January 1980 1999

Born

Dustin Johnson USA

4 October 1977

Turned Pro

1998

Best Major Finish Tied 18th (PGA Championship 2010)

Best Major Finish 2nd (PGA 1999; Open 2007); Tied 2nd (PGA 2008)

Best Major Finish

Tied 3rd (Masters 2012)

Professional Wins

Professional Wins

Professional Wins

12

3

24

Born

22 June 1984

Turned Pro

2007

Best Major Finish Tied 2nd (Open 2011) Professional Wins

8

After playing in a victorious GB & Ireland side in the 1995 Walker Cup, Stephen Gallacher turned professional later that year. Nephew of former European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, his first European Tour victory came in the 2004 Dunhill Links. he suffered a debilitating viral infection in 2010 but has bounced back and signaled he is on top form this year by winning the Dubai Desert Classic this February. Leading going into the final round after carding a career best 62 the day before, an eagle on the 16th crowned his three-stroke victory.

Lost a playoff to Padraig Harrington in the 2007 Open and was again thwarted by the Irishman at the 2008 PGA Championship. The highlight of his eight PGA Tour victories came in the 2008 Players Championship, but he missed out on the 2010 Ryder Cup. He has climbed back up the world rankings over the past two years, thanks to wins on both sides of the Atlantic. A tie for eighth at the Masters in April was his 18th top-10 finish in a Major, testimony to his consistency from tee to green. At 33, time is still on his side, but only just.

The consistent Swede, six times a European Tour winner and now making his mark in the US, is regarded as an excellent ball striker, though not the most reliable putter. Played his way onto both the 2010 and 2012 European Ryder Cup teams, though his experience at Medinah last year was soured by being stood down for the Saturday fourballs at late notice. He had two of his three Major top-10 finishes to date in 2012—a tie for third at the Masters where he led after 54 holes and a tie for seventh in the PGA Championship.

This long-hitter has won seven titles since joining the PGA Tour in 2008, the latest being the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January. His form has cooled since, but he’s dangerous whenever he’s in contention. He might have won three Majors by now had things gone his way down the stretch at the 2010 US Open and PGA Championship, and 2011 Open. On the final hole of the PGA at Whistling Straits, he grounded his club in what he thought was sandy wasteland but was in fact a bunker, thus incurring a two-shot penalty and missing out on a playoff.

Martin Kaymer Germany

Matt Kuchar USA

Paul Lawrie Scotland

Hunter Mahan USA

Born

28 December 1984

Turned Pro

2005

Major Wins

PGA Championship 2010

Professional Wins

18

After beating Bubba Watson in a playoff for the 2010 PGA Championship and reaching the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship the following February, the young German rose to No.1 in the world rankings. Even though he won twice on the European Tour in 2011, he only hung on to the world No.1 mantle for eight weeks. He had a miserable time for most of 2012, but holing the winning putt from about eight feet to clinch the Ryder Cup for Europe at Medinah should ultimately revive his confidence and form.

Born Turned Pro Best Major Finish Professional Wins

21 June 1978

Born

1 January 1969

2000

Turned Pro

1986

Tied 3rd (Masters 2012)

Major Wins

Open 1999

8

After tying 14th at the 1998 US Open as a teenage amateur, he struggled when he turned pro. He first won in 2002, at the Honda Classic, then underwent some swing changes and did not return to the podium until 2009. Since 2010, when he won the Barclays, made his Ryder Cup debut in Wales and lifted the Arnold Palmer Award for topping the money list, he has shone on the big occasions. Won the 2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup (with Gary Woodland), 2012 Players Championship and this year’s WGCAccenture Match Play Championship.

Professional Wins

13

The Aberdonian won the 1999 Open at Carnoustie in a playoff after France’s Jean Van de Velde collapsed to a triple-bogey seven on the final hole. Alas, this tale detracts from the quality of Lawrie’s closing 67 in brutal weather over a course he knew better than anyone else in the field. After several modest seasons, he won three European Tour titles in 2011 and 2012, the last of which, the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, sealed his return to the Ryder Cup at Medinah where he claimed a famous 5&3 singles victory over Brandt Snedeker.

Born Turned Pro

17 May 1982 2003

Best Major Finish Tied 6th (Open 2007; US Open 2009) Professional Wins

6

Mahan’s record in the Majors—he has had only four top-10s from 30 attempts— suggests he might not have the class to secure a Grand Slam title. However, his overall record proves he’s far from afraid to prevail when the opportunity arises. The Californian has already won five PGA Tour titles, including two WGC events—the Bridgestone Invitational in 2010 and last year’s Accenture Match Play Championship—and he came close to defending the crown in the Arizona desert this February before going down 2&1 in the final to Matt Kuchar.

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Graeme McDowell Northern Ireland

Francesco Molinari Italy

Born

Born

30 July 1979

Turned Pro

2002

Major Wins

US Open 2010

Professional Wins

10

8 November 1982

Turned Pro

2004

Thorbjorn Olesen Denmark

Louis Oosthuizen South Africa

Born

Born

Best Major Finish Tied 10th (PGA Championship 2009)

Best Major Finish

Professional Wins

Professional Wins

5

21 December 1989

Turned Pro

19 October 1982

2008

Turned Pro

2002

Tied 6th (Masters 2013)

Major Wins

Open 2010

6

Professional Wins

11

Following his remarkable 2010—when he won the US Open at Pebble Beach, brought home the decisive point in the Ryder Cup and out-duelled Tiger Woods at his own tournament—McDowell’s 2011 was an anticlimax. He regrouped last year when he was tied second in the US Open, one shot behind Webb Simpson, 12th in the Masters, fifth in the Open and 11th in the PGA Championship. He continued in that vein this year until missing the cut at Augusta, but he bounced back straight away with a playoff win over Simpson in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.

The younger Molinari’s maiden win came in his native Italian Open in 2006. After playing alongside brother Edoardo for Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup, he ended his season on a high by holding off Lee Westwood to win the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in China. He had a quiet year in 2011, but bounced back last year with victory in the Reale Seguros Open de Espana which helped to secure his second successive Ryder Cup appearance. The other highlight of his career was winning the 2009 World Cup for Italy with Edoardo.

Pundits attempting to identify the next superstar of European golf are circling this young Dane with interest. Aged 23, he has only played in three Majors and already has two top-10s. His lone European Tour victory to date was at last year’s Sicilian Open, but the result that in effect propelled him to 15th on the money list (from 48th in 2011) was a tie for ninth in the Open at Lytham. He has kicked on with interest this season— tying for sixth to be leading European in the Masters and finishing seventh in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

When Oosthuizen ran away with the Open at St Andrews in 2010, many felt it was a fluke. But the farm-raised South African has a lot going for him, not least one of golf’s smoothest swings. Allied to a putting stroke that is deadly on its day, he should contend in many Majors. He almost landed last year’s Masters, indeed was favourite to do so after holing his second shot for an albatross two at the par-5 2nd in the final round. But playing partner Bubba Watson clung to his coat-tails and eventually eclipsed him with a miracle shot from the trees at the second playoff hole.

Charl Schwartzel South Africa

Steve Stricker USA

Bubba Watson USA

Lee Westwood England

Born

Born

31 August 1984

Turned Pro

2002

Major Wins

Masters 2011

Professional Wins

10

The slim South African enjoyed an annus mirabilis in 2011. After joining the European Tour in 2003, his progress was steady rather than spectacular, largely due to impressive displays in dual-sanctioned events in his native land. But after finishing eighth on the money list in 2010, he took his game to a new level by snatching victory in the Masters. Ties for 9th, 16th and 12th in the other three Majors of 2011 bode well for last year, but he suffered a dip in form and only returned to the winners’ circle last December in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

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THE MAJORS 2013

Turned Pro

23 February 1967

Born

5 November 1978

1990

Turned Pro

2002

Best Major Finish 2nd (PGA Championship 1998)

Major Wins

Masters 2012

Professional Wins

20

Despite being a brilliant pitcher and putter, Stricker’s career has been far from a model of consistency. After spending his early years playing in Canada, he established himself on the PGA Tour in 1994. He has since won 12 times, most recently at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii at the start of last year. But despite ten top-10 finishes in Majors, he came closest when runner-up by two strokes to Vijay Singh in the 1998 PGA Championship. He is now playing a restricted schedule as he inches towards Champions Tour status.

Professional Wins

6

One of golf’s most charismatic figures and the longest hitter on the PGA Tour since gaining his card in 2006, this tall left-hander is also gifted with a silky touch around the greens. Since claiming his first victory at the 2010 Travelers Championship, he has become a consistent contender. His first tilt at winning a Major came when he lost a playoff to Martin Kaymer for the PGA Championship later that year. But when he went into extra time again he made no mistake, winning the 2012 Masters with a spectacular hook from deep in the trees on the second playoff hole.

Born Turned Pro

24 April 1973 1993

Best Major Finish 2nd (Masters 2010; Open 2010) Professional Wins

40

‘Frustrating’ does not begin to sum up Westwood’s fortunes in the Majors. Without question one of the best players in the world from tee to green, he tied eighth at Augusta in April to make it ten top-10s from his last 19 Majors, including two runners-up spots and three third places. Clearly, if he has a decent four days on the greens a first Major is there for the taking, and another might follow given the confidence that victory should inject. After eight appearances for Europe, he has an outstanding Ryder Cup record.


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When Adam Scott holed the winning putt on the 10th to win the 2013 Masters, the roars at Augusta National did not emanate only from around the green. Robin Barwick reports Pictures: Mercedes-Benz

A Perfe ct Day Sudden-death play-offs to decide the masters begin on the 18th hole at augusta National, before progressing to the adjacent 10th, if required. Like the 18th hole, the 10th is a famous, stunning par-4. While the 18th hole rolls up a steep hill, taking golfers back towards the 1st tee and the clubhouse, the 10th steers them back down the hill again. It is a spectacular view from the tee, as the fairway sweeps round a dogleg to the left, framed by the towering Georgia Pines into which Bubba Watson unforgettably delivered his drive before winning the playoff against Louis oosthuizen in 2012. as it happens, of the 10 sudden-death playoffs that have decided the masters, none have out-lasted the second playoff hole. this year it was australia’s adam scott and argentina’s angel Cabrera who marched down the 10th fairway in fading light on an april sunday evening. thousands of masters patrons lined the fairway and crowded onto the slope above the green, and when scott holed that 15-foot putt to become the first australian to win the masters, a deafening roar rose from the green, up the fairway and back to the clubhouse. But there was a second, simultaneous roar at augusta National at that moment, which did not come from those surrounding the 10th. tucked inconspicuously to the right of the 1st fairway at augusta National, and behind another battalion

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of pines, is a row of well-proportioned white-board cabins—perfectly presented yet understated—and all are occupied by the global sponsors and international partners of the masters, and their guests. In the middle of this row is Firethorn, named after the 15th hole, and this was home to mercedes-Benz and its guests during masters week. scott’s win was not just a defining moment for him, for his country and for his legions of fans around the world, it was also a defining golfing moment for mercedes-Benz, a company that sponsors scott as well as the masters. When scott’s winning putt dropped, the integrity of Firethorn’s roof was sorely tested. “It was a thrilling and inspiring final round at augusta National, especially the sudden-death playoff,” recalls Lueder Fromm, head of global marketing communications, mercedes-Benz Cars. “Congratulations, adam! It was an unforgettable performance from one of the world’s great golfers, performing at his very best when it mattered most. It was breathtaking golf.” It was the perfect culmination to another gripping week at the masters for mercedes-Benz, which was an international partner of the masters from 2008-13, and which welcomed scott as an international brand ambassador in september 2011. starting in 2014, mercedes-Benz is growing its support of the masters to become a global sponsor.


ADAM SCOTT WITH HIS FAVOURITE CAR MARQUE IN AUGUSTA DURING HIS TRIUMPHANT MASTERS WEEK

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In case you are wondering what sort of car a Masters champion drives, Adam Scott enjoyed driving the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 BlueTEC Sedan around the streets of Augusta, Georgia in April. The new E-Class comes in Saloon and Estate models, and it boasts a series of innovative comfort and safety features that Mercedes-Benz calls ‘Intelligent Drive’. Lane Keeping Assist helps to prevent accidents with oncoming traffic while the E-Class also comes with anti-glare, permanent full-beam headlamps. Meanwhile the BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engine— complete with sophisticated direct injection technology—is the most efficient and ecologically friendly engine ever to power the E-Class. OPEN TRADITION: A TRADITION NOW ESTABLISHED AT THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IS FOR THE WEEK’S PROCEEDINGS TO BEGIN WITH THE DEFENDING CHAMPION RETURNING THE CLARET JUG. HERE DARREN CLARKE (RIGHT), OPEN CHAMPION IN 2011, ARRIVES AT ROYAL LYTHAM & ST ANNES LAST YEAR TO RETURN THE CLARET JUG TO PETER DAWSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE R&A

“Adam Scott shares our passion for perfection and personifies ‘the best or nothing’, sharing MercedesBenz’s overall philosophy”, adds Fromm. “Of course, we also have a more experienced golfer, Bernhard Langer, standing for long-term success and who also personifies ‘the best or nothing’ for our internationallyknown brand, whereby Adam represents the new generation of golfer on a global level. “Adam is very professional. He is a serious competitor, and a golfer who certainly strives for perfection at the international level. Adam also has a fascinating personality, he loves the Mercedes vehicles and is a new breed of golfer who embodies Mercedes-Benz values both on and off the course— the best or nothing. “Mercedes-Benz is a proud international partner of the Masters and we are delighted and proud that our brand ambassador, Adam Scott, has won this iconic and prestigious tournament.” The Mercedes-Benz tyre print in golf—if you will—extends far beyond the Masters and golfers

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like Scott, Langer and another exciting German player, Marcel Siem, as the German automotive giant is also a patron of the Open Championship and the official car of the PGA of America, and therefore the official car of the PGA Championship and also the Ryder Cup when it is held in the United States, as it was in 2012 at Medinah Country Club. “Golf has the perfect fit for our brand, because our core values are fascination and perfection,” explains Fromm. “With perfection come quality, comfort and safety. Mercedes is known for these values of perfection and when you see golfers at the Masters, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship, they too are striving for perfection on the golf course; they share our ‘passion for perfection’.” “With golf as a sport there is a mix of the mature with the up-and-coming, and that is also what makes it so exciting for Mercedes to be involved with these Major championships. One of the characteristics we love about golf is that people of all ages can play together. It is the same with

the Mercedes brand. Within our product range, our vehicles appeal to people of all ages–there are not many brands that have such a broad appeal to different age groups.” The next stop on the Majors’ trail for both Scott and Mercedes-Benz will be at the oldest Major championship of them all, the Open, at mighty Muirfield on Scotland’s south-east coast in July. “History is an important attribute of the Mercedes brand,” adds Fromm, “but we also look to the future, and that can be seen in golf at the Masters, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship. These tournaments all have an amazing history that that will never be forgotten, but today there is an exciting, young generation of golfers at golf clubs around the world and on the tours, with exciting personalities and great talent, striving for perfection. It is impressive to see what is in the past, but I feel it is more exciting to think about what is coming in the future—that is the same for these three Major tournaments and for Mercedes-Benz. This is one of the reasons Mercedes-Benz is interested in supporting golf worldwide on a long-term basis.” ★


Master the Manor

Venue of The 2010 Ryder Cup and home of the annual ISPS Handa Wales Open, the five star Celtic Manor Resort is one of Europe’s finest golfing destinations. No-one can guarantee that you will play like McDowell and his Ryder Cup team-mates of 2010 but the breathtaking Twenty Ten Course gives you the unique opportunity to follow in their footsteps and try to repeat their heroics on a truly spectacular course. The après-golf is every bit as impressive, with a sumptuous spa waiting to tease out the knots following a day on the fairways, and no fewer than six sensational restaurants offering everything from elegant fine dining to hearty country fare. ryder Cup two Course Break from only £173pp (May – September), £113pp (October – February). Terms and conditions apply – see website for details.

celtic-manor.com 01633 410263


M

uch of the fascination of sport is its capacity to produce improbable climaxes. Just when you think it’s all over… it ain’t. That’s why we all have to wait for the mellifluous warbling of the proverbial obese female before we know for certain who has won. Because the mental element is so significant, golf is more likely to create situations in which dramatic reversals of fortune occur. Specifically, a fast-disappearing lead heightens the tension which then increases the likelihood of the improbable happening. And because it’s essentially an individual sport, the mental pressure on the leader can’t be shared amongst team-mates but bears down unrelentingly on that lone figure. Only the man or woman out in front feels the hot breath of the chasing pack. Therein lies the dilemma of strokeplay golf. To win, you have to finish in front. But take the lead too early and you’re liable to leave yourself exposed for too long. Being a comfortable frontrunner, like Tiger Woods for example, is rightly recognised as a rare quality. Most find it more appealing to come with a timely run on Sunday afternoon than try to sleep for three nights on a slender lead. The pressure felt in the final round of a major is in inverse proportion to how well a player is doing. All other things being equal, the leader will feel it most while it progressively reduces the further back you go so that those far off the pace will feel comparatively relaxed even if they’re not playing particularly well. As all those who have ever swung a club will know, the harder you try and the more desperate you are to win, the more difficult the game gets. It’s one of the great golfing paradoxes that if you relax, swing freely and putt in a carefree way you are more likely to split fairways, hit greens and sink monsters than you are when you’re desperate to do well. So the combination of an anxious person in front trying to protect a lead and an uninhibited chaser with little to lose can produce precisely the right circumstantial mix for a final round turnaround. Last-day collapses were comprehensively covered in the previous issue of this guide, so let’s concentrate here on the altogether happier subject of spectacular late charges.

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THE FINAL-ROUND GALLOP THROUGH THE FIELD TO CLAIM AN UNLIKELY VICTORY, TRADEMARKED BY ARNOLD PALMER IN THE 1960 US OPEN, PROVIDES ONE OF THE MORE THRILLING CHAPTERS IN THE HISTORY OF MAJOR-CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF. Clive Agran RECALLS THE KING’S ACT OF DERRING-DO AT CHERRY HILLS, AND SEVERAL OTHER TRULY SPECTACULAR INSTANCES THAT HAVE LIT UP THE PAST HALF-CENTURY OR SO

Often described as the greatest final round ever played in a major, Johnny Miller’s stunning 63 to capture the US Open at Oakmont in 1973 was quite extraordinary. Starting the day six shots off the lead and with 11 players in front of him, the 23-year-old Californian opened up with four consecutive birdies. Two of the putts were tap-ins and in total they measured no more than about 24 feet. Propelled through the pack, Miller was now in contention and began to feel the pressure. “After the first four holes I got so nervous because I knew I was six back and the leaders would be gagging. I got a chance to win now and a shot of adrenaline went through me, and on five I left it short from 12 feet. At six I left it short from 10 feet and I three-putted eight “I can think of many [his only bogey]. Now I’ve thrown away two or times I should have won three shots and I went from being really nervous more Majors but my to sort of mad. I thought, ‘You got a chance to putting prevented it” win the Open and you’re choking, you’re choking bad.’ That sort of fired me up again.” After making the turn in 32 and a solid par at 10, Miller rattled off three birdies in a row and then another at 15 where he claimed to hit his approach to within one inch of where he was aiming. That got him to eight under. Two more birdie putts at 17 and 18 lipped out. If either had dropped, he wouldn’t have had to share the record for the lowest ever round in a major. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Miller’s last day heroics was that he hit all 18 greens in regulation. “I didn’t even sniff missing a green,” he recalled.

JOHNNY MILLER OVERHAULED 11 PLAYERS DURING THE FINALROUND 63 THAT PROPELLED HIM TO A SENSATIONAL VICTORY IN THE 1973 US OPEN AT OAKMONT


Tak in g Charge

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Photo Courtesy USGA Museum

PALMER (LEFT) HURLS HIS VISOR SKYWARD AFTER HIS FINAL PUTT IN THE 1960 US OPEN. NICKLAUS (BELOW) IS EQUALLY EXCITED DURING HIS LAST-DAY CHARGE AT THE 1986 MASTERS

Another fabulous US Open final day surge thrilled the huge galleries at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado back in 1960. Three solid if unspectacular rounds of 72, 71 and 72 left Arnold Palmer seven shots behind Mike Souchak. Just like Miller 13 years later, Palmer began his final round with four straight birdies. Two more at 6 and 7 helped him to an astonishing 30 at the turn. But it was far “Now that the big guy from over as a young is out of the cage, college kid called Jack everybody had better Nicklaus was playing run for cover” a couple of groups heroics. They say the in front alongside Masters doesn’t really Ben Hogan, who was begin until the back more than twice his age. Both were in with a real nine on Sunday, and it certainly roused for the chance and Souchak was still there or thereabouts. 46 year old Golden Bear. Although he birdied In the event, Palmer signed for a 65, at that point 10 and 11, the real fireworks commenced at 15 the best ever final round score by a winner in US when he hit his 204-yard approach to about 12 Open history, to finish two clear of Nicklaus and feet and then drained the putt for an eagle three. begin what developed into a legendary rivalry. Two shots behind Seve Ballesteros, who was messing with the water on 15, Nicklaus Nicklaus only had to wait a couple of years stiffed his tee-shot at 16 to narrow the gap to to gain his revenge. It came at the Oakmont just one. Seve bogeyed 15, Tom Kite birdied Country Club when the 22-year-old rising star it and now there was a three-way tie at the beat Palmer in a play-off to take the US Open, top. Despite a wayward drive, Nicklaus hit his his first win as a professional. After falling just approach at 17 to about 18 feet. The photo of short, Palmer uttered the prophetic words: him with putter aloft after draining the putt has “Now that the big guy is out of the cage, almost achieved iconic status. A textbook par everybody had better run for cover.” up the last completed an incredible 30 shots for Although that was the first of Nicklaus’s 18 the inward half and the Golden Bear slipped major triumphs, it was the last at Augusta in 1986 into his sixth green jacket to become the oldest that featured perhaps his most famous final-day Masters’ champion. 126

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Experience and knowledge of the course is clearly a huge advantage when playing amidst the dogwood trees and azaleas of Augusta. Gary Player was a grizzled veteran of 42 years and already a two-time Masters’ winner when he teed it up in front of the famous white clubhouse for the 21st time in 1978. By his own very high standards, the totally dedicated South African began rather slowly and went round in level par for the first two rounds. A 69 on ‘moving day’ lifted him up the leaderboard but he was still seven shots adrift of Hubert Green. But again the significant action didn’t really begin until the back nine and Player birdied six holes on his way home to card a sensational 64. Once the dust had settled and Green had missed a putt on the 18th green to tie, Player finished one shot clear of Green, Tom Watson and Rod Funseth. It was his ninth and final major triumph, and arguably his most impressive.


The biggest comeback in the PGA Championship since it switched from matchplay to strokeplay in 1958 came at Oakmont in 1978 when John Mahaffey shot a 66 to make up seven shots on Watson in the final round and then won a three-way playoff that also featured Jerry Pate. Four other PGA Championships have seen the eventual winner prevail after starting the final round six shots back—Bob Rosburg in 1959, Lanny Wadkins in 1977, Payne Stewart in 1989 and Australia’s Steve Elkington in 1995. Of course, heroic charges down the stretch have occurred in the Open as well. Only last year, Ernie Els overhauled a six-shot deficit to edge out the hapless Adam Scott. Poor course management clearly contributed to the young Australian missing out on what would have been his first Major title. But his mistakes shouldn’t detract from the Big Easy’s brave finish in

what was the second largest final-round comeback in the AGONY AND ECSTASY: COSTANTINO ROCCA (BELOW) CELEBRATES HOLING A PUTT FROM THE VALLEY OF SIN IN THE 1995 OPEN, BUT A SHORT WHILE LATER HE LOSES THE PLAYOFF TO JOHN DALY (ABOVE)

championship’s 152-year history. Back in 1995, Els was a bemused also-ran as playing partner John Daly charged through the field on a dank, rainy Sunday afternoon at St Andrews. But Daly only got his hands on the claret jug after a four-hole playoff against Costantino Rocca. On the final hole of regulation play, the Italian, whose drive had finished in the Valley of Sin in front of the home green, followed possibly the worst shot of the week, a duffed chip with the ball rolling back to his feet, with possibly the best—a brilliant 30-foot putt up the slope and straight into the cup to take the championship into extra time. Also frequently remembered, more for the leader’s collapse than the eventual winner’s charge, was the greatest final-round comeback of them all, in the Open at Carnoustie in 1999. Paul Lawrie was a seemingly hopeless 10 shots off the pace when he teed off on Sunday afternoon. Frenchman Jean Van de Velde had led from the halfway mark, was five shots clear going into the final round and still had three strokes in hand as he drove up the last. Catastrophically, he then recorded a triple-bogey seven laced with an embarrassing catalogue of disasters that plunged him into a three-man playoff alongside Lawrie and Justin Leonard, the 1997 champion. Local man Lawrie had earlier shot a remarkable 67, a superb score in inclement conditions and on a brutal course Scott’s mistakes shouldn’t with rough so thick it detract from the Big was causing many of Easy’s brave finish in the field to lose their sanity as well as their last year’s Open golf balls. In the fourhole playoff, Lawrie birdied 17 and 18 to win comfortably. Van de Velde bogeyed the last which, an hour earlier, would have secured a twoshot victory along with the famous claret jug. His name was briefly inscribed on it and subsequently removed when everything went wrong. Lawrie’s name replaced it, but the feeling persists that he never really received the credit his fabulous final-round charge deserved. Perhaps the horror of empathising with a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory really is a more powerful emotion than the thrill of witnessing a dramatic and brilliant come-from-behind victory. Either way, it always makes for a good story. ★ 129


Oak Hill and PineHurst nO.2, resPective venues fOr tHis year’s PGa cHamPiOnsHiP and tHe 2014 us OPen, are tHe creatiOns Of an émiGré Genius wHO learned His trade in tHe HiGHlands Of scOtland. Paul Trow traces a HistOrical jOurney frOm dOrnOcH tO nOrtH carOlina wHicH establisHed a leGacy tHat GOlf-cOurse desiGners still HOnOur tOday

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Copyright USGA

D o n of D e s i gn


Question One: Which golf-course architect has designed the most championship layouts in the history of the game? Question Two: How many championships have been played on his courses? Question Three: Where did he learn his trade? Question Four: What’s so good about his courses?

I

n answer to Question One, many names, past and present, will obviously spring to mind, from ‘Old’ Tom Morris and James Braid back in the game’s infancy to modern titans like Arnold Palmer and Pete Dye. The answer, though, should be blindingly obvious, even though it can take a lengthy trawl through the record books to establish the precise facts. Step forward Donald Ross, who was born on November 23, 1872. Inauspiciously, he began his career in golf in his early teens as a humble greenkeeper at Dornoch in north-east Scotland (neatly answering Question Three). He subsequently worked at St Andrews under Morris before sinking his life savings into a transatlantic odyssey to start a new life in the United States at the age of 26. But firstly, it’s important to establish the criteria of our research. What exactly do we mean by ‘championships’? For the purposes of this exercise the following are specifically included: the four Majors which this guide celebrates, the senior and women’s Majors, the men’s and women’s Amateur championships, the Ryder Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup and Solheim Cup. To embrace the Ross-designed venues that have staged other tournaments on the main tours since their inception would have required a veritable Arnie’s Army of boffins which, regrettably, we didn’t have at our disposal. Suffice to say, the outcome of our selfrestricted number–crunching was the discovery that 48 of the 413 courses Ross crafted across 30 US states and Canada between 1900 and his death on

April 26, 1948—either as a sole design or, more often than not, as a redesign or an expansion from nine holes to 18—have staged a total of 138 championships of said stature. These include the venue for the first Ryder Cup (Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts in 1927) and the first PGA Championship of America (Siwanoy Country Club, Bronxville, New York in 1916), but this is just the tip of the iceberg. A little like the eternal question about Shakespeare, Michelangelo or the Beatles, one is bound to ask, ‘where did this prolific flowering of genius come from?’ In Ross’s case, it certainly didn’t erupt from the first flush of youth because he spent his early adult years in Scotland toiling on course maintenance, honing his impressive golf game when time allowed, and earning money by giving lessons and repairing clubs. Perhaps the correct answer is the most nebulous—that golf was imbued in Ross’s soul almost as a birthright. Born in St Gilbert Street, a drive and a wedge from Dornoch’s 1st tee, the child who was father to the man became the ‘Keeper of the Greens’ at one of golf ’s most authentic links environments not long after leaving school. Only the stoniest of hearts could fail to have been moved while growing up beside Dornoch’s vaulting dunes, snow-white beaches and kaleidoscopic heather and gorse. And Ross, as everyone who plays golf knows, was the antithesis of stony— cruel, perhaps, to inadequate golfers; demanding, definitely, of people who really can play the game; and, above all, unwavering in his view of what constituted a proper golf course.

The son of a mason, Ross was an apprentice carpenter as well as a greenkeeper. In his late teens, he travelled 140 miles south to learn the arts of clubmaking at Forgan’s in St Andrews from Morris before heading back north across the Firth of Tay to work for a further year at Carnoustie. Eventually, he returned to Dornoch in 1893 to become the club’s first professional and around that time he met his future wife, Janet Conchie, who had gone there on holiday with her family. At this stage, Ross had the full range of professional skills, but keeping the greens was not his life’s passion. He hated the job, in fact, though he later claimed it was the best training he could have received for his future career. The turning-point in his life came in 1898 when he met astronomy professor Robert Willson of Harvard University, who spent many summers playing golf in Scotland. Willson told Ross he could command $60 a month in America, plus 50 cents an hour for lessons—three times his earnings in Dornoch. No amount of stargazing thereafter could dissuade Ross from crossing the Pond. In March 1899, he arrived in the United States with just seven dollars in his pocket, but unlike most of his fellow shipmates he at least had a job to go to. His task was to run the course at Oakley Country Club in Watertown, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. It didn’t take Ross long to redesign Oakley and a year or so later he moved across the state to Essex County Club near Manchester, which required a similar redesign—one that as recently as 2010 was deemed still worthy enough to host the biennial 131


unnecessarily well-made courses competition Glenmorangie is inviting golf fans to team up with four of the game’s most distinguished figures to vote for the top 18 golf courses in the world in a new online competition that will run until after the open Championship at Muirfield in July.  entries can be received on Glenmorangie.com/golf and will be judged along the lines of the company’s “unnecessarily well made” production ethos by a distinguished panel of golf course experts. the panel members are: » tony jacklin, former open and Us open champion not to mention a twice victorious european ryder Cup Captain » sir Nick Faldo, winner of six majors and now the game’s leading television commentator » robert trent jones, jr., former President of the american society of Golf Course architects » David Cannon, official photographer of the open Championship Fans can participate by uploading their own nominations, commenting on other nominations, interacting with the panel and voting for their own top 18 courses. entries will initially be whittled down by the panel to 50 and then, following a final round of voting, to the top 18. monthly prizes, including a free trip to the 2014 open Championship at royal Liverpool and treats from troon Golf, managers of some of the world’s most exclusive golf resorts, will also be on offer. Paul skipworth, president and managing director of the Glenmorangie Company, said: “the craft and dedication involved in designing and maintaining the best golf courses exactly mirrors our own ‘unnecessarily well made’ approach to making Glenmorangie whiskies. “ask a hundred golfers what is their favourite course and you will get a hundred different answers! so we hope as many people as possible will join the debate.”

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Curtis Cup match between the leading women amateurs of America and Great Britain & Ireland. The most significant associate he acquired during his early years in the US was James Walker Tufts, who owned land near to Oakley. Tufts offered him the chance to take sole responsibility for the development of the Pinehurst Golf Resort in North Carolina where he would later serve as head golf professional until his dying day. Ross’s assignment was to design and/or rebuild four layouts at Pinehurst, including his life’s masterpiece, the No.2 Course. In reality, as one observer noted, No.2 became his laboratory for 30 years, his test bed for new surfaces and fresh design theories. As a result of this experimentation, Ross revolutionised greenkeeping practices in the boiling-hot, southern states in the 1930s by overseeing the transition from oil-sand putting surfaces to Bermuda grass. Once ensconced at Pinehurst from around 1910, Ross started designing and building courses throughout New England during the summer months. Gradually, his practice spread into the Midwest states of Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, and down the south-east coast through the Carolinas to Florida. In association with design assistants J.B. McGovern and Walter Hatch, he maintained a summer office in Little Compton, The 10Th aT Royal DoRnoch offeRs a supeRb sea view

Rhode Island and satellite offices in North Amherst, Massachusetts and Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. At its height, Donald J. Ross & Associates, as his practice was known, oversaw the work of more than 3,000 people. Apart from Pinehurst No.2, where the US Open will be played in 2014 following some significant modernisation, Ross’s most celebrated designs are Aronimink in Pennsylvania, Seminole in Florida (ironically, so private it never became one of his 48 championship courses), Oak Hill near Rochester, New York (venue of the PGA Championship in August) and Oakland Hills, just outside Detroit. Then there’s Inverness in Toledo, Ohio, scene of four US Opens; Interlachen in Edina, Minnesota, where the 2002 Solheim Cup took place; East Lake, in Atlanta, Georgia, home club of Bobby Jones and regular host to the Tour Championship at the culmination of the FedExCup Playoffs; Sedgefield Country Club, venue for the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour; and Scioto in Columbus, Ohio, where Nicklaus learned to play. Not surprisingly, the Golden Bear says of Ross: “His stamp as an architect was naturalness. He was, and still is, considered the Michelangelo of golf.”  Certainly, Ross seemed to have the knack of


sketching courses without having to move much earth. His best-known trademark is the crowned or ‘turtleback’ green, most famously seen on Pinehurst No.2 and very much influenced by the plateau greens that are so prevalent at Dornoch. In addition, he often created holes inviting run-up shots that, if over-hit, would encounter fall-away slopes and other problems at the back of the green. But his philosophy about how an approach shot should be played from a particular angle into a putting complex opened the eyes of many course designers. With Ross it wasn’t all about how many stunts he could pull around the green—the ideal position off the tee would result in a superior angle of approach, thus ensuring that tee-shot skills were of equal importance in the playing of a hole. In December 1947, the American Society

of Golf Course Architects was inaugurated at Pinehurst and Ross, fittingly, was made honorary president. Who else, you might ask, could possibly have been offered the post? Alas, four months later, he passed away while building Raleigh Country Club, a near neighbour of Pinehurst in North Carolina. And almost 30 years later, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. In addition to his coursedesign skills, Ross, who was granted American citizenship in 1921, was no mean player. His best finish in the US Open, in which he had four toptens, was fifth at Baltusrol in 1903 and he also came eighth in the Open at St Andrews in 1908. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Alex, won the US Open in 1907 at Philadelphia Cricket Club. So, harking back to the start of this article, what are our answers? H

Patrick Drickey / stonehousegolf.com

Question One: Donald Ross. Question Two: 138. Question Three: Dornoch, St Andrews, Carnoustie. Question Four: Read the above.

Time for a Glenmorangie Glenmorangie was his local distillery but fortunately its output reached America before Donald Ross did, so he was probably not overconcerned about his duty-free allowance when he arrived in Boston from Dornoch. Today, it is the official spirit of the Open Championship, and the favourite tipple of golfers the world over. But how did this nectar that sprang from the north-east foothills of the Scottish Highlands, a few miles south of Dornoch, come to rank so highly with such pillars of the golf establishment? Matured in one-time Bourbon casks made of American white oak from the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri, Glemorangie Original, a 10year single malt, is the celebrated distillery’s most widely consumed product. Glenmorangie—the word rhymes with ‘orangey’ and is Gaelic for Valley of Tranquility—was founded in 1843 by William Matheson in Tain, on the southern shores of Dornoch Firth. To get his new business up and running, Matheson transported a couple of gin stills (far taller than conventional whisky stills) more than 600 miles north from London—no easy task back then. The stills, in operation to this day, were hailed an overnight success and the rest of the distillery’s activities— mashing, fermenting and maturing in casks—were built around them. The initial workforce was styled ‘the 16 Men of Tain,’ and ever since only local people have been selected to work in the distillery and its warehouses, even though Glenmorangie now has an annual output of more than one million gallons. The distillery, which still draws its water supply from the local Tarlogie springs, is open to the public all year and guides are available to show visitors round seven days a week (apart from over the Christmas period), though it’s advisable to pre-book your tour (see glenmorangie.com).

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FIVE NOT WiTh The over-50s gearing up for Their oWn Majors in 2013, The likes of ToM lehMan, Bernhard langer and fred Couples are folloWing a TradiTion for enTerTaining golf fans of a CerTain vinTage ThaT Was forMaTively eMBraCed By arnold palMer and his ConTeMporaries. Ben Evans CharTs The groWTh of This parTiCular senior serviCe and iTs inCreasingly CoMpeTiTive edge

SO EASy The senior Majors, a relatively recent

concept, provide the stage for the big names to continue firing on all cylinders beyond the half-century milestone the rest of us mostly dread reaching. In particular, three former Major winners, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman and Fred Couples, are playing this role to a tee. But these doughty souls, who share seven senior Majors between them, will not expect to have things their own way in 2013. One threat will be Colin Montgomerie, the winner of eight European Tour order-of-merit titles who turns 50 in June. And if Vijay Singh, 50 in February, can resolve his doping issues to the satisfaction of the PGA Tour, then he is sure to be a factor as well. Thus there are high expectations for this year’s five senior Majors: the Senior PGA Championship, run by the PGA of America; the Tradition and Senior Players

Championship (both administered by the Champions Tour); the US Senior Open, introduced by the USGA in 1980, and the Senior British Open, which the R&A first held in 1987. These are the crown jewels of a season-long schedule that has averaged in excess of $50 million a year in prize money since hitting that landmark figure back in 2000. So the real question is, why do fans and sponsors love to support a gaggle of wrinkling golfers who would otherwise be sitting at home in their slippers, grappling with a pre-prandial sudoku? Having enjoyed and endured the highs and lows of these heroes in the regular Majors over many decades, it seems we can’t just suddenly let go. After all, they’re part of the furniture in our living rooms. We want to see more of them, just as they want to keep savouring the frisson of competition. For these guys,

the flame still burns, and that is the secret of how senior golf keeps getting stronger, long into its fourth decade. One writer dubbed senior golf ’s early days as an opportunity for the “inform infirm”; another, even less kindly and now far from accurately, described it as a transformation from “flat bellies to fat bellies”, and we don’t think he was talking about putters either. Until 1980, there was no tour. The Senior PGA Championship, first played at Augusta National in 1937, always garnered respect, though minimal media interest. The watershed, in retrospect, was the Legends of Golf tournament that started as a made-for-TV curiosity in 1978. When the newly 50-year-old Arnold Palmer won this event in 1980, it proved the catalyst for one of sport’s more lucrative success stories. That year, six players—Sam Snead,

P I E C E S

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and for 18 years up to 2004 the Senior British Open was held at only four venues—Turnberry, Royal Lytham & St Annes, and the Northern Irish duo of Royal Portrush and Royal County Down. Over the past decade, though, after being officially recognised as a senior Major in 2003, it has visited a much wider variety of venues, including two inland layouts—Walton Heath and Sunningdale. Meanwhile, as one would expect of a USGA event, the US Senior Open has had a rota almost as varied and distinguished as that of the US Open during its 33-year existence. In 2013, it breaks new ground by pitching up to the state of Nebraska for Arnold PAlmer celebrAtes After winning the Us senior the first time. Omaha Country oPen At oAklAnd hills in 1981 Club, a glorious, sweeping, treelined layout that opened in 1927 red-letter day as their heroes played sublime golf and has since undergone facelifts by Perry while bantering their way around the course. Maxwell and Keith Foster, will be playing host. As the 1990s progressed, others who started A Major since 1983, the Senior Players racking up the cash once they had turned 50 Championship has been won by Couples, Mark included Irwin, Ray Floyd, Dave Stockton, Tom O’Meara, Peter Jacobsen, Loren Roberts, Irwin, Kite and Gil Morgan. They may not have exuded Floyd, Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Player and, of course, the charisma of Palmer, Nicklaus and Player, Palmer. Amongst all the names on the US Senior but they brought an impressive professionalism Open trophy, Allen Doyle’s stands out from the to the party in an era when Tiger Woods was other recent winners. A career amateur until he setting impossible standards on the regular was 50, he then turned pro and beat all the stars tour. Tom Watson sprinkled fresh stardust on in both 2005 (closing with a 63) and 2006, just proceedings when he joined the gang late in a fortnight shy of his 58th birthday. 1999 and three years later the senior circuit was As for the Senior British Open, Player and rebranded as the Champions Tour. Watson lead the way. While Nicklaus, remarkably, Within this context, the senior Majors did has never won it, these two great links players not take long to establish themselves while the have lifted the trophy three times apiece. oldest of the five, the Senior PGA Championship, To date, no one has won all five senior could point to a roll-call of pre-1980s winners Majors. So who might? Those most likely to do that included the names of Gene Sarazen, Snead, so must include Lehman, Couples and Langer, Tommy Bolt and Roberto de Vicenzo. each with two of the five in the bag and counting, Given the challenges of setting up the senior and possibly still Watson, who has three. Majors, there has been a tendency to stick with Between May and July, we’re in for a treat regular venues if they work. For example, the as these tournaments cement their status in Tradition was staged initially over the Nicklaus- the game’s esteem and the leading contestants designed Cochise course at the Golf Club at execute their battle plans. Palmer, Nicklaus and Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona (from Player may be spectators these days, but the its inception in 1989 till 2001); the Senior spirit of their endeavours will remain a source of Players Championship was played at TPC of inspiration for those that follow in their senior Michigan from 1991-2006 during its infancy; footsteps for as long as the game is played.

courtesy UsgA

Gardner Dickinson, Bob Goalby, Don January, Dan Sikes and Julius Boros—launched the Senior PGA Tour. Two events got the ball rolling with January and Charlie Sifford winning respectively in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Melbourne, Florida. Palmer quickly became an enthusiastic supporter, and such was his popularity and influence that fans, sponsors, players and tournament organisers soon realised the potential of the new tour. Helping to establish the senior Majors came naturally to Arnie, who had played such a prominent role in defining the regular Majors and expanding the game through television. He thrived as a player in these new surroundings: as ever, he was box office and won, seemingly, on cue. Between 1980 and 1988, he enjoyed 10 senior tour victories, including five Majors, from a limited number of starts. During this time, the senior tour grew rapidly. Five tournaments were staged in 1981, 11 in 1982, and 18 in 1983. By 1984, there were 24 events with a collective purse of $5 million and a year later there were 27 worth more than $6 million. By now, the senior tour was not only up and running—it was big business. In 1980, Don January was the leading money winner with $44,100. By 1998 Hale Irwin topped the pile with $2,861,945, more than the No.1 on the regular PGA Tour for the year, David Duval. Cable television network ESPN broadcast seven tournaments for a national audience in 1985, the year Peter Thomson, already in his mid-fifties, won a stunning nine titles. Gary Player and Chi Chi Rodriguez both joined in upon reaching 50 a year later and by 1988 there were 37 events with New Zealander Bob Charles the shining star. In 1990, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino signed up. Trevino won seven times in his debut year while Nicklaus went on to win eight senior Majors, still the official record though Player would definitely dispute it. But it wasn’t until the 1994 Senior Players Championship that Nicklaus, Player and Palmer played together in a senior Major for the first time. For fans of the ‘Big Three’ this was a


so What happened in 2012?

chAPmAn’s Us senior oPen win cAme shortlY After his senior PgA chAmPionshiP triUmPh

Later in June 2012, Daley struck another blow for the journeymen by winning his first Champions Tour title under the most extreme pressure in the Senior Players Championship. Twenty years after quitting his job as a credit salesman, Daley wasn’t about to back down even though he found himself in the last group with Couples and 1989 Open winner Mark Calcavecchia. In the end, a closing two-under-par 68 was good enough for a two-shot win over Lehman.

Couples, who finished in the top-10 of the Open Championship nine times, demonstrated his liking for British conditions in the final senior Major of 2012 when he saw off compatriot Gary Hallberg by two strokes at Turnberry, applying the coup de grace with a 25-foot putt on the home green. “I’ve never won an Open Championship, so this is the next best thing,” Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, said. “And I now get into the [2013] Open at Muirfield, which is great.” ★

Patrick drickey / stonehousegolf.com

Even though the sweet-swinging Fred Couples waltzed to victory in the Senior British Open over the ethereal Ailsa links at Turnberry on the west coast of Scotland, it was a veteran English golfer who stole the limelight from the higher-profile ‘wrinklies’ in 2012. Roger Chapman, who had garnered a mere three titles in more than a quarter of a century of honest toil as a European Tour stalwart, stunned everyone on the Champions Tour, not least himself, by winning two of the year’s five Majors—the Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open. In last year’s other two senior Majors, Tom Lehman retained his title in the Tradition at Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club, Alabama, while the unsung Joe Daley sprang an almost Chapmanesque surprise by lifting the Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. In the Senior PGA Championship over the Golf Club at Harbor Shores, a Nicklaus design on reclaimed dockland in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Chapman was simply on fire. After opening with rounds of 68-67-64, at one stage during the last round he led by nine shots while the entire US golfing press corps were scrambling around asking the inevitable question, ‘Who’s Chapman?’ A slight stumble en route to a closing 72, and only a two-shot victory over John Cook, then had the cognoscenti muttering the word ‘fluke’, loud enough for Chapman and everyone connected with him to hear. Therefore, his second Major success in the same state two months later—in the US Senior Open at Indianwood Golf & Country Club, Lake Orion—must have tasted as sweet as a Michigan cherry. After three rounds of 68, he still trailed Germany’s Bernhard Langer by four shots going into the last day. But as the wind kicked up and the greens dried out, Chapman cut his way through the upper echelons of the leader-board like a knife through butter to post a closing, four-under-par 66 and, ultimately, prove his pedigree with a two-shot victory over Lehman, Langer, Fred Funk and Corey Pavin. At the Tradition, Lehman defied seemingly constant drizzle to finish with a four-underpar 68 for a two-stroke victory over Langer and Taiwan’s Chien Soon-Lu. The 1996 Open champion, who shot in the 60s all four days, thus joined Nicklaus, Gil Morgan and Funk as one of only four multiple winners of the Tradition.

the 4th hole At omAhA coUntrY clUb, nebrAskA, where the Us senior oPen will be PlAYed in JUlY

2013 senior Major dates and venues May 23-26 June 6-9 June 27-30 July 11-14 July 25-28

Senior PGA Championship The Tradition Senior Players Championship US Senior Open Senior British Open

Bellerive CC, St Louis, Missouri Shoal Creek G&CC, Birmingham, Alabama Fox Chapel GC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Omaha CC, Nebraska Royal Birkdale GC, Lancashire, England 137


Bayside Golf Club,

Brule

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Awarii Dunes, Kearney

braska City

ArborLinks, Ne


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The Prairie Club, Valentine

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From Minors to Majors The Majors are abouT hisTory, heriTage and faMiliariTy, buT whaT if we had To coMe up wiTh a coMpleTely new lisT of venues on which To play golf’s greaTesT chaMpionships? Nick Bayly provides a highly personal view of possible alTernaTives

i

t’s one of the quirks of a sport littered with quirks that the titles for which professional golfers are most remembered are played on some quite unmemorable golf courses. While that’s clearly an uncharitable view of some of the game’s most revered and historic venues, it’s fair to say that if the list of the current major venues was somehow lost, a handful of those more regular layouts would find themselves missing off a new list created from the options available to the powers that be in 2013. of course, familiarity breeds love as well as contempt, but who can honestly say that they’ve not grown a little tired of watching the pros make mincemeat of the old Course at st andrews every five years. every decade, maybe, but not every time the year ends in a five as well as a zero. similarly, royal troon, or dare I say it, muirfield, host of this year’s open Championship, wouldn’t make it into many people’s list of courses to play before they died. and a lot of pros would have happily redesigned Pinehurst No.2 before playing another Us open there, had the owners not done so much excellent restoration work themselves in preparation for staging next year’s renewal. While watching the back nine at augusta National on a sunday afternoon is little like slipping on a comfortable pair of old slippers, it’s also a tad repetitive. Will someone ace the 16th with that easy sunday pin? It’s always on the cards. Will someone spin the ball back into water twice on the 12th and rack up a triple-bogey? more than likely. Will Phil mickelson 140

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perform a miracle recovery shot from the pine needles? most definitely. although the masters clearly wouldn’t be the masters if it wasn’t held at augusta, the remaining three majors operate what is loosely termed a ‘rota system’, where the venues switch around from year to year, with clubs getting a shot at a major every decade or so. the open Championship has a strict rota of nine host venues, with no courses outside this approved list eligible for consideration, while the Us open and PGa Championship have a ‘preferred list’ that has changed only a little in the modern era. there have, of course, been a handful of additions in recent years, some of which— Whistling straits and the publicly-owned brute that is Bethpage Black being prime examples—have breathed fresh life into a major schedule that was in danger of drowning under the weight of its own predictability. the UsGa has, seemingly, committed to choosing an increased number of public courses to stage the Us open. New venues, such as Chambers Bay in 2015 and erin hills in 2017, have been introduced while the recentlylengthened merion Golf Club will host america’s national championship for the first time in 33 years later this summer, opening up this magnificent course to a whole new generation of players, spectators and tV audiences. Whereas the ryder Cup is always happy to break new ground—arguably, Celtic manor, Paris National, the Belfry, the K Club and Valhalla were all purpose-built for the job—the majors are stuck in a routing rut that means some of golf’s finest layouts will never be played by the world’s best players, at least when it comes to the four titles that mean more than any others in the game. and let’s not forget that golf is a truly global game today, so to limit the majors to a handful of courses in america, and nine in england and scotland, seems a little narrow-minded. still, that’s an argument for the distant future. In the meantime, here follows a selection of courses I’d like to see added to the rota for the Us open, PGa and open Championships. they’re not all new or, for that matter, open for public play, but they’re all worthy of hosting the world’s best tournaments.


Patrick Drickey / stonehousegolf.com

Spyglass Hill

US Open

Bay Hill Club & Lodge Florida Home of the Arnold Palmer Invitational since 1979, Bay Hill is regarded by the players as one of the most searching tests of golf that they encounter on the PGA Tour. It certainly seems to bring the best out of the top competitors, most notably Tiger Woods who has won there eight times. One of the oldest layouts in the Orlando area, Bay Hill opened in 1961 to a Dick Wilson design. Since then, Palmer, who bought the estate back in the 1970s, has tweaked every hole and resurfaced every green. The result is a fascinating parkland challenge where no two holes run in the same direction, the rough is thick though not long and full use is made of the various water hazards on the property. Bay Hill

Evan Schiller / golfshots.com

Spyglass Hill California While the USGA undoubtedly has a love affair with Pebble Beach, and purists wax lyrical about Cypress Point, the true gem on this idyllic stretch of Californian coastline is Spyglass Hill. Mysteriously left off the TV coverage from the AT&T National Pro-Am, which features all three courses, the raw beauty of this Robert Trent Jones masterpiece remains a surprisingly well-kept secret. Spyglass Hill has a unique feeling of unpredictability, with the front and back nines offering almost two completely different courses. While the front is wide open and largely left to the forces of nature, the back nine is tightly lined with trees, and is manicured to within an inch. Inspired by Augusta National and Pine Valley, Spyglass Hill has Major pedigree written all over it.

Tobacco Road North Carolina Located just a short drive from Pinehurst, venue for its third US Open in June, Tobacco Road is the most unorthodox championship-level course in America. Variously described as ‘Pine Valley on steroids’, and ‘golf ’s rock and roll ride’, everywhere you look at Tobacco Road there is trouble. With elements of heath, links and parkland, it’s an assault on the senses and, potentially, the scorecard. And if the USGA ever gets hold of this track and decides to trick it up with fast greens and tight fairways, 10-over par could be a winning score. Bandon Dunes Oregon Often compared with Chambers Bay, venue for the 2015 US Open, the Tom Doak-designed Pacific Dunes course at Bandon Dunes was rated among America’s top courses within months of its opening in 2001. Offering as pure a links experience as you’ll find anywhere in the United States, its dramatic coastline, natural bunkering and rolling fairways combine to make for breathtaking golf at every turn. If you can forget the quirky hole configuration—which includes four par-3s on the back nine—and the five-hour drive from Portland, you’ll think you’ve landed in links heaven. 141


Sand Hills Nebraska The Ben Crenshaw-designed Sand Hills is one of America’s best new courses, yet few golfers have even heard of it, let alone played it. Opened in 1994, at a cost of just $1.2 million, the site was so well-suited to golf that only a bucketful of earth had to be moved to create its 18 stunning holes. It has no lakes, no trees and no flora to speak of, just great golf holes. So what if it’s 350 miles from the nearest city, Denver? Fuel’s cheap—well it was! Seminole Florida Very little is known about Seminole, consistently ranked as a top-five US course, but using the term ‘private’ to describe it is a massive understatement. Ben Hogan used to practise for the Masters by playing here every day for a month. Lined with tall palms, it occupies a beautiful location beside the ocean, and by all accounts it’s nothing short of a masterpiece. Millionaire members won’t want to turn their course over to the PGA for five years, but there would be no harm in asking. Pine Valley New Jersey Pine Valley needs to host a Major to validate its credibility as America’s top-ranked course. It’s hard to think of a more famous venue that has been seen, let alone played, by so few people. Its exposure is limited to one of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf matches in the early 1960s—which isn’t a lot to go on. While the course, which is built in the middle of a thick forest, would barely be able to cope with 5,000 fans, let alone 50,000, it would be worth squeezing into just to admire the views of George Crump’s legendary layout. The International Massachusetts At 8,325 yards from the back tees, the Pines course at The International near Boston is crying out for the final, lung-bursting Major of the year. Three par-4s measure over 500 yards, two par-3s stretch to 250 and 270 yards, and let’s not forget the par-6 5th hole, weighing in at a paltry 715 yards. Even Bubba Watson might need a hybrid for his second shot here, while Zach Johnson might as well stay at home. Modified in 1972 by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the Pines was presented with a sister course, the Oaks, designed by Tom Fazio, in 2001. The principal owner of this 36hole club, Daniel Weadock, says he is “privileged to be charged with the near sacred trust of over 100 years of golf history on these grounds.” 142

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Sand Hills

The Open

Royal Dornoch Scotland Dornoch’s Open claims are simple: it is an out and out classic links. Stretched over natural, wild terrain, Dornoch is a joy to behold and in the summer months the flashes of yellow gorse make it a truly beautiful place to be. But its good looks can be deceptive, as Dornoch is a stern test, especially from the fairways where the golfer has to play into raised greens that place an emphasis on pinpoint accuracy. What’s more, it’s only an hour’s drive from the thriving international airport hub at Inverness.

Royal St David’s Wales Royal St David’s resides between the rolling hills of northwest Wales and the Irish Sea on one of golf ’s most spectacular pieces of land. Undulating fairways and fast, true greens are only to be expected of a championship links sitting beneath the watchful gaze of Harlech Castle. Perhaps the only factor to prevent this course from welcoming the Open is its length. Despite measuring an oldfashioned 6,500 yards and playing to a par of 69, it remains a brutal examination of accuracy and course strategy. It has provided a stern test for many generations of elite amateurs. So why not the pros?

The International

Mike Carroll

PGA Championship


Photos: Patrick Drickey / stonehousegolf.com

Kingsbarns

Kingsbarns Scotland Despite being designed by an American (you’re forgiven, Kyle Phillips) and only open for 10 years, Kingsbarns looks like it’s been sitting there for centuries. The mind-boggling undulations provide a truly stunning course from which golfers can enjoy breathtaking views of the North Sea from almost every hole. Countless spectacular holes make choosing a favourite difficult, but the par-5 12th and the par-3 15th would be strong contenders. Situated just six miles south of St Andrews, it would be more than an adequate Open replacement venue should the Old Course ever be turned into a theme park. Royal County Down Northern Ireland There’s been a big push for Northern Ireland to host the Open in recent years, following a spate of Major wins from its citizens, but its foremost contender, Portrush, which hosted the Open in 1951, is flat and rather featureless and just isn’t up to the job. On the other hand, Royal County Down is a course filled with character and spectator vantage points. Rolling hills, riskreward opportunities, challenging fairways, strategically-placed bunkers, and beautiful terrain are all to be found. H Royal County Down

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Open Out fitter s

144 THE MAJORS 2013

RALPH LAUREN CHANGED THE SHAPE AND STYLE OF LEISUREWEAR ACROSS THE WORLD AND TODAY HIS BRAND, POLO GOLF, HAS AN EXCLUSIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH BOTH THE US OPEN AND THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP. Karen Kay OFFERS AN APPRECIATION OF HIS LATEST ACHIEVEMENTS


W

hen the likes of Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods first picked up a golf club, they sowed the seeds of a sporting dream. As small boys, they would head to the driving range with their scaled-down shafts in shrunken bags in the hope that one day their practice would take them to the fairways of Augusta National, or to the hallowed links of St Andrews or Turnberry where they might have their chance to play in the Open Championship. As a young boy growing up in the Bronx during the 1940s, Ralph Lifshitz, the son of Belarussian immigrants, also harboured a dream. But his was not of holes-in-one, or of wearing the famous Green Jacket. Lifshitz, who changed his name to Lauren at the age of 16, wanted a piece of the Great American Dream. He wanted to step away from his humble beginnings and taste the successes that come with being a self-made man. After a brief stint in the army, Lauren began designing men’s ties and in 1967, his first year of trading, he sold half a million dollars’ worth. The Polo label was born. Five years later, a short-sleeve cotton shirt, available in 24 colours and emblazoned with the Polo logo, was launched, and quickly became the brand’s signature look. Today, according to Forbes magazine, 73-year-old Lauren is the richest man in American fashion, and the 122nd wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $6.5billion. He has made his fortune from selling a lifestyle: Lauren’s aspirational, preppy style has been translated into garments and accessories to suit every aspect of our lives—from elegant Savile Row-inspired suits in the Purple Label collection to the informal seersucker shorts and lightweight cable-knit cashmeres that are perfectly at home on the beaches of The Hamptons. For over a quarter of a century, Polo Ralph Lauren has been one of the most coveted labels in clubhouses around the world, its refined elegance transferring seamlessly from the runway to the locker room, and on to the 1st tee. Today, motivated by demand for highperformance golfwear that “People ask tackles more challenging how can playing conditions, the a Jewish addition of RLX Golf kid from represents an evolution the Bronx in functional, fashionable do preppy design, using advanced clothes? Does materials and innovative it have to do construction techniques with with class and contemporary, luxury styling. money? It has With these two carefullyto do with positioned collections, Ralph dreams.” Lauren is well-placed to Ralph Lauren serve as official outfitter

to the United States Golf Association, dressing all USGA committee members, staff and up to 5,000 volunteers at the US Open. As an added facet of this sponsorship, Polo Ralph Lauren will also be attiring members of the USA team in the biennial Walker Cup and Curtis Cup matches. The 2013 US Open, at Merion GC, near Philadelphia, will showcase a jewel-coloured Polo Golf collection in hues of sapphire, emerald, and bright fuchsia pink, while subtle pencil stripes combine with contrast collars in the RLX US Open commemorative range.

Ralph Lauren also partners the R&A as official patron of the Open Championship, in an arrangement that lasts until July 2016. The partnership sees the label outfitting all officials and staff members at the Open Championship, and providing apparel for men and women as well as children for on-site retail pavilion areas. The Open Collection, a dedicated commemorative Polo Golf capsule wardrobe, this year celebrates the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield with a range of signature garments featuring the world-renowned Polo player logo with an embroidered claret jug, a Union flag design with a pair of crossed clubs or a monogrammed insignia. Taking its cue from the Union flag for a heritage-inspired colour palette, the Open Collection features deep midnight blue, royal blue, white and red with highlights of British racing green. Timeless silhouettes are given a contemporary feel with the bold colour blocking and striped trims, while discreet styling details such as a Union flag design on the reverse of a collar, or a flash of red on the placket of a navy golf shirt offer design-conscious players and spectators the opportunity to satisfy their sartorial needs on the fairways. “Polo Golf represents excellence in the world of golf apparel,” says eight-time Major winner and Polo Golf ambassador Tom Watson. “Functional yet classic, Polo Golf meets every need of the modern player while staying true to the rich design tradition of Ralph Lauren. One of the wonderful things about Ralph Lauren is the feel it has for how fashion 145


comes and goes and the history of clothing, reintroducing classic pieces for modern times.” Apart from Watson, several elite tour professionals are outfitted by Ralph Lauren in one of the most stylish sponsorship deals in golf. Davis Love III, the 2012 US Ryder Cup captain, is a long-standing Polo Golf ambassador and has appeared in numerous campaigns for the brand. “Overall, the style is just so classical that it’s appealing in any sport,” says the 1997 PGA champion. “My dad was a pro, and I used to hang out in the golf shop. My background is old-school, and I want something that appeals to that. It’s traditional, it’s iconic, it’s what golf—to me—should look and feel like.” But for some of the younger names in the sport, it’s the more high-tech, fashion-forward designs of the RLX Golf collection that appeals. “The RLX Golf brand has a more European and sporty style,” explains England’s former World 146 THE MAJORS 2013

No.1 Luke Donald, who was the first tour player to sign up to wear the range. “I am just fortunate that they think I’m the right guy for RLX. I love the brand and all my competitors are jealous that I get to wear it. It makes me look good and when you look good, you play good.” Italian Matteo Manassero, another RLX ambassador, agrees with Donald on the importance of clothing to a sportsman. “The high-quality fabrics in the RLX line have enhanced my game and given me the opportunity to concentrate on my mechanics and techniques on the course,” he says. Whether you’re a contender for one of the Major championships in 2013, or a humble club golfer setting out for a sociable Sunday-morning round, if you’re turned out in stylish Polo Golf kit, not only will you be the envy of your playing partners, but you’re likely to raise your game accordingly. ★


S un, Se a a n d S a nd Tra p s

Over the past 12 mOnths, gOlfers in Britain have reached a tipping pOint—the pOint at which it’s simply tipping dOwn tOO much. after recOrd rainfall figures in 2012 and nOt much reprieve since, it’s nOt surprising Our thOughts are turning frOm hOme tO aBrOad. Paul Trow gives a snapshOt Of what’s availaBle fOr the wOuld-Be gOlfing traveller 148

the majors 2013


I

f proof were needed we live in a shrinking world, consult the pages of the average golfer’s passport. Four decades ago, we played at our home course and made the occasional foray elsewhere with a society or as guests of friends. When the time came for a family vacation, the golfer (usually male) left his clubs at home and devoted the fortnight to his wife and children. The only variance from this practice occurred when a club professional, or some other enterprising individual, organised a long-weekend break for, say, a dozen members. How times have changed! Today, the world has upwards of 30,000 courses. Most new courses are pay-to-play establishments which welcome golfers from all walks of life, provided they’re suitably attired and display a passing awareness of the game’s etiquette. To tee up, you simply pay your green fee and get on with it. These days, many of these developments are resort courses that support a hotel, spa and fine-dining, and also might have a ‘gated residential’ or ‘holiday property’ community. Such courses, though, are often gems with big-name designers, funded by gigantic budgets and easily accessible thanks to improved air travel. Due to the weather that’s hit Britain over the past year, it’s a fair bet that many golfers are scouring the internet right now in search not only of bargains but destinations where warmth, sunshine and, at the very least, a good time are guaranteed. Here is a thumbnail guide to some of these destinations and a few resorts that are particularly welcoming.

france

after playing the riou course at terre blanche (left), a refreshing dip in the pool awaits

France is still the world’s top tourist destination, welcoming more than 75 million visitors each year. Only a small percentage of them play golf, which is just as well because otherwise the country’s 600 or so courses would be as overcrowded as Gare du Nord in the Paris rush hour. But this does not mean the French aren’t serious about cultivating the loyalty of visiting golfers, indeed why else would they be hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup at the Robert Von Hagge-designed National Golf Club just outside Paris? For more than a decade, it’s been public policy for local governments to support, with up to 50 per cent financial subsidies

in some cases, any private developers building new courses. Not only does France’s intricate network of airports enable British golfers to fly to any region they fancy in the blink of an eye, but motorists are similarly spoilt for choice as they wend their way south. Each region has its own golfing gem. Across the English Channel are the Anglophile resorts of Le Touquet and Hardelot while down the coast in Brittany visitors should try to play Dinard which dates back to 1887. Further south, near Blois in the Loire Valley, is another Von Hagge gem, Les Bordes, originally conceived by industrialist Baron Marcel Bich (of Bic pens fame) and businessman Yoshiaki

Sakurai. The pair decided to create a world-class golf course with a residential complex to match, but be warned—this woodland course, with water on 12 of the 18 holes, is not for the faint-hearted. Other clubs that roll out the welcome mat include Evian, overlooking Lake Geneva, Medoc, in the heart of Bordeaux wine country, Seignosse and Moliets near Biarritz, La Grande Motte in Languedoc and the Robert Trent Jones-designed Sperone on the south coast of Corsica. If you’re especially well-heeled, then Royal Mougins on the Riviera is also a treat. Inland from Cannes is a particular favourite of ours. Terre Blanche Hotel and Spa has two 18-hole courses, the Chateau and Riou, both laid out by former Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas in rolling Provence countryside at its most picturesque. Valleys, waterfalls, ravines and white-sand bunkers abound across this wonderful location, so it’s no surprise that both the European Senior Tour and Ladies European Tour are visiting here in 2013. The French Riviera Masters will be played over the 6,955-yard Chateau from September 20-22 while the Terre Blanche Ladies Open was won by Sophie GiquelBettan over the Riou in March. 149


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the contrasting beauty of the k club in ireland and aphrodite hills in cyprus (right)

Cyprus

Ireland

Owned by Michael Smurfit and designed by Arnold Palmer, The K Club offers a truly elite golfing experience. It may not be possible to say the same for the weather, as anyone who attended the 2006 Ryder Cup would testify, but the entertainment is lavish indoors as well as outside on a sunny day, of which there were plenty whenever the European Open was staged here from 1995 to 2007. Set on the banks of the Liffey, the famous river that meanders all the way to, and through, Dublin, the Palmer Course is a glorious parkland creation with an abundance of mature trees and a heady variety of spectacular views.  Palmer’s initial contribution was deemed such a success that he was invited to design the second 18-hole course on the estate, the Smurfit, which played host to the European Open in 2004 and 2006 during the tournament’s 13-year stint here.

United States

Where on earth do you begin with a country that boasts more than 15,000 golf courses? Tiger Woods lives in Florida, so let’s start there. With 8,500 miles of coastline and 11,000 square miles of inland lagoons, not to mention 2,000 courses and rising, there’s plenty of room for lesser mortals to swing and sizzle in the Sunshine State. Blessed with 52 weeks of tee times each year and all its holes less than an hour

from the nearest beach, Florida not surprisingly leads the world when it comes to golf holidays. Apart from continuous availability, the almost uniformly flat terrain is a particular attraction, but on the other hand there’s a ball-snaffling, alligator-infested abundance of water. The variety of golf is bewildering—from Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra in the north, to Orlando and Tampa mid-state, to some marvels near Fort Myers and Naples in the southwest, to Miami and the sand-kissed southeast. The highlight in the Miami area is the Trump-owned Doral resort, home to five courses, one of which, the Blue Monster, hosts the WGC-Cadillac Championship every March. Near Orlando, we can sample Bay Hill, where Arnold Palmer lives, ChampionsGate, home to David Leadbetter’s teaching academy, and the various layouts at the Walt Disney World resort. Northeast Florida is not as familiar to British golfers even though TPC at Sawgrass (Stadium) near Ponte Vedra Beach is probably the state’s most famous course by dint of hosting the Players Championship, the men’s unofficial fifth Major, for more than three decades. Other popular American golfing destinations include South Carolina (home to Myrtle Beach, Kiawah Island and Hilton Head), Arizona (in particular Scottsdale), Las Vegas, and California (notably the Coachella Valley and Monterey Peninsula) and for those seeking natural beauty, Nebraska.

As that angry old mercenary Othello discovered, Cyprus is an infuriating yet intoxicating mystery—a seductive gateway to the east and a defiant outpost for the west. It may not be so attractive for savers any more, but it’s the ideal destination for visiting golfers. Indeed, Cyprus represents one of the best investments, in terms of time and money, the travelling golfer can make. The island has four 18-hole courses open to the public, all located near the port of Paphos in the south-west. Golf began in Cyprus in 1994 with the opening of Tsada, now known as Minthis Hills, soon followed by its sister course Secret Valley. Minthis Hills is situated in a fertile, gently sloping valley 1,800 feet above sea level about a 30-minute drive northeast of Paphos. The colonial-style clubhouse provides a panoramic view of the property and many of the fruit trees, grape vines and conifers planted during its initial development are at last reaching maturity. A cool, refreshing breeze usually blows across the course towards the 12th century monastery that sits beside the 7th tee. Secret Valley, 12 miles east of Paphos and 30 miles west of Limassol, is quite different to its sibling. It’s laid out in a valley near Petra tou Romiou, the sanctuary and legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, within an extended residential estate consisting of more than 1,000 properties and its own shopping centre. Perched on top of a hill 1,000 feet above Secret Valley is Aphrodite Hills, a wonderful 18-hole championship course designed by Cabell Robinson and opened in 2002. Laid out on two parallel plateaux flanking a cavernous gorge, it offers glorious views of the Randi Forest public nature reserve as well as the cobalt-blue Mediterranean. Aphrodite Hills has meticulously manicured fairways, state-of-the-art putting surfaces and 151


cunningly positioned pot bunkers redolent of a bygone era. This hauntingly beautiful course cuts an elegant swathe through ruggedly fertile, indigenous terrain and some 7,000 olive and carob trees (interspersed with larger oaks and conifers), yet it offers generously wide targets and is surprisingly flat despite its elevation. In 2010, Sir Nick Faldo got in on the act with Elea about five miles east of Paphos. The course, which has stunning Mediterranean views and meanders through coastline groves and scrub, is at the heart of a gated community. As one would expect of a Faldo creation, there’s an abundance of bunkers and a few water hazards, but the quality of the course and the delightful views more than compensate for any golfing difficulties that might be posed.

portugal

The Algarve is the cornerstone of Portugal’s golfing treasures. Along the 100 miles from the Spanish border to Cape St Vincent are more than 30 championship layouts. Our love affair with the Algarve began in the 1960s when Sir Henry Cotton laid out 27 holes at Penina—on a mosquito-infested paddy field west of Portimao. Forty miles east of Penina, two other courses

THE HUGH BAIOCCHI-DESIGNED LEGEND COURSE AT BELLE MARE PLAGE IN MAURITIUS

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the majors 2013

opened around the same time—Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura. The latter has grown from its original, tree-framed layout into a 90-hole complex with an Arnold Palmer championship course (Victoria). Vale do Lobo has two courses, but nearby is a sprawling resort with four more 18-hole layouts, including Quinta do Lago and San Lorenzo. Lisbon is Portugal’s other main golf centre. On the whole, green fees are cheaper and the courses less crowded. Several are west of the city around Estoril, famous for its casino and motor-racing track, the fishing village of Cascais and the medieval town of Sintra. These include Penha Longa, Oitavos and Quinta da Marinha. An hour’s drive north of Lisbon is Praia d’El Rey, set amongst sandy dunes alongside the Atlantic. South of the city, across the Tagus estuary, are the charming Aroeira and the demanding Troia, perched on a narrow sandbar near the port of Setubal.

Mauritius

Golf might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Mauritius. Palm trees, maybe. Coral-blue sea, certainly. Glorious sunshine, definitely. The dodo, of course. But golf ? In the past decade, though, all that has

changed. This fertile island off the east coast of Madagascar, 12 hours’ flying time from Britain, has moved heaven and earth, not to mention several thousand tons of volcanic rock in the case of seven luxury resorts to stake its claim to a share of the golf tourism boom. Belle Mare Plage on the east coast is the premier golf resort in Mauritius with two courses—Legend and Links, designed respectively by Hugh Baiocchi and Peter Alliss—while the neighbouring Ile aux Cerfs course at Le Touessrok, created by Bernhard Langer, is a gem, albeit one with many awkward, water-challenged facets. Le Paradis in the south-west is a typical links, constantly exposed to the wind. Several holes either run beside the sea while towering 1,000 feet or so above the course like a vigilant schoolmaster is the imposing Le Morne mountain, a volcanic Sugar Loaf lookalike. In the south, Golf de Chateau is a welcome addition. Located close to Le Telfair and Heritage hotels, guests of both have preferential tee-times although non-residents are also welcome. But water is a constant feature, so bring plenty of balls. Other courses worth visiting include Tamarina in the east and the nearby Ernie Els-designed Anahita course at the Four Seasons Resort. ★


golf experience in Mauritius The Legend course, the first of its kind in Mauritius, designed by South African champion Hugh Baiocchi, is the crowning achievement of Constance Belle Mare Plage, located along one of the most superb beaches on the island. Begin the U-experience: call (230) 402 2772/73 or visit us at www.constancehotels.com


where we go next pinehurst no.2 has undergone a major facelift since it last held the us open in 2005

Three of golf’s mosT conTrasTing ciTadels—PinehursT, hoylake and Valhalla—haVe been selecTed To join augusTa naTional as The Venues for The 2014 majors. for The Third Time in 15 years, The us oPen will be sTaged oVer The no.2 course aT PinehursT resorT, donald ross’s masTerPiece in The sandhills region of norTh carolina. meanwhile, The oPen chamPionshiP will Take Place for The 12Th Time oVer The links aT royal liVerPool golf club on The wirral Peninsula in norThwesT england; and The folks down in louisVille, kenTucky, The hearT of bourbon counTry, are already gearing uP for Valhalla golf club’s Third Pga chamPionshiP since 1996. Tony Dear (PinehursT), Ross Biddiscombe (royal liVerPool) and Lewine Mair (Valhalla) seT The scene

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the majors 2013

US Open

There’s no question that Pinehurst Resort, founded by soda-fountain manufacturer James Tufts in 1895, is one of American golf ’s most refreshing hideaways; and there’s even less doubt that No.2 is one of the world’s finest courses. With a PGA Championship, two US Amateurs, a US Women’s Amateur, a US Senior Open, a Ryder Cup, two Tour Championships, an Eisenhower Trophy, the grandly-titled though short-lived World Open, plus, of course, two US Opens (2014 will see its third and first US Women’s Open in consecutive weeks), Pinehurst’s pedigree puts even the Queen’s corgis to shame. The two previous, though somewhat recent, US Opens were particularly thrilling. Payne Stewart shaded Phil Mickelson with a 20-foot par-saver on the 72nd green in 1999, less than six months before dying in an airplane accident, and Michael Campbell held off Tiger Woods six years later to become only the second New Zealander to win a Major.


Patrick Drickey / stonehousegolf.com

And yet, for all its fame and status, it’s arguable that for much of its life Donald Ross’s original design, which measured 5,680 yards when it opened in 1907, fell some way short of what the émigré Scot had envisaged. The tools that Ross and the resort’s first greenkeeper, John Tucker, had to work with when building the second of Pinehurst’s eight courses were rudimentary, to say the least. This meant that No.2, like every course that opened during that era (including No.1 which Ross remodelled, and No.3 which he also designed), was almost entirely natural. The gently rolling terrain was largely unaltered while the bunkers were untidy blowouts that gave the holes a rugged quality. The putting surfaces, meanwhile, were constructed using sand dampened with water or oil then smoothed over with a piece of carpet attached to a length of rope. Up to Ross’s death in 1948, No.2 was a rustic idyll, free of the alien, artificial conditioning with which it was subsequently ‘modernised’, especially after the resort was sold

to the Diamondhead Corporation in 1970. In February 2010, Bill Coore and Ben Indifferent to the heritage of the resort’s most Crenshaw were retained to perform a major prized asset, Diamondhead wasted little time renovation. “To be honest, we’d had very few in lining No.2’s fairway with condominiums. good ideas ourselves before hiring them,” says Seeking to replicate the wall-to-wall greenery of Padgett. “We knew of their pedigree, of course, Augusta National, there was no compromise on and we trusted them. But we certainly didn’t tell water and fertiliser consumption either. Quite them what we thought they should do. We just simply, the turf was softened and more or less gave them whatever resources they needed, and stripped of the characteristics Ross felt were pretty much let them do whatever they thought fundamental to proper golf. was necessary.” In 1984, Diamondhead sold out to Both Coore and Crenshaw are golf ClubCorp who saw no immediate need architecture historians and firm advocates to restore the firm conditions Ross had of old-fashioned layouts. So the thought of championed. “The business model was working working on Pinehurst No.2 intrigued them at the time,” says Pinehurst president Don greatly. Before they accepted the task, though, Padgett. “But we slowly became aware that they questioned whether it was a genuine people were not talking about the course as opportunity to repair a once great course, or a they once had. I think we tended to dismiss sure-fire way of harming it even further. the criticism, however, because No.2 was still “Ben told me this was either the smartest or staging successful tournaments.” In fact, it took dumbest job we’d ever agreed to,” Coore says. a further 26 years before Pinehurst’s decision- “The owners talked about restoring the course, makers felt the time was right for No.2 to return but restoring it to what? Over 100-plus years, it to its roots. had been through so many phases it wasn’t at all 155


royal liverpool first hosted the open in 1890 when the winner was local hero harold hilton

clear what we should try to recreate. We wanted everyone involved to be on board, but we knew a lot of people would reserve judgment until they saw the finished article.” Those fortunate to have seen the finished article will tell you Coore and Crenshaw, and their ‘shaper’, Kyle Franz, hit all the right notes— bold and daring on one hand, intelligent and respectful on the other. The main differences between the 2014 version and those of 1999 and 2005 are broader fairways, firmer and faster playing surfaces, reshaped bunkers and, most notably, the absence of rough. Indeed, 2014 will be the first year the US Open is played without rough, with 35 acres of turf giving way to sand and native wiregrasses. In previous years, missing a US Open fairway invariably meant a bogey or worse, but players missing the short grass in 2014 will find their ball in a variety of lies from which they may or may not be able to find the green. “We will see a much greater variety of recovery shots,” Coore says. “Having so many options will put doubt in 156

the majors 2013

the players’ minds, and hopefully increase the course’s strategic and psychological challenges.” Fans are sure to love the new-look Pinehurst No.2 and, with the standard US Open threat— dangerously narrow fairways and sideways hacks from the rough—all but eliminated, so too should the players.

The Open

The links at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, one of the true delights of England’s northwest golf coast, is being spruced up for the 12th visit of the Open next year in the expectation that the single element no one can control, namely the weather, will play at least some part. The reason for the extra concern is that last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, staged over this gem of a course, adjacent to the town of Hoylake, was so devastated by 60mph winds that play had to be halted a mere hour after the start. However, that tournament took place in mid-September while the 143rd Open Championship will start two months earlier

when conditions ought to be far more clement. Indeed, Royal Liverpool’s secretary David Cromie is actually concerned there might not be enough wind to toughen up the course. “The date for the British Women’s Open last year was pushed back because of the London Olympics and there’s always a greater risk here of wind later in the year. I’m afraid the women suffered the windiest conditions anyone can remember,” he says. “But the last time the Open was here in 2006 there was no wind at all and we’d rather it wasn’t benign like that again.” Whilst wind levels are out of the organisers’ hands, course improvements certainly aren’t. Around 80 yards have been added since 2006, so at almost 7,360 yards Royal Liverpool is now the second longest course on the Open rota after Carnoustie. There have also been some subtle bunker changes and a reduction to the gorse while a new irrigation system should keep both the fairways and greens at the required speed. The players will notice some changes right away. At the par-4 1st, the tee has been pushed


Patrick Drickey / stonehousegolf.com

back 30 yards and the green narrowed with a severe run-off built in, and the par-4 2nd is 25 yards longer. “The 1st is definitely one of the most difficult holes on the course, so the players won’t get a nice, easy start,” Cromie says. One player who will hope Royal Liverpool has not changed too much is Woods, the champion from 2006. The 14-time Major winner claimed his third Open title that week by mastering parched fairways and sizzling temperatures, but he has since drawn a blank in the game’s oldest championship. Successfully defending the title he won the year before at St Andrews, he was still grieving for his father, Earl, who had died just a couple of months earlier. Arguably the memories of Dad inspired Woods, but they also caused him to shed a few tears on the 18th green once the job was done. Woods thus added his name to an illustrious roll-call of champions who have won the claret jug at Royal Liverpool. The club, founded in 1869, hosted its first Open in 1890 which was won by Harold Hilton. Born in nearby West

Kirby, Hilton regarded Hoylake as his home club, but being an amateur he could not accept the winner’s purse—the princely sum of £30. The second Open at Royal Liverpool, in 1902, was won by Scotsman Sandy Herd whose victory was significant as it was the first by a player using the then controversial Haskell golf ball. Frenchman Arnaud Massey’s win five years later made him the first winner from continental Europe, and J.H. Taylor’s victory in 1913 was the only one at Hoylake by a member of the Great Triumvirate (Taylor, Harry Vardon and James Braid). Royal Liverpool’s position as one of the great Open venues was confirmed in 1924 and 1930. The former saw America’s Walter Hagen capture the second of his four Opens, but the latter was perhaps the most significant of all, the second leg of Bobby Jones’s ‘impregnable quadrilateral’, more succinctly described by modern-day scribes as the Grand Slam. Three of the next four Royal Liverpool winners were men who only won the claret

jug once—Englishman Alf Padgham in 1936, Northern Ireland’s Fred Daly in 1947 and Roberto de Vicenzo of Argentina in 1968. Sandwiched between Daly and De Vicenzo was five-time champion Peter Thomson from Australia who won his third successive Open at Hoylake in 1956. De Vicenzo’s victory was followed by a 38-year hiatus as the club, the R&A and the borough council worked to upgrade the infrastructure around the course. By 2006, all the practical elements required of modern championships—enlarged car parks, generous sites for corporate entertainment, and ease of transport for players, media and fans— were in place and up to scratch. All that hard work resulted in a triumphant return for Royal Liverpool to the Open rota, something that particularly pleased Tom Watson, another fivetime winner, who said: “It was my first time at Hoylake and I thought it was how a links should be. I think it should continue to come here.” No one disagreed with him after 2006, and it’s likely to be the same story next year. 157


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Patrick Drickey / stonehousegolf.com

pGA ChAmpiOnShip

Just as Valhalla was the great hall of Norse mythology, where the souls of brave Viking warriors banqueted with the gods, so Valhalla Golf Club has indulged in a few feasts of its own during its brief existence. And its next big date, in August 2014, will be the third time the PGA Championship has come calling since 1996. Valhalla is the fulfilment of one man’s dream to bring the Majors to Louisville, Kentucky; and it is also the fulfilment of the PGA of America’s dream to own a championship course. In the late 1970s, Dwight Gahm, a prominent local businessman, was sitting behind his desk on a rainy afternoon trying to decide what to do with 486 acres of rolling terrain he owned 20 miles east of Louisville—the former site of a Quarter Horse farm and boy-scout camp. Due to flooding dangers and potential power-line problems, he’d had to scrap his original plan for a development featuring 2,200 houses, a few commercial properties and a par-62 executive layout. So instead of building

valhalla has already staged the pga championship twice and the ryder cup during its brief life

a small course surrounded by homes, Gahm began to think big. He decided he wanted a championship course, and he wanted Jack Nicklaus to design it. “I’ll never forget the first time I was on the property,” Nicklaus said. “Dwight said to me, ‘Jack, do you think there’s any chance we could get a major championship here?’ I said, ‘Dwight, you’re sitting in an area without other major sports. You’re absolutely in the perfect place to try to develop something.’” Valhalla opened in 1986, and was instantly rated amongst America’s top-100 courses. Gahm wanted it to be a high-quality members’ club, but his primary focus was on the PGA Championship. Over the next few years, the PGA made several site visits and conducted extensive research into Louisville as a potential host city. Valhalla, and Louisville, passed the test with flying colours and were duly inked in for the 1996 PGA Championship. Not only that, but the PGA also purchased 25 per cent of the club.

And after a successful tournament, in which local hero Kenny Perry lost a playoff to Mark Brooks, the PGA extended its stake to 50 per cent and scheduled the championship’s return to Valhalla for 2000. At the conclusion of that event, won by Woods in a playoff against Bob May, the PGA exercised its option to purchase the club outright. From the outset, Valhalla was a natural golfing amphitheatre: the scenic par-5 18th alone provides a view for 20,000 spectators while the area surrounding the green on the par-4 17th can accommodate a gallery in excess of 8,000. During construction, 650,000 cubic yards of earth were moved to build tees, greens and fairways up to a level that would protect them from storm damage. Overall, there are 62 bunkers while the usually slick greens feature distinct tiers that provide a variety of challenging pin locations. The first nine crosses a valley while the inward half is carved out of higher, tree-covered terrain with a shallow creek that comes into play on four holes. 159


Confirmed dates and venues for future major championships Year 2013

Major US Open The Open PGA Championship 2014 Masters US Open The Open PGA Championship 2015 Masters US Open The Open PGA Championship 2016 Masters US Open The Open PGA Championship 2017 Masters US Open PGA Championship 2018 Masters US Open PGA Championship 2019 Masters US Open 2020 Masters US Open

Dates June 13-16 July 18-21 August 8-11 April 10-13 June 12-15 July 17-20 August 9-12 April 9-12 June 18-21 July 16-19 To be decided April 7-10 June 16-19 July 14-17 To be decided April 6-9 June 15-18 To be decided April 5-8 June 14-17 To be decided April 11-14 June 13-16 April 9-12 June 18-21

up, fired by an impassioned Saturday-night speech from Jose Maria Olazabal, one of Sir Nick Faldo’s vice-captains, it was too late and the game was up. In the fall of 2011, the PGA and Nicklaus embarked on an overhaul of Valhalla’s drainage

Venue East Course, Merion GC, Ardmore, PA Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland East Course, Oak Hill CC, Pittsford, NY Augusta National GC, GA Course No.2, Pinehurst Resort, NC Royal Liverpool GC, Merseyside, England Valhalla GC, Louisville, KY Augusta National GC, GA Chambers Bay Golf Course, Tacoma, WA Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland Straits Course, Whistling Straits, Kohler, WI Augusta National GC, GA Oakmont CC, Pittsburgh, PA Royal Troon GC, Ayrshire, Scotland Lower Course, Baltusrol GC, Springfield, NJ Augusta National GC, GA Erin Hills Golf Course, Hartford, WI Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, NC Augusta National GC, GA Shinnecock Hills GC, Long Island, NY Bellerive CC, St. Louis, MO Augusta National GC, GA Pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey Peninsula, CA Augusta National GC, GA West Course, Winged Foot GC, Mamaroneck, NY

and irrigation infrastructure. The objective was to rebuild the green complexes from the ground up to enhance surface drainage and soften contours. By August 2014, the contours might well be softened, but it’s certain the calibre of challenge presented by Valhalla won’t be. ★ Patrick Drickey / stonehousegolf.com

In addition to its two PGA Championships, Valhalla also hosted the Senior PGA Championship in 2004 and 2011, won respectively by Hale Irwin and Watson. But its greatest, and most hazardous, exposure to the wider world came when it staged the 2008 Ryder Cup. Following the introduction of four new greens, 12 new bunkers and an extra 200 yards, Mother Nature made her own sweeping changes to Valhalla when Hurricane Ike ripped through Louisville the weekend before that Ryder Cup. Sadly, two people, one a ten-year-old boy who loved the game, were killed on the Sunday, and thousands of homes were left without power. Fires were caused by fallen cables, street lights and traffic signals were out of action, and neon lights went dark. The wind blew at 90mph as wheelie bins bounced around the streets, cannoning off parked cars. Up at the course, 17 large trees were tossed to the ground with branches strewn across the fairways. Neatly-aligned flag-poles were bent double, corporate hospitality tents were decimated and several TV towers were blown over. Helpers, including tree specialists, were drafted in, emphasising the commitment with which the local community embraced the contest. The city was just about ready for the players when they flew in on Monday evening but in many hotels the receptionists were still operating by lamp-light and porters were wielding torches. When it came to the match, the Americans, under the inspired captaincy of Paul Azinger, ignited from the start while the Europeans were sluggish to say the least. By the time they woke

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Rol l o f H o no u r thE major winnErs

THE MASTERS

1962

pLAYED EvERY YEAR At AUGUStA NAtIoNAL GoLf CLUB, GEoRGIA

Year

Winner (USA unless stated)

1934 1935

Horton Smith Gene Sarazen

Score 284 282

SARAzEN (144) BEAt CRAIG wooD (149) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942

Horton Smith Byron nelson Henry Picard ralph Guldahl Jimmy Demaret craig Wood Byron nelson

285 283 285 279 280 280 280

NELSoN (69) BEAt BEN HoGAN (70) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1943-45 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954

No CHAMpIoNSHIp (Second world war) Herman Keiser Jimmy Demaret claude Harmon Sam Snead Jimmy Demaret Ben Hogan Sam Snead Ben Hogan Sam Snead

282 281 279 282 283 280 286 275 289

SNEAD (70) BEAt BEN HoGAN (71) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961

cary Middlecoff Jack Burke, Jr. Doug Ford arnold Palmer art Wall, Jr. arnold Palmer Gary Player (South Africa)

arnold Palmer

280

pALMER (68) BEAt GARY pLAYER (SoUtH AfRICA) (71) AND Dow fINStERwALD (77) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1963 1964 1965 1966

Jack nicklaus arnold Palmer Jack nicklaus Jack nicklaus

286 276 271 288

NICkLAUS (70) BEAt toMMY JACoBS (72) AND GAY BREwER JR. (78) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1967 1968 1969 1970

Gay Brewer, Jr. Bob Goalby George archer Billy casper

280 277 281 279

CASpER (69) BEAt GENE LIttLER (74) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979

charles coody Jack nicklaus Tommy aaron Gary Player (South Africa) Jack nicklaus raymond Floyd Tom Watson Gary Player (South Africa) Fuzzy Zoeller

279 286 283 278 276 271 276 277 280

zoELLER BEAt ED SNEED AND toM wAtSoN AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

1980 1981 1982

Seve Ballesteros (Spain) Tom Watson craig Stadler

275 280 284

StADLER BEAt DAN poHL AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

279 289 283 284 284 282 280

1983 1984 1985 1986 1987

Seve Ballesteros (Spain) Ben crenshaw Bernhard Langer (Germany) Jack nicklaus Larry Mize

MIzE BEAt GREG NoRMAN (AUStRALIA) AND SEvE BALLEStERoS (SpAIN) AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

280 277 282 279 285

1988 1989

Sandy Lyle (Scotland) Sir nick Faldo (England)

281 283

fALDo BEAt SCott HoCH AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

1990

Sir nick Faldo (England)

278

fALDo BEAt RAYMoND fLoYD AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

ian Woosnam (wales) Fred couples Bernhard Langer (Germany) Jose Maria olazabal (Spain) Ben crenshaw Sir nick Faldo (England) Tiger Woods Mark o’Meara Jose Maria olazabal (Spain) Vijay Singh (fiji) Tiger Woods Tiger Woods Mike Weir (Canada)

277 275 277 279 274 276 270 279 279 278 272 276 281

wEIR BEAt LEN MAttIACE AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

2004 2005

Phil Mickelson Tiger Woods

279 276

wooDS BEAt CHRIS DIMARCo AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

2006 2007 2008 2009

Phil Mickelson Zach Johnson Trevor immelman (South Africa) angel cabrera (Argentina)

281 289 280 276

CABRERA BEAt CHAD CAMpBELL AND kENNY pERRY AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

2010 2011 2012

Phil Mickelson charl Schwartzel (South Africa) Bubba Watson

272 274 278

wAtSoN BEAt LoUIS ooStHUIzEN (SoUtH AfRICA) AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

2013

adam Scott (Australia)

279

SCott BEAt ANGEL CABRERA (ARGENtINA) AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

163


courtesy Usga archives

early Us Open winners: sitting On the grOUnd is hOrace rawlins, the first champiOn in 1895. behind him is willie andersOn, whO wOn fOUr times. his arm is arOUnd alex smith, the 1906 winner

US Open ChampiOnShip Year 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901

Winner (USA unless stated) courSe

1908

1903

Laurie auchterlonie (Scotland) Garden City Golf Club, NY Willie anderson (Scotland) Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, NJ

1904 1905 1906 1907

164

Willie anderson (Scotland) Glen view Club, Cook County, IL Willie anderson (Scotland) Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, MA alex Smith (Scotland) onwentsia Club, Lake forest, IL alex ross (Scotland) philadelphia Cricket Club (St. Martin’s), pA

the majors 2013

Bobby Jones {Am} Inwood Country Club, NY

JoNES (76) BEAt BoBBY CRUICkSHANk (78) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1924

George Sargent (England) Englewood Golf Club, NJ alex Smith (Scotland) philadelphia Cricket Club (St. Martin’s), pA

290 298

1925

173

SMItH (71) BEAt JoHN MCDERMott (75) AND MACDoNALD SMItH (SCotLAND) (77) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

152

1911

162

MCDERMott (80) BEAt MIkE BRADY (82) AND GEoRGE SIMpSoN (SCotLAND) (86) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

328

1912

315

1913

313

oUIMEt (72) BEAt HARRY vARDoN (JERSEY) (77) AND tED RAY (ENGLAND) (78) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

331

1914 1915

307 1916 307

ANDERSoN (82) BEAt DAvID BRowN (SCotLAND) (84) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18HoLES

1923

1909 1910

ANDERSoN (85) BEAt ALEx SMItH (SCotLAND) (86) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1902

322

MCLEoD (77) BEAt wILLIE SMItH (SCotLAND) (83) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

Score

Horace rawlins (England) Newport Golf Club, RI James Foulis (Scotland) Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Long Island, NY Joe Lloyd (England) Chicago Golf Club, IL Fred Herd (Scotland) Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, MA Willie Smith (Scotland) Baltimore Country Club (East), MD Harry Vardon (Jersey) Chicago Golf Club, IL Willie anderson (Scotland) Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, MA

Fred McLeod (Scotland) Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, MA

1917-18 1919

303

John McDermott Chicago Golf Club, IL John McDermott Country Club of Buffalo, NY Francis ouimet {Am} the Country Club, Brookline, MA Walter Hagen Midlothian Country Club, Blue Island, IL Jerome Travers {Am} Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, NJ charles ‘chick’ evans {Am} Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, MN No CHAMpIoNSHIp (first world war) Walter Hagen Brae Burn Country Club (Main), west Newton, MA

1920

295

1921

302

1922

Ted ray (Jersey) Inverness Club, toledo, oH Jim Barnes Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, MD Gene Sarazen Skokie Country Club, Glencoe, IL

297 291

MACfARLANE (147) BEAt BoBBY JoNES {AM} (148) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

307

1926 1927

294

Bobby Jones {Am} Scioto Country Club, Columbus, oH Tommy armour oakmont Country Club, pittsburgh, pA

293 301

ARMoUR (76) BEAt HARRY CoopER (78) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1928 304

Johnny Farrell olympia fields Country Club, Matteson, IL

294

fARRELL (143) BEAt BoBBY JoNES {AM} (144) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1929 290

Bobby Jones {Am} 294 winged foot Golf Club (west), Mamaroneck, NY

JoNES (141) BEAt AL ESpINoSA (164) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1930 297 1931 286

Bobby Jones {Am} Interlachen Country Club, Minneapolis, MN Billy Burke Inverness Club, toledo, oH

287 292

BURkE (297) BEAt GEoRGE voN ELM (298) IN A pLAYoff ovER 72 HoLES

1932 301 1933

HAGEN (77) BEAt MIkE BRADY (78) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

314

cyril Walker (England) oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI Willie MacFarlane (Scotland) worcester Country Club, MS

296

295

1934

289

1935

288

1936

Gene Sarazen fresh Meadow Country Club, flushing, NY Johnny Goodman {Am} North Shore Country Club, Glen view, IL olin Dutra Merion Cricket Club (East), Ardmore, pA Sam Parks, Jr. oakmont Country Club, pittsburgh, pA Tony Manero Baltusrol Golf Club (Upper), Springfield, NJ

286 287 293 299 282


1937 1938 1939

ralph Guldahl 281 oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI ralph Guldahl 284 Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver, Co Byron nelson 284 philadelphia Country Club, pA

NELSoN (68, 70) BEAt CRAIG wooD (68, 73) AND DENNY SHUtE (76) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1940

Lawson Little Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, oH

craig Wood Colonial Country Club, fort worth, tx 1942-45 No CHAMpIoNSHIp (Second world war) 1946 Lloyd Mangrum Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, oH

287

Lew Worsham St. Louis Country Club, Mo

1966 1967

284 1969 284

1970 1971

282

1949 1950

Ben Hogan Riviera Country Club, pacific palisades, CA cary Middlecoff Medinah Country Club (No.3), Chicago, IL Ben Hogan Merion Golf Club (East), Ardmore, pA

1972 276

1973

286

1974

287

1975

HoGAN (69) BEAt LLoYD MANGRUM (73) AND GEoRGE fAzIo (75) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1951 1952 1953 1954 1955

1976

Ben Hogan 287 oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI Julius Boros 281 Northwood Club, Dallas, tx Ben Hogan 283 oakmont Country Club, pittsburgh, pA ed Furgol 284 Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, NJ Jack Fleck 287 olympic Club (Lake), San francisco, CA

1957

cary Middlecoff oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester, NY Dick Mayer Inverness Club, toledo, oH

1977 1978 1979 1980 1981

281

1982

282

1983 1984

MAYER (72) BEAt CARY MIDDLECoff (79) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1958 1959 1960 1961 1962

Tommy Bolt 283 Southern Hills Country Club, tulsa, ok Billy casper 282 winged foot Golf Club (west), Mamaroneck, NY arnold Palmer 280 Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver, Co Gene Littler 281 oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI Jack nicklaus 283 oakmont Country Club, Ardmore, pA

NICkLAUS (71) BEAt ARNoLD pALMER (74) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1963

Julius Boros the Country Club (Composite), Brookline, MA

278 1992

Jack nicklaus Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, NJ Lee Trevino oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester, NY orville Moody Champions Golf Club (Cypress Creek), Houston, tx Tony Jacklin (England) Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN Lee Trevino Merion Golf Club (East), Ardmore, pA Jack nicklaus pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey peninsula, CA Johnny Miller oakmont Country Club, Ardmore, pA Hale irwin winged foot Golf Club (west), Mamaroneck, NY Lou Graham Medinah Country Club (No.3), Chicago, IL

275 1993 275 1994 281 281

1986 1987 1988

1995 1996 290 1997 279 287

1998

287

1999

Jerry Pate Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands), Duluth, GA Hubert Green Southern Hills Country Club, tulsa, ok andy north Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver, Co Hale irwin Inverness Club, toledo, oH Jack nicklaus Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, NJ David Graham (Australia) Merion Golf Club (East), Ardmore, pA Tom Watson pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey peninsula, CA Larry nelson oakmont Country Club, Ardmore, pA Fuzzy Zoeller winged foot Golf Club (west), Mamaroneck, NY

2000 277 2001 278

1989

2002

284

2003

272 2004 273 2005 282 2006 280 276

andy north 279 oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI raymond Floyd 279 Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Long Island, NY Scott Simpson 277 olympic Club (Lake), San francisco, CA curtis Strange 278 the Country Club (Composite), Brookline, MA curtis Strange oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester, NY

282

Tom Kite 285 pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey peninsula, CA Lee Janzen 272 Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, NJ ernie els (South Africa) 279 oakmont Country Club, Ardmore, pA corey Pavin Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Long Island, NY Steve Jones oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI ernie els (South Africa) Congressional Country Club (Blue), Bethesda, MD Lee Janzen olympic Club (Lake), San francisco, CA Payne Stewart pinehurst Resort (No.2), NC Tiger Woods pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey peninsula, CA retief Goosen (South Africa) Southern Hills Country Club, tulsa, ok

280 278 276 280 279 272 276

GooSEN (70) BEAt MARk BRookS (72) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

285

2007 2008

278

Tiger Woods Bethpage State park (Black), Long Island, NY Jim Furyk olympia fields Country Club (North), Matteson, IL retief Goosen (South Africa) Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Long Island, NY Michael campbell (New zealand) pinehurst Resort (No.2), NC Geoff ogilvy (Australia) winged foot Golf Club (west), Mamaroneck, NY angel cabrera (Argentina) oakmont Country Club, Ardmore, pA Tiger Woods torrey pines Golf Course (South), San Diego, CA

277 272 276 280 285 285 283

wooDS (71) BEAt RoCCo MEDIAtE (71) AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff foLLowING A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

2009 2010 2011

StRANGE (71) BEAt SIR NICk fALDo (ENGLAND) (75) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

293

Payne Stewart Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN

ELS (74) BEAt LoREN RoBERtS (74) AND CoLIN MoNtGoMERIE (SCotLAND) (78) AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff foLLowING A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

280

zoELLER (67) BEAt GREG NoRMAN (AUStRALIA) (75) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1985

280

StEwARt (75) BEAt SCott SIMpSoN (77) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

GRAHAM (71) BEAt JoHN MAHAffEY (73) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

fLECk (69) BEAt BEN HoGAN (72) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1956

Billy casper olympic Club (Lake), San francisco, CA

Hale irwin Medinah Country Club (No.3), Chicago, IL

IRwIN (74) BEAt MIkE DoNALD (74) AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff foLLowING A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

tREvINo (68) BEAt JACk NICkLAUS (71) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

woRSHAM (69) BEAt SAM SNEAD (70) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1948

1990

1991

pLAYER (71) BEAt kEL NAGLE (AUStRALIA) (74) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1968

MANGRUM (144) BEAt vIC GHEzzI (145) AND BYRoN NELSoN (145) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1947

1965

Ken Venturi 278 Congressional Country Club (Blue), Bethesda, MD Gary Player (South Africa) 282 Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis, Mo

CASpER (69) BEAt ARNoLD pALMER (73) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

LIttLE (70) BEAt GENE SARAzEN (73) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1941

1964

2012

Lucas Glover Bethpage State park (Black), Long Island, NY Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland) pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey, peninsula, CA rory Mcilroy (Northern Ireland) Congressional Country Club (Blue), Bethesda, MD Webb Simpson olympic Club (Lake), San francisco, CA

BoRoS (70) BEAt JACkY CUpIt (73) AND ARNoLD pALMER (76) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

165

276 284 268 281


The Open ChampiOnShip Year

Winner (USA unless stated) courSe

1890 1891 Score

Willie Park, Sr. (Scotland) Tom Morris, Sr. (Scotland) Tom Morris, Sr. (Scotland) Willie Park, Sr. (Scotland) Tom Morris, Sr. (Scotland) andrew Strath (Scotland) Willie Park, Sr. (Scotland) Tom Morris, Sr. (Scotland) Tom Morris, Jr. (Scotland) Tom Morris, Jr. (Scotland) Tom Morris, Jr. (Scotland)

174 163 163 168 167 162 169 170 154 157 149

1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897

1872

1898

166

1899

tHE CLAREt JUG wAS AwARDED foR tHE fIRSt tIME IN 1873

1873

Tom Kidd (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Mungo Park (Scotland) Musselburgh Links, Midlothian, Scotland Willie Park, Sr. (Scotland) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Bob Martin (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland

1874 1875 1876

179 159

1900

166

1901

176

1902

160

1903

157

1904

DAvID StRAtH (SCotLAND) tIED wItH MARtIN BUt REfUSED to pLAY off

1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883

Jamie anderson (Scotland) Musselburgh Links, Midlothian, Scotland Jamie anderson (Scotland) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Jamie anderson (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Bob Ferguson (Scotland) Musselburgh Links, Midlothian, Scotland Bob Ferguson (Scotland) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Bob Ferguson (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Willie Fernie (Scotland) Musselburgh Links, Midlothian, Scotland

169 1905 162 1906 170 1907 171 158

1885 1886 1887 1888 1889

Jack Simpson (Scotland) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Bob Martin (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland David Brown (Scotland) Musselburgh Links, Midlothian, Scotland Willie Park, Jr. (Scotland) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Jack Burns (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Willie Park, Jr. (Scotland) Musselburgh Links, Midlothian, Scotland

160 1910 171 1911 157

the majors 2013

166

1915-19 1920 1921

Harold Hilton (England) {Am} 305 Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Willie auchterlonie (Scotland) 322 prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland J. H. Taylor (England) 326 Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England J .H. Taylor (England) 322 St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Harry Vardon (Jersey) 316 Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Harold Hilton (England) {Am} Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Harry Vardon (Jersey) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Harry Vardon (Jersey) Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England J. H. Taylor (England) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland James Braid (Scotland) Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Sandy Herd (Scotland) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Harry Vardon (Jersey) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Jack White (Scotland) Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England James Braid (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland James Braid (Scotland) Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland arnaud Massy (france) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England James Braid (Scotland) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland J. H. Taylor (England) Cinque ports, Deal, kent, England James Braid (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Harry Vardon (Jersey) Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England

161

IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES, ARNAUD MASSY (fRANCE) CoNCEDED DEfEAt At tHE 35tH HoLE wItH vARDoN AHEAD BY fIvE StRokES

171

1912

155

1913

pARk (158) BEAt ANDREw kIRkALDY (SCotLAND) (163) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

166

1908 1909

fERNIE (158) BEAt BoB fERGUSoN (SCotLAND) (159) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1884

1914

Ted ray (Jersey) Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland J. H. Taylor (England) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England

314

1922 1923 1924 1925 1926

307 310

Harry Vardon (England) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland No CHAMpIoNSHIp (first world war) George Duncan (Scotland) Royal Cinque ports, Deal, kent, England Jock Hutchison St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland

1927 1928

309 309

1929

307

1930

300

1931

296 1932

Walter Hagen Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England arthur Havers (England) troon Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Walter Hagen Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Jim Barnes prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Bobby Jones {Am} Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England Bobby Jones {Am} St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Walter Hagen Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England Walter Hagen Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Bobby Jones {Am} Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Tommy armour Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship), Angus, Scotland Gene Sarazen prince’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England Denny Shute St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland

318

1933

300

SHUtE (149) BEAt CRAIG wooD (154) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1934 312 291 295 299 303

295 304

306 303 296

HUtCHISoN (150) BEAt RoGER wEtHERED (ENGLAND) {AM} (159) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

vARDoN (157) BEAt J.H. tAYLoR (ENGLAND) (161) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

tHE BELt, CoNtEStED fRoM 1860-70, wAS tHRICE woN oNSECUtIvELY BY toM MoRRIS JR. AND tHENCE BECAME HIS pRopERtY. tHERE wAS No CoMpEtItIoN IN 1871 AND A MEDAL wAS AwARDED foR tHE oNLY tIME IN 1872

Tom Morris, Jr. (Scotland) prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland

164

AftER 1891, tHE opEN CHAMpIoNSHIp wAS ExtENDED to 72 HoLES AND ENtRY MoNEY wAS CHARGED

(1860-1870 pREStwICk GoLf CLUB, AYRSHIRE, SCotLAND)

1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870

John Ball, Jr. (England) {Am} prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Hugh Kirkaldy (Scotland) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland

Sir Henry cotton (England) Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England 1935 alf Perry (England) Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland 1936 alf Padgham (England) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England 1937 Sir Henry cotton (England) Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship), Angus, Scotland 1938 reg Whitcombe (England) Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England 1939 richard Burton (England) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland 1940-45 No CHAMpIoNSHIp (Second world war) 1946 Sam Snead St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland

300 295 301 300 291 285 292 292 291 296 283 292 283 283 287 290 295 290 290


1947 1948 1949

Fred Daly (Northern Ireland) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Sir Henry cotton (England) Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Bobby Locke (South Africa) Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England

293

1969

284

1970

283

NICkLAUS (72) BEAt DoUG SANDERS (73) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1971

LoCkE (135) BEAt HARRY BRADSHAw (IRELAND) (147) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958

Bobby Locke (South Africa) troon Golf Club (old), Ayrshire, Scotland Max Faulkner (England) Royal portrush Golf Club, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland Bobby Locke (South Africa) Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England Ben Hogan Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship), Angus, Scotland Peter Thomson (Australia) Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England Peter Thomson (Australia) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Peter Thomson (Australia) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Bobby Locke (South Africa) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Peter Thomson (Australia) Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England

279

1972

285

1973 1974

287 1975 282

1960 1961 1962 1963

Gary Player (South Africa) Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Kel nagle (Australia) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland arnold Palmer Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England arnold Palmer troon Golf Club (old), Ayrshire, Scotland Bob charles (New zealand) Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England

1976

281

1977

286

1978 1979

279 278

1980 1981

284 1982 278 1983 284 1984 276 1985 277 1986 1987

CHARLES (140) BEAt pHIL RoDGERS (148) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1964 1965 1966 1967 1968

Tony Lema St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Peter Thomson (Australia) Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England Jack nicklaus Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland roberto de Vicenzo (Argentina) Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Gary Player (South Africa) Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship), Angus, Scotland

Lee Trevino Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England Lee Trevino Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Tom Weiskopf troon Golf Club (old), Ayrshire, Scotland Gary Player (South Africa) Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England Tom Watson Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship), Angus, Scotland

280

John Ball, Jr., Became the first amateur to win the open at prestwick in 1890

283 278 278 276 282 279

wAtSoN (71) BEAt JACk NEwtoN (AUStRALIA) (72) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

283

tHoMSoN (139) BEAt DAvE tHoMAS (wALES (143) IN A pLAYoff ovER 36 HoLES

1959

Tony Jacklin (England) Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England Jack nicklaus St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland

279 1988 285 1989 282 278

CALCAvECCHIA BEAt GREG NoRMAN (AUStRALIA) AND wAYNE GRADY (AUStRALIA) IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

1990 289

Johnny Miller 279 Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England Tom Watson 268 turnberry Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Jack nicklaus 281 St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Seve Ballesteros (Spain) 283 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England Tom Watson 271 Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Bill rogers 276 Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England Tom Watson 284 Royal troon Golf Club (old), Ayrshire, Scotland Tom Watson 275 Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England Seve Ballesteros (Spain) 276 St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Sandy Lyle (Scotland) 282 Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England Greg norman (Australia) 280 turnberry Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland Sir nick Faldo (England) 279 Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Seve Ballesteros (Spain) 273 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England Mark calcavecchia 275 Royal troon Golf Club (old), Ayrshire, Scotland

1991

Sir nick Faldo (England) St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland ian Baker-Finch (Australia) Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England

270 272

167


1992 1993 1994 1995

Sir nick Faldo (England) 272 Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland Greg norman (Australia) 267 Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England nick Price (zimbabwe) 268 turnberry Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland John Daly 282 St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland

1997 1998

Tom Lehman Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England Justin Leonard Royal troon Golf Club (old), Ayrshire, Scotland Mark o’Meara Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England

1999

Paul Lawrie (Scotland) Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship), Angus, Scotland

1917-18 1919 272 1920 280 1921 1922 290 1923 1924

LAwRIE BEAt JUStIN LEoNARD AND JEAN vAN DE vELDE (fRANCE) IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

2000 2001 2002

Tiger Woods St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland David Duval Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England ernie els (South Africa) Muirfield Golf Course, East Lothian, Scotland

269

1925

274

1926 1927

278 1928

ELS BEAt tHoMAS LEvEt (fRANCE), StEvE ELkINGtoN (AUStRALIA) AND StUARt AppLEBY (AUStRALIA) IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

2003 2004

Ben curtis Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England Todd Hamilton Royal troon Golf Club (old), Ayrshire, Scotland

1929 283 1930 274

2006 2007

tiger woods St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Tiger Woods Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside, England Padraig Harrington (Ireland) Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship), Angus, Scotland

1931 1932

HAMILtoN BEAt ERNIE ELS (SoUtH AfRICA) IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

2005

Year

271

o’MEARA BEAt BRIAN wAttS IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

274 1933 270 1934 277

1935 1936

HARRINGtoN BEAt SERGIo GARCIA (SpAIN) IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

2008 2009

Padraig Harrington (Ireland) Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire, England Stewart cink turnberry Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland

283

1937 1938

278 1939

CINk BEAt toM wAtSoN IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

2010 2011 2012

168

Louis oosthuizen (South Africa) 272 St Andrews (old), fife, Scotland Darren clarke (Northern Ireland) 275 Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, kent, England ernie els (South Africa) 273 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Lancashire, England

the majors 2013

1944 1945

fRoM 1916-57, tHE LAttER StAGES of tHE pGA CHAMpIoNSHIp wERE CoNtEStED IN A MAtCH pLAY foRMAt

1916

DALY BEAt CoStANtINo RoCCA (ItALY) IN A pLAYoff ovER foUR HoLES

1996

pGa ChampiOnShip

1940 1941 1942 1943

reSuLT of 36-hole final (USA unless stated) courSe

1946

Score

Jim Barnes beat Jock Hutchison 1 Hole Siwanoy Country Club, Bronxville, NY No CHAMpIoNSHIp (first world war) Jim Barnes beat fred McLeod (Scotland) 6&5 Engineers Country Club, Long Island, NY Jock Hutchison beat J. Douglas Edgar 1 Hole flossmoor Country Club, Chicago, IL Walter Hagen beat Jim Barnes 3&2 Inwood Country Club, New Rockaway, NY Gene Sarazen beat Emmett french 4&3 oakmont Country Club, pittsburgh, pA Gene Sarazen beat walter Hagen At 38th pelham Country Club, pelham Manor, NY Walter Hagen beat Jim Barnes 2 Holes french Lick Springs Resort (Hill), IN Walter Hagen beat Bill Mehlhorn 6&5 olympia fields Country Club, Matteson, IL Walter Hagen beat Leo Diegel 5&3 Salisbury Golf Club (Red), Long Island, NY Walter Hagen beat Joe turnesa 1 Hole Cedar Crest Country Club, Dallas, tx Leo Diegel beat Al Ispinosa 6&5 five farms Country Club, Baltimore, MD Leo Diegel beat Johnny farrell 6&4 Hillcrest Country Club, Los Angeles, CA Tommy armour beat Gene Sarazen 1 Hole fresh Meadow Country Club, flushing, NY Tom creavy beat Denny Shute 2&1 wannamoisett Country Club, Rumford, RI olin Dutra beat frank walsh 4&3 keller Golf Club, St. paul, MN Gene Sarazen beat willie Goggin 5&4 Blue Mound G&CC, Milwaukee, wI Paul runyan beat Craig wood At 38th park Club of Buffalo, williamsville, NY Johnny revolta beat tommy Armour 5&4 twin Hills G&CC, oklahoma City, ok Denny Shute beat Jimmy thomson 3&2 pinehurst Resort (No.2), NC Denny Shute beat Harold McSpaden At 37th pittsburgh field Club, Aspinwall, pA Paul runyan beat Sam Snead 8&7 Shawnee Country Club, Shawnee on Delaware, pA Henry Picard beat Byron Nelson At 37th pomonock Country Club, flushing, NY Byron nelson beat Sam Snead 1 Hole Hershey Country Club (west), pA Vic Ghezzi beat Byron Nelson At 38th Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver, Co Sam Snead beat Jim turnesa 2&1 Sea view Country Club, Atlantic City, NJ No CHAMpIoNSHIp (Second world war)

1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957

Bob Hamilton beat Byron Nelson Manito G&CC, Spokane, wA Byron nelson beat Sam Byrd Moraine Country Club, Dayton, oH Ben Hogan beat Ed oliver portland Golf Club, oR Jim Ferrier beat Chick Harbert plum Hollow Country Club, Detroit, MI Ben Hogan beat Mike turnesa Northwood Hills Country Club, St. Louis, Mo Sam Snead beat Johnny palmer Hermitage Country Club, Richmond, vA chandler Harper beat Henry williams Jr. Scioto Country Club, Columbus, oH Sam Snead beat walter Burkemo oakmont Country Club, pittsburgh, pA Jim Turnesa beat Chick Harbert Big Spring Country Club, Louisville, kY Walter Burkemo beat felice torza Birmingham Country Club, MI chick Harbert beat walter Burkemo keller Golf Club, St. paul, MN Doug Ford beat Cary Middlecoff Meadowbrook Country Club, Northville, MI Jack Burke Jr. beat ted kroll Blue Hill Country Club, Canton, MA Lionel Hebert beat Dow finsterwald Miami valley Golf Club, Dayton, oH

1 Hole 4&3 6&4 5&4 7&6 3&2 3&2 7&6 1 Hole 2&1 4&3 4&3 3&2 3&1

AftER 1957, tHE pGA CHAMpIoNSHIp wAS CoNvERtED to 72 HoLES of StRokE pLAY

1958 1959 1960 1961

Dow Finsterwald Llanerch Country Club, Havertown, pA Bob rosburg Minneapolis Golf Club, MN Jay Hebert firestone Country Club (South), Akron, oH Jerry Barber olympia fields Country Club, Matteson, IL

276 277 281 277

BARBER (67) BEAt DoN JANUARY (68) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967

Gary Player (South Africa) Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, pA Jack nicklaus Dallas Athletic Club (Blue), tx Bobby nichols Columbus Country Club, oH Dave Marr Laurel valley Golf Club, Ligonier, pA al Geiberger firestone Country Club (South), Akron, oH Don January Columbine Country Club, Denver, Co

278 279 271 280 280 281

JANUARY (69) BEAt DoN MASSINGALE (71) IN A pLAYoff ovER 18 HoLES

1968 1969 1970 1971

Julius Boros pecan valley Golf Club, San Antonio, tx raymond Floyd National Cash Registers Country Club (South), Dayton, oH Dave Stockton Southern Hills Country Club, tulsa, ok Jack nicklaus pGA National Golf Club, palm Beach Gardens, fL

281 276 279 281


gary player (left) and don January watch arnold palmer tee off on the 1st hole in the first round of the 1961 pga championship at olympia fields

1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977

Gary Player (South Africa) 281 oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI Jack nicklaus 277 Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, oH Lee Trevino 276 tanglewood park (Championship), Clemons, NC Jack nicklaus 276 firestone Country Club (South), Akron, oH Dave Stockton 281 Congressional Country Club (Blue), Bethesda, MD Lanny Wadkins 282 pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey peninsula, CA

1986 1987

John Mahaffey oakmont Country Club, pittsburgh, pA

276

1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

Jeff Sluman oak tree Golf Club, Edmond, ok Payne Stewart kemper Lakes Golf Club, Hawthorn woods, IL Wayne Grady (Australia) Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club, Birmingham, AL John Daly Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, IN nick Price (zimbabwe) Bellerive Golf Club, St. Louis, Mo Paul azinger Inverness Club, toledo, oH

MAHAffEY BEAt JERRY pAtE AND toM wAtSoN AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

1993

1979

AzINGER BEAt GREG NoRMAN (AUStRALIA) AftER two HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

David Graham (Australia) 272 oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI

GRAHAM BEAt BEN CRENSHAw AftER tHREE HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985

Jack nicklaus oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester, NY Larry nelson Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands), Duluth, GA raymond Floyd Southern Hills Country Club, tulsa, ok Hal Sutton Riviera Country Club, pacific palisades, CA Lee Trevino Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club, Birmingham, AL Hubert Green Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver, Co

1994

274 1995 273 275

276

1999

287

2000

NELSoN BEAt LANNY wADkINS AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

wADkINS BEAt GENE LIttLER AftER tHREE HoLES of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

1978

Bob Tway Inverness Club, toledo, oH Larry nelson pGA National Golf Club, palm Beach Gardens, fL

nick Price (zimbabwe) Southern Hills Country Club, tulsa, ok Steve elkington (Australia) Riviera Country Club, pacific palisades, CA

274

Mark Brooks valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, kY

1997

278

1998

270

wooDS BEAt BoB MAY IN A pLAYoff ovER tHREE HoLES

2001

276

2002

282

2003

276

2004

278

SINGH BEAt CHRIS DIMARCo AND JUStIN LEoNARD IN A pLAYoff ovER tHREE HoLES

2005 272 2006 2007 269 2008 267 2009 2010 277

BRookS BEAt kENNY pERRY AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

273

277

272

ELkINGtoN BEAt CoLIN MoNtGoMERIE (SCotLAND) AftER oNE HoLE of A SUDDEN-DEAtH pLAYoff

1996

Tiger Woods Medinah Country Club (No.3), Chicago, IL Tiger Woods valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, kY

Davis Love iii 269 winged foot Golf Club (west), Mamaroneck, NY Vijay Singh (fiji) 271 Sahalee Country Club, Sammamish, wA

David Toms Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands), Duluth, GA rich Beem Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN Shaun Micheel oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester, NY Vijay Singh (fiji) whistling Straits (Straits), kohler, wI

265 278 276 280

Phil Mickelson 276 Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, NJ Tiger Woods 270 Medinah Country Club (No.3), Chicago, IL Tiger Woods 272 Southern Hills Country Club, tulsa, ok Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 277 oakland Hills Country Club (South), Birmingham, MI Y.e. Yang (South korea) 280 Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN 277 Martin Kaymer (Germany) whistling Straits (Straits), kohler, wI

kAYMER BEAt BUBBA wAtSoN IN A pLAYoff ovER tHREE HoLES

2011

Keegan Bradley Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands), Duluth, GA

272

BRADLEY BEAt JASoN DUfNER IN A pLAYoff ovER tHREE HoLES

2012

rory Mcilroy (Northern Ireland) kiawah Island (ocean), Charleston, SC

275

169


Magic M a jor Mome n t s

H

Jack’s First Jacket

alf a century has passed since one of the greatest players the game has ever seen defied horrendous weather conditions to win the 1963 Masters. Jack Nicklaus, who won his first Major the previous summer in the US Open at Oakmont, did not enjoy a popular start to his career as a professional because of the threat he posed to Arnold Palmer’s status as golf ’s pin-up boy. But by the time he donned his sixth green jacket at Augusta National in 1986, at the advanced age of 46, the Golden Bear was an institution, and a long-time favourite with the galleries. Aged 23 back in 1963, though, Nicklaus still had much to prove. His rotund physique and chubby features contrasted sharply with Palmer’s stylish appearance and swashbuckling manner. His game was based on playing the percentages, aiming for the middle of a green and not the pin, but he sure could hit a golf ball. And when it was hit, it stayed hit. “I loved the golf course right from my first year as an amateur in 1959. I missed the cut but hit 31 greens in regulation,” he recalls. “The problem was I had eight three-putt greens. Arnold was leading the tournament even though he’d hit only 19 greens in regulation. I said, ‘Whoops, you better learn how to putt these greens.’” Ties for 13th, 7th and 15th followed over the next three years—steady but unremarkable progress. And Nicklaus seemed destined for more of the same in 1963 when he opened with a two-over-par 74, five shots adrift. Then came the turning-point: on the only day when the hostile weather relented, a superb 66 pulled him within one stroke of halfway leader Mike Souchak. “I got to play with him [Souchak] in the third round. It just poured down with rain. I remember on the 13th fairway there was so much water there really wasn’t any place to drop the ball. But they forced us to keep on playing and finally the rain stopped.” He finished with 74 and led by a shot going into the last round. “It surprised me but it taught me the value of perseverance.” On the Sunday, Tony Lema posted 70 to set a target of 287 while Sam Snead tied Julius Boros on 288. But Nicklaus secured his one-stroke victory with pressure putts on 16 and 18, and as he stepped off the final green he handed the winning ball to tournament founder Bobby Jones. “After that first victory, I could see the potential to win more was there. But it all started in 1963; it was one of the most important weeks of my career. It’s something that, 50 years later, is still very special to me.” ★

170

THE MAJORS 2013


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Arnold Palmer's Guide to Majors 2013 (UK Edition)