April 8, 2009

Pop Quiz: Who Is This Golfer?

From 1964 to 1970, he won 27 times on tour, with three of them being in majors. That is three more wins than Nicklaus in the same period. Seven more than Palmer and Player combined.

He also competed on eight Ryder Cup teams and has the most points of any American in the history of the event.

Question: Who is this golfer?

(no Googling, I would like to see if you know it off the top of your head.)

Most importantly, why is he not given his due by the golf literati of our time? That question really makes me scratch my head and wonder. To hear the modern golf press tell it, you'd think that every tournament was won by the Big Three until Lee Trevino and Tom Watson took over the 1970's -- and even then they forget about some guy named Johnny Miller who shot a 63 in the final round of the 1973 US Open.

Then again, we never remember other golfers like Dr. Cary Middlecoff, who won 40 tournaments from 1946-1961 and won three majors in his own right so it doesn't surprise me. When one mentions the 1950's and talks about Hogan and Snead, they should not forget The Dentist. After all, Bobby Jones said that "I'd give the world to have a swing like that," when asked about Middlecoff.

No offense to modern golf writers and historians, but sometimes it seems that hyperbole and oversight and the general norm and that too many great golfers from the past are forgotten, making it seem like the greats fought out every tournament amongst themselves. It didn't happen that way then and it doesn't happen that way now.

1 comment:

  1. Billy Casper. I did a blog on him and it shocked me when I read his stats. I loved when Arnie, Miller Barber (Mr. X), Don January and Casper were out there on the senior tour before the retreads from 1980's appeared (Colbert, Jenkins, Gilder, et al).


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