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Jenkins at the Majors: Sixty Years of the World's Best Golf Writing, from Hogan to Tigerby Dan Jenkins
Synopses & Reviews
MONSTER BROUGHT TO ITS KNEES
Ben Hogan at the 1951 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills
Ben Hogan shot the greatest round of his life--maybe of anyone's life--a stunning three-under 67 in the final round of the U.S. Open championship to win it yet again, this time on the torturous layout of Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit, but mostly what he wanted to talk about afterward was why people watch golf in the first place. Goodness, don't they have something better to do?
"The golf fan really has my respect," Ben said. "They go out there and get sunburned or rained on, they push each other around, they stand until their backs ache, and I just can't understand how they do it."
He said, "There were probably twenty thousand people out there in the last round, and fifteen thousand of them didn't see anything. There is this couple from Orange, New Jersey, that's followed me for, well, I don't know for how long. They always seem to turn up where I'm playing, and I can always spot them in the crowd."
Interesting to hear this from the man who is supposed to concentrate so deeply that walking from green to tee he's been accused on occasion of failing to recognize his wife, Valerie, when he encountered her.
Hogan went on, "There's a man from Tyler who's been watching me play for more than 10 years. And there's a fellow from Memphis--I don't even know his name--he's always in my gallery. I like to watch college football. You can see everything in reasonable comfort, and it only takes about three hours. But golf . . . I don't know."
Those who watched the golf at Oakland Hills saw the greatest player in the game win on what may have been the toughest Open course ever devised. He did it in the final hours of "Open Saturday," firing the low round of the championship and one of only two scores below 70 over the entire 72 holes. Considering that the average score of the field in the last 18 was 78 strokes, it could be argued that Hogan's closing 67--despite two bogeys--was actually 11 under.
It was Hogan's fourth Open title. That's if you count the '42 "wartime" National Open that he won at Chicago's Ridgemoor Country Club. Next was the record-setting win at Riviera in '48, then last year's comeback triumph in a playoff at Merion, and now this one.
Ben only smiled when reminded that if you ignore the '49 Open at Medinah, the championship he missed because of the near-fatal car wreck, he had actually won three in a row with the Oakland Hills victory.
Even Bobby Jones hadn't done that.
After rounds of 76 and 73, Hogan began the last 36 holes five strokes behind the halfway leader, Bobby Locke, and in a 10-way tie for 16th place.
His 71 in the morning round drew him within striking distance. At this point he was only two back of the co-leaders, Locke and Jimmy Demaret, with Julius Boros and Paul Runyan one ahead of him.
In the afternoon Ben went out directly behind Demaret at a 12-minute interval, and a full hour and a half ahead of Locke, the jowly South African whose putting style resembles a slap but who often makes life uncomfortable for American pros--by beating them on their own tour.
Overlooking the spike marks and divots, and the wear and tear on his body, the golf course Hogan conquered in that final round was a devilish thing that architect Robert Trent Jones had remodeled wit
Six decades of classic stories on the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship by one of the most famous sportswriters of all time.
Jenkins has selected more than ninety of his original dispatches from the past sixty years—from Ben Hogan’s great final-round 67 to win the 1951 U.S. Open at torturous Oakland Hills to Tiger Woods's grimacing playoff win against Rocco Mediate fifty-eight years later—all written with his colorful humor and unmatched insight, and all written on deadline, which generations of sportswriters are still trying to emulate.
JENKINS AT THE MAJORS is filled with Jenkins's unparalleled coverage, and the stories remain as vivid and thrilling as the days he wrote them. Weekend warriors and armchair enthusiasts will relish this chance to revisit his favorite memories and matchups, including:
• Ben Hogan besting Sam Snead in an epic battle in the 1953 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
• The legendary 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills, where three eras clashed as Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus battled it out in the final round
• Greg Norman’s cringe-worthy collapse at the 1996 Masters.
• Tiger Woods’s record-shattering victory in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach
Jenkins was there, immortalizing these and many other great moments in golf history with his signature style and encyclopedic knowledge of the game in this nostalgic and highly entertaining ride—a must-read for every golf fan.
Legendary sports writer Dan Jenkins delivers a golf history lesson that is unrivaled in its scope and style.
In this seminal collection, Dan Jenkins has selected the funniest and mostriveting stories from his epic career as a writer for Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest, where his wry reportage of golf's most thrilling finishes, historic moments, andheartbreaking collapses brought legions of fans intimately close to the action. All the greatest moments of golf over the last sixty years are here: Jack Nicklaus at Pebble Beach, Arnold Palmer at Cherry Hills, Ben Hoganand Sam Snead at Oakmont, and of course Tiger Woods, just about everywhere. As much about journalism and watching the growth of one of our most cherished sports writers, as it is about the great game of golf, Jenkins at the Majors is a must read for sports fans and golfers alike.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
IV. The Eighties. The reign of Spain : Seve Ballesteros wins 1980 Masters ; Return of the Big Dog : Nicklaus wins 1980 U.S. Open at Baltusrol ; Seeing double : Nicklaus wins 1980 PGA at Oak Hill ; A drive down easy street : Larry Nelson wins 1981 PGA in Atlanta ; The 1,000-to-1 shot : Tom Watson over Nicklaus at 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach ; Breakthrough for the Heartbreak Kid : Ben Crenshaw wins 1984 Masters ; Man unfazed by shark attack : Fuzzy Zoeller beats Norman at 1984 U.S. Open at Winged Foot ; Gott in Himmel! : Bernard Langer wins 1985 Masters ; North by Taiwan : Chen folds to Andy North in 1985 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills ; Turning back the clock : Nicklaus wins 20th major at 1986 Masters ; Tempo Raymondo : Ray Floyd wins 1986 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills ; Matilda waltzes : Greg Norman wins 1986 British Open at Turnberry ; Olympic strikes again : Simpson over Watson at 1987 U.S. Open at Olympic ; Strange interlude : Curtis over Faldo at 1988 U.S. Open at The Country Club ; King Curtis : Strange again at 1989 U.S. Open at Oak Hill — V. The Nineties. Shoot a USGA official on sight : Hale Irwin wins sudden death at 1990 U.S. Open ; Fairways and putts : Ian Baker-Finch wins 1991 British Open at Royal Birkdale ; Kill it, John : John Daly takes 1991 PGA at Crooked Stick in Indiana ; Just Fred : Couples wins 1992 Masters ; The consummate grinder : Tom Kite wins 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach ; Revenge of the shark : Greg Norman wins 1993 British Open atSandwich ; Half a slam : Nick Price wins 1994 PGA at Southern Hills ; A sentimental journey : Ben Crenshaw wins 1995 Masters ; Reversal of fortune : Norman's epic collapse in 1996 Masters ; The Late Show, starring-- Mark Brooks wins 1996 PGA ; He's here! : Tiger by 12 at 1997 Masters ; Somewhere under the rainbow : Davis Love III wins 1997 PGA at Winged Foot ; Urgent call for a name : Mark O'Meara wins 1998 British Open at Royal Birkdale ; The Payne stops here : Payne Stewart wins 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst ; The Inspector calls : Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie ; Don't look now : Tiger wins 1999 PGA at Medinah — VI. The Two Thousands. A league of his own : Tiger by 15 at 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach ; Broken record : Tiger by 8 at 2000 British Open at St. Andrews ; Triple play : Tiger wins 2000 PGA at Valhalla ; A slam by any name : Tiger slam at the 2001 Masters ; Major surprise : Retief Goosen wins 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills ; Golfding royalty goes public : Tiger wins 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park on Long Island ; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Els : Ernie Els wins 2002 British Open at Muirfield ; That wonderful year : Ben Curtis wins 2003 British Open at Sandwich ; At long last : Phil Mickelson wins 2004 Masters ; It shouldn't happen to a sportswriter : Todd Hamilton wins 2004 British Open ; Land reclaimed by Dracula : Pete Dye and 2004 PGA at Whistling Straits ; The people's choice : Phil Mickelson wins 2005 PGA at Baltusrol ; Full body slam : Geoff Ogilvy accepts 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot ; Now you're cooking : Tiger wins 2007 PGA at Southern Hills ; Immelman's turn : Trevor Immelman wins 2008 Masters ; Tiger Woods and the knee-jerk open : Tiger beats Rocco at 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
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