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The Week In Golf

Three presidents, a knight of the realm and Lefty.

Posted Feb 10, 2010 by The Week In Golf

phil mickelson

Feb 15, 1995: On this day two small pieces of political and sporting history were made. Bill Clinton became the first US president to play in a PGA Tour event at Indian Wells Golf Club and it was also the first time three American presidents played a round together. They played a five-ball with entertainer Bob Hope and tour pro Scott Hoch and for the record, George Bush Snr shot 92, Clinton 93 and Gerald Ford 100.
Feb 16, 1931: The future Sir Henry Cotton was dropped from the British Ryder Cup team in a row over the fact that he wanted to make his own travel arrangements. Britain lose 9-3 to the US at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. Cotton would return to captain the Ryder Cup team in 1947 and 1953.
Feb 17, 1963: Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time and a certified golf junkie, was born. Since retiring from basketball for the second time in 2003, Air Jordan has spent most of his time on the links in the company of his famous buddies - including Tiger Woods.
Feb 18, 1945: LPGA Hall of Famer and two-time Solheim Cup captain Judy Rankin was born in St Louis, Missouri. Rankin was the ultimate holding player on the LPGA Tour in the '60s and '70s - with her classic swing, tall frame and horn-rimmed glasses, she was an elegant figure and a frequent winner.
Feb 19, 1936: On this day in 1936, the will of English entrepreneur and garden-seed tycoon Samuel Ryder was read after his death a month before due to a haemorrhage. Ryder, who didn't begin golfing until age 50 after making a fortune in the packeted seed trade, lent his name (of course) to the famous Ryder Cup biennial competition between teams from Britain and the United States, and donated the trophy in 1926 at substantial cost. Despite his large fortune during his life, Ryder gave most of his money away, especially to his church. Ryder was buried with his favourite club (a mashie, or 5-iron), and there was less than £30,000 in his estate. His only instruction in his will has that the money should be distributed to "the greater benefit to all concerned."
Feb 20, 1955: Red-hot Mike Souchak defied near-freezing temperatures in San Antonio, Texas, firing a PGA Tour record total of 257 for 72 holes that was to stand for another 46 years. The burly 15-time PGA Tour winner from Pennsylvania, who played on the 1959 and '61 US Ryder Cup teams, bolted out of the gates with a 27 on his first nine and 60 for his first 18 holes.
Feb 21, 1993: Phil Mickelson won his first PGA Tour event as a professional, when he beat Dave Rummels by four shots to win the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines. It was to be the first of many. Lefty, as he's now known by his legions of fans, is one of the greatest golfers of his generation and owner of 37 PGA Tour titles (up to February 2010), the 13th highest total of any player. It's even longer since Phil won his first tournament on the PGA Tour as an amateur - the 1991 Northern Telecom Open.

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