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The Week In Golf

One babe, two fairway dandies and a Welshman

Posted Feb 24, 2010 by The Week In Golf


March 1, 1953: Babe Didrikson Zaharias (pictured, right) notched up one of her 82 tour wins by beating the rest of the field in the LPGA Sarasota Golf Open. Voted the greatest femle athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated magazine, Babe (born Mildred Ella) won 10 Major golf tournaments, as well as two gold medals and a silver in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games.

March 2, 1958: Ian Woosnam (pictured), 1991 Masters champion, eight-time Ryder Cup player and victorious captain in 2006 was born just across the border from his native Wales, in Oswestry. Woosie was one of the European Big Five of the '80s and early '90s, along with Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle.

March 3, 1920: Julius Boros achieved the dreams of most golf addicts by a) winning three major championships, and b) dying on the golf course. He was born on this day in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Hungarian immigrants. Boros didn't turn professional until he was 29, after a stint in the US Army Air Corps medical division, but didn't waste any time after that, getting a reputation as one of golf's fastest players. He won 18 times on the PGA Tour and captured the 1952 and 1963 US Opens, before winning the PGA Championship in San Antonio in 1968 at the age of 48, making him the oldest major winner in history.

March 4, 1954: Goofy genius Peter Jacobsen was born in Portland, Oregon. One of the most affable PGA Tour players in his prime for his comic hi-jinks, Jacobsen won six tour titles, including Pebble Beach in back-to-back years. He was also the founder of the musical group of golfers Jake Trout and the Flounders with Payne Stewart and Mark Lye, releasing a jokey album of golf songs called I Love To Play in 1998, featuring the track Love The One You Whiff...

March 5, 1961: The colourful PGA Tour star Doug Sanders - the peacock of the fairways - won the Greater New Orleans Open. Six years later to the day, Sanders also triumphed at the 1967 Doral Open on the famous Blue Monster.
Sanders, who came from a humble background in backwoods Georgia and was known for his flamboyant, multi-coloured combinations on the course; essentially, he was the Ian Poulter of the 1960s. But Sanders also had big-time game, winning 20 times on the PGA Tour and delivering a host of close calls in the majors ...

March 6, 1893: One of golf's toughest administrators and one of the founders of Augusta National, Clifford Roberts, was born in Morning Sun, Iowa. Roberts made his fortune in finance before the Great Depression and helped the golf legend Bobby Jones select the property which is now Augusta National. Roberts presided over The Masters until his death from a self-inflicted gunshot on Augusta's par-3 course in 1977. Augusta firmly denied admission to women during Roberts' reign and although he allowed Lee Elder to become the first black to play the Masters in 1975, resistance to change was one of his legacies.

It may also be worth noting that had King James II had his way there might never have been a Masters. On March 6th 1457 in Edinburgh, he issued a ban on ‘ye golf’, as his army were neglecting their archery practice in favour of a quick nine on the links.

March 7, 1965: One of the most colourful characters on tour during the nineties and noughties, Jesper Parnevik, was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He won five times on the PGA Tour and four times on The European Tour and represented Europe in The Ryder Cup in 1997, '99 and 2002. His father was famous Swedish entertainer Bo Parnevik and Jesper was a founder investor and ambassador for J Lindeberg golf clothing, enlivening proceedings on the course with a variety of bold fashion statements, including pork pie hats, skinny ties and cardigans.

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