It’s so strange! Many of us have an unusual amount of time on our hands right now. As you may have surmised by the headline, I am one of them. I have always considered trivia to be “nice to know, not need to know information.” In this new reality, I have found trivia to be essential information. I just can’t seem to handle anything of a serious nature or that requires any kind of real thought. My attention span is shot, which is why I have spent the last week searching for interesting golf tidbits. Perhaps someday soon a few “real thoughts” might find their way back into my head.
On the good news front, a couple of the questions and answers below should prove to be useful during your next ZOOM cocktail party when the conversation starts to drag.
1) When was the first Masters Tournament played? 1) 1931 2) 1933 3) 1934 4) 1937. (Note: It’s official name was the Augusta National Invitation Tournament for the first five years.)
2) Who won the first Masters? 1) Walter Hagen 2) Horton Smith 3) Craig Wood 4) Gene Sarazen 5) Henry Picard.
3) Who won the 2018 U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills? 1) Dustin Johnson 2) Brooks Koepka 3) Justin Thomas 4) Rory McIlroy.
4) Who has the most PGA Tour wins without ever winning a major? 1) American Doug Sanders (born 1933) 2) American Bill Mehlhorn (1898 – 1989) 3) English-American Harry Cooper (1904 – 2000) 4) Scottish-American Macdonald Smith (1892 – 1949) 5) American Dutch Harrison (1910 – 1982) 6) American Kenny Perry (born 1960).
5) Who was the “Jackie Robinson of golf,” becoming the first African-American on the PGA Tour?
6) Who holds the record for Most Consecutive Cuts Made on the PGA Tour? 1) Jug McSpaden 2) Byron Nelson 3) Julius Boros 4) Jack Nicklaus 5) Tiger Woods.
7) Which golfer has the record for the Biggest Final-Round Comeback in a Major? 1) Gene Sarazen 2) Arnold Palmer 3) John Mahaffey 4) Paul Lawrie.
8) Which golfer has the Most Consecutive Years With a Win on the PGA Tour? 1) Sam Snead 2) Jack Nicklaus 3) Arnold Palmer 4) Bill Casper 5) Phil Mickelson.
9) Six women have played in PGA Tour tournaments: 1) Babe Zaharias (seven tournaments from 1935 to 1946) 2) Shirley Spork (1952 Northern California-Reno Open) 3) Annika Sorenstam (2003 BOA Colonial) 4) Suzy Whaley (2003 Greater Hartford Open) 5) Michelle Wie (eight tournaments, including four Sony Opens in Hawaii, between 2004 to 2008) 6) Brittany Lincicome (2018 Barbasol Championship). Which of these great women golfers made a cut?
10) In the second round of the 1989 U.S. Open at Oak Hill CC in Rochester, NY, something truly amazing happened! Doug Weaver, Mark Wiebe, Jerry Pate and Nick Price each had a hole-in-one within two hours on the same hole and all using a 7-iron on the 159-yard 6th hole. Harvard math professor Joseph Harris calculated the odds of this HIO barrage to be? 1) 1.3 million to 1 2) 50.8 million to 1 3) 1.56 billion to 1 4) 1,890,000,000,000,000 to (1.89 quadrillion) to 1. (Hint: The odds of a PGA player making a HIO on a par 3 is 2,500 to 1.)
11) Who is Oldest Player To Make the Cut in a Major? 1) “Old” Tom Morris, winner of 4 British Opens) 2) Sam Snead, 7 Majors 3) Ray Floyd, 4 Majors 4) Lee Trevino, 6 Majors 5) Tom Watson, 8 Majors.
12) Bobby Jones (1902 – 1971) won 13 Majors, including the Grand Slam in 1930. At that time the four Majors were: The British Amateur, The British Open, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur. In fact, the case has often been made that he is the “greatest golfer of time.” As his World Golf Hall of Fame bio says, “Beginning with his victory in the 1923 U.S. Open at Inwood and ending with his U.S. Amateur victory at Merion in 1930, Jones won 13 championships in 20 tries, the most imposing run of major titles the game has ever seen.” Jones co-designed the Augusta National with Alister MacKenzie. The new club opened in early 1933. The first Masters Tournament was in March 1934. He played in the tournament 12 times from 1934 to 1948. How many times did he break par in those 48 rounds? (Note: From its first playing in 1934 through the 1956 the Masters did not have a cut.) 1) 0 2) 5 3) 10 4) 15 5) 21.
13) Since the European Tour was established in 1972, which golfer has the Most Career Wins? 1) Bernhard Langer 2) Seve Ballesteros 3) Colin Montgomery 4) Tiger Woods 5) Nick Faldo 6) Lee Westwood.
14) Who was The First Non-American to Win the Masters? 1) Australian Jim Ferrier 2) South African Bobby Locke 3) Australian Peter Thompson 4) Englishman Henry Cotton 5) New Zealander Bob Charles 6) South African Gary Player.
15) Which golfer has the PGA Tour record for Most Consecutive Rounds of Par Or Better? 1) Ben Hogan 2) Sam Snead 3) “The Silver Scot” Tommy Armour 4) Gary Player 5) Tiger Woods.
2) Horton Smith won the first and third Masters. Gene Sarazen won in 1936; Byron Nelson in 1937, and Henry Picard in 1938.
3) Brooks Koepka. He was the first back-to-back U.S. Open champion since Curtis Strange went back to back in 1988 & 1989.
4) English-American Harry Cooper (1904 – 2000), won 31 times on the PGA Tour between 1925 and 1941. In 1937, he won eight times, led the money list and won the inaugural Vardon Trophy. In addition, he had 37 runner-up and 25 third-place career finishes. His most disappointing seconds were in the 1927 and 1936 U.S. Opens and in the 1936 and 1938 Masters. The other contenders in order were: Smith, 25; Mehlhorn and Sanders with 20; Harrison, 18; Perry, 14.
5) Charlie Sifford (1922 – 2015) in 1960. He was the first African-American to play in a PGA-sanctioned event after he successfully challenged the organization to end its "Caucasian-only clause." He went on to win two PGA tournaments, the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and LA Open in 1969. He was inducted in the World Golf of Fame in 2004.
6) Tiger Woods holds the record for most consecutive cuts made at 142 between 1998 and 2005. Five-time Major winner Byron Nelson 1912 – 2006) is second with 113 consecutive cuts.
7) Paul Lawrie was 10 strokes behind France’s Jean Van de Velde before the start of the final round. At the end of the third round, Van de Velde had a 5-stroke lead over second-place Justin Leonard and Craig Parry. Van de Velde's score was 213, while Lawrie was tied for 14th place at 223. But Lawrie wound up winning in a four-hole, aggregate-score playoff against Van de Velde and Leonard. Van de Velde shot 77 in the final round and Lawrie shot 67. The other biggest final-round comebacks in the Majors are: Eight strokes by Jackie Burke Jr in the 1956 Masters and seven strokes by both Arnold Palmer in the 1960 U.S. Open and John Mahaffey in the 1978 PGA.
8) Tie between Palmer and Nicklaus with 17 consecutive years: Palmer (1955 to 1971) and Nicklaus (1962 to 78). Billy Casper is third with 16 (1956 to1971) and Lee Trevino fourth (1968 to 1981)
9) Only Babe Zaharias with two -- 1945 Phoenix Open (304 total), 33rd place and 1945 Tucson Open (307 total), 42nd place. The 1952 Northern California-Reno Open was a no-cut tournament. Spork finished 105th.
10) 1,890,000,000,000,000 to (1.89 quadrillion) to 1. According to the professor’s figures, there’s a better chance of a golf ball suddenly leaping into the air by itself by random atomic collision than of four golfers scoring four aces on the same hole in the same round.
11) Sam Snead is the record holder here. He made the cut in the 1979 PGA Championship (Oakland Hills) at the age of 67 years, 2 months, 7 days old. Snead finished 42nd in the tournament, shooting 73-71-71-73 for an 8-over total of 288.
12) Jones never did well in his own tournament. While he shot a practice-round 64 in 1936, he never broke par in the actual event, which he played 12 times from 1934 to 1948. His worst round was a nine-over-par 81.
13) Seve Ballesteros is the all-time leader with 50 European Tour wins. He is followed by Langer’s 42; Woods with 41; Montgomerie with 31 and Faldo’s 30. Westwood has 25.
14) In 1961, Gary Player of South Africa won the Masters with a score of 8 under par to become the first golfer from outside of the United States to win the Masters. Gary Player went on to win the Masters again in 1974 and 1978. Up until Player’s win, the best finish by non-American was Australian Jim Ferrier’s 1950 second-place finish to Jimmy Demaret. Ferrier did win one Major, the 1947 PGA.
15) Once again Tiger Woods has the record with 52 straight rounds shooting par or better. The streak began in the second round of the 2000 GTE Byron Nelson Classic and ended in the second round of the 2001 Phoenix Open. When including non-PGA Tour events, the streak was 66.
Keep Your Distance!