Fleck Finds Differences in His Win and Johnsons

By Associated PressApril 10, 2007, 4:00 pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The man who beat Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open to claim one of the biggest upsets in golf said Monday the similarities between his win 52 years ago and Zach Johnson's victory over Tiger Woods at the Masters are outnumbered by the differences.
 
About 1.3 million differences.
 
An Iowan and a relative unknown like Johnson, Jack Fleck was in his first full year on the professional circuit when he made two birdies on the final four holes at San Francisco's The Olympic Club to tie Hogan at 287 after four rounds.
 
In an 18-hole playoff the next day, Fleck shot a 69 to Hogan's 72 and captured his first professional victory.
 
On Sunday, Johnson pulled away from Woods, Retief Goosen and Rory Sabbatini with three birdies in four holes to finish with a final-round 3-under 69 for a two-shot win. It was Johnson's second-ever victory -- and the first time Woods failed to regain a lead lost in the final round of a major.
 
Fleck, 85, is accustomed to sharing his thoughts when a golfer defies all odds to win a major. Calls poured in to Fleck's Fort Smith home in 2003, when 500-1 long shot Ben Curtis won the British Open.
 
And Fleck's phone started ringing before Johnson put on the green jacket Sunday.
 
'Most of the guys that called, they wanted to compare my beating Hogan to Zach Johnson beating Tiger Woods,' Fleck said Monday as he was on his way to play a round of golf. 'But ... there's a little difference in the comparison.
 
'In the first place, I had to come into a tie and he wins outright. He didn't have to tie anybody. He didn't have to play again. I had to play the next day -- 18 holes -- and I win $6,000 and he wins $1,335,000. I said 'that's the difference in the comparison.''
 
Fleck, who played at Augusta 11 times on the TOUR, said he watched Sunday's round intently after a windy and cold Saturday in which only one player was able to break par.
 
While Fleck said his wife was rooting for Johnson, he was cheering for all the players -- except Woods.
 
'I was rooting for any one of the guys,' Fleck said. 'But I think it'd be better for golf that Tiger Woods does not really dominate that much. I like to see people that can challenge Tiger Woods. He's the greatest player in the world.'
 
Fleck tries to play golf every day the weather allows -- he shoots at his age or slightly lower -- and is preparing to play in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf tournament in Savannah, Ga., next week.
 
And although Johnson kept his cool and made the shots he needed to make to win, Fleck said he could help him handle the sudden fame.
 
'I know one thing,' Fleck said. 'With my experience, I could help the guy. But he can really hit it and really play.'
 
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


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    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.