American Triumvirate Celebrates Golf's Original Big 3 and how They Changed the Game

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 6, 2012, 4:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 6, 2012) – One-hundred years ago, three of the most impactful, game-changing and important names in golf were born three months apart:  Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.  Golf Channel will commemorate this centennial next Monday, Aug. 13, the exact 100th birthday of Ben Hogan, at 9 p.m. ET with the worldwide premiere of American Triumvirate, a captivating, hour-long special offering an in-depth look at the careers and lives of each man and who they were beyond the record books.

Narrated by acclaimed actor Kurt Russell, known for his hard-edged, tough guy roles in such movies as “Backdraft” (1991) and “Tombstone” (1993), American Triumvirate, presented with limited commercial interruption by Zurich, will show how this triumvirate of men helped save the sport in America and shape a modern, new era of golf. The film is motivated by American Triumvirate: San Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and the Modern Age of Golf written by author and golf historian James Dodson.

Between these three men the numbers are staggering:  198 combined PGA TOUR wins, and 21 combined major titles.  Snead captured more victories than any other man in Tour – perhaps world – history.  Nelson won more events consecutively and in one season than anyone else ever has or ever will.  And Hogan authored the greatest career comeback – and arguably the greatest swing – golf has ever known.  As the documentary transports viewers back to the early days of professional golf, it also highlights the myriad accomplishments of Nelson, Snead and Hogan that shattered the record books – their 198 combined titles are 39 more than Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player won as The Big Three.

Their accomplishments in golf are well documented, but through archival footage and interviews with family members, historians and contemporaries, American Triumvirate also paints a different picture about these men.  Stories told will shed light on what really defined them, which was so much more than what they accomplished on the golf course.

“Because they were from anonymous places, they had authenticity … these guys did it without any help, they did it by themselves.  They were models of absolute self-determination.” – James Dodson, golf historian and author of “American Triumvirate:  Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and the Modern Age of Golf”

 “You can always argue who was the greatest player, but Byron was the finest gentleman the game has ever known.” – Ken Venturi

The documentary begins with a look back at the 1912 birthplaces of each man, from the high plains and small towns of Texas (Nelson and Hogan) to the Blue Ridge hills of Virginia (Snead).  Captured through past interviews with Nelson and Snead – and through the remembrances of Hogan’s widow, Valerie – viewers will discover how the hardscrabble circumstances of their youth and coming of age during the backdrop of the Great Depression formed for each man a blueprint for future greatness – but greatness achieved in uniquely different ways.  The year, 1912, also saw the Titanic christened and sank, the first transcontinental flight, and famed Fenway Park and Tiger Stadium opened.

Their personal lives also are remembered through countless interviews that were recorded for the documentary.  The final list includes:  golf legends Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Ken Venturi; Nelson widow Peggy Nelson; noted swing coach Butch Harmon; Hogan widow Valerie Hogan; Snead nephew and former Tour player J.C. Snead; Snead’s son Jack Snead; Hogan protégé Kris Tschetter; Hogan friend Eldridge Miles; former USGA president Bill Campbell; former players Lanny Wadkins, Curtis Strange and David Feherty; Hogan biographer Curt Sampson, USGA historian Rand Jerris, golf historian Martin Davis and golf historian and author James Dodson.  Historical interviews with Sam Snead and Byron Nelson also are included.

American Triumvirate will air on the heels of the 2012 PGA Championship.  Golf Channel will host a special, pre-screening for family and friends of Hogan, Snead and Nelson, and for golf industry professionals tomorrow evening on Kiawah Island, S.C., site of this year’s final major championship tournament.  American Triumvirate was produced by Golf Channel in conjunction with Mickey Holden Productions.

Quotes from the documentary:

“Sam Snead’s tempo was fantastic.  I thought it was the best tempo I’ve ever seen.” – Jack Nicklaus 

“You can always argue who was the greatest player, but Byron was the finest gentleman the game has ever known.” – Ken Venturi 

'Anybody that says 11 straight is no big deal, for any reason, whether it was war time or there was nobody playing or whatever … look at the scores that he shot, the courses that he played.  Eleven straight is astonishing.” – David Feherty on Byron Nelson’s record of 11 consecutive victories on Tour in the late ‘40s. 

“If Tiger didn’t do it in 2000, I don’t see how anybody’s going to do it.  Eighteen wins in one year will never be broken.  Eleven straight … you can’t say anything is impossible, but that’s as close to impossible as I think it will ever be.” – Butch Harmon on Byron Nelson’s two victory records. 

“I remember screaming … I said ‘Ben, it’s going to hit us,” and I didn’t even realize at the moment that he had jumped in front of me.” – Valerie Hogan recounting the collision with a bus in 1949 that seriously injured Ben Hogan and was thought to have permanently ended his golf career. 

'Ben Hogan was a very, very good player before the accident.  I think he was better after the accident.  I think that speaks to how strong his mind, not only his will to survive, will to succeed, and his will to prove everybody wrong that said he couldn’t do something.” – Butch Harmon commenting on Hogan’s inspirational playoff win at the 1950 U.S. Open following his 1949 car accident.

“The golf tournament with his name on it meant so much to him – not because it had his name on it, but because it helped people.” – Peggy Nelson commenting on the Byron Nelson Championship as the working model for charity fundraising on the PGA TOUR.

“He did a lot of things for people in our county that nobody knows about, even the people he did it for didn’t know it was him doing it.  He bought people homes, cars … there was people that got groceries from him for months and months and months that didn’t know where it was coming from.” – Jack Snead on his father’s charitable giving.

“They were out there to make a living, and it was difficult to make a living.  Hogan went broke twice, before he ever won a tournament.” – Rand Jerris, United States Golf Association museum director.

“They were all born in 1912, yet they all dominated at different times.” – Martin Davis, golf historian. 

-NBC Sports Group-

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.