Mangrum: Golf's forgotten man

By Brandel ChambleeApril 4, 2011, 6:52 pm

In any tournament, it is common to hear that one is engaged in a “battle,” either of attrition, with the field, a particular hole or within. In a time of war and ever-mounting losses of those that stand face-to-face with an enemy that would rob us of our freedoms, that metaphor, as it relates to sport, seems inappropriate. One man who knew both the sting of battle and the rigors of competitive golf was the forgotten man of the game, as he was called by the late Jim Murray.

Born in Trenton, Texas in 1914, Lloyd Mangrum turned pro at 15. When he was called away to war at age 28, he had won five times on the PGA Tour. In preparation for the D-Day invasion, he was offered the cushy assignment of golf professional at the Fort Meade Golf Course, but he declined. Wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, where 19,000 would lose their lives, he helped thwart the German offensive and, in the process, was awarded two purple hearts.

He came home at the end of 1945, and in 1946 he won the U.S. Open. Imagine what would happen today and the hysteria that would ensue from the actions of a man, returning as a war hero and winning his national championship.

How could this man be forgotten, in his country, let alone the sport in which he excelled? Perhaps he was overshadowed on the national front by a jingoistic pride that would put the commander of the troops in the White House. On the golf course his fellow Texans – Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Jimmy Demaret – got most of the press. Still, Mangrum would go on to win 36 times on Tour, which is 13th most in Tour history, just behind Phil Mickelson, who just captured No. 39. Perhaps if Mangrum had won The Masters, as did Hogan, Nelson and Demaret we might know his story a little better. But even in the list of those with close calls at Augusta National, the 1946 U.S. Open winner is forgotten.

We know Tom Weiskopf as a man denied the green jacket when he finished runner-up in the year’s first major four times. Similarly snake-bit victims who seemed to always have one hand on the green jacket but forever denied are: Greg Norman, Johnny Miller, Ernie Els, Ken Venturi and Tom Kite, just to name a few. Seldom, has Lloyd Mangrum ever been mentioned as one of those, who above all others, deserved a green jacket. In the 14 times the Masters was played from 1940 to 1956 (having been interrupted by World War ll from 43-45) the war hero Mangrum finished ninth or better 12 times, finishing as high as second in '40 and '49. In an era where Snead, Hogan, Nelson and Demaret dominated the Masters, much the way Woods and Mickelson do today, Mangrum’s story was not told near enough.

Every April has us all in a tizzy over who could win the Masters and remembering those who did. But as I’m walking the grounds at Augusta National this week, I will be thinking of a man who never won there – a hero, who seemed to always be lost in the parade.

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Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Rickie Fowler

7. Bubba Watson

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Matt Kuchar

12. Brian Harman

On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

European Points

1. Tyrrell Hatton

2. Justin Rose

3. Tommy Fleetwood

4. Francesco Molinari

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5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

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5. Ian Poulter

6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



The second is from Sunday night.



And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.