Remembering Ouimet: The Country Club

By Al TaysJune 6, 2013, 12:14 pm

The Country Club didn't need Francis Ouimet to put it on the golf map. It was already there.

In 1894, The Country Club joined with Newport (R.I.) Country Club, Saint Andrew's Golf Club of Yonkers, N.Y., Chicago Golf Club, and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club of New York to form what was first known as the Amateur Golf Association of the United States, and later changed to the United States Golf Association.

By 1913, The Country Club had hosted just one men's national championship – the 1910 U.S. Amateur. It would go on to host four more Amateurs (with a fifth scheduled for this year). The 1913 U.S. Open was its first Open, with anniversary revivals to follow in 1963 (50th anniversary) and 1988 (75th anniversary).


 Remembering Ouimet
Baggs: Who was Francis?
Baggs: Search for Ouimet
Tays: Anatomy of upset
Tays: Turning point in U.S.
Mosier: Eddie Lowery story
Timeline | Trivia | Bag | Photos
Why Vardon and Ray?
Vardon and the Titanic
Inspiring other writers
Full Coverage



Because of the Ouimet connection from 1913, the winners of the 1963 and 1988 U.S. Opens felt an extra thrill besides "just" becoming the national champion.

Curtis Strange, who beat Nick Faldo in a 1988 playoff for the Open title, said that at the time he "was just so focused on doing the best I could do in the U.S. Open.

"That's a pretty tough task in itself."

Later when he had a chance to reflect, he thought about the Ouimet story, and about how he now was part of the extended storyline.

"I'm as proud of that as I am of winning the Open," he said.

Julius Boros won his second U.S. Open at The Country Club in 1963, beating Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer in a playoff. Boros, who died in 1994 at age 74, was presented the trophy by Ouimet himself.

Boros' wife, Armen, was busy taking care of the couple's young children at the time and was not able to attend the tournament. But she does recall her husband talking about it. "Julius was such a quiet, quiet person," she said, "but he admired (Ouimet) tremendously. He said he was easy to talk to."

The Country Club member and historian Louis J. Newell recalls that Ouimet was very "unsettled" by all the fuss made over him at the 1963 Open.

"I think he was very happy to have that tournament over," Newell said. "He got all that attention and he didn't like it."

Besides the 1913 U.S. Open, the most famous – perhaps "infamous" is a better description – tournament played at The Country Club was the 1999 Ryder Cup.

Statue of Francis Ouimet and Eddie Lowery

Shortly before the tournament began, a statue of Ouimet and his 10-year-old caddie, Eddie Lowery, was dedicated at the site.

If you're fortunate enough to visit The Country Club today, you won't find the statue. It was given to the municipal club next door, Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course, where it currently stands between the parking lot and the clubhouse.

"It's a conversation piece," said head professional Tom Ellis. "A lot of people will get their picture taken with the statue, which is pretty neat. It gives people a better understanding of Francis Ouimet and where he's from."

Newell, 77, who has been a member of The Country Club for more than 50 years and occasionally played with Ouimet, who was a friend of his father's, confirmed that the idea was to expose the statue to a larger number of people than a private club could.

"We've got a lot of stuff of Francis' – his portait and a number of other things, golf balls, you name it," Newell said. "He played public-links golf until he achived notoriety, and we felt it was a good thing to do for the town, too."

It wasn't until 1953 that Ouimet was made an honorary member for life of The Country Club – the first male to be so honored, Newell said (tennis great Hazel Wightman was the first female). But Ouimet never expressed any dissatisfaction with The Country Club. Quite the contrary.

As a principal speaker at The Country Club's 50th anniversary dinner on April 21, 1932, Ouimet said: “To me, the property around here is hallowed. The grass grows greener, the trees bloom better, there is even warmth in the rocks you see around here. And I don’t know, gentlemen, but somehow or another the sun seems to shine brighter on The Country Club than on any other place I have seen.”

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Davies leads Inkster after Day 1 of Senior LPGA Champ.

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2018, 1:10 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies opened with a 4-under 68 despite finishing with two bogeys Monday, giving her a one-shot lead over Juli Inkster after Round 1 of the Senior LPGA Championship.

Davies, who earlier this year won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open, had a lost ball on the par-5 18th hole on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. She still salvaged a bogey in chilly, windy weather that had the 55-year-old from England bundled up in a blanket between shots.

Inkster, runner-up to Davies at the Senior Women's Open, made eagle on the closing hole for a 69.

Jane Crafter was at 70. Defending champion Trish Johnson opened with a 73.

Temperatures were in the high 40s, but the damp air and wind made it feel even colder.

Inkster made a bogey on the 17th hole by missing the green with a 9-iron.

''As old as I am, I still get made and I crushed that drive on 18,'' said Inkster, who followed with a 3-wood to 15 feet to set up her eagle.

The 54-hole event concludes Wednesday.

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Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.

Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.