Sports Outside the Beltway

Will the Globe and Mail’s Lorne Rubenstein please pick up the white courtesy phone

In the aftermath of Geoff Ogilvy’s win yesterday, the golf writer takes us down memory lane as he tells us about other Australians who have had success at professional golf.

Greg Norman, of course, is the Australian who probably comes to most golf-watchers when they consider players from Down Under who have been big winners. Norman won the 1986 and 1993 Open Championships and some 90 other tournaments around the world. He tied for third in the 2003 Open, when he was already a senior golfer.

Actually Norman finished tied for 3rd at the 2008 British Open. This may just be a typo. Also Norman’s PGA Tour profile lists his total victories as 89, two of which are those Open Championship victories of his. Rubenstein has it as 2 plus 90 other wins.

There is more……

But Norman was only following a long line of Aussies who have ruled the game. Peter Thomson won five Opens between 1954 and 1965. David Graham won the 1979 PGA Championship and the 1981 U.S. Open. Wayne Grady won the 1990 PGA while Steve Elkington won the 1995 PGA. Ian Baker-Finch won the 1991 Open. Adam Scott has won six PGA Tour events.

Let me point out something about Thomson. His five British Open Championships are impressive, at the time he did it, those were not considered PGA Tour events. Retroactively they have been changed to wins, and if they weren’t, Thomson would have only one PGA title to his credit.

The reason I mention this. The introduction to Rubenstein’s article.

Greg Ogilvy* is the latest in a string of Australians to become a big winner on the PGA Tour

In his day, Peter Thomson wasn’t considered a big winner on the PGA Tour.

I can name four Australians that Rubenstein fails to mention who have won more tournaments on the PGA Tour than Adam Scott. Can anyone take a guess who those are?

Stuart Appleby 8 wins

Bruce Devlin 8 wins

Bruce Crampton 14 wins

Jim Ferrier 18 wins including the 1947 PGA Championship making him the first Australian born golfer to win a major Championship.

But wait didn’t Ferrier become a U.S. citizen? Yes, but so did David Graham at least of those listed above by Rubenstein.

And let’s not forget Kel Nagle, who won the 1964 Canadian Open. The Canadian Open was a very significant event in those days. Who finished second to Nagle? None other than Arnold Palmer.

I know Rubenstein works in Canada and understand his Canadian Open focus. You want to hear what else Nagle won with Arnold Palmer finishing 2nd?

How about the 1960 British Open.

Rubenstein didn’t write a horrible column, just a mediocre and incomplete one.

*- A name slipup obviously. I pick at Golf writer’s work all the time, but I make those same type of mistakes. There’s a level to my nitpicking.

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