A popular recreational and professional sport worldwide, Golf utilises a club and ball, the object being to play the ball from the starting point to the hole in as few strokes as possible.
The only game not required to be played on a standardised field, there is no consensus on the exact origins of Golf, but many believe it originated from similar games played in Rome, Belgian, France & Scotland.
In the United States, before 1913, it was primarily a game of social status, but tournament golf gained wider attention after a former caddie named Francis Ouimet won a US Open Championship.
Golf then reached peak popularity in the 1920’s and there are currently over 16,000 golf courses in the United States alone, with over 26 million people playing golf at least once a year.
Variations on traditional golf include “miniature golf,” which is a putting game on fancifully designed courses. It became widespread in the 1930s and is a popular recreation for kids and adults alike. Putting greens and driving ranges are also popular means of recreation and practice.
Probably the most heard of Tournaments are:
The PGA Tour currently comprises over 40 tournaments in each season. A win in any of these tournaments earns golfers not only a massive cash prize and FedEx Cup points, but also a guaranteed card to PGA events for the next two season. The highlights of the PGA season include:
The World Golf Championships: A collection of events co-sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours. These prestigious tournaments are open to players outside the PGA and attract top quality fields.
In recent years the PGA Tour has taken on a championship format, the FedEx Cup. Players earn FedEx Cup points every time they win or place in a PGA Tournament, and these points determine the contestants for the end of season Tour Championship. At the end of the season the player with the highest points total declared season champion.
Needless to say the PGA Tour is the subject of intense interest for online bookmakers and punters alike, with 4 or more events scheduled for every month of the year, it presents numerous opportunities to take advantage of betting opportunities.
The first ever US Open took place in 1895 and was played at the 9 hole Newport Golf and Country club on Rhode Island.
Despite it’s humble beginnings, the US Open captured the heart of the US People in the early part of the 20th Centring and has since dominated the professional circuit.
Only since 1922 was the US Open opened up to spectators but it was the proceeding years that would really spark interest from the general public. It is now firmly established as one of the best known golf championships in the world and has been one of the four majors since the inception of professional golf during the 1950’s. Over the years some of the best known names in the history of golf have had their name inscribed on the US Open trophy.
Probably the most famous golfer of them all, Jack Nicklaus won the US Open a joint record four times during his career which saw him play in 44 consecutive Championships between 1957 and 2000.
Other US Open players who have won the four times include Willie Anderson, Bob Jones and Ben Hogan.
In more recent memory, Hale Irwin won the Championship a total of three times between 1974 and 1990 and on his final victory become the oldest ever US Open champion at the age of 45.
Two players head in to the 2009 US Open with a chance of making it three Championship wins. Retief Goosen has played well in recent US Open Championships, winning in 2001 and 2004 and will again be fancied to register a big performance at Bethpage.
Another South African, Ernie Els threatened to dominate the title when winning it in 1994 and 1997 but has since failed to make an impact. The Big Easy can never be ruled out and it would be no surprise to see him come back to form at the 2009 US Open.
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