Back9Network Trivia and Answers

The Players

Thursday, May 8

Q. Who became the first man in the Players Championship to break par for 72 holes on the Oceanside Course at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra, Fla.? When was it?

     a. Wayne Levi
     b. Tom Watson
     c. Lanny Wadkins

A. Lanny Wadkins handled the elements and architecture of Sawgrass, and finished with a 283 total, 5-under-par in 1979. Wadkins started the day with a three-shot lead, and found his way over the final round through winds gusting to 45 mph or more and hard greens, which wouldn’t hold a shot and were protected by bunkers in front.

Q. Who won the 1977 Players Championship by two shots despite shooting the highest winning score on the PGA Tour (289) since Jack Nicklaus at the 1972 U.S. Open (290)?

     a. Raymond Floyd
     b. Hale Irwin
     c. Mark Hayes

A. Mark Hayes, who joined the tour in the fall of 1973, used the wind as his ally, and concentrated only on making pars for an even-par 72 in the last round. Mike McCullough claimed second place with a birdie on the 72nd hole. He had a 75 and a 291 total.

Q. Who said, “It looks like I tried to play the round without making a putt”?

A. Jack Nicklaus upon winning the Players Championship for the third time in 1978, though he said he was not sure whether he won “or was the only one to survive.” Nicklaus made three bogeys and no birdies for a 75 during the last round, which gave him a 1-over-par 289, and that was still a stroke better than runner-up Lou Graham. His 289 was the same score by which Mark Hayes won this tournament in 1977 and marked the second year in a row that none of the world’s greatest golfers has been able to match par for four rounds over the wind-swept Oceanside course of Sawgrass Country Club.

Tuesday, May 6

Did You Know?
The Players Championship has never had a back-to-back winner. Jack Nicklaus has the record of three victories in the 70s (1974, ’76 & ’78).

Q. Where was the inaugural Players Championship played?
     a. Colonial Country Club, in Fort Worth, Texas.
     b. Sawgrass Country Club, at Ponte Veda Beach, Florida.
     c. Atlanta Country Club in Marietta, Georgia.

A. The inaugural event in 1974 was played at the Atlanta Country Club in Marietta, Georgia.

Q. What did Jack Nicklaus say when he won the first Tournament Players Championship in August 1974?

A. This tournament “has salvaged the year for me.” Nicklaus was disappointed about not winning any of golf’s four majors that year. He took home the $50,000 first prize when he strung together six birdies en route to a 67 and a total of 272. The final round began Sunday and concluded Monday morning due to torrential rainstorms.

Q. Who became golf’s eighth millionaire with his $11,750 in prize money for fourth place at the inaugural Players Championship in 1974?
     a. Gene Littler
     b. Don January
     c. Miller Barber

A. Gene Littler became golf’s eighth millionaire by going over the magic number by $8,454. Littler has won 29 PGA Tour events including the 1961 U.S. Open. He finished inside the top 60 on the money list 25 times in 26 seasons.

Friday, May 2

Thought of the Day
“Long before I had ever thought of becoming a pro, I hated to hit a bad shot. It pained me. It made me feel awful. The ball is there to be hit right.”
~Arnold Palmer ~

Q. According to Jack Nicklaus, what is essential for great putting?

     a. Feel
     b. Speed
     c. Judging distance

A. Feel – First, for distance and then for swinging the putter head through the ball at the necessary speed. That is why just about everything Jack has done with a putter, in practice and in play, was about “establishing the degree of fluidity,” he said, “between my hands and the head of the club that enables me to best ‘feel’ the ball to the hole with the putting stroke.” Since the player alone controls speed through the force of the stroke, only by feeling can he/she determine how much break to play.

Q. On what grounds does Nicklaus justify his long-made decision to play to the middle of the putting surface on almost every green at Augusta National, regardless of where the flagstick is located?

A. By noting that you have a pretty realistic chance of making a putt from the center, no matter what you do, of every single hole except No. 2, which is a “little bit awkward.” Nicklaus said, “Take the 10th hole. It is really a difficult green to get the ball close. Just hit it to the center. You’ve always got a pretty good putt.”

Q. Is the mental approach that golf requires somehow “explicable”?
A. Arnold Palmer said, “The mental approach that golf requires is a peculiar and complicated mixture of abiding confidence and patient resignation, of intense concentration and total relaxation. It is something almost inexplicable that has to exist deep down in your unconscious mind.”

Q. What is course management?

A. Jack Nicklaus said, “Course management is about putting the ball in a position that leaves you the best possible next shot. Playing smart sometimes means sacrificing power and your ego.”

Thursday, May 1

Thought of the Day
“There is no type of miracle that cannot happen at least once in golf.”
~ Grantland Rice ~

Q. Who said to Gary Player, “Son, someday you are going to be a great golfer. How much do you practice?”

     a. Bobby Locke
     b. Byron Nelson
     c. Ben Hogan

A. Ben Hogan. Playing in his first U.S. Open in 1958, a young Gary Player was paired with Hogan in the first round. In the locker room, Hogan asked him if he practiced hard. Player recounted at length his extensive practice program and his physical conditioning regimen. Hogan replied, “Double it,” and walked away. Player finished second to Tommy Bolt in the Open.

Q. Why does Gary Player like change?

A. Because it forces us out of our comfort zone. Player said, “The fear of change is really the fear of the unknown, and man knows no fear than that of the unknown. But there is nothing at all to fear. As more and more change entered my life, I have vowed to accept it for what it truly is: opportunity.”

Q. What does the expression in golf “I pured that one” mean?

A. It means that we have struck a shot exactly the way we want. This is the sweetest feeling a golfer can experience because in that moment you have achieved perfection in an imperfect game. Player said, “Why, we wonder, can’t they all feel like that? Because if they all felt like that, we wouldn’t know how good the good ones feel.”

Tuesday, April 29

Did You Know?
Gary Player has played in somewhere around 2,000 professional tournaments. He has won more than 160 titles.

Q. Up to May 2002, how many years of his life did Gary Player spend sitting on airplanes?
     a. Six
     b. Eight
     c. Four

A. Player estimates he spent four years of his life sitting on airplanes. He said, “I’ve flown more than 12 million miles, certainly more than any other golfer, and I think that’s more than any human being in history, including pilots.” For this reason, he has developed the habit of going to sleep at takeoff and don’t wake up until it’s time to land.

Q. Gary Player is credited with the following quote, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” Where did this quote originate from?

A. During a bunker practice in Texas. Player told Guy Yocom of Golf Digest, “I was practicing in a bunker down in Texas and this good old boy with a big hat stopped to watch. The first shot he saw me hit went in the hole. He said, ‘You got 50 bucks if you knock the next one in.’ I holed the next one. Then he says, ‘You got $100 if you hole the next one.’ In it went for three in a row. As he peeled off the bills he said, ‘Boy, I’ve never seen anyone so lucky in my life.’ And I shot back, ‘Well, the harder I practice, the luckier I get.’ That’s where the quote originated.”

Q. Where did Player buy the same blade putter he used almost exclusively for more than 35 years?

A. In Japan. He bought it for $5 while walking with Arnold Palmer through a Ginza store. It never failed him. And he won over 100 tournaments and the grand slam with it. He had it re-shafted, re-gripped and spray painted black many times. “Then one day,” he said, “a tiny little piece of lead tape I’d placed on the rear of the putter at the outset fell off. I stuck on a new piece of tape, but the putter was never the same. So I put it in a display case for my museum.”

Friday, April 25

Did You Know?

In 2006, the Zurich Classic was the first nationally televised sporting event after Hurricane Katrina. Many players donated their earnings from the tournament to Hurricane relief.

Q. When was the Zurich Classic of New Orleans inaugurated?

     a. 1926
     b. 1938
     c. 1958

A. The tournament began in 1938 and was played at City Park Golf Course. On Feb. 22, 1938, Harry Cooper (the leading money winner of the winter professional golf tour) pocketed the first money prize of $ 1,200 after winning the inaugural event with a 285 total, three shots under par. Four shots behind at 289 was Harold (Jug) McSpaden and tied for third was Sam Snead. New Orleans is the 11th-oldest host city on the PGA Tour.

Q. Who won in New Orleans for the last of his 51 PGA Tour victories in 1975?

     a. Ben Hogan
     b. Hale Irwin
     c. Billy Casper

A. Veteran Billy Casper birdied three holes in a row down the stretch, shot a solid 2-under-par 70 and cruised to a comfortable two-stroke victory with a 17-under 271 total on the 7,080-yard Lakewood Country Club course.

Q. Identify the Australian player who putted only 99 times in the USF&G Classic in 1990, only the fifth player in PGA history to use under 100 putts in a 72-hole tournament.

     a. Steven Elkington
     b. Adam Scott
     c. Greg Norman

A. Greg Norman, who finished with a gorgeous approach to less than a foot for birdie at the 18th for a 65, the best round of the tournament, appeared to have forced at least a sudden-death playoff, if he hadn’t won outright. South African David Frost, however, blasted out of a bunker and into the cup from 50 feet on the 18th hole for a birdie and won the USF&G Classic by one shot. Frost shot 276 to Norman’s 277.

Q. Which Masters champion shot a final-round record 63 to win his second straight title in New Orleans?

     a. Zach Johnson
     b. Adam Scott
     c. Vijay Singh

A. Vijay Singh made a 25-foot birdie at the 18th hole to overcome a six-shot deficit in the last eight holes, and win a rain-delayed tournament in 2004 that finished on Monday. Singh finished at 266 and became the first three-time winner. Phil Mickelson and Joe Ogilvie were a stroke back at 267.

Thursday, April 24 

Thought of the Day
“Give your imagination free reign when you’re in a position to win and it can be the death of you.”
~ Jack Nicklaus ~

Q. How many times did Jack Nicklaus fail to reach the green in regulation during the 1962 U.S. Open’s playoff with Arnold Palmer at Oakmont Country Club?

     a. Tw0
     b. None
     c. Seven

A. Tw0 — once on the eighth hole and again on the 18th, where his ball was embedded in soft turf. Palmer had three three-putts and that was the three-stroke margin of victory that brought Nicklaus the championship, 71 to 74.

Q. What words did Arnold Palmer use to describe Jack Nicklaus, who masterfully and coolly defeated him in the 1962 U.S. Open to become “the other wonder man” of modern golf?

A. “The Big Strong Dude.”

Q. What goals did Jack Nicklaus desire to achieve in his career?

A. Nicklaus set his goals in golf based on the standards Bob Jones established in his career. Nicklaus said, “He won 13 major championships and my goal was to see if I could come somewhere near that record.” When he eventually surpassed it, “the moment was as sad for me as it was sweet, because of what Bob Jones’ record had meant to my life and the place it had held in golf history.”

Tuesday – April 22

Thought of the Day

“Contrary to what many amateurs have been led to believe, the golf ball is not a natural enemy of mankind. It is a friendly masterpiece, which will gladly take wings if you give it half a chance.”
~ Arnold Palmer ~

Q. With whom did Arnold Palmer sign his first staff contract on Nov. 15, 1954, just three months after winning the U.S. Amateur?

     a. Spalding Golf Clubs
     b. Ben Hogan Company
     c. Wilson Sporting Goods

A. Wilson Sporting Goods. The company agreed to pay Arnie $ 5,000 a year and provide him with clubs, balls and a big white Wilson staff bag with his name on the front.

Q. What was the lowest score Arnold Palmer ever shot in a 72-hole event?

A. Palmer shot 64-67-64-70 for 265 (23-under-par) to win his first big-time professional event: the 1955 Canadian Open at Weston Golf & Country Club.

Q. Which former president of the British PGA informed Palmer that he had to play his embedded ball at the 12th hole of Augusta National during the 1958 Masters?

A. Arthur Lacey. Palmer’s 6-iron shot plugged into its own pitch mark on the back fringe of the green at the 12th hole (par 3, 155 yards). Palmer said, “I should have been able to lift, clean and drop my ball without penalty to a spot as close as possible to the original position and no nearer the hole.” Palmer decided then to play two balls and appeal to the tournament committee. He knew he had that option under Rule 3-3a. When Lacey objected, saying, ”No sir, you cannot do that either,” Palmer said, ”Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing.” With his second ball, Palmer saved a par-3 that the Masters Rules Committee upheld on appeal, in contrast to a double-bogey five with his embedded ball. Palmer finished one stroke ahead of Doug Ford and Fred Hawkins, and two strokes ahead of Ken Venturi.

Friday – April 18

Thought of the Day

“Golf is the only game in which the player is not permitted to see what he is doing. He must continue to look down after he swings. The rest is up to the ball. It can stop in the fairway, rough, woods, trap or lake. With five options, what ball will elect to play straight?”
~John Bishop ~

Q. According to Arnold Palmer, what is the “whole secret” of mastering the game of golf?

     a. To get all the careless mistakes out of the system.
     b. Not to get mad at the course and wait for the bad luck to strike.
     c. To stay serene.

A. The trick is to stay serene. Palmer said: “The whole secret of mastering the game of golf is to cultivate a mental approach to the game which will enable you to shrug off the bad shots, shrug off the bad days, keep patient and know in your heart that sooner or later you will be back on top.”

Q. Who lost against Gary Player in the memorable match on the first extra hole in the World Match Play semifinals in 1965? And why was this match unforgettable?

     a. Arnold Palmer
     b. Don January
     c. Tommy Lema

A. Tomy Lema. Gary Player came back from seven down after 19 holes to defeat Tony Lema on the first extra hole in the World Match Play semifinals in 1965. Player has always epitomized the classic identikit image of a match player. He was a five-time World Match Play champion, who beat Jack Nicklaus two times, 6 & 4 and 5 & 4. He described his match against Lema as the most significant of his career.

Q. What goals did Jack Nicklaus desire to achieve in his career?

A. Nicklaus set his goals in golf based on the standards Bob Jones established in his career. Nicklaus said, “He won 13 major championships and my goal was to see if I could come somewhere near that record.” When he eventually surpassed it, “the moment was as sad for me as it was sweet, because of what Bob Jones’ record had meant to my life and the place it had held in golf history.”

Thursday April 17

Thought of the Day

“We are certain that in the whole range of sport or human exercise there is nothing that is quite so good as the sublime sensation, the exquisite feeling of physical delight that is gained in the driving of a golf ball with a wooden club in the manner that it ought to be driven.”
~ Henry Leach ~

Q. Which course would Jack Nicklaus choose if he had one round left to play in his life?

     a. Old Course at St. Andrews
     b. Pebble Beach Golf Links
     c. Muirfield Village Golf Club

A. Pebble Beach had a major impact on Nicklaus’ career. He said, “I fell in love with Pebble Beach Golf Links the moment I stepped foot on that gorgeous public course in preparation for the 1961 U.S. Amateur.” Nicklaus has always had his most thoroughly solid performances in major championships played in Pebble Beach. Defying wind, sand, grass and water, he won the 1972 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, beating the best of the game, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino.

Q. What did Gary Player realize as a schoolboy that has kept him competitive for nearly 60 years?

A. The realization that led Player to pursue golf full-time instead of other sports of his youth was that “when I played golf I was not subjecting my body to absurd amounts of abuse and punishment. The fact that a person could be maimed and crocked (as we say in South Africa) for the rest of his life by playing rugby or football or by boxing was not lost on me. High-speed collisions of human bodies and constant thumping on my brain would eventually affect the quality of my life and probably shorten it as well.”

Q. What was the comparison of driving and three-putts between Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer over 90 holes in the 1962 U.S. Open at the demanding Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh, in Western Pennsylvania?

A. Arnie had 11 three-putts over 90 holes, Nicklaus had just one. From the tee, Jack out-drove Palmer by 20-30 yards. During the 18 holes of the playoff, only twice (once on the eighth hole and again on the 18th, when his ball was imbedded in soft turf) did Nicklaus fail to reach the green in the regulation number of strokes. Palmer three-putted three times, and that was the three-stroke margin of victory that brought Nicklaus the championship, 71 to 74.

Tuesday April 15

Did You Know?

Being conservative when boldness was not imperative has earned Jack Nicklaus a lot more tournament victories than it has cost him.

Q. How many holes-in-one has Arnold Palmer made in his career?

     a. Ten
     b. Fifteen
     c. Nineteen

A. Arnold has made nineteen holes in one. He recalls one of his favorites, “I was playing Bay Hill and on the 17th hole my caddie gave me a club that I told him was not the right club. He insisted it was and I proceeded to hit the ball into the water. At this point I decided to hit another ball from the tee and take the penalty. This time I took the club I thought I should use and it went on the green and rolled in for a hole in one. I looked at the caddy and said, “See, this is the right club.” The caddy turned to me and said, “No, you hit that fat.”

Q. When did Gary Player arrive in Great Britain as a callow 19 year-old?

     a. 1956
     b. 1957
     c. 1955

A. Player arrived in Great Britain in 1955. His swing was so unimpressive that one local professional suggested he should “go home and get a job away from golf.”

Q. Which was the first PGA event Jack Nicklaus played in 1958?

     a. Los Angeles Open.
     b. The U.S. Open.
     c. The Rubber City Open.

A. The Rubber City Open in the South Course at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio; eventually Nicklaus won several tournaments on this course, including the 1975 PGA.

Thought of the Day

“I’ve studied golf for almost 50 years now and know a hell of a lot about nothing.”
– Gary Player

The Masters 

April 11, 2014

Q. What piece of local knowledge did Fred Couples violate on the 13th hole during the final round at the 1998 Masters?

A. Play away from the doglegs. Fred hooked his drive into the trees to the left of the creek that runs along the fairway. If he played his customary fade from the tee, he would have been far less likely to get into a position from which he had little chance of making par. He rather tried to shorten his second shot by drawing his drive around the corner. Couples finished second a stroke behind Mark O’Meara in a tie with David Duval.

Q. What did the Colonel (Jones’s father) say after one player, who hit a poor shot that landed in a soggy area near the creek, asked him whether he was entitled to relief from casual water at the twelfth hole in Augusta National?

A. “Then what in the goddamn hell difference does it make? Tee the thing up on a peg for all I give a hoot!” Previously The Colonel has asked him where he stood in relation to par. “Eighteen over,” the played said. This was in the early years of the Masters when the club sometimes had trouble finding knowledgeable volunteers to serve as rules officials.

Q. What hole did Mackenzie more nearly discovered than designed when he first walked the Fruitland property in 1931?

    a. The 18th
    b. The 5th
    c. The 13th

A. The thirteenth hole, par 5. Mackenzie found a field where much of the fairway is today and immediately recognized the makings of a great hole. David Owen wrote: “Virtually all that had to be done was to build a green at the appropriate distance on the far side of the stream.”

Q. “From the edge of some of our greens, three putts is par.” Who said it? What did it mean?

A. Cliff Roberts, in the fifties, when asked for some “expert tips on playing the course.” Augusta National is an awesome course that we can never finish discovering. There is always more beauty, more challenge, more work to do. And the 18 holes are all different, boundlessly full of possibilities and wonderfully diverse. Because of Augusta course’s richness, pin positions, and players’ own superior skills, a hole that calls for a draw on one day may favor a fade the next and the actual target is always smaller than the entire green.

Thursday – April 10

Q. Who is the PGA Tour star that holds the ignominious honor of having recorded the highest score ever on the 12th hole, par 3, at Augusta National? How many strokes did he make? And when was it?

    a. Sam Snead, 8 in 1938.
    b. Tom Weiskopf, 13 in 1980.
    c. John Daly, 18 in 1998.

A. Tom Weiskopf, 13 in 1980. It happened in the first round. His 7-iron off the tee spun back in to Rae’s Creek. Then from the drop area, he dunked four more. With his 11th shot, he reached the back of the green. At least he didn’t three-putt. Tom Weiskopf was runner-up four times (1969, 1972, 1974 & 1975).

Q. To whom did Cliff Roberts say, “You can play that ball off the sand bar”?

A. President Dwight Eisenhower. They were playing a match with Ed Dudley (the club’s pro) and Jerome Franklin (a local member) after Eisenhower had been elected president. His tee shot landed short of the green and his ball ended up on a sand bar next to the water. He climbed down the bank to his ball and sank past his knees in what turned out to be quicksand. Two Secret Service agents jumped in after him and pulled him out by the arms. According to David Owen, who tells the story in his book The Making of the Masters, the match was delayed while the president went back to his cottage to change clothes. “When he returned he told Roberts,” Owen said, “that he would never again take his advice on any matter concerning golf.”

Q. Identify one of the Augusta’s most colorful personages nicknamed The Colonel? 

    a. President Dwight Eisenhower.
    b. Cliff Roberts.
    c. Robert P. Jones.

A. Bobby Jones’s father, Robert Purmedus Jones. He was a lawyer from Atlanta. He could play to a handicap of about eight.

Q. Who was the first amateur that nearly won the Masters? And when was it?

    a. Frank Stranahan.
    b. Harvie Ward.
    c. Billy-Joe Patton.

    a. 1954
    b. 1948.
    c. 1956.

A. Billy-Joe Patton in 1954. His magnificent bid ended when he tried to reach the fifteenth green from the rough on the left. The ball finished in the pond. The resulting six was one too many. Had he played safely for a five, he would have tied with Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. At the prize ceremony, Augusta National co-founder and nine-time USGA champion Bob Jones presented Patton his award for being low amateur, and the champion Snead said, “Billy Joe, you nearly got the whole turkey.”

Tuesday, April 8

Q. Do you know how the 12th green at Augusta National was created?

A. By covering an exposed rock ledge with 5,000 cubic yards of earth, which had been excavated on the opposite side of the creek.

Q. By what name did Herbert Warren Wind identify the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes at the Augusta National that early members called “the water loop”? When was it and what inspired him?

A. Amen Corner. His inspiration was a jazz recording called “Shouting at Amen Corner,” by the band of a Chicago clarinetist named Milton “Mezz” Mezzrow. In 1958, writing about the Masters in Sport Illustrated, Wind felt that the decisive moments in that year’s tournament (which Arnold Palmer won by a single stroke over Doug Ford and Fred Hawkins) had taken place on those holes.

Q. Which American pro called the 12th hole “the meanest little par-three in the world”?

    a. Jack Nicklaus
    b. Tom Weiskopf
    c. Lloyd Mangrum

A. Lloyd Mangrum

Q. When, in 1935, Gene Sarazen holed his second shot with a three wood at the fifteenth hole for his famous double-eagle, where did Gene’s ball land?

    a. On the back of the green to the left and coming dangerously close to the water and by applying back-spin, the ball back rolled into the cup.
    b. On the center of the green to the right side of the hole, and rolled directly into it.
    c. On the tongue of the green in front and rolled directly into the cup.

A. On the tongue of the green in front and rolled directly into the cup. Sarazen’s masterpiece tied Craig Wood and forced the tournament’s only 36-hole playoff. Sarazen won the extra holes 144-149. 

Photo Gallery: Augusta National Turns 81


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