Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Greatest Game ever played

Considering the U.S. Open is round the corner and many of the big names in the game would be competing for the prestigious title it is worth going back in history to relive one of the greatest triumphs in the game of golf.

Here is a story of true grit and determination. Francis Ouimet, an amateur, born into an immigrant family earned a special distinction for himself by becoming the first amateur to win the U.S. Open. He did not belong to the social elite and made his living by caddying for players. What helped his cause was the fact that he had grown up right across the golf course and probably knew the course better than most. Francis had become a caddy at the age of 10. Incidentally when he won the U.S. Open his caddy(Eddie Lowery) was a 10 year old.

His impressive performance in some Amateur events caught the attention of the president of the U.S. Golf Association. It provided Francis with an opportunity to compete against golfing greats like Harry Vardon*(winner of 7 majors) who he had idolised from an early age. His victory also gave Americans a foothold in a game often dominated by the English and the Scots during that time
*Harry Vardon*

When Francis won the 1913 U.S. Open , he spawned a generation of young golfers looking to emulate his feat and follow in his footsteps. What was even more inspiring about the victory was the fact that he had broken the social barrier and made an inroad in a game where the social elite often dominated and others were looked down upon. He dared to dream and his achievement laid the path for many more great talents. In a game confined to the wealthy at that time, his triumph ensured that the number of golfers in America tripled. It was fitting that seven years after his death, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

In 2005 Disney came out with a movie "The Greatest game ever played" that profiled the story of Francis Ouimet.They said it is a story of courage, passion and of the greatest American sports hero you have probably never heard of. Francis Ouimet IS possibly the Greatest American Sports Hero you have probably never heard of!!

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