Byron Nelson PGA Tour stop remains a link to golf’s history
This week’s PGA Tour stop in Texas is one that holds a special place in many golfers’ hearts.
The HP Byron Nelson Championship remains as a link to the history of the game, despite the absence of its founder.
When the great Byron Nelson passed away in 2006 at age 94, many fans of the PGA Tour shed a tear not only for the man, but for the legend of the man. Lord Byron was a true link to golf ‘s great and illustrious history. The five-time major championship winner walked the fairways with the greatest the sport had ever seen — legends who helped make this game great like Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. Nelson is also credited with mentoring Ken Venturi and Tom Watson. During his career, Nelson won 64 times during his career and was inducted into the golf hall of fame in 1974, the same year he won the Bob Jones Award, which recognized his contribution to the game of golf.
Watching this tournament over the years, it was such as treat to see today’s youngsters shake the great man’s hand as they walked off the 18th green. It’s sad it can’t be done anymore. We still miss Lord Byron.
A MISSING PIECE
It’s too bad Fred Couples won’t be playing at this year’s event in Dallas. The popular Champions Tour player – who is coming to Saskatoon at the end of August as part of the Drive for Kids Campaign 2012 thanks to the Synergy 8 crew – won Lord Byron’s tourney back in 1987 and is an alum of the University of Houston. He is also the winner of the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Award in 1990 and 1991 for the lowest adjusted scoring average.
Couples, who lives in Austin, Texas, is likely preparing for next weekend’s Senior PGA Championship.
CANADIANS IN TEXAS
There are four Canadians playing this week: our own Graham DeLaet, Matt McQuillan, Stephen Ames and Mike Weir. DeLaet crossed the $500,000 barrier in yearly earnings last week after making the cut at The Players Championship.
Weir and Ames are grouped together along with PGA Tour veteran Jerry Kelly for the first two rounds. DeLaet is paired with former Canadian tour player and longtime PGA veteran Chris DiMarco and another grizzled veteran in Jeff Maggert.
McQuillan is alongside fellow youngsters Alexandre Rocha and Tommy Biershank.
U.S. OPEN NEARS
It’s only a month until the best golf-ers in the world gather for the U.S. Open held this year at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
This year’s event, probably more than any other in recent memory, has more storylines than ever.
There is the usual Tiger WoodsPhil Mickelson stuff that won’t go away. But it is the young guns’ scenarios – Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan – that we eagerly await. These guys are providing so much excitement and entertainment for the average golfer this year.
The Olympic Club course has been toughened up more than usual, too. For example, the 16th hole is now a par-5, 670-yard behemoth. It will be the longest par-5 in U.S. Open history.
There definitely is no shortage of compelling stories prior to the first ball being struck.
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