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18.........

Post by legendkillar on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:01 pm

We are not talking the critically acclaimed Adele Album (Not a fan myself) but bear with me with the magic number...

It's Sunday 20th June 1982 in California. It's overcast. It's the 82nd US Open. It's the final round and a 42 year old Jack Nicklaus was playing some great golf in the first 3 rounds, but wasn't holing out the big putts. Tom Watson his new nemesis was leading Jack by 3. In 1980 Jack at the age of 40 won his 3rd US Open when many had written him off after a fallow period of 2 years without a Major. He later went on to win the USPGA that year and move to 17 Majors. After the first 2 holes of the final round, Jack was 1 over par. Then out of nowhere he started a charge. He birdied 3,4,5,6,7 and then led the tournament heading to the 8th. Jackie Nicklaus (Jack's eldest son) was on the bag and after Jack's birdie at 7th said to Jack "Way to go Dad. You've got this" and then come the 8th Jack started to go off the boil. Nicklaus finished the round 4 under and was the clubhouse leader. Watson bogeyed the 16th to move to 4 under. Jack watched on TV as Watson shanked his tee shot on par 3 17th into the deep rough on the fringe. Jack felt confident of at least play off at this point. Watson hit a chip that ran down the hill like snowball escaping an avalanche and it went in. Watson pointed to his caddy and from that shot he birdied the 18th to win the US Open by 2 clear shots. Jack later said it was one of his most heartbreaking defeats. Jack went on to finish runner up again at the 1983 USPGA.

Prior to 1986 Jack Nicklaus hadn't won a tournament in 2 years and between 1981 and 1985 only won twice on the PGA Tour. 46 years of age and seemingly past his best. Going into the Masters that year, a sports writer had said "Jack's done, gone. Clubs are too rusty." Jack's wife pinned the article on his fridge. Jack also changed putter before the Masters. His son Jackie was on the bag. Jack's Mum attended the Masters for the first time since 1958 for one last time and Jack's sister showed up for the first time. There were some big names starting to dominate the world of golf. Ballesteros, Langher and Faldo led the European charge. Watson, Kite, Crenshaw, Strange were leading the American charge and Norman led the charge for the Aussies. Jack was not a factor. Even CBS weren't interested. Jack made a steady start. Rounds of 74, 71 and 69. Jack was 4 shots off the lead going into Sunday.

The lead chopped and change on the front 9. Jack played the first 8 holes at level par...Then something magical was about to start. Jack birdied 9,10 and 11 and all of sudden was 1 shot off the lead. Jack hits his tee shot long on the 12th and misses the par putt down to a pitch mark left on the green. All of sudden with that bogey the energy and expectation was sucked out of the crowd and seemingly Jack. Norman and Ballesteros tied at 7 under were now likely to win. Jack birdied the 13th and made par at the 14th and then was about to weave more magic. At 15 Jack made a stunning eagle to go within 2 shots of Seve. Jack went to the par 3 16th and now the famous commentary "Tom what is Jack thinking right now?" asked Jim. Weiszkopf responded "If I knew what Jack was thinking right now I would've won 17 Majors!" Jack hits a sweet tee shot within 3 feet of the hole and the gallery explodes with a roar not quite heard before. Jack birdies 16 and moves within 1 of Seve. On the par 5 15th stands Seve. 2nd shot. He is plump middle of the fairway with the sun beating down. A birdie here and he will no doubt go and win. Seve swings and finds the drink. Jack on 17 hears the sighed roar and knows that the leaders are buckling. Jack is on the 17th green for birdie. Has a right to left 18 foot putt which he sinks after it breaks back right. Jack is now 9 under and 1 shot in the lead. He goes on to par the 18th. He went out of the back nine in 30. Which was 6 under and at the time a record for the back nine at Augusta. Both Seve and Greg surrendered their leads to the attack of the Golden Bear.

Once the hand struck midnight and the tears and celebrations were over. Jack never won on the PGA Tour again. That one magical weekend, Jack turned back time and produced what is arguably the most memorable day of golf anyone has witnessed.

I write this as I see Federer's Wimbledon 2014 heartbreak as Jack's 1982 US Open. I was only 5 when Jack won the Masters. The footage and many documentaries I have seen on that Sunday makes we wish I was there or that I saw it. Jack says that the public always come up to him and recount where they were the day he won the 1986 Masters. Federer's 2017 Australian Open triumph is that moment for me. That one night when everyone's wishes came true and Roger found that extra ounce of magic to defy everything. I am sure when the years go by people will recount exactly where they were the day Roger at 35 won his 18th Slam...


Last edited by legendkillar on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 18.........

Post by bogbrush on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:14 pm

Great article. I'm a bit older than you and I recall Nicklaus in '85. It felt like it had to be, like it would have been wrong for it not to happen.

I love the comment "Jack's wife pinned the article on his fridge". I think wives can play such a big part in a mans career; there's nobody else he leans on more than a great wife (I know from experience) and she can do those things that reassure, or cajole, or inspire, or admonish a man that no coach can match. I suspect Mirka has played a very big part in all those things that have kept Federer going and probably deserves quite a big slice of the credit for yesterday. 

PS Mrs B noticed the enormous rock on Mirka's finger the other day - says it all that while I'm rapt at the backhand she's sizing up the diamond Roger bought her.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Tenez on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:32 pm

I remember that Nicklaus 85. I was 20 then.

yes some similarity with Fed though fed in my view plays in so much tougher competitive environment.

Nice article though.

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Re: 18.........

Post by legendkillar on Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:38 pm

bogbrush wrote:Great article. I'm a bit older than you and I recall Nicklaus in '85. It felt like it had to be, like it would have been wrong for it not to happen.

I love the comment "Jack's wife pinned the article on his fridge". I think wives can play such a big part in a mans career; there's nobody else he leans on more than a great wife (I know from experience) and she can do those things that reassure, or cajole, or inspire, or admonish a man that no coach can match. I suspect Mirka has played a very big part in all those things that have kept Federer going and probably deserves quite a big slice of the credit for yesterday. 

PS Mrs B noticed the enormous rock on Mirka's finger the other day - says it all that while I'm rapt at the backhand she's sizing up the diamond Roger bought her.

Oh indeed. Mirka has a rather understated role in Rogers life in terms of being able to appreciate the demands of his career and how supportive she must have to be. Roger has had some harsh defeats and I can imagine she has been able to help lift spirits. I do recall Gary Player saying that if you can fill your life with love you'll be a happy person and I believe that in Rogers case too.

I think parallels can be drawn with Jack and Roger in the sense when Jack won the 1980 US Open and I remember the scoreboard saying "JACK IS BACK" and that second wind not lasting as long many would've hoped for. Like when Roger won Wimbledon in 2012 and reclaimed no.1 in the world. I think most knew it wouldn't be like it was before, but you yearn for it to be like that.

What has slightly irked me about this AO victory is how under reported it is here. Sky Sports news had more on transfer news than Federers victory. I felt like Julius in Pulp Fiction when he says to Vincent "I want you to acknowledge the fucking miracle!"

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Re: 18.........

Post by Veejay on Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:26 pm

if it had been murray in the final then we would have gotten much more coverage 
i also dont thin enough of a fuss has been made about this years AO
serena breaking the record grand slam titles in the open era and rogers fairy tale come back literally defying all odds 
18 and 23...numbers that wont be eclipsed in our lifetime i think 
this generation will go down in history as the platinum royal golden era of tennis 
not just tennis legends but tennis royalty

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Re: 18.........

Post by bogbrush on Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:48 pm

Very true! They get it's a Slam, and they get it is a Federer. They even get that it was Federer vs Nadal.

They just don't get that the last time a Slam was won by an older man was in 1972, when the game was unrecognizable from what it is now, or that he won it by taking a journey from developing a game when Serve and volley dominated, through the era of ever-slowing courts, and finally won this by drawing on those original skills.

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Re: 18.........

Post by legendkillar on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:03 pm

I agree Vee. If it was a Murray victory petchey would've been on Sky with his wankbank.

Absolutely agree on Serena. The tennis royalty too.

Great Britain wonders why it can't generate a pool of exceptional players with such lame coverage and unappreciation for what is achieved by modern day giants of the game.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Veejay on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:08 pm

here i thought you'd like this LK

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/federer-joins-nicklaus-in-club-18-january-2017

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Re: 18.........

Post by legendkillar on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:16 pm

Thanks for that Vee smiley this says it all

Having unexpectedly won your 18[size=14]th major at 46, you must have a better idea than most what this title means to Roger?
Most of the first 17 I won I expected to win if I worked hard and put myself in that position. I felt like I was the best player on the golf course and that’s what I was there for. I’m sure Roger in his first 17 felt much the same way.[/size]
Then you get to a point in your career where you know that you may be beyond your peak but you get yourself to a position where you get a chance to do it again and your body and your mind remember how to do it. That’s what happened to me in ’86. I don’t think Roger had any expectations going into this event, having six months off. And all of a sudden he got to the semi-finals and finals and he said, ‘Hey, I remember how to play this game and I’m going to play it’.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Veejay on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:36 pm

legendkillar wrote:Thanks for that Vee smiley this says it all

Having unexpectedly won your 18[size=14]th major at 46, you must have a better idea than most what this title means to Roger?
Most of the first 17 I won I expected to win if I worked hard and put myself in that position. I felt like I was the best player on the golf course and that’s what I was there for. I’m sure Roger in his first 17 felt much the same way.[/size]
Then you get to a point in your career where you know that you may be beyond your peak but you get yourself to a position where you get a chance to do it again and your body and your mind remember how to do it. That’s what happened to me in ’86. I don’t think Roger had any expectations going into this event, having six months off. And all of a sudden he got to the semi-finals and finals and he said, ‘Hey, I remember how to play this game and I’m going to play it’.
spot on ^^
he played like he had nothing to lose,espcially in the 5th set.I dont think i have ever seen him take the match to nadal like that,usually he would have doubted himself especially in the 5th
he didnt play his "best tennis" by a mile that was just a sheer will to want to win and he only did it because he really believed that he could

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Re: 18.........

Post by legendkillar on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:44 pm

And that was the key. Relaxing and letting it all flow.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Daniel on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:12 pm

A piece of carbon on her finger. When people work that out, there may be hope for humanity.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Veejay on Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:32 pm

03.02.04 was the first time roger became the world no1
thats 13 years ago today
13 years later,still winning majors!!

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Re: 18.........

Post by Emancipator on Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:00 pm

Great for both of them but to win 18 golf majors is just something else.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:42 pm

TMF wrote:Great for both of them but to win 18 golf majors is just something else.

What do you mean?

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Re: 18.........

Post by luvsports! on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:59 pm

I think he is saying it is more impressive?

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Re: 18.........

Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:01 pm

luvsports! wrote:I think he is saying it is more impressive?

That's what I thought.....But thisis clearly a joke.

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Re: 18.........

Post by luvsports! on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:08 pm

ye?

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Re: 18.........

Post by bogbrush on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:21 pm

That's nonsense. There's 4 chances a year and the career is longer.

I grant you that to win a golf event you have to beat every player rather than seven, but that doesn't actually alter the probability of success.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Veejay on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:36 pm

bogbrush wrote:That's nonsense. There's 4 chances a year and the career is longer.

I grant you that to win a golf event you have to beat every player rather than seven, but that doesn't actually alter the probability of success.
golf is man against course not athlete against athlete
i think that there is a pretty big difference,but that doesnt take away from either

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Re: 18.........

Post by Emancipator on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:43 pm

Of course its tougher. As bogbrush says you have to beat the entire field every itime, not just 7 players (sometimes less). And in tennis you  never have to beat the top 7 players let alone the entire field .

I hate golf, it's boring as hell to watch but I can appreciate that the way the game is set up means majors are harder to win in golf than tennis.

Tennis is tougher from a physical point of view but not from a competitive point of view

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Re: 18.........

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:44 pm

Golf is overrated big time.


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Re: 18.........

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:47 pm

bogbrush wrote:That's nonsense. There's 4 chances a year and the career is longer.

I grant you that to win a golf event you have to beat every player rather than seven, but that doesn't actually alter the probability of success.
That's the same as comparing track and field athletes and counting their Olympic medals as "slams", they get a chance once every four years.

Tennis is the toughest sport there is, esp right now.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:52 pm

bogbrush wrote:That's nonsense. There's 4 chances a year and the career is longer.

I grant you that to win a golf event you have to beat every player rather than seven, but that doesn't actually alter the probability of success.

But more importantly,  golfer would not typically influence another. So you are playing against yourself...which is easier than to play against someone who can have a great influence on your own game.

A genius in golf has no one to fear...bar another genius, in tennis not so much. Rafa for instance was sending a ball no-one coudl train on creating a problem of its own....which has no equivalent in golf.


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Re: 18.........

Post by Tenez on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:54 pm

TMF wrote:Of course its tougher. As bogbrush says you have to beat the entire field every itime, not just 7 players (sometimes less). And in tennis you  never have to beat the top 7 players let alone the entire field .

I hate golf, it's boring as hell to watch but I can appreciate that the way the game is set up means majors are harder to win in golf than tennis.

Tennis is tougher from a physical point of view but not from a competitive point of view

he....no the field is beating itself as well. You just have to beat the better ones like in tennis.

But the key thing about goldf is that it might not have reached the level of Borg and McEnroe yet. The club of pro golfers is ridiculously tiny compared to Tennis.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Emancipator on Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:02 pm

Tenez wrote:
bogbrush wrote:That's nonsense. There's 4 chances a year and the career is longer.

I grant you that to win a golf event you have to beat every player rather than seven, but that doesn't actually alter the probability of success.

But more importantly,  golfer would not typically influence another. So you are playing against yourself...which is easier than to play against someone who can have a great influence on your own game.

A genius in golf has no one to fear...bar another genius, in tennis not so much. Rafa for instance was sending a ball no-one coudl train on creating a problem of its own....which has no equivalent in golf.

That's a good point. But it works the other way too. In tennis you can physically beat another opponent or someone can beat a difficult opponent for you (like Federer beating Djoko at the FO in '11) but in Golf if someone is on a hot streak there's nothing you can do apart from raising your game and applying scoreboard pressure. You have tp be the best player every time to win a slam. That's tougher in my view.

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Re: 18.........

Post by bogbrush on Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:23 pm

I did stress that whether it's v 7 or v the field, as in both cases only one man wins it must logically be exactly as difficult.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Veejay on Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:30 pm

bogbrush wrote:I did stress that whether it's v 7 or v the field, as in both cases only one man wins it must logically be exactly as difficult.
the difference is that in golf the same course doesnt change where as players get hot and cold all the time 
there are far greater chances of upsets happening in tennis then in golf because in golf your game isnt directly affected or impacted by another golfer like it is in tennis

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Re: 18.........

Post by Emancipator on Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:38 pm

bogbrush wrote:I did stress that whether it's v 7 or v the field, as in both cases only one man wins it must logically be exactly as difficult.

No. That doesn't follow logically. It would if all other considerations were the same, but of course they're not.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Emancipator on Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:12 pm

Furthermore, the fact that only 3 golfers in the history of the sport have double digit number of slams is a strong indication that it's harder to win golf majors than tennis.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Tenez on Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:34 pm

TMF wrote:Furthermore, the fact that only 3 golfers in the history of the sport have double digit number of slams is a strong indication that it's harder to win golf majors than tennis.

It proves nothing. Just that the pool of wannbe pro golfers is a fraction of wannabe tennis players. So in short it's as different as you winning your local club tennis tournament and then being able to play and win a national tournament. Different scale in terms of competitivity. Golf like F1 are played by elites ..in tennis and in football much less so.

You cannot argue against that.

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Re: 18.........

Post by Emancipator on Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:24 pm

I agree that tennis is more competitive at a grassroots level simply because the numbers competing are higher than golf. However at the major level/pro tournament level golf it's harder to win in golf.

In golf only 7 men have won more than 50 titles whereas in tennis more than 20 men have won more than 50 titles and that's despite golfing careers being much longer

That alone tells me it's much harder to win titles in golf.

Can't argue with that.

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Re: 18.........

Post by bogbrush on Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:52 pm

TMF wrote:
bogbrush wrote:I did stress that whether it's v 7 or v the field, as in both cases only one man wins it must logically be exactly as difficult.

No. That doesn't follow logically. It would if all other considerations were the same, but of course they're not.
No, it follows perfectly logically.

If 128 guys enter a golf event and 1 wins, and 128 enter a tennis event and 1 wins then it follows there is the same number of people winning, the same probability. All other variables must inevitably net to nothing.

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Re: 18.........

Post by legendkillar on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:36 am

Cor this took off. Well I'll address a few points.

For the point no player is not influenced by another in golf, what utter nonsense! Can certainly tell you guys are casual watchers. I will tell you now with absolute certainty other players can influence others with their play. Any player standing on the 72nd tee with a one shot lead will and teeing off second will be influenced by what the other player does. For example if it's a 440 yard hole and the player trailing cracks out the driver in a bid to cut a wedge into the green second shot and finds the rough, you can guarantee the leader will pop that driver back in the bag and go for a 3 wood. Watch the US Open 2006 and watch Montgomerie on that final hole or watch Norman at the 1996 Masters be intimidated by Faldo in the final round.

In terms of variable conditions. Golf is far more varied in conditions than Tennis. Take the venues. Now tennis plays 3 of the 4 Slams on different surfaces, however the courts (until this year's AO) play virtually the same. Golf courses can be changed and adapted in many ways. From fairways being shortened to place greater emphasis on accuracy and hole yardage lengthened or shortened and also flag positions altered as well as elevations on holes being heightened from fairway to green.

In terms of difficulty, in fairness both have their degrees of difficulty. I couldn't split it as there are so many trade offs.

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