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Royal and Ancient: Blood, Sweat, and Fear at the British Open

by Sampson, Curt

  • ISBN: 9780375502781
  • ISBN10: 0375502785

Royal and Ancient: Blood, Sweat, and Fear at the British Open

by Sampson, Curt

  • List Price: $25.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Rutledge Hill Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2008
  • ISBN: 9780375502781
  • ISBN10: 0375502785
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Description: The book opens with the extraordinary story of Young Tommy Morris. He won the British Open in 1869, 1870, and 1871. There was no Open in 1872 -- because there was no doubt about who the greatest player in the world was. Tommy won again in 1873 and '74. Then, in 1875, he was leading a tournament when his father received a telegram in the middle of the round. He didn't tell Tommy what the telegram said, he waited until the game was over and Tommy had won yet again. Then he revealed the news: Tommy's wife had died during childbirth. Tommy's life -- and his golf game -- was never again the same. Just a few years later, the greatest British Open champion in history died -- of a broken heart.

Curt Sampson, as he did in The Masters, tells an amazing history of an amazing tournament. There are stories of great champions and rounds past, tales of murders and ghosts, reminiscences from stars and journeymen.

The focus of the book is the 1999 championship -- the greatest tournament in British Open history. Sampson focuses on several players as they prepare for the tournament, among them Steve Elkington, an icy classicist; Andrew Magee, a good-looking bon vivant; Clark Dennis, desperately hanging on to the tour by his fingernails; and Zane Scotland, the youngest Open qualifier in a century. We see what they do to prepare and how they think as they play.

Ultimately, this past year's championship came down to the best players in the world trying to beat the toughest course in the world -- Carnoustie. Jan Van de Velde blew a 10-stroke lead on the last day -- and a 3-stroke lead on the last hole! -- and a Scotsman won the Open in Scotland for the first time. Sampson has insight into all theplayers, gets inside info from caddies and groundskeepers and the club superintendent (who, from time to time, talks to the Ghost of Ben Hogan).

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Stated First edition, first printing. All First Print Editions from Random
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