Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

NCAA' GOLF TOURNAMENT Nation's Best Tee Off

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

NCAA' GOLF TOURNAMENT Nation's Best Tee Off

Article excerpt

BRADENTON

The tournament began in 1897 -- when golf clubs were called mashies, niblicks and spoons -- and in modern times it has been won by players such as Nicklaus, Crenshaw, Mickelson and and Woods.

The tradition-rich NCAA Men's Golf Championships begin today at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, and 30 teams will attempt to take home the trophy. Why should you watch? Here are nine reasons.

1 Because Jack Nicklaus (1961), Hale Irwin (1967), Ben Crenshaw (1971-73), Phil Mickelson (1989, '90 and '92) and Tiger Woods (1996) all have won the tournament. Crenshaw and Mickelson are the only three-time winners. Woods, while playing for Stanford, shot a final- round 80 and still won by three while 5,000 people followed him around the course.

2 Because Terry Bradshaw, Archie Griffin, Paul Azinger and Urban Meyer aren't the most famous members at The Concession -- actor Sean Connery is. Connery has been an avid golfer since the 1960s, taking up the sport during filming of the movie "Goldfinger," in which there is a famous golf scene between James Bond and Auric Goldfinger.

3 Because the tournament has been held since 1897, and this is only the fourth time it has been played in Florida. The Cape Coral Golf Club played host in 1972, Greenlefe Country Club in Haines City hosted in 1985, and it was played at Innisbrook in Tarpon Springs in 1990. Tom Kite and Crenshaw tied for the title at Cape Coral, while Mickelson won at Innisbrook.

4 Because these golfers are incredibly skilled. For further proof, check out Oklahoma's trick shot video on YouTube. It was impressive enough to appear on ESPN's SportsCenter. Players are doing improbable shots, like banking golf balls off the walls and into a cup of water. For one trick, three players shoot balls into a cup in succession. They nailed that trick in about an hour.

5 Because the golf course isn't named after a meadow or a bubbling brook with deer drinking from it. …

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