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With the PGA Tour taking the previous week off, the eyes of
the sporting world are fixed squarely on the United Kingdom, more specifically
the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon for tennis' third Grand Slam event of
the year, and its most prestigious.
The fixation on United Kingdom will continue as the The Open
Championship, formerly known as the British Open, kicks off on July 14.
Golf's third major of the year will take place at the
privately-owned Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland. With the UK's two-most
prestigious sports events falling within eight days of each other, here's a
look at these two legendary sporting events.
All England Club
Silver gilt cup
Spencer Gore, 1977
John Ball, 1890
Fred Perry, 1936
Tony Jacklin, 1969
Bill Tilden, 1920
Walter Hagen, 1922
Pete Sampras, 2000
Stewart Cink, 2009
Final Day Ticket
The big difference in ticket prices comes from the nature of
the venue. At the golf tournament, the high-end tickets are for one of
approximately 20,000 grandstand seats spread throughout the course, but it's on
a first-come, first-served basis.
At the Wimbledon men's final, tickets are extremely limited
at Centre Court, and with the UK's own Andy Murray taking the crown this year,
prices were through the roof. Although England has much national pride in
sports such as football (soccer) and cricket, golf and tennis draw the
attention of the kingdom each year because of the importance of the tournaments
that the UK hosts.
More over, many British fans are firmly convinced that the
UK is cursed when it comes to winning its own events, as noted by the men's
drought at Wimbledon which reached 77 years before Murray's title Sunday, and
the frustration of a native UK man to take the Open title, with the last
occurring some 44 years ago.
The ebb and flow of American domination is also present at
both events. In the 1960s and 1970s, Arnold Palmer was the first golfer most
Americans saw on television winning a tournament and Jack Nickalus won the
tournament thrice (1966, 1970, 1978), finished second seven times (a record)
and overall had 16 Top 5 finishes. Another American, Tom Watson, won the Open
five times, but after his victory in 1983, Americans went through a drought of
one title in 11 years.
In recent years, Tiger Woods became the dominant American,
with victories in 2000, 2005 and 2006.
In the Amateur Era (pro players could not compete) of
1877-1967, American men won Wimbledon just 17 times, but things changed when
the pros started being invited out. Other than the period dominated by the
amazing Bjorn Borg between 1976-1980, American men won six Wimbledon titles in
10 years, led by three crowns for the volatile John McEnroe.
Just like at the Open, that period of dominance dropped off
to nothing until the 1990s, when American Pete Sampras won the crown seven
times in eight years and Andre Agassi added a lone title.
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