Billy Casper: The Big Three and Me (Hardcover)(edit)
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Billy Casper had a higher winning percentage than Arnold Palmer, he won twice as many times on the PGA Tour as Gary Player, and during his career he finished in the top twenty-five more consistently than Jack Nicklaus. And yet, when golf historians write about the legends of the game, with special attention paid to the above-listed “Big Three,” his name is often left out of the discussion, or is at best an afterthought.
In this fascinating autobiography, Casper tells his life story, shining candid insight into the man who quietly collected fifty-one PGA Tour victories, the seventh highest total in history.
It is a true rags-to-riches tale that began at age four on a homemade golf hole in a New Mexico pasture during the Great Depression and culminated with extraordinary success in what many consider golf's most glorious era.
With a wife and infant daughter and towing a house trailer, Billy Casper joined the pro golf tour in 1955 on borrowed money. Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Tommy Bolt were playing when he started; Tom Watson, Johnny Miller and Lee Trevino were on the stage when his twenty-five year career on the regular Tour ended. In his prime he went head-to-head with Palmer, Player and Nicklaus, winning more tournaments from 1964-1970 than any man in golf, including victories at the 1966 U.S. Open and 1970 Masters.
With the unassuming candor that characterized his career, Casper gives a blow-by-blow account of his legendary triumph at the 1966 U.S. Open, where he made up seven shots on Arnold Palmer on the back nine on Sunday and captured the trophy in the next day's eighteen-hole playoff.
He tells of purposely patterning his game after the methodical and stoical Ben Hogan, about placing no more emphasis on majors than any other event on Tour, and about playing in lock-step with Palmer, the most popular golfer of all time.
Between every line is Shirley, his companion more than sixty years and the person he credits with keeping him grounded and focused — and providing him with the faith and family stability that is the center of his life.
The Big Three and Me is the story of a golfer, and of golf, at their finest, and one that's long overdue to be heard.
About the Authors
Lee Benson has been a journalistic icon in the Salt Lake City market since his graduation from Brigham Young University in 1976. He was a sports writer, sports columnist, and sports editor for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, and is currently writing a Metro column which appears five days a week.
\tHonored as Utah Sportswriter of the Year on more than one occasion, Lee has traveled extensively in his career, covering such events as the Super Bowl (15 times), the Final Four (15 times), Wimbledon, the Masters, the British Open, seven World Series, seven Olympic Games and even one national political convention.
\tHis Olympic experience includes reports from Los Angeles, Calgary, Seoul, Albertville, Barcelona, Lillehammer, and Sydney. In addition, he’s written five books about the Olympics, including two history books, Athens to Atlanta and Chamonix to Lillehammer; one book of inspirational stories, Glory and the Games; one book on Mormon Olympians, Trials and Triumphs, Mormons in the Olympic Games; and the latest release, Salt Lake 2002.
\tMr. Benson has also written five other books, including two for Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain—And They Came to Pass (about BYU’s All-American quarterbacks) and LaVell, Airing It Out (LaVell Edwards’ memoirs).
\tLee Benson lives in Park City, Utah, with his wife Kerri, and their three children.