May 16, 2016 | 06:54 am

Christy O’Connor Sr., 1924-2016

Somewhat lost in the weekend’s hoopla about The Players Championship—at least on this side of the Atlantic—was the death on Saturday of Christy O’Connor Sr., at age 91. One of Britain’s greatest players of the 1950s through 1970s, he was known in Ireland simply as “Himself.” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said O’Connor was a “larger than life character and the owner of the best pair of wrists in the game.” O’Connor won 24 European Tour titles as well as many other events around the world, and recorded 10 top-1o finishes in the Open Championship, including runner-up in 1965. He also played on 10 European Ryder Cup teams from 1955 to ’73. His nephew, two-time Ryder Cupper Christy O’Connor Jr., died in January at aged 67. Current European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke said, "Christy was in many ways the father of Irish golf and his death, so soon after that of his nephew Christy Junior, means Ireland has lost two Ryder Cup legends in the space of five months. Christy Senior was a golf icon and a wonderful person, as well. He did so much for the game he graced for many years while the Ryder Cup to some extent is what it is today because of his passion for it. Irish golf in particular and golf in general has lost one of its greatest heroes."

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May 13, 2016 | 06:02 am

Finding Olympic Gold

More from the “golf returns to the Olympics” file. The two medals won by American H. Chandler Egan in 1904, which were lost for many years, have been found in an old bookcase in a house in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, that used to be owned by Egan’s daughter, Eleanor. Egan won a gold medal in the team event and a silver in the individual (losing to George Lyon of Canada) the last time golf was an Olympic sport, September 17-24, 1904, at Glen Echo Country Club in St. Louis. U.S. teams took all three medals in the team competition—Egan was playing with a group representing the Western Golf Association—plus two bronzes in the individual. A few months before the Olympics, Egan won the U.S. Amateur, and he won it again in 1905. He became a golf course architect, best known for working on the restoration of Pebble Beach in 1929. His medals—on loan from his grandson, Morris Everett Jr., who found them—will be on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum in St. Augustine, Florida, through the end of the year.

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May 12, 2016 | 08:00 am

Better than Berckmans?!

“PGA Tour events are better seen from the couch.” It is a common refrain, especially among those who have been to larger events. Crowds, expensive drinks, overpriced mediocre food, and frankly poor golf viewing plague large events.

With that in mind, two prestigious events have created offerings at the other end of the spectrum. Augusta National created Berckmans Place for the Masters, and most recently, the PGA Tour created a similar experience at TPC Sawgrass. Both of those exclusive passes offer gourmet food, drink, comfort, and experiences that tip the 5-star scale. It is largely believed that nothing could top Augusta’s Berckmans Place, but at least one person disagrees. Adam Schupak reports for Golfweek that Matt Rapp, the Tour’s vice president of business development said, “We’re Berkmans, only better. You can actually see golf from our venues.” Fighting words from the PGA Tour brass.

What does TPC Sawgrass’s premium clubhouse pass get you? A shopping consultant, a $500 gift card, a concierge, the best food and drink, a makeover for ladies, haircuts and shaves for men, the chance to rub shoulders with the famous, and more. What will it run you? $5,000 for the week.

Is it worth it? Would you spend that much to see the tournament at TPC Sawgrass? Let us know in the comments. In my case you will find me watching from home, with some snacks and a beer, for about $4,991 less.

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May 11, 2016 | 08:30 am

Covering All the Angles

NBC will have nine high-definition cameras at the island-green 17th at The Players, including a microscopic lens embedded in the lip of the small bunker fronting the green. The “Supra Cam,” a cable-suspended camera system that flies over the lake between the 16th and 17th greens, will make a return engagement. One camera will be 150 feet in the air above the tree line showing unique shots of the 16th, 17th, and 18th holes. There will also be some dude with a camera marooned on the island in the middle of the lake for approximately eight hours during live coverage, capturing player reactions from this unique angle. If that's not enough, ProTracer will track the reverse flight of the tee shots from a unique angle behind the green (above) and a wind monitor will track the wind speeds on the tee box and high above hole. Imagine if CBS could do this at Augusta's 12th hole? Hopefully, CBS and Billy Payne are taking note.

TV Times: Thursday and Friday 1–7 pm on Golf Channel, Saturday and Sunday 2–7 pm on NBC. Golf Central Live will also air from The Players starting at 9 am each day (all times Eastern).

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