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Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont Hardcover – May 4, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
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"There's a reason Johnny Miller never gets tired of reminding us about his final round in the '73 Open: It was that good. But his staggering 63 in the pressure cooker is only one of the compelling storylines that historian Schlossman and his former student Lazarus- a pretty good story right there- weave together in their meticulously detailed narrative of an Open filled with genuine thrills, dramatic subplots, and, in Oakmont itself, the most feared location in the game"
"The 1973 U.S. Open had everything: the most terrifying golf course in the land; an aging but still fiercely competitive Arnold Palmer; Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Gary Player at the top of their games; a brilliant but troubled golfer named John Schlee making his one bid for immortality; and Johnny Miller's final round 63 that remains the Everest of major championship lore. Now that tournament has a chronicle worthy of it, Chasing Greatness, a prodigiously researched, elegantly written, myth-debunking eagle from the fairway by Adam Lazarus and Steven Schlossman. Fore!"
-Ron Rapoport, author of The Immortal Bobby: Bobby Jones and the Golden Age of Golf
"In 1973, Oakmont was the stage for one of the most riveting sports stories of the 20th century, and in Chasing Greatness Adam Lazarus and Steven Schlossman deliver a grand re-telling of a U.S. Open finish like no other. A week after Secretariat made history at the Belmont, Johnny Miller's final turn of 63 shocked the world, denied the hometown hero, Arnold Palmer, a magical punctuation to his prime, and left an impossibly difficult game looking downright vulnerable. This is a must read for fans of golf, and for fans of the human spirit."
-Ian O'Connor, author of the New York Times bestseller Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry
"Informative, engaging, and entertaining... captures the excitement of the 1973 U.S. Open and explains why it was so special in the history of golf."
-George B. Kirsch, Professor of History, Manhattan College, and author of Golf in America
"Authors Adam Lazarus and Steve Schlossman recreate the 1973 U.S. Open with a drama worthy of the event itself... Every sentence here is rich with detail, all woven into an intimate play-by-play. Four days of golf changed lives and careers, and in this precise account, you understand why."
-Chico Harlan, Washington Post staff writer
"If you want the most thorough history of a most memorable championship, this is it."
-Al Barkow, former PGA broadcaster and author of Golf's Golden Grind and Gettin' to the Dance Floor: An Oral History of American Golf
About the Author
Steve Schlossman is a professor of American social and cultural history at Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches a course on the history of golf. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the errors I have found so far: First, they make reference to Jack Nicklaus, Jr., who is supposedly 10 years old. At the time of this tournament, he was closer to 12 years old, 11 1/2 to be exact. Was this so hard to get right? You could find out his age by Googling it.
They also use the first Ali-Frazier fight (1971) metaphorically at one point, and they write that this is when Joe Frazier "won the world heavyweight title." Wrong! Is it so hard to get something like this right-- it was only the most famous fight and biggest sporting event of the last 75 years, a huge worldwide event at the time. Joe Frazier DIDN'T win the heavyweight title against Ali in 1971, he was ALREADY the heavyweight champion, now defending it, having won the crown vs. Jimmy Ellis in February, 1970. Ali had been stripped of his title in 1967, and in 1971 was fighting Frazier to get it back. Frazier did not win even a "portion" of a title or consolidate portions vs. Ali in their 1971 fight; instead, he was the champion going in and he simply retained his championship (i.e, defended his title successfully) in this bout.
Early on in the book, I couldn't believe my eyes as I read where the authors referred to Gary Player's "British" accent. British? Do they know NOTHING about golf, and about one of its greatest players ever? Player is from South Africa, and sounds every bit like it--not British.Read more ›
Except, no one told Johnny Miller that in 1973.
Miller fired a 63 on a Sunday at Oakmont, one of the nation's top courses, to pull out a stunning victory that turned out to be the signature win of his career. The tournament is fully chronicled in "Chasing Greatness," by Adam Lazarus and Steve Schlossman.
The author has have a great supporting cast to use in the story. Some of the contenders on that weekend were Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Lee Trevino, Julius Boros, Jerry Heard and Lanny Wadkins. That's pretty much a who's who of the time.
Palmer gets more coverage than anyone here, and deservedly so. He hadn't won a major since the Masters in 1964, and he was running out of chances to do so. Oakmont was near Palmer's home in Western Pennsylvania, and the place where he lost a playoff for the Open title to Nicklaus in 1962. "Arnie's Army" was out in full force.
Of all the contenders in that particular weekend, the most interesting character might be someone named John Schlee. He obviously showed great talent growing up, but went through the early parts of life thinking the rules didn't really apply to him. That made him plenty of enemies. Still, he could play golf well, and had a little success on the PGA tour despite being in some ways a bit of a lost soul. He went through such topics as astrology and biorhythms in a search for some peace of mind, but probably never did find it completely.Read more ›
Steve and Adam did terrific research on every facet of this memorable event. Great background, super history, enjoyable color and commentary. Puts heart and soul into the rigors of professional golf and then ties a neat bow with the deep-seated feelings shared in all of their player interviews.
Too much fun as a golf history lesson, a drama, and personal stories all wrapped together.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
GREAT BOOK...NICE BACKGROUND INFO. ON ALL THE PLAYERS. I PARTICULARLY LOVED THE PROFILE OF JOHN SCHLEE. FOR WHOM THERE IS NOT A LOT OF INFORMATION ON.Published on May 20, 2014 by Andy Dear
If you love reading about the history of the game, you too should like this well written and researched book. Highly recommended.
I enjoyed reading about the Open in 1973 and about the golfers. I was surprised by the long description of John Schlee. I didn't know much about him before reading the book. Read morePublished on June 10, 2013 by pbirch999
This is a pretty damn good book, but if your not into history, or golf history, it won't be for you.Published on March 11, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Great book about Johnny Miller's unbelievable 63 in the last round of the 1973 US Open at Oakmont Country Club! Golfers and non-golfers alike will love reading this book. Read morePublished on March 30, 2011 by joelliii
Though this book did deliver a great slice of golfing history in a very readable enjoyable fashion, it did not have the pull you in special something that a great piece of... Read morePublished on February 26, 2011 by J. Ross
The book was hard to follow as it was very disjointed and not just a focus on Johnny Miller's great round at Oakmont. Read morePublished on July 17, 2010 by G. Faison
This is a tremendous book. Not only do you learn about the 1973 US Open Championship--a compelling event--but you get to know the characters who made it happen. Read morePublished on July 17, 2010 by Greg