I think we can all agree that what Inbee Park will be playing for at The Women’s British Open next month is special, I just don’t think we know what to call it. It seems that everything in the modern world, especially professional sports needs a catchy name if you want to hype it up, and continue to talk about it. I’m not sure it can be considered a Grand Slam, so what do we call the 23 year-old from South Korea’s quest to win four major championships this year? Or is it five?
When Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam back in 1930, it wasn’t called a Grand Slam. In fact, what Jones did, didn’t have a name. The term Grand Slam was introduced explicitly for what he accomplished. The first definition of the accomplishment was referred to as “The Impregnable Quadrilateral”. Huh…!!
O.B. Keeler of the Atlanta Journal decided the impregnable quadrilateral was too much of a mouthful, and started to call what Bobby Jones accomplished, a Grand Slam. He borrowed the term from the game of Bridge, where winning all 13 tricks was called a Grand Slam. Thus making a clean sweep of all major tournaments of the time was named a Grand Slam.
In 1930, the four major tournaments in professional golf were the US Open, The British Open, The US Amateur Championship, and The British Amateur Championship. In modern golf to win all four majors in one calendar year is still referred to, as a quest for a grand slam. It just so happens, no one to date has won all four major golf championships in a calendar year.
The two Amateur Championships were dropped, and The Masters along with The PGA Championships were added to the PGA majors schedule.
There have been many players who have won the Career Slam, which means they have won all of the major championships during their career, but not all at one time, in the same year. Tiger Woods has come the closest, where at one time he held all of the major titles at one time. Unfortunately, he didn’t win the Masters in 2000, but won the remaining majors, and won the Masters at the start of the 2001 season. This still didn’t qualify as winning the Grand Slam.
Back to Inbee Park….Inbee has won all three LPGA majors so far in 2013. She won The Kraft Nabisco LPGA Championship, The Wegmans LPGA Championship, and The US Women’s Open Championship. By doing that, she tied the record set by Babe Zaharias in 1950 of winning three consecutive majors in a calendar year. In 1950, there were only three majors on the LPGA Tour, so why didn’t Babe win a Grand Slam?
After another major was added to the LPGA, giving them four majors, two players won three of the four in one year, Mickey Wright, and Pat Bradley.
After the 2010 season, LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan, noticing how much more coverage his major championships were getting versus regular tournaments, decided to add a fifth major to the LPGA schedule. That fifth major would be the Evian Championship which is played in France, usually in September. That major came into effect this year.
What Inbee Park has accomplished in the 2013 season so far, is phenomenal. There should be plenty of hype, and recognition for the LPGA leading up to the British Women’s Open next month at the home of golf in St Andrews. But…we need to give this accomplishment a new name of some kind. It can’t be called a Grand Slam because the term implies “clean sweep”, and to get a clean sweep, Inbee Park will have to win all five majors.
It was bad luck, or was it good luck that The Evian was elevated to a major? If you think the LPGA will get some press as we get closer to the British Women’s Open, what is coming if Park can win at St Andrews? That’s a lot to ask from a 23 year-old, but Inbee Park seems to have the even demeanor to handle such an accomplishment. Winning the Grand Slam was devastating to Bobby Jones, causing him to retire after the accomplishment ended at Merion in 1930. One thing is for sure….. Inbee has the game to pull it off.
Ref: [ FoxNews.com ]
Follow me at FanCred.com and in the Golf Community at Google +