The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf

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9780786888009: The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf

THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED is the story of Francis Ouimet and Harry Vardon, who in pursuit of their passion for a game that captivated them as children, broke down rigid social barriers that made their sport accessible to everyone on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, positioning golf as one of the most widely played games in the world. Ouimet and Vardon were two men from different generations and vastly different corners of the world whose lives, unbeknownst to them at the time, bore remarkable similarities, setting them on parallel paths that led with a kind of fated inevitability to their epic battle at Brookline years in the future. This collision resulted in the big bang' that gave rise to the sport of golf as we know it today.

For Mark Frost, Francis Ouimet and Harry Vardon represent everything that's right about sports in general and sportsmen in particular; gentlemen, champions, teachers, leaders, and each in their own quiet way, heroes. In THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, Frost attempts to create penetrating studies of both of these men, along with over dozens of the game's seminal figures, within the dramatic framework offered by the tournament when they finally met, one of the most thrilling sports events in history, the 1913 U.S. Open.

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About the Author:

Mark Frost is the author of the critically acclaimed THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, THE GRAND SLAM, and the bestselling THE LIST of 7, THE 6 MESSIAHS, and BEFORE I WAKE. He received a Writer's Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for his work as executive story editor on the acclaimed television series Hill Street Blues, and was the co-creator and executive producer of the ABC television series Twin Peaks. He lives in Los Angeles and upstate New York.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* The story of Francis Ouimet, the first amateur to win the U.S. Open golf tournament, is just too good to be true: it's Rocky without the sequels, it's Jack without his beanstalk, it's Tiger without Nike. But it's true, and as told by veteran thriller writer Frost, it's the most compelling sports book since Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling Seabiscuit. Born in 1893, Ouimet grew up poor, directly across the street from The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, where Boston's blue bloods tried their hands at the new sport of golf. The game caught young Francis in its grip, and despite his father's disapproval, he became a caddie at the club and taught himself to play. Frost jumps between Ouimet's story and the surprisingly similar saga of British champion Harry Vardon, who was also born poor and contended with a disapproving father. Frost builds his characters--not just Ouimet and Vardon but also Francis' caddy, 10-year-old Eddie Lowery--with the skill of a novelist (occasionally but believably using invented dialogue). The climax of the narrative--the recounting of the 1913 U.S. Open at Brookline, where the unheralded, 20-year-old Ouimet beat both his idol Vardon and the other reigning British professional, Ted Ray--is genuinely exciting, a marvelous re-creation of a signature moment in golf history. Underdog stories have become among the sappiest cliches in pop-culture's arsenal, but this one reminds us why they worked in the first place. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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