A Grand Slam…Maybe

New York Times, Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sports Thursday

Grand Slam..Maybe, by Karen Crouse

(I thought this article, a sports article, might be of use to the reader, even though the term grand slam is not used in its metaphoric sense as in other sports or games terms in this blog.)

The golfer, “Inbee Park is seeking her fourth major title of the year.  It might not be enough,” by Karen Crouse

St. Andrews, Scotland—Grand slams are generally seen as quartets:  a four-run homer in baseball;  four major victories in the same calendar year in tennis and golf;  four items from a list of choices in a Denny’s grand Slam breakfast.

With the Women’s British Open starting Thursday, Inbee Park of South Korea will try to add a fourth major victory to the three she has this year.  No professional, male or female, has accomplished that I the same calendar year.

But if she wins, should she celebrated for completing golf’s Grand Slam? What completes a Grand Slam in women’s golf is unclear at the moment…

The Merriam-Webster definition of grand slam is ‘a clean sweep or total success.’  In sports, the term originated in card games like bridge, in which since the 19th century, a grand slam hs meant taking all 13 tricks.  According to the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, grand slam was first used to describe a home run with the bases loaded in 1929.  The term gained popularity in golf and tennis during the 1930s, when the American golfer Bobby Jones won the United States Open, the British Open, the United States Amateur in 19, and the British Amateur in 1930, and the American tennis star Don Budge won the Australian championship, the French championship, the United States championship and Wimbledon in 1938.

Rugby union might provide the most relevant example.  A Grand Slam used to be four victories: when a team in the Five Nations Championship defeated the other four teams during the annual. Competition.  When the event became the Six Nations Championship in 2000, a Grand Slam became five victories.

Park, 25, is carving out a new frontier in golf,…becoming the first player on the L.P.G.A. Tour since Babe Zaharias in 1950 to win the first three majors of the year.”

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