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Moment of Glory: The Year Tiger Lost His Swing and Underdogs Ruled the Majors [Hardcover]

John Feinstein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

17 Jun 2010
After winning six of the twelve majors played from 2000 to 2002, Tiger Woods was struggling with his golf swing in 2003, leaving him out of the running at the US open and the PGA. As a consequence, 2003 saw four first-time major champions: Ben Curtis, Mike Weir, Jim Furyk and Shaun Micheel. After their respective upsets, the four players have had little success, however. Micheel and Curtis jumped from obscurity to stardom and subsequently overplayed all over the world. Neither has won another major, and Weir has only won one other major, in 2004. In Moment of Glory, John Feinstein returns to this unlikely year and chronicles the personal and professional struggles the four players have experienced since then. With his great affection for the underdog and extraordinary access, he gives readers an insider's look at how winning - and losing - major championships changes players' lives.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (17 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847442455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847442451
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 965,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"One of the best sportswriters alive." Larry King, "USA Today"" --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

America's favourite golf writer tells the story of the year Tiger Woods lost his swing and four unknowns dominated the Majors. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars sporting drama 31 May 2012
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is an enjoyable account of the major golf championships and of the men who won ( and narrowly lost) them in 2003. Following a period of dominance, during which he had won all 4 majors consecutively, Tiger Woods decided to change his swing and lost his form that year.

Step forward Mike Weir, Jim Furyk, Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel to claim your first, and possibly only, major titles. Feinstein's account is highly readable. He has based the book on interviews with the players and their wives, along with numerous others, to create what are quite intimate portraits of their lives leading up to their moment of glory, and the life changing events which followed for the winners, as well as the what might have beens for those who nearly, but didn't quite, stand in their shoes.

The human drama of sport is here, along with the drama of the events themselves. John Feinstein is a fine journalist and writer and this rattles along. If you have read any the author's other golf books, you will rather know what to expect. it doesn't matter that the events are several years ago - the stories are still very engaging, if rather following the same writing formula as A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tourand Tales From Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major

An enjoyable read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You mean there are pro golfers other than Tiger Woods? 24 May 2010
By DangerousK - Published on
I can't profess to have read any of John Feinstein's books prior to this one. Once on myself I had a copy of his acclaimed book "A Good Walk Spoiled", but I never knew what happened to it. I considered over the years reading some of his other books, but the reviews always seem mixed, and I found other things to read. Finally I became determined to read his latest offering when I saw it was scheduled for a May release, and I am glad that I did. I'm a casual golf fan these days, and haven't picked up a club since 2003. I'm more likely to turn on the PGA Tour if Tiger Woods is in contention, but at the same time I do keep aware of the other players on the PGA Tour because there are plenty of phenomenal golfers out there. Feinstein decided with this book to focus on the 4 majors of the 2003 PGA season when all of the majors were won by players not named Tiger Woods. Most know Tiger began the process of retooling his swing at this point and only seriously contended at one major that year; the Open Championship.

Naturally Tiger Woods has to be discussed in this book. There is simply no way to write this story without discussing him in some form because it is central to the main point Feinstein makes. The book starts off in June of 2002 during the United States Open at Bethpage Black on the driving range with Tiger and his then swing coach Butch Harmon. At this point Tiger was becoming less pleased with his golf swing, and was looking to improve it in spite of absolutely dominating the majors starting in June of 2000. A month later at the 2002 Open Championship, Tiger would tell Butch Harmon his services were no longer required thus ending their long partnership. Ironically, Feinstein's book comes out a few weeks after Hank Haney decided to part ways with Tiger Woods. According to Feinstein, the firing of Butch Harmon in order to rebuild his golf swing under Haney is the underlying cause for underdogs winning majors in 2003. In this case he would be absolutely correct.

The book is written chronologically in the order of the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. We start off with Mike Weir, then Jim Furyk, Ben Curtis, and lastly Shaun Micheel, all of whom won the majors that year. Along the way, we get information about each of these golfers as well as others who played large roles in those majors. The brief stories of Len Mattiace who lost in a playoff to Weir at the Masters and Thomas Bjorn who collapsed at the Open Championship are tough to read especially when both men have never really been the same since then. Winning one of golf's majors is an absolute life-changing experience to those who win, and even more so in the case of Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel's victories because those were the first tournaments won by both men. However, losing can also serve as a life-changing experience in the case of Mattiace and Bjorn. For example Bjorn's collapse in the bunker on 16 at the Open Championship was really just as brutal as Jean Van De Velde's collapse at the 1999 Open. But as mentioned in the book the main difference was Bjorn's collapse happened on 16 instead of 18 so no one remembers it as much. However for Bjorn, he still refuses to talk about what happened in 2003 and declined to even discuss it with the author, which was telling about the impact it had on him.

For the serious golf fan the book may not break any new ground since most serious fans I know, follow what happens weekly regardless of whether Tiger is in contention or not in any tournament. What I also appreciated was the time Feinstein spent discussing how hard the golfers worked in some cases to just make it onto the PGA Tour only to have to continually go back to `Q' School since they did not finish high enough on the money list.

The only real complaint I had with this book was that the pacing of the book seemed to shift noticeably in the second half of the book. Feinstein's pacing seemed excellent when discussing Weir and Furyk's backgrounds, but seems to rush a bit more by the time we get to Shaun Micheel. It is the one thing that keeps me from giving the book a 5 star rating.

What is nice is that instead of simply ending the book, the closing chapters are spent discussing lives of the winners after the 2003 season as well as the guys who finished 2nd. The winners have experienced their shares of up and downs since 2003, as well as some difficulty in adjusting to life following that major victory. Jim Furyk had less to deal with because he was already a proven winner prior to his U.S. Open victory. Outside of this it's an excellent book that shows there is an actual tour outside of Tiger Woods. Of course it makes one question how good it is that the tour is so dependent on Woods, since the media unless forced to, often ignores the low-profile players until they have no choice like when they win. The book is highly recommended for the average golf fan (or Feinstein fan) that is looking to get a fresh look at the PGA Tour instead of the Tiger-centric PGA Tour. For the more serious golfers, there may not be much new here, but I do suggest taking a look anyhow.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Feinstein mailed this one in 15 Jun 2010
By Bubbles - Published on
Feinstein just empties his notebooks in this one. He doesn't even take the time to get his facts halfway straight.

He makes a bunch of mistakes such as saying someone was at one under par, then birdied the next hole to go one under par. He says Phil Mickelson pulled his tee shot into the creek at the second at Augusta. Um, the creek is on the left side of the fairway. A right-hander might pull a drive into the creek, but Mickelson, as a left-hander, pushed his drive into the creek. Feinstein says that Ben Curtis, after finishing his fourth round at the British Open, couldn't talk to anyone before any sort of playoff for fear of breaking rules against getting advice. In fact, Curtis could have talked to anyone he chose. The rules only state that you can't get advice while you're playing golf, and he had finished his round, so Curtis wasn't playing golf.

Feinstein says U.S. golfers don't like to play in the British Open because it's just unusual, like remembering to drive over there on the right side of the road. Feinstein actually says twice that Brits drive on the right side of the road, even though, um, the Brits drive on the left side. Feinstein three times refers to Chad Campbell's wife as Pam. Her name is Amy. And, no, Campbell wasn't married previously.

Nitpicking? Not for a writer who claims to be a leading authority on golf.

If he isn't going to take this book seriously, then the rest of us shouldn't either.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Golf Classic from John Feinstein 14 Jun 2010
By Big D - Published on
Any book by John Feinstein is a good one, and this is no exception. It ranks as one of his best, especially if you like, enjoy or follow the game of golf.

Against the backdrop of golf's greatest tournaments, Feinstein joins humanity and drama in ways that only he can do.

Four golfers, four men, all playing on the greatest stages in golf, all hoping and working for the supreme triumph, all competing with the best golfers in the world and, sometimes, with their own humanity.

Feinstein tells this story as no other current writer could do. That speaks to his humanity and to his ability to see things others (sports writers) don't see.

As readers and sports fans, we are fortunate to live in the time of John Feinstein.
2.0 out of 5 stars John the boring 22 May 2014
By Alan Satz - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Feinstein has always written in a manner best described as DULL..this is no exception.. once you put it down you just can't pick it up.
4.0 out of 5 stars An inside look 4 Nov 2013
By Avid Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Slow at times but very interesting. Like all of Feinstein's books, this is very well written and gives you insights you'll find fascinating if you're a golf fan.
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