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First Pro Tournament Held at Disney World

On this day in 1971 the first professional golf tournament was held at Walt Disney World. The same year that Disney World opened, and the success of the tournament can be largely credited to “The King” himself, Arnold Palmer.

The story goes that with only a few weeks to go before the opening of Walt Disney World, Sandy Quinn, head or marketing for the resort, was given the task of setting up a PGA golf tournament before the end of the year. Quinn knew nothing about arranging golf tournaments, but he did know that the famed golfer was in town at his new Bay Hill development.

Palmer reportedly spent a few hours testing some of the rides before Quinn managed to get him to confirm his participation along with a couple of his famous golfing buddies.

Jack Nicklaus won that year, and followed it up with victories in 1972 and 1973.

The tournament is still part of the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods has won twice at Disney, including his rookie year on tour in 1996.

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Tiger Woods Car Accident

On this day in 2009 Tiger Woods’ world came crumbling down around him after a car crash near his house in Orlando, Florida. Woods reportedly pulled out of the driveway of his home after a fight with his then wife Elin Nordegren, in the early hours of the morning before crashing into a fire hydrant and then a tree on a neighbour's property.

In December 2009 the golf superstar took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His multiple infidelities were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources.

This was followed by a loss of form, and his world ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011.

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Grégory Havret Birthday

Grégory Havret was born on this day in 1976. Havret won the French Amateur Championship three years in a row from 1997 to 1999, and in 1999 he won the European Amateur. He also won a minor professional tournament as an amateur, the 1998 Omnium National.

Havret turned professional in 1999 and won a place on the European Tour at the 2000 Qualifying School. He finished 60th on the Order of Merit in 2001, his rookie season, recording a maiden tour victory at the Italian Open. Havret's biggest win to date came in the 2007 Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, where he overcame three-time major winner Phil Mickelson in a playoff. In August 2008 Havret recorded a second tournament victory in Scotland (third overall), leading the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles at the end of every round in recording a one shot win over Graeme Storm.

Havret's best year-end ranking on the Order of Merit is 19th in 2007. In 2008 Havret reached the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking and established himself as the highest ranked French golfer.

As a qualifier and ranked 391 in the world, Havret was the runner-up at the 2010 US Open, finishing one stroke behind Graeme McDowell.

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Scott Hoch Birthday

Scott Hoch was born on this day in 1955, in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was a member of the golf team at Wake Forest University before graduating in 1978. He also played on the winning US team in the Eisenhower Trophy. He turned professional in 1979.

Hoch has won several tournaments, including the Western Open, the Ford Championship at Doral, the Heineken Dutch Open and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. He also won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1986. He has featured in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking.

Hoch is widely known for missing a two-foot-long putt that would have won the 1989 Masters Tournament on the first playoff hole, which he lost to Nick Faldo on the next hole. The near miss earned him the nickname "Hoch the Choke." At the 1987 PGA Championship, Hoch three-putted the 18th hole on Sunday from inside of ten feet. A two-putt would have secured a playoff spot for him.

Hoch is also well-known for his infamous quote regarding playing in The Open Championship at the "home of golf" at St Andrews. Hoch referred to this course, considered hallowed ground by most golfers around the world, as "the worst piece of mess" he had ever seen.

In 1982, Hoch said that he feared he was going to die after an intruder came into his hotel room in Tucson, Arizona, held him and his wife, Sally, at gunpoint, and tied them up for an hour.

In 1989, Hoch said that he was "really hurt" after being named "Least Popular Golfer" in a poll of Tour players conducted by the Dallas Times Herald.

In May 2007, Hoch won his first Champions Tour event, the FedEx Kinko's Classic. In February 2008, he won his second and third events in consecutive weeks.

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Ross Fisher Birthday

Ross Fisher was born on this day in 1980. An English professional golfer, who has had several wins on the European Tour, including the 2009 Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Fisher was born in Ascot, Berkshire. His home course is the famous Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey, England, location of the European Tour administrative headquarters. As a child, he attended Charters School, a state comprehensive close to Wentworth. Fisher joined the European Tour in 2006. He earned his card by finishing 18th on the Challenge Tour's money list in 2005. During Fisher's first season on the European Tour he won a Jaguar for a nearest to the pin contest in the 2006 Quinn Direct British Masters.

In 2007, Fisher won the KLM Open by one stroke over Joost Luiten, and subsequently finished the year ranked 43rd on the Order of Merit. Fisher started the 2008 season with a joint-second place in the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, beaten by Phil Mickelson in a three-way play-off that also featured Lee Westwood.

In July 2008, Fisher won the European Open on the Heritage Course at The London Golf Club; the first staging of the event at the venue in Kent, England. Despite never having played the course either in competition or in practice, Fisher shot a first round 63—the lowest round thus far in his professional career—which featured a wind-assisted 413-yard drive on the 9th hole, his last of the day. Having established a first round lead, he was never subsequently headed at the top of the leaderboard, going on to win the tournament by a comfortable seven shots from Sergio García. Fisher played steadily for the rest of the season and finished sixth on the Tour's Order of Merit.

Fisher's progress continued in 2009 when he reached the semi-final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, losing to fellow Englishman Paul Casey 4 & 3. Fisher also finished second at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, after shooting a 64 in his final round, which included 6 birdies in the first 12 holes. Fisher's 64 was just a shot outside the Wentworth course record and he finished a stroke behind the winner Paul Casey.

In 2009, Fisher had the lowest cumulative score for the four major championships for players who made the cut in all four events. Fisher's cumulative score of +2 was one stroke better than Henrik Stenson of Sweden. At the end of 2009, Fisher won the first Volvo World Match Play Championship that was held away from Wentworth, defeating American Anthony Kim 4 & 3 in the final at Finca Cortesín Golf Club in Spain. He finished the season in fourth place in the Race to Dubai.

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