This Week in Golf – April 18, 2011

Posted by Robert on Apr 19

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A Sweet 16 for Kevin “Nadda clue what I just took on that hole.”

I dozed off several times this weekend during The Valero Texas Open.  No, it wasn’t a carbon monoxide leak.  It’s just that after that epic battle in beautiful Augusta last week; it was hard to get excited about a bunch of rookies jousting in the windswept dessert of San Antonio. It was like trying to get up for an NFL preseason game the week after the Super Bowl.  (Gee, I wonder if Brady Quinn can unlock the intricate secrets of the Bengal’s 2nd string defense.)

My favorite highlight was poor Kevin Na’s lowlight.  Na took a 16 on the par 4 ninth hole and at the time he had no idea what score he actually made.  It went something like this:  Tee shot into the woods, unplayable lie (back to tee), another bad drive into the woods, a swing and a whiff (penalty stroke), a swing and the golf ball hits a tree and ricochets into his pant leg (penalty stroke), several more swings, a ham sandwich, (“Do you mind if we play through?”) and finally he holed out for a sweet 16.  He had to go back and watch the tape after his round to count all the strokes. Later Rory Mcllroy was heard in the locker room saying “C’mon man, get it together.  That’s embarrassing!”

Rookie Brendan Steele was your winner shooting a boring 1 under 71 on Sunday, finishing the round with 12 straight pars.  Just when it looked like it might get exciting, fellow rookie and playing partner Kevin Chappell (who was tied with Steele at the time) missed the green on 17 and nervously fanned a ten foot par putt.  Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Cook attempts to “Van de Velde” it at the Champions Tour's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am

All the excitement was on the Champions Geezer Tour tournament where John Cook took a two shot lead to the final hole and proceeded to soil his Depends.  He hit his approach shot into the lake and made double bogey to force a playoff with Jay Don Blake.  Russ Cochran, who was playing with Cook had his chances for the victory as well but took a double bogey on 18 after finding a fairway bunker off the tee. (These guys need to take a lesson from the 50somethings at my club – a nip from your flask of whiskey around the turn will help you close the deal on 18.)

Cook redeemed himself with a birdie on the first playoff hole (the same 18th hole having an almost identical shot as the first time.)   When asked “Were you thinking water on 18?”

Cook replied, “No I was drinking Gatorade.”

Chopra’s Name Coming out of the Fog on the Nationwide Tour

Hey I remember this guy!  Like a Major League pitcher sent down to the minors, Daniel Chopra managed to get in enough holes to pitch a complete game before fog canceled the final round of theNationwide Tour’s Fresh Express Classic in The Bay Area. (Where else would you have fog in April?)  This was Chopra’s first win since winning the 2008 Mercedes Benz Championship on the PGA Tour.  “Don’t call it a comeback!” a drunken Chopra sang in the clubhouse while toasting the fog with Anchor Steam Beer and stuffing his face with Dungeness crab.

PGA Tour Winner Mason Rudolph Dies

Ending on sad note, we say goodbye this week to 5 time PGA Tour winner Mason Rudolph who died on Monday at age 76 of heart related issues.  Rudolph was one of the youngest players to qualify for the US Open in 1950 at the age of 16 years and six days old.  His career extended three decades and 432 tour events.  He was a member of the 1957 US Walker Cup team and 1971 US Ryder Cup team.


This week the big boys go to Hilton Head for the Heritage golf tournament where Jim Furyk won last year.  And don’t miss the Geezer Tour this week.  The Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf is one of the funnest events of the year to watch (that doesn’t include Freddie Couples.) In Savannah, GA., it’s a week long, 2 man team event featuring guys like Gary Player and Tom Watson.  The format is better ball which lends itself to brilliant birdie barrages.  Finally, the Minor leaguers tee it up in South Georgia and the ladies are off for another week.

Until next week - Hit it, go find it, and then hit it again.


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