Your First PGA golf tournament that you walked the ropes!
Posted 26 March 2018 - 01:10 AM
Got a fist bump from him as he walked onto the first tee.
So weird...he walks down the walkway with his head down, not acknowledging anyone. I yell "let's go Eldrick!" and he looks up and makes eye contact, so I instinctively hold my fist out and BOOM. Everyone (including my wife who is in love with Tiger) looks at me like I just shook hands with Jesus.
Same tourney the next year I walked with Gary Woodland/Miguel Cabrera/Ryo Ishikawa early AM when it was chilly and most people werent there. Gary was a SUPER nice guy, chatted with me by the ropes a few times. Freak athlete, huge quads.
Later in the day I was able to shake hands with Ernie on his way between holes...he asked me if I saw who won the rugby earlier in the morning. Clearly it was the 'Boks my bru!
Posted 26 March 2018 - 08:48 PM
Posted 26 March 2018 - 08:58 PM
Hadn't thought of that in years.
Posted 26 March 2018 - 09:10 PM
Posted 26 March 2018 - 09:24 PM
Posted 26 March 2018 - 09:29 PM
We followed Woosnam for much of the front nine and he hit the pin on approaches twice. Hallet made an incredible birdie on 18 with a 3 iron to about 3 feet. The energy of the crowd after that shot was pure electricity. The playoff was pretty anticlimactic but still cool. Woosnam won the masters just a few weeks later wearing those same red, plaid pants.
Posted 26 March 2018 - 10:24 PM
Highlight was end of Sunday I get Arnie’s autograph. My sister is trying to get his also follows him up the hill to club house at Rivera. She slips grabs his arm to not fall down the hill.She did get his autograph. Hale Irwin did win
Posted 26 March 2018 - 11:00 PM
just say NO.... to practice swings
Posted 26 March 2018 - 11:34 PM
Posted 27 March 2018 - 01:57 AM
The next event I walked was the first time I walked the ropes at a PGA Tour tournament, and it was the 2002 NEC Invitational at Sahalee Country Club. By this time I was a full-blown golf nut, and my hero (Tiger) was at the peak of his game. He wasn't really in serious contention, but following him around on Sunday was pretty cool. He shot a smooth 68 and never broke a sweat.
I remember a few shaped iron shots pretty distinctly, but I'll never forget standing right on the ropes about 50 yards in front of the tee on a tight par 4. He hit the stinger right over our heads and the sound that thing made was unreal.....
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 02:30 AM
Posted 27 March 2018 - 04:04 AM
We got there mid day on Saturday and looked at the leaderboard. Weiskopf was in second place and we saw him on the putting green. My dad said you're going to be built like that, so let's follow him. I guess I come from a family of handicappers. Dad was correct since I'm 6-4 and about 195.
It turned into a battle between Weiskopf and Gardner Dickinson, who was chain smoking and gruff and could not have been less appealing. They weren't paired together on Sunday. Dickinson was in the second to last group and generally held a small lead. We were following Weiskopf in the final group. He was hitting the ball so high and far I was astonished initially. Then I figured out where I needed to look for his ball flight, as opposed to everyone else with the low rising jet trails.
Weiskopf was narrowly missing putts all day. He was a few shots behind Dickinson in the middle of the back nine but on 17 we learned Dickinson bogeyed the hole and now the deficit was only one. Then early on 18 we heard gasps from the green area. We found out quickly that Dickinson had double bogeyed. Amazing. Now Weiskopf merely needed a par.
Obviously that hole is a beast. Weiskopf hit the familiar bail out right into the congested small trees. My dad and I stood directly behind him, wondering what strategy he would use. Standard left pin and close to the water.
Weiskopf tried a cut but the ball flew straight and he got a bit of flyer. It ended up left of the green near a small hot dog stand. Gasps again. We couldn't tell what was going on from so far away but next thing we knew he's taking a drop. To this day I don't know if it was a ball in the water or unplayable lie or what happened. The process seemed to go on forever. Weiskopf was agitated and seemed to be unhappy with the officials and the crowd. Finally we learned it was a penalty drop and Weiskopf was hitting his 4th.
Not a bad finesse flop shot up the bank but it left an 9 or 10 footer for bogey and the playoff. Similar to Augusta '75 Weiskopf grazed the edge and had the agonized expression and Gumby bend.
I felt sick. So deflating. Walk 36 holes with a player and he loses like that. But I became a Weiskopf fan and followed him frequently in subsequent years. In the press conference after the defeat Weiskopf apologized for his behavior and said he needed to learn to handle situations like that. Funny how much I remember 50 years later.
My favorite early Doral was two years later. Tom Shaw looked so out of place among veterans who were in contention. Everyone in the Sunday gallery was calling Shaw, "the kid." Shaw was unconscious on the front nine, shooting 30 and clearly annoying the veterans he was paired with. They seemed to view him as an upstart who would fold.
I don't think I've ever seen so much frantic running at a golf tournament as that Sunday. Spectators were dashing excitedly toward the next hole as soon as Tom Shaw sank another birdie to extend his lead on that front nine. It was like a short lived obsession.
Shaw had a comfortable lead at the turn. We went to get a hot dog. While rejoining the group on 11 we were astonished to learn that Shaw had triple bogeyed the par 5 10th. I don't know how that played out but it must have been a water ball...or two.
He still controlled the tournament and had room for a double bogey on 18 to shoot 30-40 for the victory.
BTW, the story of Tom Shaw's actual age turned into a funny story a decade or two later. Nicklaus and Weiskopf knew that Shaw was older than he claimed. They joked about it for a long time before finally mentioning it to a tour official. It turned out Shaw had intentionally provided the wrong birth date for several years in the '60s, essentially staying the same age. The wrong date was printed in the media guide year after year so the journalists merely went along with it. Shaw was obscure enough to get away with it and with the long blonde locks certainly looked young enough to pass for what he was claiming. So at Doral 1970 we thought we were cheering for a 26 year old but he was actually 30ish.
I guess Shaw never considered the possibility of a Champions Tour when he was making himself younger. Otherwise he would have had to call himself out once he neared 50.
Posted 27 March 2018 - 05:13 AM
Edited by SixtySomePing, 27 March 2018 - 02:54 PM.
Posted 27 March 2018 - 06:19 AM
Posted 27 March 2018 - 06:25 AM
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 06:32 AM
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 07:08 AM
Posted 27 March 2018 - 07:23 AM
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 07:46 AM
Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:22 AM
Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:31 AM
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:33 AM
It was a wonderful experience seeing the conditions they played in with ankle high rough.
Even though Arnold Palmer was not in contention , I did follow him for a few holes and witnessed him treating fans so graciously, He gave some balls to some young fans after finishing a hole. Seeing him play is a fond memory of mine.
Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:13 AM
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:17 AM
Titleist 915 D2 60gX Rogue Silver
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:26 AM
Remember Nicklaus and Miller's golf the most. The sound at impact was so pure back then, balata on persimmon.
I can recall the nice pro's and the clowns to this day over a bunch of visits. I can still recall some of Miller's shots from the first round one year. A laced 2 iron on 1 hole to 10 feet.
Biggest idiots: Trevino and Jacobsen
Nice guys: Miller, Nicklaus, Leitzke, Payne Stewart, Stadler, Azinger, Sutton, Fergus, Cook.
Stadler and Miller were unbelievable to me
Mayhem: getting near Greg Norman
I can recall the 10th hole in a practice round following Jack with my buddies dad, who was a solid player .... and an opera singer. Nicklaus fatted his approach to 10 a little and Dick said to me (way too loudly) that there was no reason for a player like Nicklaus to hit a shot that poorly. Jack looked over, he'd heard it all of course, and winked at me.
Edited by cardoustie, 27 March 2018 - 01:06 PM.
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:33 AM
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