Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Strange and Green make golf's Hall

This just in from the World Golf Hall of Fame...

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Hubert Green and Curtis Strange will become members of the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2007. Green was selected in the Veteran's category by the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors Selection Committee and Strange was elected on the PGA TOUR ballot.

For the rest of the story, click here.

My round at Augusta National

Not that anybody asked for it, but here is a hole-by-hole account of my recent post-Masters round at Augusta National.

We -- that's me, Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press, Jaime Diaz of Golf World and Golf Digest, and Bob DiCesare of the Buffalo News -- started on the 10th. For a detailed map and hole-by-hole graphic, it's available on the Masters website. Here's the column I wrote about the round for the Sunday Inquirer.

10th. 365 yards, par 4. Good drive that trickled into the right rough. 5-iron from 185 yards to short of the green. Skulled the chip over the green, chili-dipped the comeback chip. 3-putt. Opening hole jitters. Triple-bogey 7.

11th. 400 yards, par 4. Killed my drive. 8-iron from 140 yards leaked right of the green. Chipped to 6-feet. 1-putt. My first par. 4.

12th. 145 yards, par 3. One of the most famous and beautiful holes in golf. With a slight breeze in our face, Rodney the caddie says it's playing more like 160 yards. I hit 6-iron and the ball rolled just off the back of the green, near the rim of the bunker. Chipped to 4 feet, gagged the putt. Bogey 4.

13th. 455 yards, par 5. Good drive down the left side of the fairway. With 192 yards to clear Rae's Creek, I hit my hybrid, which I half-topped. It stopped just short of the creek. L-wedge to 12 feet, sank the putt. Birdie 4. (Tiger fist pump, obnoxious strutting).

14th. 380 yards, par 4. Good drive. On the advice of Rodney the caddie, I hit 8-iron from 148 yards. It came up short, in the midst of a couple of large mounds. My chip made it onto the green but trickled back almost to my feet. Chipped again to 8-feet. 2-putt. Double-bogey 6.

15th. 475 yards, par 5. Pulled my drive slightly, leaving it behind a stand of trees. Tried to thread the needle to lay-up short of the pond, but the ball caught the last possible limb and dropped in the rough. From 152 yards downhill, I hit 7-iron, not wanting to come up short; the ball landed on the upslope on the other side of the pond and somehow stayed up there, like Fred Couples' ball on the 12th several years ago. Chipped to gimme range. Par 5. (Note: I'm 1-under on the par 5s).

16th, 145 yards, par 3. With about 160 yards to a back left pin position, I hit 6-iron to 18 feet. 2-putt par. 3.

17th. 370 yards, par 4. Good drive. 9-iron from 118 yards uphill, on the advice of Rodney the caddie. Hit it perfect but the ball came up short and buried in the front bunker. Blast to 30-feet. Two-putt bogey. 5.

18th.385 yards, par 4. Killed another drive, through the fairway into the left fairway bunker. 8-iron out, over the high lip to short of the green. SW to 20 feet. 2-putt bogey. 5.

1st. 365 yards, par 4. Best drive all day. Uphill, wind in face, 8-iron from 135 yards to 18 feet. Ran my uphill putt 4 feet past and lipped out the come-backer to save par. Bogey. 5.

2nd. 515 yards, par 5. Pulled my tee shot into the trees. Punched out almost sideways to fairway. Hammered my hybrid down to just short of the green. Chip shot rolled back off the green. Chipped again. 2-putt. Double-bogey. 7.

3rd. 340 yards, par 4. The short, almost-driveable par 4. Going for broke, I yank/sky my tee shot, and the ball settled in trees left. From 195 yards, I hit my hybrid so well the ball trickles to the back fringe. My lag putt from maybe 40 feet rolled off the green to the front fringe. I sank to 10-foot comeback putt to save par. 4.

4th. 170 yards, par 3. Disaster awaits. Going with my hybrid, I left the ball out to the right. It one-hopped into the hedge and disappeared. When I found it, I even had a little opening to punch out toward the green. Crouched over in the hedges, I punched out -- I'm thinking I've hit a miraculous recovery shot --only to watch the ball roll into the deep front bunker. Blast to 30 feet, 2-putt double-bogey. 5.

5th. 500 yards, par 4. Crushed my tee shot, through the fairway. From behind and under a tree, on hardpan, I punch-curled a 4-iron around the tree, to just short of the green. Chipped to 15 feet, sank the par putt. 4.

6th. 165 yards, par 3. With a slight breeze in our face, I hit 5-iron to the right and over the green. Spectacular chip to 3 feet, sank the par putt. 3.

7th. 330 yards, par 4. Good tee shot. 8-iron to front bunker. Blast to 15-feet above the hole. Slippery green. Putt ran 5 feet past, and I missed the comeback. Double-bogey 6.

8th. 480 yards, par 5. Pulled my drive into the trees. Tried to hit 9-iron up and over a tree but it caught a limb and dropped on the edge of the rough. From 200 yards, uphill, I hit 3-wood to the right of the green. Chip rolled over the green and hung up in the fringe, above the green the sloped green. Chipped to 4 feet, sank the putt. Bogey 6.

9th. 395 yards, par 4. Hammered my drive down the left side. Worst luck of the day; the ball came to rest under the one low-hanging limb that could obscures my approach to the green. Punched an 8-iron to short of the green, chipped to 10 feet above the hole. I barely touched my putt and it rolled off the front of the green, down the embankment. Chipped to 4 feet, sank the putt. Double-bogey 6.

Overall day: Priceless.

Score: 88.

Boo who?

If you saw any or all of the Verizon Heritage on Hilton Head Island this past weekend, you might be wondering who, or what, a Boo Weekley is?

Good question. Here are a few pertinent bio facts from the PGA Tour media guide:

Residence: Jay, Fla.

Education: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Special interests: Hunting, fishing.

You might recall Boo from his time time on the PGA Tour in 2002, when he was quite the story because of his country bumpkin demeanor and his habit of wearing rain pants because he's allergic to cotton. That makes this exchange from his post-victory interview a must-read:

Q. Give us a little background again on your allergy to cotton.

BOO WEEKLEY: I mean, it's polyester/cotton is what I've got on right now. I haven't had no problem with it, which it ain't really got me playing in hot, hot weather yet. I was curious to see how it's going to act. I'm hoping that I won't have no reaction to it.

Q. What happens to you?

BOO WEEKLEY: It just looks like I got ringworm. Have you ever had ringworm?

Q. No (laughter).

BOO WEEKLEY: Ringworm, it's like little pus pockets pop up on your skin there. I mean, it itches, I can tell you that. Bad case of poison ivy is about what it's like.

Q. Poison ivy I've had.

BOO WEEKLEY: It's about like that.

Q. Have you ever considered a comedy club maybe?

BOO WEEKLEY: No, sir, I ain't good at that. I ain't good at it.