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my game was realy sucking

My Game was Really Sucking

1996 was my sophomore year on the PGA Tour. Coincidentally, it was also my second to last year as a member. Heading into the Byron Nelson Classic I wasn’t exactly in top form, in fact, my game was really sucking. I made the cut by a shot so I thought I’d try something new and exciting on Saturday. The main cause of my obesity is that I skip breakfast. When you have three entrees for dinner you generally don’t get hungry until around 11am, which, ironically, is the exact time that the buffet in the locker room starts serving lunch. Vicious cycle! The food isn’t really that great, but they don’t limit the number of trips through the line (at least not officially and I’ve read the PGA Tour rules and regulations after acrid remarks from some of the emaciated players).

Anyway, let me get back to the story at hand. I was paired with Davis Love III, you might have heard of him. He is, by my estimation, a pretty good golfer. Anyone with a jet meets my criteria for the “pretty good golfer” category. Some people have different rating systems. This is mine. I was also playing with Donnie Hammond. He doesn’t have a jet and although he is a very nice person, I wasn’t particularly worried about embarrassing myself in front of him. I’m sure they were both thrilled about playing with me.

To break my cycle of poor golf, I thought I would try a big breakfast. And yes, I thought this up all by myself. The items that appealed to me were parts of three different breakfast entrees. The Salesmanship Club of Dallas (they run the tournament) has some unusual way of taking care of the food for the players. You can get as much of whatever you want and it is free. The only trick is that you have to sign the ticket. You don’t have to sign your name, just a name. This may explain why Ed Fiori’s food bill was over $2000 one year. Then again Ed may have just been hungry that week. Well, anyway, I chose pancakes, corned beef hash, two eggs over medium, white toast, and bacon. This seemed reasonable to me. Let me tell you that got things stirred up. The waiter informed me that this order was well outside the parameters of their ordering protocol and processing it would crash the system and probably bring the entire golf tournament to a grinding halt. I assured him that money was no object. Ed Fiori signed for another $37 breakfast.

After my ninth birdie of the day, the bloated feeling finally subsided. That is when the troubled started. I was playing the 7th at TPC Los Colinas as my buddy Glen Day was playing the parallel 8th. He saw that I was nine under par with three holes to play and that I had a chance at shooting 59. I didn’t even realize that the course was a par 70 until he “gently” reminded me. Then Glen asked if they were still offering a million-dollar bonus to anyone shooting 59 on tour. I honestly couldn’t remember if they were or weren’t. Somehow, I scraped three pars together for my 61. Miraculously, Glen and I are still buddies.
In case you are interested Davis Love III shot 71 that day. Let me help you with the math. Charlie Rymer 61. Davis Love III 71. Same tees. That would be 10 shots. I’ll never forget and you can be sure I won’t ever let Davis forget. In fact every time I see him, I ask if he needs 5 shots a side. He just smiles and says, “Want to ride on my jet.” Davis seems to be the only player on tour that can shut me up.

That 61, which by the way beat Davis Love III by 10 shots, put me in the final pairing on Sunday. That was the first and only time that I played in the final group in a PGA Tour event on a Sunday. Let me tell you, there isn’t much oxygen around that first tee. I was paired with Phil Mickelson who I’ll wager, even with all his accomplishments, has never beaten Davis Love III by 10 shots in one round. Anyway, when I arrived on the tee, there was the great Byron Nelson. He could sense that I was distraught and immediately came over to calm me down. He told me that the 61 I had the previous day was one of the best rounds he had ever seen. And that upon further reflection he realized that in his career he had never shot 61. At this I started to breath a bit better. I looked over at Mickelson and realized that maybe he is mortal and that on occasion he has been known to miss a short putt or two. I was starting to feel my oats; after all I had beaten Davis Love III by 10 shots the previous day. It was at this point that Mr. Nelson uttered the words that unintentionally sealed my fate as a television golf analyst. He proclaimed, “I shot 60 on many occasions, but never a 61.”

Comments

Ian Andrew said:

That story was really great - thanks. By the way nice web site guys. Ian

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"For architect Mike Young, a veteran of the Georgia golf scene and also busy in Central America, this could be his much-deserved breakthrough course. Long Shadow combines two styles, with a front nine through wooded riverfront land and a back nine that is discernibly more open and heathlands in style, with a bolder, more scattered approach to bunkering. Unity in the composition comes by virtue of the rough-hewn fescues and native grasses that frame the holes. "

-BRADLEY S. KLEIN, Golfweek