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April 14, 2007
Volume VI, Issue 6
Fringe Clippings
While the boys were struggling to make par at the Masters…
Wow, guess who's coming to the Jay Leno show on April 24th. Why, it’s Elsie McLean! Elsie made a hole-in-one at the 100 yard par 3 number 4 hole at Bidwell Park Golf Course in Chico, California, last Thursday, the opening day of The Masters. Now the really cool part: Elsie is 102 years old! She made it into the record books by becoming the oldest person to hit a hole-in-one on a regulation course. What club did she use for this 100 yard shot? Her driver, of course. Elsie broke the age record of 101 set by Harold Stilson in 2001 at Deerfield Country Club in Florida. Just goes to show, for those who have not yet had their hole-in-one, you still have time.
No boogie dancing on the green, but he still got his green jacket…
In your dream, you picture yourself walking up the hill to 18 with victory already in the bag. The roar of the crowd is deafening. You drink in every second. The second best vision is sinking the putt on 18 that clinches the title and causes the crowd to erupt in cheers. Heck, maybe that scenario is better than the first, even if more nerve-wracking. Then there is the 3rd scenario. It is not as beautiful as the first two, but still very, very sweet. Zach Johnson shares a Masters oddity with Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear was the last Masters champion who walked off the course having played his last shot not knowing if he had won. Nicklaus finished several groups in front of Tom Kite and Greg Norman in 1986 after shooting 65. He had to wait to see if he would be tied. The same thing occurred to Johnson during the final round of the 2007 Masters. He made his par for a 69 and had a two-shot lead. Zach had to wait and watch to see if Justin Rose or Tiger Woods could tie his effort. Turns out they couldn’t. And Johnson was a two-stroke winner. The kid from Iowa no doubt thinks it was the perfect dream ending.
If the work is super enjoyable, is it still work…
CBS’ Jim Nantz worked his 22nd Masters week and his 20th in a row as host. Pretty amazing for someone who is just 47. Also amazing is his schedule this year. Nantz called the Super Bowl in early February and was coming off the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, in which he did the championship game in Atlanta a few days before the Masters began. Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo skipped playing the tournament for the first time since 1987 to work as the lead analyst. No word on whether Nantz still has a voice.
A streak of 73 years, here’s to you Dr. Bailey...
Dr. Ed Bailey was at Augusta National for the second round, keeping intact his streak of attending the Masters every year since its inception in 1934 which he witnessed at the age of 18. Bailey, now 91, a lifelong Augusta resident, followed Bobby Jones at what was then the first Augusta National Invitational Tournament. Tickets were handed out downtown to get people to attend. Bailey is believed to be the only person who can claim such a streak. “It’s changed a lot with time,’’ he told the Augusta Chronicle. “Now people just want to go there to breathe the air.’’ Bailey is happy to be breathing it and watching golf.
A streak of 23 years, here’s to you Mr. Couples...
Fred Couples had played just two rounds of golf this year, due to a cranky bank and shin splints. The back has plagued him for years, and it was bothering him all weekend at Augusta National. But not enough to keep him from making the cut for the 23rd straight year, tying a Masters record held by Gary Player. Fred's first appearance in the tournament was in 1983, and he won it in 1992. Player made the cut in every Masters he played from 1959 to 1982.
The Black Knight rides again...
To commemorate Gary Player’s 50th Masters Appearance, Callaway Golf created a special edition golf bag for use by its tour players at Augusta National. The bag was made of black and gold leather and featured pocket tabs with Player’s own Black Knight logo. Only 10 were made. Player played in his first Masters in 1957 and won the tournament in 1961, 1974 and 1978. He missed the cut, but plans to play again next year, when he would break the record held by Arnold Palmer for most appearances.
If it hadn’t been for what I had to pay the scalper for the ticket...
Among the beautiful things about attending the Masters is that you don’t get gouged at the concession stand. First-time visitors are typically amazed to learn that they can buy a sandwich for $1.50-$2.50, a soft drink for $1, candy for $1 and bottled water for $1.50.
Paralysis by Analysis
Rules and more rules...
  1. A player sets out to play 18 holes of golf but only manages to play 7 holes because it starts to rain heavily. Can he still post a score for handicap purposes?
    1. No, you must play at least 9 holes before you can post a score.
    2. Yes, according to USGA rules, you are required to post a score.
  2. OK smarty, assuming (b) is the correct answer, how would you record your score?
    1. You must score 9 holes, so you would take what you scored on the 7 holes you played divide by 7 and multiply by 9. Example: 36 divided by 7 = 5.14 (go to 2 decimal points). Then multiply this average score per hole by 9. So 5.14 X 9 = 46.26. You would record a 46 for 9. You always round to the nearest whole number.
    2. Oh no, it’s much more involved than answer (a).

Click here for the ruling.

  1. The answer is b. According to the USGA the player is required to post his score for handicap purposes.
  2. The answer is slightly more complicated than taking an average score for holes you play and then multiplying by 9. However if you are math challenged the real USGA ruling might be just right for you. For holes 8 and 9, the player would record a score of par plus any handicap strokes they were entitled to. For example, if the player's course handicap was a 12, the player would be entitled to take one handicap stroke on the top 12 hardest holes as ranked on the golf card. So if holes number 8 and 9 were ranked #13 and #4 holes respectively, the player would get no strokes and record a par on hole number 8 (ranked #13) and would be given a stroke and record a bogey on hole number 9 (ranked #4).
Reading the Line
A lonely walk…
There was nothing that appeared more out of focus than seeing Tiger Woods walking up the long hill at the 18th hole at Augusta National to hollow cheers with nobody else left on the course and a major championship trophy going to someone else. Unheralded Zach Johnson, the winner of just one PGA Tour event and never before a contender in a major championship, did what Woods could not do: he shot under par at Augusta. His 69 was good for a two-shot victory over Woods and Retief Goosen. For the first time in his career at Augusta, Woods never shot a single round under par. He had his chances and actually led for a brief time during the final round. And that’s another first. It is the first time Woods held the lead at any point during the final round of a major and failed to convert. Woods was denied his fifth green jacket, 13th major and 57th PGA Tour victory. Johnson gets to join him forever at the Masters.
Is it hard enough now?
None of the men in green jackets were seen rubbing their hands in glee or high-fiving one another, and there were no mischievous grins to be seen, either. But you just know those guys were downright giddy.

Augusta National members love their golf course and take pride in its ability to test the best players in the world at the year’s first major championship. Now, after years of tweaking, they may very well have the kind of conditions they crave. With no rain, hard, fast conditions reigned. And with cold conditions, it made the vaunted course play even longer.

Zach Johnson emerged as the winner, shooting a total of 289, 1 over par. A score that high had occurred just twice, the last time in 1956. Some complained about the lack of drama, the lack of birdies and eagles. Others thought it showed how the best could do with tough conditions. It was a test, just as all tournaments. Give them some night time rain and warmer temperatures at next years Masters and Augusta National will not be the brute she was in 2007.
2007 PGA Tour Schedule   Winner
Mercedes Benz Championship Jan 4-7 Vijay Singh
Sony Open in Hawaii Jan 11-14 Paul Goydos
Bob Hope Classic Jan 18-21 Charley Hoffman
Buick Invitational Jan 25-28 Tiger Woods
FBR Open Feb 1-4 Aaron Braddeley
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro AM Feb 8-11 Phil Mickelson
Nissan Open Feb 15-18 Charles Howell III
WGC-Accenture Match Play Feb 21-25 Henrik Stenson
The Honda Classic Mar 1-4 Mark Wilson
Tampa Bay Championship Mar 8-11 Mark Calcavecchia
Arnold Palmer Invitational Mar 15-18 Vijay Singh
WGC-CA Championship Mar 22-25 Tiger Woods
Shell Houston Open Mar 29-1 Adam Scott
The Masters Apr 5-8 Zach Johnson
Verizon Heritage Apr 12-15
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Apr 19-22
EDS Byron Nelson Championship Apr 26-29
Wachovia Championship May 3-6
The Players Championship May 10-13
AT&T Classic May 17-20
Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial May 24-26
The Memorial Tournament May 31-3
Stanford St.Jude Championship Jun 7-10
U.S. Open Championship Jun 14-17
Travelers Championship Jun 21-24
Buick Open Jun 28-1
The International July 5-8
John Deere Classic July 12-15
U.S. Bank Championship July 19-22
British Open July 19-22
Canadian Open July 26-29
Reno-Tahoe Open Aug 2-5
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Aug 2-5
PGA Championship Aug 9-12
Wyndham Championship Aug 16-19
The Barclays Aug 23-26
Deutsche Bank Championship Aug 31-3
BMW Championship Sep 6-9
The Tour Championship Sep 13-16
Turning Stone Resort Championship Sep 20-23
Viking Classic Sep 27-30
The Presidents Cup Sep 27-30
Valero Texas Open Oct 4-7
Frys.com Open in Las Vegas Oct 11-14
Fry.s Electronics Open Oct 18-21
Running Horse Golf Championship Oct 25-28
Walt Disney World Resort Classic Nov 1-4

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