Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #35

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You never about Missouri weather. Saturday night there was an 80% chance of showers and thunderstorms for Sunday. By Sunday morning that chance was decreased to 60%. Even then I figured the only golf my friends and I would get to enjoy would be the golf on television, but the course in Columbia was open, cart path only, so we drove the forty miles to the links in a steady rain, hoping to get in at least nine holes. Do you know it didn’t rain a drop the entire six hours we were battling through the hills and mud. I let my much younger friend talk me into playing the tips giving him a distance advantage because his average drive is about 270 compared to my 220. It was close, but I had too many penalty shots and too many putts and lost by a single shot. I had fun even though my golf was more like work than play, so I don’t feel qualified this week to embark any pointers. Instead I’ll tell you about the PGA Tournament that I didn’t get to see.

The tournament went extra holes and more extra holes. Harris English and Kramer Hickok were tied at -13 at the end of regulation so basically they were playing for $500,000, the difference in first and second place. After seven holes they were still tied with all pars. Finally English took the title with a birdie on the 8th playoff hole. Back in the day, a playoff for the U.S. Open was decided by a 36 hole playoff the following day, but in the day of sudden death playoffs, this one tied for the second longest playoff in PGA Tour history. The longest was in 1949 when Lloyd Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff played eleven extra holes in the Motor City Open. They were finally declared co-champions because of darkness. One of the most famous playoffs in recent history happened when Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate were tied after regulation in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Rocco wrote a book about it and it’s interesting reading. According to playoff rules at the U.S. Open, a winner would be decided by an 18-hole playoff and they were still deadlocked after that. Tiger would win on the 19th hole in almost total darkness.

Hit ’em straighter than I did last Sunday!.