Notes: Players' playoff; golf's 'adult spring break'
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Talk about the ultimate split decision. When the PGA Tour announced that it would go to a three-hole aggregate playoff in case of a tie at its showcase, The Players Championship, it seemed logical to seek reactions from David Toms and Paul Goydos.
After all, they each lost on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, after the decision had been made by tournament officials to begin the playoff at the island-green, par-3 17th. In 2008, Goydos went first and hit his ball in the water, making it that much easier for Sergio Garcia to win. In 2011, K.J. Choi won when David Toms three-putted the 17th green.
Toms laughed when he heard the news that a playoff will be contested at the par-5 16th, the 17th, and the par-4 18th, with the low score winning. He said he had lobbied for such a system even before 2011, mostly because “it’s a very, very important tournament.”
Though it would seem Goydos would be in favor, given the way he lost, he’s not. He suggests that playoffs should either be one hole or 18, but nothing in between.
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Move over “Duck Dynasty,” the “Cubby Dynasty” is steamrolling along.
OK, so maybe two straight championships does not qualify as a dynasty, but veteran caddie John “Cubby” Burke is still smiling over his team’s overtime win to successfully defend its USA Hockey Tier 1 Over-50 national title. “The competition was incredible,” Burke said.
Burke serves as coach and general manager of the Sun Valley Suns. Though he’s eligible for over-60 competition should he choose to lace 'em up, Burke has tried to play in the over-50 league in recent years, but no more.
“Way too much speed, way too good,” he said.
Against the Heartland Hockey Camp out of Minneapolis, the Suns trailed 1-0 when Burke pulled his goaltender. The strategy paid off when Tim Schnobrich scored with 30 seconds left in regulation. Then, with nine seconds left in overtime, Johnny Miller (no, not the major champion and NBC announcer) scored to give coach Burke another title.
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There’s more than the iconic lighthouse and a cold refreshment at the legendary Quarterdeck when you finish the 18th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links. You also have boats – large and extravagant boats.
They offer spectacular viewing and when it comes to high-priced toys, few crowds show as much as interest the PGA Tour chaps. So it was no surprise to see them keenly observing the massive boat docked not 150 yards from the 18th green. And what caught their eye? The name of the boat, “Top Five.”
Seen with smiles, several players could be heard asking, “Is that Patrick Reed’s boat?” Reed, of course, created a bit of a stir on Tour when in the aftermath of his win at the Cadillac Championship he said he was one of the top five players in the game.
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Graeme McDowell on playing at the cozy confines of Harbour Town the week after the massive pressure-cooker known as the Masters: “I heard someone describe it as adult spring break, and it finally feels like spring break after the final exam last week at Augusta.”
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One of McDowell’s duties as defending champion of the RBC Heritage was to take part in the official opening ceremony. It involved hitting a ball toward Calibogue Sound, while at the same time a cannon is fired off.
That’s right, a cannon.
“I think I made contact with the ball,” McDowell said. “I didn’t even get a chance to watch it. I was too busy jumping out of my skin.”
It’s loud, very loud, and to validate McDowell’s utter shock, consider that two-time RBC winner Boo Weekley was also in awe of the loudness. Now Weekley is a hunter and figures to have not been shaken. But he was.
“I know guns and that was a cannon,” he said.