…I am DEFINITELY leaving.
Hopefully Rick Maese sees that and he doesn’t have to whack me around like he did Tiger last week in The Sun.
I’m playing in the Maryland Open golf championship this week, which starts today at Chartwell G&CC in Severna Park. It’s the 5th time I’ve qualified for/played in the state’s Open, but it will be the first time I’ve played in the event with my wife 37 weeks pregnant!
You will recall that Tiger headed to Oakmont CC last month for the U.S. Open with his wife in the exact same situation – 37 weeks pregnant. Elin went into labor late Thursday night (after round one) but after conferring with both the doctors and his wife, Tiger felt comfortable staying in Pittsburgh for the tournament and wound up finishing 2nd. He landed in Orlando about midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning and Elin promptly gave birth to daughter Sam Alexis on Monday at 1:30 am.
Since then, Tiger has picked up some grief from media members across the country who wondered why he didn’t just pack up and go home on Thursday night when he learned of Elin’s condition.
Well, my baby beeper is on and if it goes off today, I’m making the trip back up I-97 and I’ll be at GBMC in 45 minutes, tops! lol
I don’t need Rick Maese beating me up!
One of the cool things about playing in a tournament with professional golfers is getting a “name” player in your group. I’m fortunate to be playing with former PGA Tour player Jim Estes the first two days at Chartwell. Estes was out on TOUR for a couple of years in the mid 1990’s and he qualified for the ’98 U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco. I’m playing with Estes and amateur Jay Mulieri today (1:20 pm) and Tuesday (8:20 am) in the first two rounds of the MD Open. The field will be cut to the low 40 and ties for Wednesday’s 3rd and final round. If you’d like to follow the play via the internet, you can go to www.msga.org for their real-time leaderboard and full scoring information on the event.
I’ve been very lucky over the years to play with some excellent players in events like the Maryland Open, U.S. Open qualifiers, etc. but with that step-up in class comes a different way of thinking on the golf course. John “Jumbo” Elliott once told me NOT to tell him to “knock it in” when he was standing over a 5-foot birdie putt because, he claimed, a lot of guys on TOUR will tell you to “knock it in” when they really want you to miss the putt. Brian Claar hit a shot into the 17th green at Eagle’s Nest (Towson G&CC) a few years back in the U.S. Open qualifier and I said, “Nice shot, 15 feet maybe” and he replied, “It’s 12 feet, tops…but thanks.” We got to the green – it was 12 feet. I guess when you hit it 12 feet your entire life, you know 12 feet like the back of your hand, huh?
Tiger’s event at Congressional CC was a HUGE success and it won’t be long before that tournament becomes one of the TOUR’s biggest non-majors.
Stuart Appleby ruffled a few media feathers yesterday by storming off the course after collapsing in the final round — “Talk to the winner, mate,” is all Appleby could say with gritted teeth. That was a $768,000 collapse on Sunday. K.J. Choi won $1,080,000 for his 9-under par winning effort. Appleby’s final round 76 dropped him to a 3rd place tie and a check for $312,000. I don’t know about you, but if I made $312,000 playing golf, I’d say, “give me your best bottle of Cab, mate.”