A brush with greatness?
Here’s a great story from the ‘You never know who might show up at the first tee’ file.
I’m gearing up to play Poppy Hills, the sporty Monterey Peninsula layout that is part of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, with a friend in June, 2003, and a father and son walk to the first tee and ask if they can join us. We say sure, having no idea who “Don Levin” and his son, “Spencer Levin” are.
We eventually find out Spencer is there to practice for the California state amatuer the next weekend. We marvel at his talent. The youngster is hitting everything well until he discovers one of his wedges has been lost, possibly left at home several hundred miles away in Southern California. His dad is steamed, berating his son for losing the club and jeopardizing his chances in such a big tournament.
The two settle down, and really start putting on a show, going for par-5s in two. Smashing 300 yard drives. They’re going at it like match play at the Ryder Cup.
It’s not until we get off the course and look up the name Levin on the internet that we find out about our brush with a potential challenger to Tiger Woods. Don played on the PGA Tour in the 1980s and Spencer is one of the country’s top amatuers. If you remember, Spencer had the hole in one at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock last summer and finished as the low amateur that week, despite a brutal course setup.
Golf Digest recently ranked him as the No. 2 amateur in the country. He’s certainly one to watch for the future.
So the next time a two-some walks up to the first tee looking to join, don’t say no. You never know who it might be.
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