Two weekend gags remind us how bleeping tough golf can be
In case you missed it, John Rollins lost his grip on the Buick this weekend at Torrey Pines. He found a way to bogey holes 16 and 18 and lose the tournament to the grateful Nick Watney. A continent away, in Georgia, young Morgan Hoffman did exactly the same thing at the Jones Cup, a top-notch amateur event on Sea Island, gift-wrapping a belated holiday present for Kyle Stanley. What Stanley and Watney showed us was the simple and time-honored rule of love, business and sport: opportunity knocks. Just hang around long enough and you’ll get your shot. Watney won in regulation while Stanley had to go to a playoff for his trophy. Rollins and Hoffman revisited the madness of the leader: everyone is out to get you, including you. Get out of your own way and you’ve got more than a fair chance at the victory.
In case you missed it, Rollins made one par from holes 12-16, playing them one over. Just when you thought that his eagle 3 on 14 would put him over the top, he followed it with bogey-par-bogey to let Watney and others back into the chase. Hoffman did even worse over the final three at the Jones Cup, leading by five. He played 16-18 at +4, making mistake after mistake to let Stanley back into the tournament.
As the 2009 club season dawns over the next three months, get in a lot of early tournament practice and give yourself a chance to not only hang around, but to also take a lead or two and try to reinforce it. Don’t try to protect or preserve it, reinforce it. No lead is ever too safe.
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