Roy Exum: A Dandy Weekend Of Golf

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Anyone who loves the game of golf as much as I do has to agree that we just experienced a weekend that defines the sport for all that it is. On the PA Tour a 44-year-old guy named Ken Duke won his first check for over $1 million at the Traveler’s Championship in Connecticut, which was huge.

What makes that special is that Duke started his pro career in 1994 and it was his first win in – what? – 187 starts. "I've knocked on the door a lot and here we are," he said, his belief in himself never wavering in the last 19 years. “You gotta believe in yourself in everything you do. That's why those guys at the top are winning week in, week out, because they believe they can do it. It's kind of one of those things once you finally do it, it might come easier the next time. That's kind of the way I feel.”

I wonder how he’ll feel writing “For Deposit Only”  on the back of the winner’s check for $1,098,000? How about that for persistence?

“But, yeah, it's been a long time," said Duke, who turned pro in 1994. "I've been on the Canadian tour, the mini tours, Asian Tour, South American Tour, all of them; Web.com, and it's just great to be a part of this big family on the PGA Tour." 

* * *

Another drought ended on the Champions Tour when Craig Stadler, age 60, birdied four of the first six holes at the Encompass Tournament in Glenview, Ill.,  to snap an eight-year, nine-month span since he has walked in the winner’s circle. It is the longest time between wins in the history of the Champions Tour.

As happens in the game, “The Walrus” couldn’t find a birdie putt on the back side before he nailed the 18th, which made him a one-stroke winner over Fred Couples.

* * *

Closer to home, Chattanooga’s Brooke Pancake, who was the nation’s Top Collegiate Female Golfer last year as an All-American at the University of Alabama, had three rounds of under-par golf (69-67-70) in the LPGA’s Northwest Arkansas tournament to finish five strokes off the leader and win $32,258.

Brooke’s total earning are now $40,195, which is on track to yield considerable more than most first-year marketing majors who have graduated from Alabama. She played for Baylor in high school.

* * *

Kudos to The Honors Course for awarding defending U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox an honorary membership at a banquet Saturday night. The event was part of the Tennessee Golf Association’s centennial celebration and it was lost on no one that The Circle of Honor at the Ooltewah club contains some of the greatest amateurs in the state’s colorful history.

* * *

The best golf joke making the rounds is about a U.S. citizen vacationing in Ireland. He decides to play a round of golf and is paired with three local gents. He takes a few practice swings, steps up to the first tee, and proceeds to hook the ball out of bounds. He shakes his head, reaches in his pocket, and re-tees another ball.

He tells his playing partners that he is taking a Mulligan. He pounds one down the center of the fairway about 280 yards out. With a big smile, he asks the others "In the U.S., we call that a Mulligan; was wondering what you called it here in Ireland."

After a moment of silence, one of the locals replies evenly, "Hitting three."

* * *

Four really old men went into the pro shop after playing 18 holes of golf.

The pro asked, "Did you guys have a good game today?"

The first old guy said, "Yes, I had three riders today."

The second old guy said, "I had the most riders ever. I had five."

The third old guy said, "I had seven riders, the same as last time."

The last old man said, "I beat my old record. I had 12 riders today."

After they went into the locker room, another golfer who had heard the old guys talking about their game went to the pro and said, "I've been playing golf for a long time and thought I knew all the terminology of the game, but what's a rider?"

The pro said, "A rider is when you hit the ball far enough to actually get in the golf cart and ride to it."

* * *

Golf – what a great game.

royexum@aol.com

Brooke Pancake
Brooke Pancake
- Photo2 by LPGA

Roy Exum: Celebrate Autism’s Victories

As I was getting my salad during lunch at the sixth annual Chattanooga Autism Conference on Friday, a simple question from a friendly kid on the other side of the buffet gave me the answer I was seeking. “Do you have Asperger’s (syndrome),” he asked in a friendly way. I told him no, but that a growing number of folks I admire did, and that’s why I joined a turn-away crowd of ... (click for more)

David Carroll: I Heard You Could Use A Laugh

After all these rainy days we’ve had, let’s share a laugh or two:  Overheard from a favorite waitress:  "My doctor told me I have ADD-HD.  I don't pay attention that often, but when I do, everything looks really sharp."  A senior citizens group just invited me to speak at their next meeting.  The lady who called asked me, "How long do you talk?"  I ... (click for more)

Prominent Business, Civic Leader, And Philanthropist Scotty Probasco Dies At 86

Prominent Chattanooga business, civic leader and philanthropist Scotty Probasco has died at the age of 86. Scotty, as he was affectionately greeted by most of Chattanooga, was known for his modesty, generosity, dependability, and unswerving loyalty. “Great work” was always on the tip of his tongue – a manifestation of his joyous humility. He was a man of high ideals, of kind ... (click for more)

Chemical Odor In Lookout Valley Traced To Chattanooga Tank Wash

Chattanooga firefighters in Lookout Valley were sent out Friday night to investigate reports of a strange odor in the area. The firefighters searched the area, but never found the source of the odor.  John Schultz, an investigator with the Air Pollution Control Bureau, was also out Friday night and eventually tracked the source of the odor to a business, the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Brewer Selected New East Ridge Girls Basketball Coach

(Story has been updated) Blaine Brewer admitted his becoming a head coach at East Ridge, or any other place for that matter, is ahead of schedule. “It certainly has happened quicker than I thought it would,” the 24-year-old Brewer said Friday. “I’m really excited though.” Brewer, who is from Memphis and attended Arlington High School where he played basketball and ... (click for more)

McClendon, Ex-Rhea Assistant, Joins Lyness' Lady Trojans Staff

Cheryl McClendon, an assistant girls’ basketball coach at Rhea County the past eight years, has been hired for a similar job at Soddy-Daisy High School, head coach Drew Lyness said Friday afternoon. McClendon has taught at Soddy-Daisy for the last 13 years and served as one of Rhea County coach Shane Johnston’s assistants for almost a decade. Johnston has resigned at Rhea County ... (click for more)