Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good Luck, Mr. Snedeker

Upupdate: Haymes finished tied for 7th. When I find out where he's playing the first stage, I'll post it.
Update: after 3 rounds, Haymes is in 10th. That's fine. He hasn't shot a round over par yet. Today's the last day. If you scroll down the leaderboard, you'll see in 18th place Andrew Giuliani. Yup. Rudy's son.

After pre-qualifying come two more stages of qualifying (about 6 rounds per stage) followed by the final stage. In terms of mental stamina, it may be the most grueling experience in professional sports.

I played golf this past Sunday at Disney's Magnolia Course with Bernadette and her partner from Big Break X, Michigan, Haymes Snedeker. Winning the Big Break qualified Haymes to play in Disney's November PGA tournament, The Children's Miracle Network or something like that, so he was out to get familiar with the course. Since I used to play that course on the mini-tours back in the 90's, they've lengthened it to keep up with technology. There are now four 500 yard par 4's, not to mention a few more in the 475 to 85 range. It's hard to relate. So I was worried about his length, but even with that funny swing, he seemed to me to be averaging between 290 to 300 yards per drive. So no problem there. And he can play all the other shots too. I only worry about how quickly he plays. (A refreshing change, actually, since I've gotten into the habit of taking a nap while waiting for Jim Furyk to line up a shot.)

This particular round of golf, and even the Disney tournament itself, was not all that important compared to where he was going after the round was over: to Dade City to play in a PGA Tour pre-qualifying tournament. Yep, he's going to Q-School. So wish him luck. Yesterday was the first day of competition, during which he shot 67, putting him in third place. The top 43 after four days of golf will move on to the next stage.

I should add that, though we've corresponded, this is the first time I've met him, and he's just what he appeared to be on TV: a gentleman with an impish sense of humor. The baby his wife delivered during the filming of the Big Break is now 14 months old.

Here's a Facebook video golf tip featuring Bernadette and Haymes.

Below is some wildlife seen on the golf course. Sorry I forgot to get the wild turkeys. I'll shoot one next time. The Disney tournament's just before Thanksgiving.

Be sure to click on the image to enlarge.


Lydia McGrew said...

Wait a minute: You didn't really, with your own eyes, see an alligator on the golf course, did you? That last picture was taken by someone else, some other time, or at a zoo or something, right?


wl said...

Nope, it's the real thing. He slipped into the water when I got too close. That's because he's a junvenile. The adults lie there like logs and aren't easily intimidated. I've seen many gators on courses. Saw one eat a blue heron once.

Lydia McGrew said...

What happens if your golf ball lands near one? You just go over and say, "Excuse me" and continue playing?

wl said...

Under the rules of golf, an adult alligator who will not move might be considered a "movable obstruction" which would allow a free drop. Interesting question. I'll check it out.

Bernadette said...

There are no free drops for alligators being near your ball. You think 2 club lengths is gonna stop a gator from chompin on you? It happened to me in a junior tournament down in South Florida. You just have to scare them off or take your chances.

wl said...

Wouldn't it be a hazardous condition, as when your ball lands on a fire ant mound and you get a free drop?

You never told me about that junior tournament incident. Twerp. What'd you do? Hit or run?

wl said...

Reason I ask is that I remember how you wanted to hug the black bear cubs out at the Legacy Club with Mama standing nearby. If I hadn't been there you'd probably be dead.

Bernadette said...

Fire ants mounds are immovable so you do get a free drop. Black bears and gators are movable. We called over an official and he scared it off in his cart....I thought you were there? Anyway, think about it, if your ball rolls into a hazard which happens to be a lake that has gators, you don't get a free drop because it's dangerous.

wl said...

I'll take your word for it. You're still a twerp.

Big Break Fan said...

Congrats to Haymes! I have heard he is such a nice guy, I hope he continues to have success in Qschool. Why didn't Bernie attempt Qschool? By winning the BIg Break didn't she win her entry fee for LPGA QSchool?

wl said...

Haymes sometimes stops by, so maybe he'll see your congrats.

I don't answer personal questions about Bern unless I know who's asking. My email's in the sidebar.