Whisper Rock National Invitational Results – Round #1

For those of you that haven’t experienced the “hang’ at the Rock, its second to none!

From the time you arrive at the drop off zone you are treated to a level of service that I’ve yet to experience.   Owners Gregg Tryhus and Jim Strickland are responsible for this incredible experience.  The service, food, facilities, range, courses, and short game areas are why over 40 PGA tour professionals call the “Rock” their home.   They are the best in each category I’ve seen anywhere!!

Partner Paul Balatti and I had the pleasure of playing our first round with Bill Boockford and David Lind.  Both of these guys can really play (David played on the PGA tour), but better yet they had an old friend follow along from #9 through dinner.  This friend is past PGA tour player Joe Porter, and all I can tell you about this fine gentleman as he has some of the most amazing golf stories I’ve ever heard.  Playing in his first PGA tour event as a pro he was paired with the “Bear” himself.  I loved the passionate way in which Joe talked about the players he had played this great game with.  Again, I keep saying it over and over, this is why I love the game!!  The people you meet and places you can travel to play this great game really make it special!

The upper course was in amazing shape and partner Balatti and I shot a smooth 67 to tie for the lead. Today we play the awesome lower course and hope to continue our good play.  I’ve got the results and pictures below, and I hope you’ll follow along as we continue to enjoy this magical place called Whisper Rock in Scottsdale AZ!

MID-AM DIVISION

LOWER COURSE

7,203 Yards

1 Blacketer, Jeb Johnson, Cooper 65
2 Kavelman, Dennis Quinn, Dan 67
3 Cuff Jr, Ed Rowley, Michael 68
4 Bendetti, Joe Strickland, Jim 69
Kreps, Brian Marsico, Jonathan 69
6 Arvidson, Anthony Vickers, Warren 70
Barsotti, Todd Wilson, Jeff 70
Grier, Steven Holmes, Chance 70
Haden, Taylor Hayes, Ben 70
10 Carlson, Chris Ledzinski, Jerry 71
Couch, Geoff Donovan, Darryl 71
Fuhr, Grant Roenick, Jeremy 71
Hutcheson, Bill Palladino, Vince 71
Mitchell, Ryan Sanders, Joe 71
15 Belden, Dan McIver, Rob 72
Burke, Billy Fisk, Corey 72
Carpenter, Michael Kavanaugh, Charles 72
Fujimoto, Jeff Irwin, Steve 72
Hillman, Joe Kinsel, Keith 72
Kelly, Dave Shaw, Brad 72
21 Andrisen, Brooks Krystyn, Tom 73
Chang, Jerry Murray, Palmer 73
Chesley, Steve Daffer, Tony 73
Di Carlo, Nat Middaugh, Eoin 73
Helling, Rick Praus, Jeff 73
Jennings, Dan O’Malley, Sean 73
Morley, Earl Schaeffer, Bobby 73
Tennyson, Brian Walsworth Jr., Don 73
29 Almquist, Scott Franey, David 74
Herrick, Tom Kloenne, Michael 74
31 DeLeone, Bob Everson, Phil 75
Lyons, Lenny Volpenhein, Jim 75
Occhipinti, Chris Tolliver, Billy Joe 75
Straub, Clayton Weaver, Craig 75

SENIOR DIVISION

UPPER COURSE

6,921 Yards

1 Balatti, Paul Haag, Randy 67
Bevers, Jerry Sullivan, Pat 67
3 Atkinson, Bert Fred, Stuart 68
Newton, Jeff Parsons, Chuck 68
5 Forey, Sean Hotchkiss, Jim 69
Kelley, George Nelson, David 69
7 Olive, John Sollenberger, Mark 70
Petit, Rich Staskus, Mike 70
9 Boockford, Bill Lind, David 71
Emich, Fred Saivar, Jim 71
Franz, Mark Post, Charlie 71
Jackson, Bill Ruffin, Rick 71
Lyons, Eddie McBee, Billy 71
14 Berg, Alan Herson, Selwyn 72
Bracken, John Ocker, Ronny 72
Cochran, Kevin Proctor, Terry 72
Dutton, Scott Hogan, Mike 72
18 Hakes, Steven Hays, Jim 73
Karper, Philip McGee, Mac 73
Rule, Jack Smazal, Stan 73
21 Antoniou, Vance Mayer, Gerry 74
Burns, Ron Harrington, Bob 74
Goode, John McDonald, Robert 74
Heldmar, Bill Muller, Eric 74
25 Clement, Dave Pumphrey, Jay 75
Cooke, Don Lefferdink, Van 75
Cox, Fred Wear, Charlie 75
Knoll, Jim Luther, Dan 75
Morgan, Mike Tadlock, Randy 75
30 Barnes, Doc Maxey, Vic 76
Legere, Jacques Postillion, Victor 76
Merrill, Scott Moore, Mike 76

Coming up- Whisper Rock National Invitation

Today is the practice round for the Whisper Rock National Invitation. I will be covering the event live daily with tournament updates, scores and pictures. This is one of the best places to play golf and hang out in the world. Soon you’ll see why if you haven’t yet experienced this magical place!

Coming up after Whisper Rock is the Pine Valley member guest followed by the Coleman at Seminole in Juno Beach Fl.

Stay tuned and have a great day!!

Randy Haag

Mickelson Wins his 3rd Green Jacket at the Masters

It really doesn’t come as a huge surprise to see Phil in the Butler cabin getting his third green jacket. As Phil told us before the event started that he has not performed well of late due to the tight course conditions over the previous events (especially last week at Houston). Phil said “I can spray the ball and know I can create a recovery shot, where at Houston an errant shot ending up in the water hazard).

This was exactly the theme of Mickelson’s final round with errant tee shots on 9, 10, 13 he was still able to create shots that enabled him to play these holes -1. The shot I feel won the event for Phil was the second shot to 13 from the pine straw. Even though he badly missed the eagle attempt, that shot gave him the momentum to carry him to victory.

The reason Mickelson wins and Westwood doesn’t has a lot to do with having won three majors previously, along with Phil’s bad misses like the 18th hole at Winged Foot. These experiences will always favor the player that has already been on both sides of the win/lose equation. Westwood hasn’t been able to finish strong yet coming down the stretch in a major. At last years Open at Turnberry he needed a par on the 18th hole to end in a playoff with Cink and Watson, but at the time he felt he needed a birdie 3 on the final hole to catch Watson.

I’m not sure I liked the camera stuck in Phil and Amy’s face as they were having their private family moment. Sometimes I think we all should give these people their moment and back off a bit. I know it’s what people want to see, but personally I would have preferred to have seen that from further back and not up in their faces!

Another amazing finish to a major, Tiger is back, and who knows what will happen at the US Open at Pebble Beach this year? My guess is again you’ll see Tiger and Phil in the mix, with perhaps a better prepared Tiger. I believed this event will get his juices flowing again and our once bad boy Tiger ?will once again see the winners circle before long?

Coming up next action from Rancho Murieta at the California Club Pro/Club Champion event hosted by Taylor Made this Monday and Tuesday!!

Stay tuned

Randy

MASTERS UPDATE- THESE OLD GUYS CAN PLAY

You couldn’t have scripted it any better as Woods returns to golf and two guys with the combined age of 110 shoot 66 & 67 to sit first and T2 on the opening day of the Masters.

HOW can 4 players over 50+ shoot under par? It’s quite simple, all are very talented and  have won at least one major.   How can you not love what Fred Couples is doing out there?  He’s 50 and  playing perhaps the best golf of his career.  But how is this possible?

It’s possible because Freddie is triple jointed and can swing a club into a position that most 20 yr olds cannot. He has extreme confidence with his putting after shooting a million under par in his 4 Champion Tour events. And  these guys are winners, they know how to win, and they still have the competitive desire to compete and win.  What Tom Watson did last year in the British Open was one of the greatest athletic feats of all time.  At age 60 to come within one short putt of winning the Open would have been the sports story of the century.  Here he is again with an amazing 67 in the first round.  Can Watson win the Masters? Probably not, as the course gets significantly tougher over the next 54 holes.  Can Freddie win the Masters….ABSOLUTELY and don’t be surprised if you have one of the greatest leader boards ever develop into a Sunday afternoon showdown between Phil, Freddie, Tiger, Ian, Lee, AK and maybe even Adam Scott!  Not to say that YE, KJ, and Nick Watney could contend, but that is the beauty of this great event, it’s going to be very exciting!!

I don’t think anyone will be able to separate themselves from the pack with 30 guys under par. As the course conditions change, 72 will become a very good score over the next few days.

Back to the old guys- how can these guys compete at this level at age 50+?

From my experience having qualified for the 2009 British Senior Open at Sunningdale last year, I had the privileged to play a practice round with fellow Olympian Michael Allen.  Now here is a guy that won his very first PGA event last year [the Senior PGA] while also having one of his best years ever on the PGA tour banking over $1,000,000. I asked Michael how he could be playing so well at age 50..?  He said “I really feel like I haven’t peaked yet, and that my best golf is ahead of me” this is exactly how I feel and contributed greatly to achieving my personal goal of becoming the NCGA Player of The Year at age 50 in 2009. It was amazing how Michael prepared for the British Senior Open, basically mapping out every yard of the course and coming up with a strategy based on different wind condition and possible pin placements. It certainly showed me he was not there on vacation and was preparing to win.

I believe this is the same approach that Freddie and Tom Watson take in preparing for these events that are so important to them.  They are mentally and physically prepared and they have a game plan!!

I also had the pleasure of playing 18 holes of golf with Tom Watson in 1984 at Cypress Point. Tom was doing the EF Hutton commercials and did some regional golf outings for a few lucky ones.  I can tell you that there is very little difference in his swing today than 26 years ago. He is physically able to turn back and fully load back to his right side, same with Freddie.  How can you at age 50 do the same thing, well it starts with your fitness and nutrition. In the coming days I will be covering these important topics and sharing some of the best exercises that will assist you in maintaining your range of motion.

More Masters coverage tomorrow.  Prediction for tomorrow is nobody runs away from the pack, and again you’ll have a crowded leader board with all the big names staying close to the top.

Enjoy and stay tuned

Randy Haag

Steve Lewis Interview

Tuesday afternoon I had the good fortune of interviewing Steve Lewis at Avenue Art in San Mateo.  Steve is a fellow Olympic Club member and past Senior Club Champion, but golf is only one of his many talents.  We met at the gallery in preparation for his upcoming showing of his “Golf Landscapes”  over the course of the next two months.  His passion for golf can be seen in the paintings he has created and has on display in the gallery.  One of Steve’s recent accomplishments is to have created the poster for the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club. They are now available at the Olympic Club Pro Shop.  There will be a Artist Reception this Saturday April 10th at the Avenue Art  60 E. Third Ave. San Mateo Ca 94401 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.  Steve will be showing his Oil Paintings, Panoramic Photos of the Masters (hey it is Masters week), some Spherical Panoramic Photos that you have to see to believe, and some Giclee’s of his work. For more info on Steve visit his website www.SteveLewisGallery.com

Here is the press release as written by a fantastic journalist and fellow Olympian, Gib Papazian:

RENAISSANCE MAN: n. A man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.

It is rare in this age of specialization to find an authentic “Renaissance Man;” a demonstration of aesthetic creativity and a practical grasp of the sciences is practically unheard of here on the Peninsula, where most everyone divides their time between sprinting on an economic treadmill and rushing to soccer practice.

But hidden in the labyrinthian maze of Foster City is Steve Lewis, his painting studio, wine laboratory, sculptures, photo lab and home reflecting a vision and desire to explore every aspect of the creative arts.

Those in the local golf milieu know the 62 year-old Lewis as a talented golfer (former Olympic Club Senior Champion) – and noted painter and photographer of golf landscapes.

A veteran of innumerable art exhibitions since “retiring” from a career as an electrical engineer twelve years ago, his painting has been selected by the United States Golf Association as the official commemorative posters celebrating the upcoming 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club. “Golf subjects are probably only 10% of my overall portfolio,” said Lewis, ”but as a golfer I naturally have an interest in our playing fields.”

An exhibition of his golf landscapes runs from April 6th to June 6th at Avenue Art Gallery, 60 East 3rd Avenue in San Mateo – with a special reception featuring Steve Lewis himself and photographer Brian Madden on Saturday April 10th from 6pm to 9pm.

For those whose tastes run far afield of golf, his wildly diverse works are displayed in regular cycles at the gallery and available for viewing on-line at http://www.SteveLewisGallery.com. Visitors will find abstracts, panoramic photos, interpretive portraits and giclees – all voracious studies of tone, texture, canvass compositions – even three dimensional art pieces sculpted from wood, plaster and paint flowing

from his hyper-creative explorations.

The collage of styles on display seem impossibly diverse, yet do not convey the impression of a bric-a-brac series of experimental misadventures. “I tend to find something interesting and focus on it until I understand it thoroughly, “ says Lewis, “and then I go onto the next subject.”

Lewis admits a tendency to hone in on a subject and obsessively dissect its possibilities whether through

photography or painting. One wall is devoted to paintings of shoes. Every kind of women’s shoe imaginable as a study in form and color.

On the opposite wall, a series of swimmers, captured first by photograph and then embellished on canvass from a variety of unusual angles and perspectives.

Like many artists, Lewis occasionally turns his tunnel vision to sculpture. His pieces are admittedly few, but stunningly original and expressive. One plaster piece, sitting on a random table in his studio, provides an ever changing aesthetic as the viewer encircles the artwork.

From one perspective, an oval time-portal with a stern faced woman staring into infinity. From the other side, the same piece shrieks carnal erotica – a juxtaposition of conflict – and perhaps a glimpse into what lies behind his laconic eyes.

The diversity of his art – and quality of each piece – is stunning by any measurement, particularly to a relative newcomer to the commercial art world. In truth, Lewis has managed to produce a lifetime of work in only 12 years, without the slightest hint of formulaic repetition. One series harkens towards Gauguin, the next Ralph Steadman – without a pattern or particular style.

So what does Steve Lewis do in his spare time? He opens a door to a room devoted to making and collecting wine. “Before I became an electrical engineer, my first interest was chemistry,” he says, “and when I first started making wine I decided to try making Sauternes, mostly because I liked it.”

On the wall is a 1979 article from the Sacramento Bee, with the headline “Black Day For Grapes Fruit Wine Wins Best Of Show.”

Lewis decided to enter his 1977 Sauternes in the State Fair Wine Competition and traumatized winemaker elite and their coterie of sommelier intellectuals by winning “Best In Show.”

So, how did a rookie winemaker knock all the screaming cabernets and butter cream chardonnays off the podium? “I broke down the components that make great Sauternes and tried to recreate it using only fruit other than grapes to make it,” said Lewis with a distracted shrug. “Don’t get me wrong though, I was surprised to win and years later ended up making Vintage Ports at the Page Mill Winery.”

His latest home-made Cabernet is delicious, but with so many other projects at hand, Lewis cannot be bothered chasing blue ribbons and makes wine these days only for himself and a few friends.

Walking towards the door at the end of the tour, it is impossible to miss a cartoonish canvass of a woman on a beach, holding a book and staring solemnly back at the observer.  Asked for the story behind it, Lewis chuckles. “My son is a really talented artist,” he says, “and for Father’s Day we decided to paint something whimsical together.”  It needed a title, so we decided on: “Margaret is confused about chapter three.” Asked if he might decide to draw comic strips next, Lewis laughs.

“You never know, at the rate I’m going, I’m bound to get to it eventually.”

By Gib Papazian

Enjoy the video of our time together in the gallery.

Randy

More on Tiger at Augusta- the inside scoop

Written by Michael Shaw

Hey there everyone. I was in Augusta today, and had a long conversation with Mr Waters, who is 80, and owns Bonaventure Golf. His store is fantastic, and has been in existence for 40 yrs. He owns all his inventory, has NO receivables, and yes, he does business with us.

Some of his customers during the 3 weeks of the Masters…..one week prior, the actual week, and one week after, include, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Johnnie Miller, Tom Watson, Angel Cabrerra, Camillo Villegas, Sergio Garcia….get the message.

Well here is the kicker.

Tiger has been in Augusta since this past Sunday.
Monday shot 74
Tuesday shot 75
Wednesday said he wanted to play like it was the Masters…shot 72-77. 36 holes.

The caddies were saying, as he hit every shot there were 10 golf carts surrounding him, with 2 armed guards in each cart. Where the ball was expected to land, be that the fairway off the tee, or the green, an additional 5 golf carts, with 2 armed guards in each were waiting.

On holes that border Augusta National, an additional 6 golf carts were positioned on the fence side of the hole. 2 guards, both armed.

All this with NO ONE ON THE COURSE!!!!!!!!!!

Augusta Police have called in extra security for the 7 days of the Tournament. All the vacant houses that had not been rented have been snapped up by Pulitzer Prizewinning Organisations like TMZ, The National Enquirer, etc etc.

The Caddies that are walking the course are saying…….60-40 he wont make the cut.    95-5 say he cannot win

Drives not too accurate, and short game not up to par. Putting….not even close.

Now dont go calling the William Hill betting offices in London to place bets against him, but the odds are obviously stacked way against him.

All I can say is……it should be a very interesting Monday thru Friday, AND, should he make the cut it could be riveting.

The town is buzzing over the event, more so than I have ever known in my 20 yrs of calling on the area. The tension and the excitement is unbelievable…everyone is asking…..have you seen him, have you seen him?

I dont know what I wish for to be honest…..but…..if it brings people back to the game, and selfishly, if it improves our incomes with increased sales, then I say…….come on Tiger, for God’s sake, play all 4 rounds and make it close.

I love this game, even though I can’t putt worth a sh-t anymore.

Best wishes
Michael Shaw