Worked for Nancy Scranton in the Fresh and Easy Kraft Foods Legacy Junior Challenge on the Palmer Course. One Legends pro teamed with a junior in a format encompassing three different competitions. There was low individual pro, low pro/junior best ball and low junior. The lowest junior was the most significant, winning a spot with the big girls in the first Major of the season. JoAnne Carner won the team, Betsy King the pro and low amateur went to Alison Lee with a score of 68.
Nancy was partnered with sixteen year old Alice Jeong. Completing our foursome was Patty Sheehan with her partner Andrea Lee who was the ripe old age of thirteen. Alice shot one over and Andrea a few more than that. Right from the start, you could tell this was something special. Tournament tension was in the air on the first tee and continued throughout the round. Enough so, that I was chastised on the first green by Alice for not cleaning her ball fast enough. Ouch!
Alice was very impressive. A big hitter with powerful legs and a pro swing. The ability to crank-out tape measure drives, hole after hole, earned her the moniker of "Big Al" from Patty.
Speaking of Patty, she was assigned a local looper from The Vintage Club who wasn’t up to her standards. In fact, he was driving her nuts. It’s not that he was a bad caddie, he just didn’t have any "pro" looper experience.The comment he uttered on the sixteenth green shows what I mean. After rinsing her approach and making a six footer for double, he said "You’ve been putting great all day Patty." which had Nancy and I wincing in anticipation of a "Go eff yourself!" reply but it never came. Now, if that would have been Lori Garbacz, it surely would have been a different story.
Coming down the back nine, it looked as if former rules official Angus McKenzie came out of retirement to torture us one more time with some truly wicked pin positions. Guess they wanted the girls to really earn it in the home stretch.
Believe it or not, the Legends players were not allowed in player hospitality to grab a bite to eat. That was reserved for tournament entrants only. How sad is that? If they haven’t earned a nosh on the house, who has? Nancy brought in a sandwich and ate it in her car the other day.
Where’s the rough? What used to be the most penalizing part of this track is non-existent in some areas. The most obvious is the second shot landing area on the par five, signature 18th hole. Many a time players within wedge distance of the green had to pitch out due to a horrendous lie in the rough but not this year. Unless it’s infused with an agronomist’s version of Viagra and watered heavily, the make-or-break decision to muscle it out with butt-puckering hopes of it carrying the protective moat, won’t have to be considered.
At one time, the Pro-Am spanned both the Dinah and Palmer courses but no more. Just another sign of corporate belt-tightening. This made getting a loop more challenging but I heard all the guys I knew got out.
Just when I praised the new LPGA website, I pull up the pairings and they’re unreadable. Who’s the moron that thought white on yellow was a good combination?
Then there was this: