Kia Classic – Sunday

March 25, 2012

While Yani was winning by six and Tiger giving renewed hope for the PGA Tour after a full recovery from that nine iron upside his head, I was looping in the Fresh & Easy Pro-Am on the Dinah course at Mission Hills. Three amateurs teamed with an LPGA Legends player in a two net best ball format with a shotgun start.

Two caddies were assigned per per group. My pro was Liselotte Neumann with my buddy Mark on the bag. One guy didn’t show so he was replaced with Fiona Mason, the significant other of Tim Mason, Chairman of Fresh & Easy. Needless to say, she was extremely nervous and apologized for her performance from the get-go. "I’m just a beginner" was her mantra so expectations of helping the team were subdued but what was to come, surprised us all.

I started working on Fiona early. First, it was just to remind her of the triumvirate of tips from her instructor but it was obvious that much more was required. I eventually corrected her alignment and ball position along with constant reminders to slow down the backswing. The transformation was incredible. Enough so that Lotta dubbed me "teacher of the year" and she meant it. Could have been my finest caddie/instructor performance ever. The coup de grâce came on our final hole, the par three seventeenth. Playing downwind with a front pin, it was a tweener. Fiona was anxious to hit and it was up to me to pick the stick. With the six in one hand and seven in the other, I faced a dilemma. Six would land on the front and surely go up the ridge and maybe over the green. Seven would land short and would need to climb the upslope that guards the front of the green. When in doubt, listen to your gut feeling I say and it was whispering seven. Sure enough, it landed short, climbed the hill and finished ten feet beyond the hole. Fiona capped it off by making the putt for a natural bird and her scores were used seven times during the round. The metamorphosis of a nervous, self-conscience substitute into a confident team contributor wasn’t akin to Moses parting the Red Sea but pretty darn close.

Afterward, we all sat down for some good eats and the presentation ceremony. Rosie Jones was low pro with a 73 with Big Mamma runner-up, one shot shy. It was great to see all the Legends players. I came out on Tour in their heyday, the golden age of the LPGA, and the familiar faces rekindled many fond memories.

The teams that placed  third or higher received decorative trophy glass created by former LPGA pro Muffin Spencer-Devlin.

Then there was this:

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