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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Champions Q- School 2009

Mr Science Reports:

I kept score for Rod Spittle (I kid you not), Terry Burke, and Lu Chien Soon today.  Lu Chien is from Taiwan, has 10 wins on the Asian tour, and shot 65 today with 6 birdies and an eagle.  On 13 the pin was on the right, tucked behind the bunker, where you could see the flag but not the hole.  Lu Chien hit his tee shot past the pin onto the hill, and it trickled back down toward the hole and out of sight.  We all thought it might be in.  Terrry and Rod also hit good tee shots, and when we got up there Lu Chien was away.  He missed his 6-footer, and the others made birdie.  I told Terry's caddie "Where I come from, we call that a sucker pin.  I guess we're not doing it right."

Rod is from Canada, and seems to be making a living on the Champions Tour, even if I never heard of him http://www.pgatour.com/players/02/86/78/ but he spit up on 10 (our first hole, 542 par 5).  He hit his drive into the desert, and the ball was under a bush, unplayable.  It was 2 club lengths from the cart path, on a steep hill leading down to the hazard.  After much discussion with his caddie, he decided to drop on the slope, and hope it ran down the hill, and after two drops he would get to place it.  On the first drop, the ball rolled only a couple of feet and into a horrible lie, almost unplayable again.  He managed to bash it out of there about 50 yards onto a mound, and it rolled down the hill, across the cart path, and down into the desert again, almost to the hazard.  From there he hit a great shot onto the green, but 3-putted for double bogey.  As we went to the next tee, he told me it was a 7, "in case I lost track".  After the round, I told him he needed to practice his drops, because that was what did him in. 

Rod birdied 11 and 13, but on 12 and 14 he hit into a fairway bunker, and from there into a greenside bunker, making bogey both times and shooting 38 (+2).  He finished with an eagle on 9 for even-par 71, and never lost his sense of humor, despite the difficulties.

Terry is from Bethesda, MD, and is a 3-time Maryland Mid-Amateur champion.  He would have played the PGA Tour, but when he was 12 his foot was injured in a motorcycle accident, and he walks with a limp, and can't walk 18 holes.  He turned pro 2 weeks ago, and can play on the Champions Tour because they allow carts.  He played a very solid round, including a great downhill, breaking birdie putt from the fringe on 16.  He was 4 under at 2, when he hit his drive under a tree.  Trying to deal with the restricted backswing, he failed to move the ball on the first try, and managed to chip it into the fairway on the 2nd try, and made double bogey.  He came back with an eagle on 4, and birdies on 5 and 9 for a "bogey-free" (but not whiff-free) 65, tied for first place.  But for that one drive, and a missed 3-footer for birdie on 8, he could have shot 62 and been in the lead by 3.  He was the only player out there that I saw a gallery following.  He had his wife, and three other guys who were relatives or family friends.  I ate lunch with them all afterwards, and I'm going to follow him today.  He's tied for the lead and in the final group with John Ross and Curt Byrum.  


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