2017 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction: Longhurst, Love, Mallon, Ochoa, & Woosnam!

Painting Credit: WGHOF

Painting Credit: WGHOF

I missed the 2017 WGHOF Induction on September 26, 2017 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City the week of the Presidents Cup. But I did have the opportunity to visit the WGHOF later in November to see the inductee display cases after a volunteer tour guide training session by Dr. Tony Parker. Here is my Facebook post and 30 pics along with the inductee bios found below the pictures!

Congratulations to the World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2017—Henry Longhurst, Davis Love III, Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa and Ian Woosnam! These five Inductees will bring the total number of World Golf Hall of Fame Members to 155.

Dr. Tony Parker

Dr. Tony Parker

NEVER miss an opportunity to hear Dr. Tony Parker speak whether in person or on the Golf Channel! He brings the history of golf alive! Nice visit to the Hall this morning, 2017 Inductee exhibits are really, really well done! Congratulations to Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa Reyes, Henry Longhurst, Davis Love III, & Ian Woosnam! All of who I have met except Longhurst, who is dead. Everything is first class at the World Golf Hall of Fame!   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 11-17-17)

Inductee Bios from the WGHOF website:

Henry Longhurst, United Kingdom

25A weekly columnist for the London Sunday Times for 40 years. He was also considered to be the first golf TV personality providing coverage for the BBC from the 1950s until his death in 1978.

“Henry Longhurst did something that no other journalist has done. He proved to be as apt, succinct, colorful, informative and compelling to listen to as he had been to read. He captivated people. He has influenced golf in the same way as many Hall of Fame members. I’m really pleased that we have recognized his achievements.” – John Hopkins

 

Davis Love III, United States

29In a career that has spanned four decades on the PGA TOUR, Love has notched 22 victories including the 1997 PGA Championship and two victories at The PLAYERS Championship in 1992 and 2003. His quality of play has earned him a place on six U.S. Ryder Cup teams and six Presidents Cup teams. He has captained two Ryder Cup teams, including the victorious 2016 team.  Love is a recipient of both the Payne Stewart and Bob Jones Awards.

“Davis is a fixture on the PGA TOUR and has been for decades. He has contributed so much to the image of the game because of who he is, and the way he handles himself. Love is extremely well-respected by the other players, so having him contribute his time and energy to making the organization work better has been a very impactful thing. It makes us all smile to see him get the recognition he deserves and be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.” -PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem

“Davis has an outstanding record not only as a player but as a gentleman. He’s been a tremendous contributor and has been an all-around man for golf. It’s terrific to see him in the World Golf Hall of Fame.” -Gary Player

Meg Mallon, United States

26Her 18 career LPGA Tour victories and four Major Championships are just part of Mallon’s winning make-up. A member of nine Solheim Cup teams (captain in 2013), Mallon was recognized during the LPGA’s 50th Anniversary as one of the LPGA’s top-50 players and teachers. She also earned the Golf Writers Association of America Female Player of the Year award in 1991.

“Meg Mallon has been a great player and a great contributor. She has been involved heavily in the game of golf. Everybody likes her; everybody knows what her talent is. She’s just an amazing gal, a fellow Buckeye and great member of the Class of 2017.” -Jack Nicklaus

Lorena Ochoa Reyes, Mexico

28In her first full season on the LPGA Tour, Ochoa Reyes had eight top-10 finishes, finished ninth on the LPGA Tour’s money list and was named Rookie of the Year. She finished with 27 victories on the LPGA Tour, including two major championships.  She was ranked World Number One for 158 consecutive weeks (2007-2010). In a three-year stretch (2006-2008), she won 21 tournaments, including the two majors and in 2008, she dominated with wins by as many as 11 strokes on more than one occasion.  Ochoa Reyes will be the first Mexican-born golfer to enter into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

“Being Mexican myself but being born in the United States, I’ve always been very proud of Lorena Ochoa, what she’s accomplished and the way she’s accomplished it with class and style. She is a role model for Mexican children. They can look at her and say, ‘She did it. Why can’t we?’” -Nancy Lopez

“Lorena’s record speaks for itself. In addition to her wins on the LPGA, she also won Player of the Year numerous times. She has so many awards, which just shows how much she contributed to the game. She has reached a demographic that we didn’t see before.” -Annika Sorenstam

Ian Woosnam, United Kingdom

27“Woosie,” winner of the 1991 Masters Tournament, sat atop the Official World Golf Rankings for 50 weeks throughout 1991 and 1992. His sterling play led him to represent Europe in eight consecutive Ryder Cup teams from 1983 to 1997. Woosnam won the Order of Merit as the leading money winner on the European Tour and named European Player of the Year in 1987 and 1990. In recognition of his contributions to golf, he was awarded the Queen’s honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006.

“Woosie got a lot out of his game. He was a great competitor and handled himself very well. He’s been on a lot of Ryder Cup teams and captained quite a bit. He’s been a great contributor to golf from the European side, and I’m delighted to have him inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.” -Jack Nicklaus

 

The Beach House, Holiday Inn Resort, my Home on Hilton Head Island!

The Beach House, not your ordinary Holiday Inn … The RBC Heritage, not your ordinary tournment on the PGA TOUR… Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, an extraordinary tourist destination! Good to see some old friends & meet some new ones!   (Facebook Post,

Frosty My Love, Gone All Too Soon…

With Frosty at the Deutsche Bank final on Labor Day 2016.

With Frosty at the Deutsche Bank final on Labor Day 2016.

WOW, what a shocker to learn my good buddy Frosty, a.k.a Jeffrey Rothstein of Delray Beach, Florida, has gone to the Big Golf Course in the Sky. Frosty My Love, Gone All Too Soon…

We first met in 2008 at the Ryder Cup in Valhalla and its been pretty much off to the races since then! Nearly ten years of walking the fairways together, teeing it up together and going out to dinner together. Frosty, for all of us blessed to know him, was a “together” guy.

He lived his life with gusto, persevered through health setbacks courageously and simply loved life and loved the people he met in life along the way. I Count myself truly fortunate to be one of those people.

The early days, the 2009 PLAYERS, the day we honored President Bush No. 41 and hung out with Pete Dye for a little bit!

The early days, the 2009 PLAYERS, the day we honored President Bush No. 41 and hung out with Pete Dye for a little bit!

He was the consummate good guy. If you were going to be anywhere near Delray Beach he wanted you to come by and visit. He was a generous man, always with a room for you to stay overnight and he was a wonderful chef too. His generosity went far beyond what most people knew, including offering long term shelter at his house to people who just needed a place to call home.

We were always laughing but right now I can’t remember any of the jokes. I do know he enjoyed eating with me or at least putting up with me with all my unknowingly “mhmm, mhmm, mhmm,” appreciatively enjoying my dinner. We shared hotel rooms together quite a few times over the years, probably more than he wanted to but that was the kind of guy he was.

Celebrating a good round and a good time a few years ago at Berkeley Hall!

Celebrating a good round and a good time a few years ago at Berkeley Hall!

It’s hard to believe he is gone and won’t be at the Somes’ PLAYERS party in a few months. Let’s do something special to honor Frosty this year at THE PLAYERS.

I guess this is where you have to feel the pain, bite the lip, and carry on knowing you were blessed to know the person and have so many wonderful memories… here’s a fw of them in the photo gallery below…

Frosty My Love, Gone All Too Soon…

“Innerviewed” by Ann Ligouri, An Amazing Lifetime Experience!!!

Here it is the “Innerview” by Ann Ligouri which was an amazing experience! It’s fun to be interviewed by someone who gets you and what you are trying to do. Definitely a combination of Golf, Travel, and TROML Baby! Her introduction says it all and is one of the nicest compliments of my life! Thanks Ann!

“Here to brighten up the morning is my good friend Andy Reistetter who is a travel extraordinaire and an explorer of places and people. Andy collects friends all over the world and deposits his smile and positive attitude along the way.”—Ann Ligouri

With Ann Ligouri under the Oak Tree at the 2016 Masters.

With Ann Ligouri under the Oak Tree at the 2016 Masters.

Looking forward to being ‘innerviewed’ by my friend, the incomparable Ann Liguori, on her radio show tomorrow Saturday morning at 9 am EST. You can hear ‘Sports Innerview with Ann Liguori’ LIVE from 9-10AM EST on www.peconicpublicbroadcasting.org & for those closer to The Hamptons, on WPPB 88.3 FM, Long Island’s only NPR affiliate. Each show is archived in the radio section of www.annliguori.com. Thinking we will be talking about Olympic Golf but who knows where a conversation with Ann will go! Who can tell where this picture was taken?  (Facebook Post with 1 pic, 10/21/16, Andy Reistetter).

Hmmm… Ann is quite the artist and so far has artistically dodged my attempts to interview her… stay tuned!!!

 

Sorry Charlie Rose, Jack Nicklaus is the “Greatest All-Time,” not Tiger Woods!

Tiger & Jack, both Masters Champions but Jack has 18 majors and Tiger only 14 and that hasn't changed in the last 8 years! Photo Credit: GolfPunkHQ

Tiger & Jack, both Masters Champions but Jack has 18 majors and Tiger only 14 and that hasn’t changed in the last 8 years! Photo Credit: GolfPunkHQ

Sorry Charlie Rose… awesome Tiger Woods interview with Charlie Rose but he did not do his research… Tiger Woods is on record as saying Jack is “the Greatest All-Time”, not Tiger Wooids… just sharing Tiger Woods’ words from PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem… (Facebook Post with link to article, 10/21/16, Andy Reistetter)

Tiger Woods Admits Jack Nicklaus Forever Better than Me

 

A Tribute to Arnold Palmer, Forever The King! (1929-2016)

Mr. Palmer passed on September 25, 2016 at age 87 and will forever be 'The King!'

Mr. Palmer passed on September 25, 2016 at age 87 and will forever be ‘The King!’

Took a stroll through the World Golf Hall of Fame this afternoon thinking about Arnold Palmer… member of the inaugural WGHOF class in 1974… his presence & spirit permeates the Hall like it does the game of golf… Long live the King!   (Facebook Post with a link to the article below, 10/20/16, Andy Reistetter).

Click on article and see pictures below!

 

Mr. Palmer, It was an Honor to Meet You!

Olympic Golf is Back and it’s Great!

Gold Medalist Justin Rose and his Gold Medal in the evening of Sunday, August 14th, 2016 in Rio at the Olympic Golf Course!

With Olympic Golf Gold Medalist Justin Rose and his Gold Medal in the evening of Sunday, August 14th, 2016 in Rio at the Olympic Golf Course!

Olympic Golf is Back and it’s Great!

There is only one Olympic Gold Medalist, Champion Golfer of the World for the next Four Years.

For the women that one golfer is South Korea’s Inbee Park. For the men that one golfer is Great Britain’s Justin Rose.

Olympic Golf is an Olympic Sport once again after ending a dormancy of 112 years with a beautiful and spirited rendition of men’s and women’s competitive golf at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

The competitions were held on the newly constructed Olympic Golf Course, locally known as the Reserva de Marapendi, in Barra da Tijuca, an upscale suburb in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The golf course, just a raw playful sandbox three years ago, was designed by the talented architect Gil Hanse and his right hand man Jim Wagner. They partnered with World Golf Hall of Famer member Amy Alcott to insure as fair and challenging a test for the women as what was conceived for the men. Their consultation and the resulting design—a combination of Scottish Links and the Australian Sandbelt–was brilliant and should receive an Olympic Gold Medal along with golfers Park and Rose.

With Matt Kuchar at sunset after he shot a final round 63 to capture the Bronze Medal for the USA!

With Matt Kuchar at sunset after he shot a final round 64 to capture the Bronze Medal for the USA!

The men competed first. They qualified by standing in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) over the previous two years, ending July 11th. There were male golfers from 34 countries. By virtue of the limits of four golfers in the OWGR Top 15 and two per country beyond that, 10 countries had one golfer, 23 countries had two golfers and the United States had four qualifiers- Bubba Watson (OWGR No. 6), Rickie Fowler (7), Patrick Reed (13) and Matt Kuchar (15). The field of 60 golfers, first playing in threesomes all four days of the 72-hole stroke play event, was the perfect size to insure an intimate and personable presentation of golf to the world.

Australia’s Marcus Fraser started strong. Opening with an 8-under par 63, followed by a 69 put him into contention but a 72-72 weekend left him without an Olympic Medal. Kuchar rose to the occasion with a sensation 63 in the final round locking up the Bronze Medal early on with a final margin of four strokes. Reed had his best day on Sunday posting a 64 and finishing T11, a meaningless designation in Olympic terms. Despite an opening 73, Bubba came back with a pair of 67s and then a final round of 70 to finish T8, six strokes out of a playoff. Rickie shot a 64 in the third round but did not manage to break par in the other three and finished T37.

Olympic Golf Medalists: Center Gold- Justin Rose; Left Silver- Henrik Stenson; and Right Bronze Matt Kuchar.

Olympic Golf Medalists: Center Gold- Justin Rose; Left Silver- Henrik Stenson; and Right Bronze Matt Kuchar.

Perfect for television, the head-to-head battle between Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and the likable Justin Rose for Olympic Gold began with Justin leading by one stroke starting the final round. That one stroke lead remained throughout the first nine holes with both players 3-under par for the day. Stenson birdied the par-5 10th hole to draw even and then took the lead when Rose bogeyed the par-4 13th hole. The lead continued to vacillate between the Brit and the Swede with a Stenson bogey on the par-3 14th hole and a Rose birdie on the par-4 15th hole. Stenson birdied the short par-4 16th hole, both parred the par-3 17th hole and the Olympic Gold Medal all came down to the par-5 18th hole as designed.

A brilliant chip by Rose, quite reminiscent of his world debut as a 17-year old in the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale, was the difference in podium spots. This one didn’t go in but it was close enough for a tap-in birdie and for the Olympics’ top prize as Stenson failed to make his birdie putt to force a playoff.

Afterwards, when asked about his Olympic experience, Rose responded “I just think for me, what was hardening was hearing comments from guys who really weren’t in contention, who spoke positively, about it being one of the best golfing weeks of their lives says it all.”

“Obviously winning the Gold Medal is an incredible experience, but for me it was deeper than just the podium; it was the wonderful spirit here in Rio, which I think speaks to the bigger picture of what a success it’s been.”

That Rio 2016 Olympic Golf success will live on with Rose for the next four years. Rose carries the Olympic Gold Medal on his person all the time and even took it out of his golf bag and put it around his neck to tap in to finish at The Barclays two weeks later back in the States.

With Inbee Park, Women's Olympic Golf Gold Medalist and her Gold Medal after she won on Saturday, August 20th in Rio at the Olympic Golf Course.

With Inbee Park, Women’s Olympic Golf Gold Medalist and her Gold Medal after she won on Saturday, August 20th in Rio at the Olympic Golf Course.

The women’s competition was equally as exciting but just the opposite of the men’s. Inbee Park started strong and continued strong to walk to the highest level on the Olympic podium to be crowned with with an Olympic Gold Medal. A race for the Silver Medal ensued early in the final round between China’s Shanshan Feng and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and lasted all day right down to the final group. Another brilliant chip and tap-in birdie on the 18th hole by Ko secured the Silver Medal. China’s Shanshan Feng won Bronze by one stroke over a disappointed and heartbroken threesome of America’s Stacy Lewis, China’s Amy Yang and Japan’s Harukyo Nomura.

Park’s testimony to Olympic Golf was as heartfelt as Rose’s when she said “this is definitely one of the special moments in my golfing career and in my whole life. It feels great. Obviously representing your country, winning the gold, it’s so special. It’s just really all I’ve wanted. I’m just happy.”

With Gil Hanse at the 2016 Golf Olympics, who designed the Olympic Golf Course with input from World Golf Hall of Famer Amy Alcott.

With Gil Hanse at the 2016 Golf Olympics, who designed the Olympic Golf Course with input from World Golf Hall of Famer Amy Alcott.

While Lewis led the American contingent based on a second round 63 and a final round 66, it was really Gerina Piller, playing in the final group with Park and Ko, that looked like she would win an Olympic Medal for the United States. Unfortunately her putter cooled off and she struggled to post a final round 74 and finish T11. The other American lady Olympic golfer was Lexi Thompson who started the final round with an eagle and shot 66 to finish T19.

Like the men golfers, the women golfers came from 34 countries with 11 countries with one golfer, 21 countries with two golfers, the United States with three golfers and Korea with four golfers. Russia’s   Maria Verchenova shot a crazy 62 in the final round, including nine birdies and an ace on the par-3 4th hole, to set the new Olympic course record.

The International Golf Federation, led by President Peter Dawson, Vice President Ty Votaw and Executive Director Anthony Scanlon, staged as near perfect golfing competition as could be. Each competition endured one bout of rainy weather yet the golf course remained firm and fast. There was wind to remind us of golf’s Scottish heritage, history and tradition. No wind, no golf. The setup of the golf course, including closely mowed fairways that were lined by Brazilian forever wild, tee and hole locations was brilliantly done.

With Gil Hanse in January 2014 on what was then a well-designed sand box. Truly a life experience to come back 2-1/2 years later to see the golf course completed and witness the 2016 Golf Olympics!

With Gil Hanse in January 2014 on what was then a well-designed sand box. Truly a life experience to come back 2-1/2 years later to see the golf course completed and witness the 2016 Golf Olympics!

The golf course design itself was divine. On a fairly flat piece of land that sloped from pure sand to the protected low restinga wetlands, the aerial views of the treeless links led to the nearby ocean and were magnificent. The par-71 course opens each nine with a par -5 and finishes with a reachable though not always nor easily reachable par-5. In fact the finishing four holes were designed for the exciting and entertaining Olympic finishes witnessed in Rio. The long and difficult par-4 15th. The short par-4 16th that Stacy Lewis drove yet missed the 15-foot eagle putt. The well bunkered and curvy green on the par-3 17th brought drama that brought out the competitive and fun Spirit of Olympic Golf.

As it turned out, there was nothing like Olympic Golf in golf today. While golf is a worldwide sport, Olympic Golf was widely watched around the world. More importantly, more governments are now actively supporting the growth of golf because it is an Olympic Sport.

As for the future, there remains an Olympic Oddity that the decision of whether golf continues to be an Olympic Sport beyond Tokyo 2020 will be made before Olympic Golf reappears there in four years.

The 120 golfers that came and competed in Rio reignited the Olympic Spirit of Golf.

Olympic Golf is Back and it’s Great!

Congratulations to Inbee Park and Justin Rose, Olympic Gold Medalists, Champion Golfers of the World for the next Four Years.

This article was first published on Bruce Vittner’s Southern New England Golfer (Pg. 25 of Fall/Winter 2016 Issue).

 

2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open: Who will “Out-Fox” En Joie & Win!

Writing this story with my 91-year young friend John W. Fox was fun!

Writing this story with my 91-year young friend John W. Fox was fun!

So here I am sitting in the media center after Round 2 of the 2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and who sits down next to other than the legendary sportswriter John Fox, no I need to make that John W. Fox he tells me. He opens with who do you think I met on the very first day I worked for what was then The Binghamton Evening Press? Also commenting that there is no such thing as an evening newspaper anymore. The day was Monday, in July 1949 which also was his first Monday ever in Binghamton, New York. That was ten years before my birth and I remember having Mr. Fox autograph his last column in the Press & Sun Bulletin a few years ago. He wrote columns for 56 years. This is going to be a rambling but good article!

Does he read the newspaper now? “It hurts!” Why? Content. Conversation ended, too personable.

So Mr. Fox what are your thoughts of the 2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open? What do you think the story line is?

Definitely you can’t use this. Reporter one spot over laughs out loud! “John, you should know better than that!

With the newest 'Mr. 59' Kevin Sutherland and 'Mr. 61 Year Sportswriter' John Fox.

In 2014, with the newest ‘Mr. 59’ Kevin Sutherland and ‘Mr. 61 Year Sportswriter’ John Fox.

How would you prepare to cover a golf tournament? “Get another gin and tonic.” “The last time I covered a golf tournament?” “Get there earlier and meet the guys that I was following before they went out.”

Where do you storylines or hooks come from. Where do you get your ideas? Back in the day? “Usually after talking to them, it was a conversation you didn’t expect that would develop into a story.”

Mr. Fox admits that he pulled for the European teams in Ryder Cups because his wife Terry was Irish. He remembers Padraig Harrington coming to play in the B.C. Open to prepare for the Ryder Cup at Brookline CC. He didn’t get much from his interviews but his wife did after talking with Padraig’s wife for two days!

After a restroom break and listening to my high school buddy Jeff Lake’s band I returned to ask Mr. Fox about deadlines. Not that I have any to meet. “I was a deadline buster!” Late or early buster? “Earlier? Sometimes if writing three days in advance.” “I loved being with the afternoon paper, you could take it home with you and look at angles, look up history. Angles is the key word.” So now this is a three way conversation with Jeff Platsky two seats over. I google him and he is the SENIOR EDITOR AT PRESS & SUN-BULLETIN and now he is tasking Mr. Fox with assignments for tomorrow.

20160709_151250

Jeff Lake, my high school buddy and his popular band “Straight Up.!

What your typical day like? “God that was so long ago, really!” John W. Fox will be 92 next month. What time was the deadline for the evening paper? One time we carried Red Smith and Dick Young. Who is Red Smith? I don’t know. What, you are a kid! John, I could be your kid!

Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith, was an American sportswriter who rose to become one of America’s most widely read sports columnists. Smith’s journalistic career spans over five decades and his work influenced an entire generation of writers. Smith became the second sports columnist ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1976. Writing in 1989, sportswriter David Halberstam called Smith “the greatest sportswriter of the two eras.”

“He never went to the dressing room and wrote from the press box, even for the later editions.

Dick Young was a sportswriter best known for his direct and abrasive style, and his 45-year association with the New York Daily News. He was elected to the writers’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978, and was a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

John asks Jeff who his favorite sportswriter was… and Jeff’s response was I can tell you who I detest! So and so would get comped by the Chamber of Commerce and put in vouchers to the newspaper. Uh oh, this is getting a little personal. Jeff likes John Feinstein and his books on golf and tennis. Wow, didn’t know Feinstein wrote tennis. Wonder what the name of that book is, A Good Courting Gone Bad?

I asked if Feinstein ever came to Endicott to cover the B.C. Open or DSGO? Two resounding don’t think he has.

The 10th annual Dick's Sporting Goods Open. Renewed this year for the next three years through 2019!

The 10th annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Renewed this year for the next three years through 2019!

I asked John if he knew what a hyperlink was and showed him my cut-and-paste from Wikipedia from above. About the same as pasting up Dick Young columns and republishing them? Another time, same tactics?

Okay, John we have to wrap this up as I have a meeting with Marie to plan our 40th high school reunion. Listening to Jeff’s band and snapping a few pictures ties into that Marie and I have been summoned to the Principal’s office on Monday at 1 pm. She said no worries, if it was the Assistant Principal’s office we would be in big trouble! Since 6th grade I has successfully avoided both!

Okay John, we have Paul Goydos (67-66) and John Riegger (66-67) tied for the lead at 11-under.

Let’s get some quotes.

Andy snatches one from John Riegger: Q: How’s it feel to be tied for the lead heading into the final round tomorrow? JOHN RIEGGER: You know, I hadn’t really given it any thought. I’ve been dealing with some medical stuff and I’m just trying to hope that I wake up tomorrow and I feel all right and I can play.

John, did you get anything from Goydos? “Noooo, c’mon, you are bleeding me!”

Scott Dunlap (64-70) is one behind the leaders.

Wes Short Jr. (69-66) and Neal Lancaster (69-66) are tied for fourth.

John Daly (68-68), Stephen Ames (68-68) and Bart Bryant 66-70) are tied for sixth place.

John, what about John Daly?

“John Daly is and always will be John Daly!”

And John W. Fox will always be John W. Fox!

Clustered leaderboard going into the final round. Largest Come-From-Behind Win this year is 4 strokes which means 9 players are within striking distance!

Clustered leaderboard going into the final round. Largest Come-From-Behind Win this year is 4 strokes which means 9 players are within striking distance!

Not sure who will “out-Fox” En Joie and win the 2016 DSGO tomorrow but I think I “out-Foxed” the competition today writing this article with the always charming John W. Fox!

By the way the person Mr. Fox met his very first day on the job in 1949 was Dr. Cary Middlecoff, the reigning U.S. Open Champion. He was visiting Vestal Hills, fulfilling a commitment made before he won that first major. Mr. Fox would tell you, as he did me, based on his personal experience that it was the old Vestal Hills CC down by the Susquehanna River where the Vestal Plaza, now the University Plaza, is located.

After Mr. Fox left I asked Jeff what his fondest memory of working with him. When he gave him the tip that Binghamton was getting the B-Mets franchise. His wife was from Little Falls New, York and he went to see a NY-Penn League Mets game. He ran into little Al Jackson who asked him where he was from. After saying Binghamton, little Al Jackson

Did he ever buy you lunch? No!

I like that Mr. Fox remembers me from my high school sports days and we got a chance to share this time together. Life is good!

I like that Mr. Fox remembers me from my high school sports days and we got a chance to share this time together. Life is good!

I like that Mr. Fox said “hello Andy” without hesitation when I met him, for the first time in a year, in the media center yesterday. I also like that he helped me write my story today and I hope to see him again tomorrow. I also hope John Riegger has a good night’s rest, wakes up tomorrow and can play the final round. But Big John, this just might be his day to come knocking on the Champions Tour with his first win in his 7th event!

Gotta love my job!

Bubba Watson Already Feeling & Demonstrating the Spirit of Olympic Golf…

Suzanne Yost McCourt's artwork 'Journey to Olympic Golf.'

Suzanne Yost McCourt’s artwork ‘Journey to Olympic Golf.’

The Spirit of Olympic Golf… something nobody has felt or experienced in the last 112 years… In hopes of defining the “Spirit of Olympic Golf,” I took a 100-day, 14-country, 18,471-mile “Journey to Olympic Golf” to investigate, chronicle and share a combination of the Olympic Spirit and the History and Tradition of Golf. Here is my best guess  on what constitutes the soon to be born again “Spirit of Olympic Golf!”

CLICK here for the article: The Spirit of Olympic Golf, Soon to be Born Again…

As we get closer to that first Olympic Golf tee shot on Thursday, August 11th here are some more clues from the world’s best golfers on what it means to be a Olympian Golfer and what that “Spirit of Olympic Golf” truly is… from Bubba Watson—dedication, preparation & passion…

From Media Day for the TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP (June 20, 2016) courtesy of ASAP Sports:

Bubba Watson watches his putt on the eighth green during the second round of the 2013 Travelers Championship. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Fred Beckham

Bubba Watson watches his putt on the eighth green during the second round of the 2013 Travelers Championship. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Fred Beckham

NATHAN GRUBE (Tournament Director for the Travelers Championship): And then also Bubba, our two-time champion, is here back with us. It is never a given that your champion will come back for media day or defend your tournament. I’m going to say that.

And from the beginning — I’m going to tell you a quick story. From the beginning, Bubba has said, absolutely I’m coming back. And when all of a sudden there was rumblings going, I heard many commentators saying, oh, that’s unfortunately for Travelers because Bubba is going to be in the Olympics, there’s no way he’s going to play the week before, and you talk to Bubba and he goes, “I’m coming.” Later you talk to him, see him down the road in the fall at the other events when Andy (Besette, Executive VP & Chief Administrative Officer of The Travelers Companies, Inc.) and I are out there recruiting, Bubba, how’s your schedule look, and he goes, “Oh, I’m coming,” and never wavered once, from the beginning, that he was going to defend and he was going to be in the Olympics as an Olympian. We are very fortunate to have him do both of those.

Olympic Golf returns after 112 years... what defines the Spirit of Olympic Golf?

Olympic Golf returns after 112 years… what defines the Spirit of Olympic Golf?

MARK ROLFING (NBC Golf Analyst): It’s going to be an incredibly busy seven weeks between now and when you’re going to try and put your name on that trophy for a third time (2016 TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP ends Sunday, August 7th; Olympic Men’s Golf Competition on the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is scheduled for Thursday, August 11th through Sunday, August 14th). How are you going to manage and how have you to this point managed what’s going to be an incredibly busy, competitive time for you?

BUBBA WATSON (Defending 2015 & 2010 TRAVELERS Champion): We took that into consideration about the Olympics just throws the whole schedule off. One week throws the whole schedule off, how they had to do things. And I was fourth in the world for the last two years, so I knew I had a good shot at making the Olympic team, so we had to prepare for that. So leading up to the Masters, just after the Masters, we took a lot of time off. I wasn’t supposed to play Memorial, but I added it at the last minute, so that was going to be another time off.

But yeah, I’ve been preparing on the time, how do I save the energy, get ready for this long stretch. So what I saw it as is this is a new season for me. I had the first part of the season, had a break, and now this is a new season.

The Olympic Rings are at home at Glen Echo CC and so was I!

The Olympic Rings are at home at Glen Echo CC and so was I as I kicked off the 2013 “Journey to Olympic Golf!”

Trying to prepare for this, and the no-brainer — there’s so many questions being asked, but the no-brainer was you’re defending champion; your dad got to see you win here; what it meant to my family; how good Travelers has been to us; how good Travelers has been to the TOUR; and then from the golf side of it, preparation for the Olympics. I don’t know what the preparation is going to be down there because it’s a new venue that just was built, so for practice and to knock rust off or whatever it is, I want to come here and try to win and defend my title and then fly to the Olympics.

So it was a no-brainer never to miss this. This was never coming off the schedule. We’ve always planned on being here. No matter what happened, I was going to be here. So I’m missing (the Olympic) opening ceremonies, and then I just found out, because I didn’t know the date, but I’m missing (the Olympic) closing ceremonies because it’s the week after our event, so I’m just going to fly in for the golf tournament and then fly out if I make it to the Olympics.

Spiritual Start to Pink-Out Sunday at THE PLAYERS Championship!

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FCA Host Matt Roop with Jared & Kelsey Wolfe…

May 15th, 2016 was a beautiful PLAYERS Sunday! For the last 32 years it has started with a Non-Denominational Service on the back lawn of the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass. This is a service I look forward to all year long for its simplicity, openness and testimony given. This year by professional golfer Jared Wolfe and his lovely wife Kelsey. The beauty of the service is documented in my Facebook post below and the 30 pictures included as well.

_3 Stokes w DJ 1T

Announcer Stokes Hill with Dustin Johnson on the first tee…

With the passing of time I have realized how the spirit of that service carried through the entire day at TPC Sawgrass. For me personally it was witnessed shortly after as I went to Darlene’s Diner for an Ultimate for me and my friend Stokes. You can see the spirit of Darlene and all the wonderful volunteers in the pictures.

I headed up to the first tee to see Stokes announce some of the world’s best players included Dustin Johnson. He doesn’t eat on the job so I auctioned off his Ultimate to the folks in the stands. A mother and daughter passed and a nice young man in spirit accepted—my newest friend courtesy of THE PLAYERS!

_5 Ernie Els 1G Bird Poop

Ernie Els getting cleaned up on the first green after a special beach welcome from the seagulls above…

As I ventured walking with Ernie Els who is always good natured even when a seagull showed him dropping love bomb on the first green. The beauty of the golf course and the spirit of the volunteers permeated TPC Sawgrass as much as the color pink on Pink-Out Sunday. The spirit of THE PLAYERS continued all day long to the eventual anointing of  World No. 1 Golfer Jason Day as the newest PLAYERS Champion!

Here is the Facebook post and the 30 pictures below!

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Jared & Kelsey Wolfe giving testimony of their love for Jesus Christ and each other…

Great start to PLAYERS Sunday at the 32nd Annual Non-Denominational Service on the back lawn of the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass! Inspirational sharing of their love story by Jared & Kelsey Wolfe, Pastor Jack Millwood’s message & benediction, beautiful music & singing… golf is like life… something God put in me to do.. first met in Bowling. Green, KY & went bowling… peace, calmness, no stress… were friends before they were friends… making sure actions support what I say… prayed for God to change my heart… her steps, my steps, stepping together.. all I wanted to know is that she is okay… my love language is quality time together.. husband will not complete you. .. my joy is not from him… my joy comes from my relationship with Christ.. God is the rock of our marriage..

Pastor Jack Millwood of the Crosswater Community Church...

Pastor Jack Millwood of the Crosswater Community Church…

God is that peace that u r looking for…about half of the best players missed the cut.. we r not each other’s standards… Jesus Christ is our standard.. we get in Heaven on His ticket, a Sponsors Exemption… personal relationship with God. deep involvement.. supportive community… Jesus, lead me for the rest of my life… then the Ultimate at Darlene’s Diner for me & my buddy Stokes… TROML Day in progress! Happy Players Sunday! (Facebook Post with 30 pics, Andy Reistetter, 5/15/16)