I got off my shuttle bus Thursday afternoon to witness the first day of competition at this year’s Senior PGA tournament at Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Course. It had been a wet start for the PGA, but spirits were high none the less.
For me, I meandered over to the tenth hole where golfer, D.A. Weibring was greeting spectators, while the other members of his group, David Arbuckle and Tim Simpson both gave a couple practice swings in preparation for their first round in the competition.
Teeing off, both Simpson and Arbuckle sent the ball long down the fairway, if not slightly right, while Weibring’s was perfectly straight. It was after seeing these amazing shots that I realized that I should just stop trying to golf.
In any case, it was at this point that I was swept into a grouping of people where I witnessed a perfect chip from Daniel Hornig.
And, somehow I landed on the third immediately after this where southern Indiana and all-around local favorite Fuzzy Zoeller was teeing off, watching Zoeller knock a low flying ball that tilted left, following Zoeller for a couple of holes I couldn’t help but notice the determination in his eyes, a passion only matched by his club.
Along with Zoeller was Keith Clearwater whose short game should make him a real contender in this contest. The third in the group is Denis Watson of Zimbabwe, who has a masterful understanding of the green. The three entered the fifth joking with spectators and themselves, an attitude that carried with them the rest of the round.
It was at this point that I began walking back to the clubhouse only to realize that I nearly bumped into Tom Watson’s caddy and the gathering of people that was following his grouping. Stopping, I watched Watson navigate Valhalla’s famed 9th hole where he easily cracked a ball clear over a creek and nearly onto the green.
Moseying past the 9th, suddenly I felt a few rain drops, then a few more, then thunder followed directly by lightning, it was at this time that I felt myself reaching for a poncho.
By the way, if you were curious first prize means $ 360,000, 70th place: $ 3,725, lesson is: get real good at golf, real quick.
Image: D. Rose