2012: Most Dramatic Finish In History Of Golf!
This is the real secret of life-to be completely engaged with what you doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. – Alan Watts (Author of "THE WAY OF ZEN"
The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. – Arnold J. Toynbee
In the history of all majors, I can say none others have ever ended the way the 2012 Lakeshore Open did on Saturday afternoon. The course was dried out and extremely fast because the Committee decided to have the last watering on Thursday night. It was brutal! 26 players made the cut (+22) and only 5 scored better from the tips on the 2nd round. The back tees played over 9 shots more difficult per player and it is only 24 yards longer. When you stretch this demon all the way out to 444 yards it is truly amazing how much a small yardage difference makes.
78 golfers teed off Saturday to challenge their short game skills. At the end of the first round Rob Mullaney (+4) had a one stroke lead over Mike O’Donnell and Matthew Tom. Lurking nearby were blue jacket winners Phil Tom (+7), Josh Vornsand (+9) and Harry Schroeder (+10). The tradition breaker Katy Barrett was tied in 11th position at (+17), well below the +22 cutline. Congratulation to her and all of her hard work.
As the afternoon championship round commenced, the galleries could sense that the scores were going to skyrocket for most of the least experienced players. When the groups moved through to the treacherous back 9, there were only a handful left who could secure the royal blue jacket. Phil Tom was lapping the field as he birdied 12,13, and 14 to go down to +4 for the tournament and 3 under on the back 18. The only golfers left within shouting distance as he teed up on 15 were: Mullaney +14, O’donnell +14, and Vornsand +14…10 shots back. The 15th ‘dog run’ was about to show his ugly teeth to the 5 time jacket winner. With the speed conditions and the rough trampled down from all the galleries and players, it was virtually unplayable. It is always the second most difficult hole every year to #18. Phil could not find an area to keep his ball in bounds on his first 3 tee shots. He managed to find OB three of the 4 places to do it on this diabolical gem. He did manage to card a 9 to push his total to +10, still 4 shots better than anyone else. As Phil ventured down the 16th fairway, Mullaney was doing his best to tame 15. His first ball went out long but he incredibly found one of the few safe places for his second tee ball……..the hole….to card a par 3!
Phil tripled bogeyed the 18th to gather sanctuary in the clubhouse at +12. Now no other golfer could prevent him from his 6th jacket except Mullaney. Rob parred 17th to take the lonely walk to the 18th tee box at +14. He had to ‘ace’ the most famous par 3 in the world to draw even with Phil. The movement with the cameramen and gallery was delaying the obvious attempt that Rob knew he had to take. He stepped away 3 times from the box to gather his thoughts. He lined it up and then made an aggressive lash at the sphere and sent it some 15 feet in the air down the famed fairway. All eyes were glued as it came arching down towards the stop sign. The ball cleared the sign and just ‘ticked’ the very end of the supporting post to record the HOLE IN ONE! The stunned audience did not know how to react at first but then broke out into a huge applause at what they just witnessed. This has to be one of, if not, the best shot in golf history! I don’t believe that Rob could complete this feat exactly the way he did if he tried one million more attempts.
The Lakeshore has the same format as the British Open when it comes to a playoff. Play 4 holes (#1,#4,#11, and #18) cumulative score. Phil parred the first 2 holes while Rob bogeyed them to give him a 2 stroke lead. They both bogeyed #11 to go to the 18th with the same difference. Rob parred with a beautiful fairway shot and Phil had to go over the fence for his double bogey to create the tie once more after 40 holes. Even though Phil is still the #1 ranked player in the world at the Lakeshore, Rob is slightly better at finding the fairway on 18. He did it again on the 5th playoff hole and Phil did not. Rob Mullaney won his 4th Royal Blue Jacket. Both players walked off the course into the clubhouse and Chairman’s Cabin exhausted.
1. PHILIP TOM: 61-59=120 (+12)
3. JOSH VORNSAND: 63-60=123 (+15)
4. MIKE O’DONNELL: 59-70=129 (+21)
4. HARRY SCHROEDER: 64-65=129 (+21)
6. THOMAS BUONOMO: 67-68=135 (+27)
7. DUSTY ALLEN: 71-65=136 (+28)
8. KATY BARRETT: 71-67=138 (+30)
9. MATHEW TOM: 59-80=139 (+31)
10. BRIAN COFFEY: 67-77=144 (+36)
10. GARY HAGEN: 68-76=144 (+36)
10. TODD MUCHNICK: 72-72=144 (+36)
13. ROBERT TOM: 76-70=146 (+38)
15. MIKE MULLALLY: 75-75=150 (+42)
16. ERIK ANTIN: 73-80=153 (+45)
17. JAMESON BAUMAN: 74-81=155 (+47)
18. RUSS SCHROEDER: 74-84=158 (+50)
19. JIM GREEN: 71-88=159 (+51)
20. BRANDT ENGLAND: 71-89=160 (+52)
21. GREG HAMPSON: 75-86=161 (+53)
22. JAY GOUGAR: 73-92=165 (+57)
23. RICK JEWETT: 74-94=168 (+60)
23. RANDY BOLLA: 66-102=168(+60)
25. MARK TOM: 75-95=170 (+62)
26. MURRY HICKMAN: 76-96=172 (+64)