Golf Digest’s made-for-TV US Open Challenge was played on Wednesday and it was a grind-it-out kind of day for the three celebs, Mark Wahlberg, Wayne Gretzky and Drew Brees, and reader’s pick, Peggy Ference.
Teeing up from the championship tees, Marky Mark, the highest handicap in the foursome, was the only one to break 100, firing a 97. Sandbagger!
Meanwhile, apparently if Tony Romo and Drew Brees were to face off on the links, Romo would dominate. Brees, a 3-handicap, opened the round by hitting his first drive on the roof of the spa bordering the hole. He finished with a 102, but the AP report excuses him for being “rusty” because he had just flown in on Tuesday after a trip to the oil spill cleanup effort in the Gulf Coast.
Gretzky triple-bogeyed the 18th to shoot 100.
And how about Peggy? The 51-year-old amateur had a rough time reaching most of the fairways from the back tees and shot 118. But she was a good sport and appreciated the experience.
While Ference didn’t meet her goal of breaking 100, she celebrated small victories during her round, such as when she cleared the 150-yard chasm on the eighth hole to stay dry. After the shot, she raised her arms, turned to her caddie Pavin and gave him a hug.
“This was really about the game of golf and how anybody can play it from any set of tees in any conditions,” Ference said. “I have so much appreciation for what the PGA Tour players encounter, not just in the U.S. Open but regular tournaments too.”
I saw some criticisms on Twitter over how poorly she was playing, but seriously, guys, what do you expect? It’s not like any past sweepstakes winners have ever broken 100. But this got me thinking — perhaps I should apply next year. That could be a really fantastic experience to write about, but not sure if I qualify since I guess I’m considered media now. Still, maybe they’d make an exception. I mean, it wouldn’t be a bad PR move. Plus, I played at a high level at one point (no, I’m not talking about Ivy League golf) and with some practice, I think I could break 100 from the big boys’ tees in US Open conditions.
Well, just a thought.