Nov
30
2011
Behind the Scenes at Q-School: Unloading Area (*Update)
By Stephanie Wei under Behind the Scenes

I took the photo above on Tuesday evening from the first tee of PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament course. Then I added the captions with an app on my phone (I don’t have Photoshop skills, unfortunately, so I consider this my finest work to date) and voila! The setup at the first tee of the Stadium course is similar, along with the tenth tees at both. They think of everything, don’t they!

The event’s new tagline — Q-school Finals: Don’t puke in the bushes.

On the other hand, one player, who wishes to remain anonymous, suggested, “If you’re going to puke, please don’t use the port o’ potty by the first tee because some players might actually have to use it for the restroom.”

First round of Q-school is officially underway. I wonder if anyone has lost their breakfast yet.

Anyway, I had a productive day on Tuesday — almost too productive since I had at least 10 interviews to transcribe, including one that was 30-plus minutes and arguably in foreign language, not to mention it’s hard to type when you can’t stop laughing. Which interview was that? Boo Weekley, obviously. That guy is a legend. It should be published on golf.com at some point today or tomorrow…I have to figure out how to trim the file and post the clip of Boo’s alligator call.

As I’ve mentioned I love Q-school and it’s well run, but I have one suggestion — it’d be helpful if players wore their names across their back during practice round days and caddie bibs had their players’ names across the back like they do in regular Tour events. Funny thing is, I can recognize just about all the guys that played on Tour the last few years (and the “big” names), along with some Nationwide Tour guys. Even so, when you walk into the dining room, all you see are a bunch of golfers in hats and polos.

For example, Andres Gonzales stands out a bit, right? You know, the long hair and the ‘stache. Well, last year I walked into the clubhouse during lunch and did a lap around the not-very-big room, but couldn’t find Andres. I had to call him and I only found him after he stood up and waved his arms around.

Oh, guess who I hunted down on Tuesday? I even stalked him waited nearly two hours for him to finish practicing. Give up? Len Mattiace! What a nice man. Turned out to be worth the wait.

Reason No. 452 I love Q-school: Two players separately took my phone call last night even though they were already in bed (it was before 9pm) on the night before a very important week for them. Obviously, I didn’t take too much of their time, but it was nice of them. (Yikes, I’ve become jaded when I am so appreciative of such common courtesies!)

I’m rambling now. I have lots and lots of great material, which I have to hold on sharing because, well, I’m delirious, but I also have family obligations, so I will update this post later.

Stay tuned!

*Update

Kenny Ebalo, who is caddying for two-time U.S. Open champ Lee Janzen this week, sure did his homework …