Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some Famous People Played in that US Open Challenge

The first year Golf Digest decided to pick a random person to play the U.S. Open venue with U.S. Open-like conditions, and see what they'd shoot, it seemed like a fun idea. "Could a regular Joe even compete in those tough conditions?," we wondered.

Now, three years later (I think?), the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge has faded to just another gimmicky event that few people in the golf world seem to care about. We've exchanged Michael Jordan, arguably the most famous golfing athlete of our generation, with Wayne Gretzky, an icon in his own right but still not to MJ's level. They swapped Justin Timberlake for Mark Walhberg ("say hello to your mother for me") and we got Drew Brees in place of Matt Lauer.

No matter, neither of these guys could handle the conditions of Pebble Beach, to say the least. Brees, a recorded 3-handicap, shot 102. The Great One came in with exactly 100, and Wahlberg, a man that once said he wanted to try out professional golf, shot 97.

Maybe this quote sums up the thought of an entire group of millionaires out trying to do what the pro golfers do.

Hey, listen, I love the game and for me it is a game, it will always be a game and I'll always enjoy it. But if I had to do it for a living, I'd slit my wrists," Wahlberg said.

I'm sure the challenge will continue for years to come, but maybe they could add a wrinkle or something to it to spice it up? Maybe have these famous guys actually compete for something, even if the money went to charity. At least something to possibly silence the laughs on the back nine and force the players to actually have something on the line, much like the guys will next week at Pebble.


Roody said...

Yes, you are correct about this year being the third year of this event. I was just reading my copy of Golf Digest last night, and it looks like a woman won the amateur spot. She was quoted as saying she thinks she has a shot at breaking 100 because she hits it straight, and is solid from 100 yards in.

It'll be interesting to see if her theory holds up. I think the flaw here is you still need some length in order to get to that "100 yards and in". 500 yard par 4's are going to be bogeys at best for her. If her green game is remarkable I think she'll have a shot.

It would certainly go a long way if she is the first in the three years to break 100. Two men couldn't do it, but she could. Imagine the ensuing craziness, LOL.

Shane B. said...

Roody, she didn't break 100, sadly. I would have loved if a girl was the first to do it, though.