By Stephanie Wei
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.
Gretzy almost broke 100, but 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
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.