Sunday, June 07, 2009

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Second-round leader Bernhard Langer and his
pursuers will be thinking ahead to the par-3 18th hole at The Hills
Country Club. It’s no big deal – a straight-forward shot of 178 yards or so –
but an old pro like Langer raises a wary eyebrow when he hears that the 18th is usually the 16th. Par-3 finishes are rare, and this one has
been contrived to please the Golf
Channel. The cameras love the guarding tiers of boulders, spillways and
waterfalls, and if a faltering pro has to watch in horror as his ball ricochets
from rock to rock to rock before splashing in the creek – well, that makes for
good television.What
I WON’T be watching for is an amateur entrant forgetting himself and diving on
his ball as it rolls across the green. The eight Heisman Trophy winners in the
field have retired to the clubhouse, where tournament-within-a-tournament
winners Ty Detmer and Chris Weinke will be buying drinks for their bummed-out peers – those,
anyway, who aren’t out with the other vultures at the faux 18th. If I
were a betting man, I’d wager that this one will be decided on the closing hole
– or, as a television director might put it, “I’d like that ‘on the rocks.’” 

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