By petedirenzo
Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ginnno17_2 The Ginn Championship, a senior event with a big-league $375,000 first-place prize, is played at the Ocean Course at the Hammock Beach Resort, in a funky part of Florida smack-dab between Ponte Vedra Beach (where the Tour has its headquarters) and Daytona Beach (where the LPGA is based). Beyond the gates of the development are dirt roads nestled with small cozy houses.

The course itself is the kind of place that will make you drool, thinking about what it could have been, had there been no real estate considerations. But there were, and what it is instead is a good resort course with the typical long hauls between many greens and tees. Some of the holes are spectacular, particularly as you get nearer to the ocean.
The 17th, a short par 3 played into a fierce left-to-right wind, is completely exposed in that wonderful British way. On Sunday, the hole was cut to the extreme left of the green. There was no way to get it anywhere near the hole, not even for Bernhard Langer, who won the tournament and the loot. Not even for Tiger, who still has 18 years to go before he qualifies for the senior tour. One player after another -- Ben Crenshaw, Craig Stadler, Fred Funk, Nick Price, Bernhard himself -- laughed while standing on the tee. The hole was built for Nicklaus, in his prime. The hole was cut by his mad and evil twin. But they took their cuts without complaint. As the grown-up golfers have said forever, "It was the same for everyone." (Photo: Bernhard Langer on the 17th tee at the Ocean Course, by David Walberg/SI)

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