A Chefs Tale A Ball and Crunchy-Cream Pies

By Associated PressAugust 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio -- One year ago, Josh Stuber was back on the loading dock at Firestone Country Club putting some of the restaurant's famous crunchy-cream pies into a cart.
 
Within an hour, he was, as he puts it, 'the most wanted man in Ohio.'
 
Tiger Woods' approach shot on the ninth hole, his last of the day in the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational, flew the green and took a moonshot-bounce off the blacktop, rolling around on the roof of the clubhouse before ricocheting past Stuber down on the dock. Unaware the ball belonged to the world's No. 1 golfer, the cook plucked it off the pavement and stuffed it into his pocket.
 
'I thought someone was just goofing around with me,' said the 24-year-old, who left the club at the end of the golf season and now works at a Chinese restaurant in suburban Barberton.
 
'It was payday, so I hurried out and went to the bank quick.'
 
At the time, he told reporters he was setting up a corporate tent. He now concedes he said that so his bosses wouldn't fire him for leaving work early to deposit his check.
 
Meanwhile, there was mayhem back on the course.
 
Tour officials began an all-out search to find the ball so they could make a ruling. CBS repeatedly showed overhead views of Woods' shot flying over the green and past the bleachers behind it, then bounding up on the roof where it clattered around between vents and ducts before falling off.
 
A security camera on the clubhouse showed a man wearing a white chef's hat picking up the ball and pocketing it. Stuber was identified by a stunned kitchen staff.
 
'I got a call saying, 'You've got Tiger's ball! You've got to get to the clubhouse, NOW!'' Stuber said.
 
By the time he returned, Woods had taken a free drop, made a bogey to complete a 6-under 64 and took a one-shot lead over Davis Love III. Two days later, Woods, won in a playoff.
 
Stuber was famous -- for a weekend.
 
'I went into the chef's office and they Googled my name,' he said. 'It came up on, like, 25,000 pages.'
 
Woods later signed the ball for Stuber -- 'To Josh. Nice catch, Tiger Woods.'
 
Stuber mounted the ball near a framed page of the local paper with his picture on it, holding the ball.
 
'I had my 15 minutes, and it was over,' Stuber said. 'I'm happy with how it went, but now it's back to a normal life.'
 
Well, almost.
 
Last October, the title sponsor of the World Golf Championship event paid Stuber's way to a Las Vegas convention attended by 3,000 tire dealers and their guests.
 
A Bridgestone executive stood on the stage in a large hotel ballroom while film clips of Woods' shot were shown on a gigantic screen.
 
'Then he said, 'And we have the guy who found the ball,'' Bridgestone vice president Christine Karbowiak said. 'Josh came out in his white chef's costume with one of Firestone's famous crunchy cream pies -- and the ball.'
 
He received a standing ovation.
 
'It was at Halloween, so that was pretty fitting,' Stuber said.
 
He's content to stay in the background this weekend, preparing shrimp fried rice and jotting down carryout orders, while Woods goes for his sixth title at the Bridgestone.
 
'It was a trip,' Stuber said. 'A wild trip, for sure.'
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.