The weather has been terrific this week already. Temperatures in the high 70's to low 80's with sunshine and a bit of a breeze. The golf course is playing hard and fast, as we saw Wednesday in our Texas Challenge Shoot-out won by Jeff Quinney in a chip-off with Rob McMillan.
Last week it was Steve Scott, he of the 1996 United States Amateur final with Tiger Woods winning by one shot over the likes of Hank Kuehne and Jeff Quinney, both of whom just happen to have U.S. Open trophies to their credit. When the week began we could have only hoped that these guys would wind up chasing the lead. But the way it ended? Wow!
Quinney opened with a course record 64. Then a day later Steve Scott broke the course record with a round of 63. Only to have Hank Kuehne shoot 64 that same day. Sunday was a shoot-out to be certain with Scott and Quinney battling with Californian Roger Tambellini. But, after a disappointing Saturday 75, Kuehne made another charge with a round of 64 to make a run for the trophy. He came up short... but we as fans certainly didn't.
Last week's Texas Classic was just that - a Classic. As much as the Canadian Tour is searching for identity in this world of golf, the players I've just mentioned are helping the cause. After all, Scott's win came on the same day that Matt Kuchar won the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour. The same Matt Kuchar that played Canadian Tour events a year ago in search of top form that could eventually lead to a win at the highest level.
And this week's Texas Challenge should be no different in providing us with more lasting images and more great rounds and more promising players worth keeping a close eye on.
Steve Scott tees it up again. As does Jeff Quinney, and the man he beat at Baltusrol James Driscoll. Hanke Kuehne is after it again, and so is last year's Order of Merit winner on the Canadian Tour Aaron Barber, and Canadian Amateur champions of the past Craig Matthew and Rob McMillan. Two-time Palmer Cup member and former SEC Player of the Year Nick Cassini is here too.
Each is hoping to be a winner and each is hoping to be just like Matt. Kuchar that is. Because not only is this a tour of talent. But it is also a tour of big believers. And just like WE enjoy the thought of watching the next great PGA Tour player, these guys are thinking big thoughts as well.