Amateurs Pony Up 10K Play Golf Like Poker

By Associated PressMay 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
PRIMM, Nev. -- In poker, they say all you need to win is a chip and a chair. At the World Series of Golf, it's a ball and an attitude.
Sixty amateur golfers each ponied up $10,000 to tee off Monday in a three-day golf tournament that uses poker betting in place of traditional scoring.
'It's a lot like poker in the sense that the whole thing is a game of pressure,' said Steve Dannenmann, one of five poker pros who traded the felt for the greens at the Primm Valley Golf Club, some 40 miles south of Las Vegas. 'But there are no bad bets on the golf course, until you chunk it.'
Unlike regular golf, it's not the score that matters most, but how many chips each player has left. Each golfer starts with 10,000, meticulously accounted for by a croupier in a cart who tallies the round of betting before each shot.
Players can go all-in after their tee shot, or, if they happen to be in a fairway bunker while their opponents are on the green, can fold, pick up their ball and walk to the next hole. The player with the fewest strokes on the hole wins the pot.
'You could have three good holes and clean someone out,' said Terry Leiweke, president of the tournament that airs in June on NBC. 'You don't even need to have a great round.'
In Dannenmann's group, the skills were so raw that the players took out their drivers more often to measure two club-lengths from the water hazards than to hit their ball off the tee.
Scott Tucker, a 44-year-old Las Vegas businessman, used his errant slice to keep himself from betting too much on early holes when antes were low.
'I'm hiding in the bushes,' he said. 'Let them wager a lot, at least for the first three holes when I don't lose a lot.'
Like in poker tournaments, small antes kept the betting reasonable early. But the automatic bets double, starting at $100, every three holes.
Grilon Rodas, a 34-year-old land use consultant from Palm Springs, Calif., folded so often that he didn't end up putting until reaching the 12th green.
'That's the second putt I've hit all day,' he said after sinking one from six inches.
Len Fattori, a 59-year-old retiree from New Jersey, breathed a sigh of relief after draining a two-footer to split a $4,400 pot.
Just like in poker, pot odds play into strategy.
Players with the best lie and closest to the pin tend to bet the most, while other players facing tough putts or even chip shots tend to fold.
On the par-4 13th, Dannenmann was in the best shape after two shots, needing a long putt for birdie and $13,900 already in the pot. Tucker was past the green in the rough, and Fattori was short and to the right.
After Tucker and Fattori checked, Dannenmann bet $3,000. Since Tucker only had $2,100 left, he called. 'I'm almost out, so I've got to try to be in the game,' he said.
Fattori eyeballed a difficult chip onto a two-tiered green. 'It's four-to-one to try to get it up and down,' he grumbled. He called.
Tucker chipped to within 10 feet, Dannenmann putted to within four.
Fattori chipped onto the slope and watched his ball roll away into the recesses of the lower tier. 'Fold,' he said, picking up his ball in disgust. Because he'd pushed all-in, Tucker had to make the putt.
He missed, and Dannenmann sank his to win the pot.
After shaking hands with the group, Tucker headed home. Dannenmann offered a consolation: 'You come to Vegas, we're partying all night.'
On the opening day's final hole with only Dannenmann and Rodas left -- good golf and good luck came into play.
With a $12,800 ante and only $13,600 left, Dannenmann hit his ball into the water on the challenging par-5 second hole (play extends beyond 18 holes if no one has won the round). Rodas landed in the rough off the tee and pushed all-in, which Dannenmann had to call.
Rodas' third shot went through the green and headed precariously toward the reeds of a green-side water hazard before an extra tall tuft of grass kept the ball from going in the drink. After Dannenmann hit his next shot into the water again, Dannenmann conceded the hole, the match and the $10,000 entry fee. 'He's the better player,' he said.
Rodas credited his late mother, who taught him the game of poker, with saving his skin. 'I've got to chalk that up to my mom's watching me now.'
Play continues Wednesday toward the $250,000 grand prize. The tournament is set to air on NBC Sports June 23 and 24.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

 Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

 Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May   28

Individual   National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 29

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday, May   30

Team Match   Play National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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Country singer Owen shoots 86 in debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: