Golfs Longest Day

By Brian HewittMay 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
On June 21, the longest day of the year, four golfers and their caddies will play what will be the longest round of the year. To be specific, the plan is to start at San Franciscos storied Olympic Club at the crack of dawn and play one hole at 18 different courses. Their goal is to finish at Riviera Country Club before darkness settles in Southern California.
 
No helicopters, no NetJets. Just a lot of Mapquest, a lot of local knowledge, a lot of hustle and a lot of heart. All for a good cause.
 
Im betting they will make it. They are calling it The Longest Day and the proceeds will go to the cancer center at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
 
As of late April, The Longest Days Mike Lehotta had secured 16 of the 18 courses needed for cooperation. When TLD gets 18 on board, he says, it will be time to choose the players. The goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 for the event from corporate sponsors and anybody else who wants to chip in. Participant spots will cost $3,000, a portion of which will go toward covering expenses.
 
Lehotta, an accomplished artist and longtime caddie at Pebble Beach, has it all figured. The logistics are ambitious, to say the least. The mileage for the trip is 475 miles. Daylight on June 21 on the California coast is about 15 hours.
 
The goal, Lehotta says, 'is to average playing each hole in seven minutes, coming out to 126 minutes for the day. There are several holes, he adds, that are near roads.
 
If we conservatively add 12 minutes at each hole to unload and reload the players and equipment, that will take another 216 minutes away from our drive time, Lehotta says.
 
Driving directly from the Olympic Club to Riviera on a normal traffic day, he says, takes just about seven hours and 40 minutes. That, he adds, will give his event about two hours of cushion time for the detoured route his group must take.
 
The more people tell Lehotta and his pioneers his group cant get it done, the more he gets excited about proving them wrong.
 
To play one hole of golf at 18 different golf courses from San Francisco to Los Angeles in one day seems rather ambitious, crazy, impossible and every other You cant do it phrase ever uttered, Lehotta says.
 
Lehotta isnt shy about his personal stake in The Longest Day. His wife is fighting a battle against cancer. Last October doctors told her the odds werent good. One operation, three oncologists, several other doctors, five rounds of chemotherapy and 100,000 milligrams of IP-6 later, Jan Lehotta is close to remission.
 
She will beat this, Lehotta says emphatically.
 
So dont even think about telling him he cant get four players through 18 holes on 18 different courses in one day in a state where traffic can be an epidemic.
 
This event thoroughly parallels what cancer patients go through every day, Lehotta says. It is human drama about human life. What is better than that?
 
It is also about challenging the human spirit with imagination. Not much better than that, either.
 
(Ed. Note: Mike Lehotta can be reached at mlehotta@yahoo.com.)
 
Donations can be made to:
THE LONGEST DAY
635 Pine Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
 
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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 7:08 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.


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Watch: Highlights from Tiger's first round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is back at the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013, and he provided the fans in Atlanta with some highlights on the first day of competition.

Still looking for his first win of the year after coming close on numerous occasions, Woods started the day off by splitting the fairway on the first hole with the driver, not even bothering to watch his ball land.

Despite the picture-perfect opening tee shot, Woods would go on to bogey the first hole, but he rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6, making putts from 26 and 15 feet.

Tiger's best shot on the front nine came on the par-4 seventh hole after he found the pine straw behind a tree with his drive. The 14-time major champ punched one under the tree limbs and onto the green, then calmly two-putted for par from about 40 feet en route to a front-side 1-under 34.

Woods added two more birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th holes, rolling in putts of 3 feet and 7 feet after a couple of great looking approach shots.

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Garcia (66) peaking for Ryder Cup?

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 20, 2018, 6:17 pm

Sergio Garcia might be finding his form just in time to terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Garcia made seven birdies during an opening round of 5-under 66 to sit just two shots off the early lead at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters.

It was Garcia’s fifth consecutive round of par or better, a stretch that includes rounds of 66-65-67-70-66. That solid play at the Wyndham Championship wasn’t enough to extend his PGA Tour season – he didn’t qualify for the FedExCup playoffs – but the Spaniard is starting to round into form with the Ryder Cup on deck.


Full-field scores from the Portugal Masters


A few weeks ago he was a controversial selection by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. After missing the cut in all four majors, Garcia could have been left at home in favor of such players as Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace (a three-time winner this season who, once again, is at the top of the leaderboard in Portugal), Matt Fitzpatrick or Thomas Pieters. But Bjorn tabbed Garcia, noting his Ryder Cup experience, his sterling foursomes record and his influence in the team room. If Phil Mickelson is the U.S. player under the most pressure to perform in Paris, all eyes will be on Garcia next week – especially since it could be one of his final opportunities to wear a European uniform, as he’ll be 40 for the 2020 matches.

Garcia’s 66 matched his lowest opening round of the year and puts him in position to secure just his second top-10 since March.

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Watch: 100mph storm destroys tent at St. Andrews

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 20, 2018, 4:25 pm

The Old Course at St. Andrews has endured all sorts of wacky weather over the years, but things ratcheted up a notch this week with the arrival of Storm Ali.

The first named storm of the season struck Wednesday, bringing 100 mph gusts, killing two people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power in parts of Ireland, Scotland and England.

According to the Courier no one was injured in the St. Andrews area, but a video posted from the home of golf shows just how powerful the storm was as wind absolutely destroyed one of the hospitality tents set up in advance of the Dunhill Links Championship:

While plenty of clean-up is sure to be needed, officials say the Dunhill Links, which also be conducted at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, will go on as scheduled October 4-7.