Golf in America: The Paul Szep's Story

By Golf In America ProducerSeptember 22, 2011, 1:30 am

Meeting people like former Boston Globe, and now globally syndicated cartoonist, Paul Szep, is why I love doing features.

Here is a guy that, on the surface, seems like your normal, “Everyday Joe”. Call him on the phone, cool and calm. Meet him at the golf course, cool and calm. He greets you at the front door of his house, cool and calm.

Walk into his house, however, and you begin to realize that Paul Szep has seen and done much more than your ordinary man during his 60-something years (we’ll go without mentioning actual age at Szeppy’s request).

His life is plastered all over the walls of his Largo, Florida condo. White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner? Been there, done that. Played Pebble? Sure. Pissed off a senator or too with some of his work? Maybe.

Szep has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with presidents, actors, athletes, you name it. He’s got the pictures to prove it. The long wall in his office looks like a who’s who of American pop culture over the past 50 years. Still, he remembers his roots. A seat from the old Maple Leafs Gardens hangs behind his desk to remind him where he’s from – Szep originally hails from Hamilton, outside of Toronto.

A few posters he whipped up for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am with caricatures of Bill Murray and Clint Eastwood adorn the hallway. He’s bartered some art for invites over the years, and wound up playing in the Pro-Am a half dozen times or so. A nice shot of him and good buddy, Matt Lauer, neighbors a signed caricature of Steve Elkington. Somewhere amidst the well-manicured chaos, a couple of Pulitzer Prizes for his cartoons are displayed; which for a cartoonist is like winning the Masters – twice. Szep respectfully refers to them as “those” as if he is taking about salt and pepper shakers and not the crown jewel of his profession.

When we originally found out Szep was the man who sold the putter to the shop who sold the putter to Jim Furyk who in turn used it to win the Tour Championship, we thought he was just a piece to the puzzle. One more dot to connect to tell the story. After meeting him and learning about his story, his love of golf and how the game has given back to him over the last 30 plus years, we changed the tone of the feature entirely. It was no longer, “Hey, meet the guy who sold the putter Furyk bought.” It was, “Hey, meet Paul Szep. You know, Furyk was using his putter when he won the Tour Championship last year.”

Don’t get me wrong. We could’ve done the Furyk story without Szep. A major winner and Ryder Cupper walking into a used club store and buying a $39 putter, then using it to win 11.35 million dollars is a story in its own right. But that putter didn’t belong to a bartender from Brooklyn or a bricklayer from Boston, it belonged to a great guy with a fantastic story, all his own.

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Watch: Hahn slam-dunks ace on 11th hole

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:20 pm

There are aces, and there are slam-dunk aces. No question which one this one by James Hahn on the 154-yard 11th hole was.

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Els' nephew Rebula wins Amateur Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:05 pm

Ernie Els is one proud uncle.

His nephew, Jovan Rebula, won the Amateur Championship on Saturday at Royal Aberdeen to become the first South African to capture the title since Bobby Cole in 1966.

Rebula, a junior at Auburn, will join his famous uncle in Carnoustie next month for The Open. He also will get invites to the 2019 Masters and the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Rebula defeated Ireland's Robin Dawson, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final.

"It’s unreal," Rebula said. "It’s really something that is hard to describe. I feel like many have been in this position before but it’s an unreal feeling. It hasn’t sunk in quite yet but hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up and I will feel a little different."

Rebula received plenty of texts from Els throughout the week, and the encouragement paid off. Rebula opened a 1-up lead after 18 holes, and he extended his advantage by winning the 26th and 27th holes. He was 5 up with six to play before finally closing out Dawson on the 16th hole with an up-and-down from the bunker.

"It’s been a long week and especially today," Rebula said. "I should have finished maybe a couple of holes earlier, but it’s been awesome. A very tiring week. I’m standing here right now and there’s so much adrenaline pumping through me."

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Squirrel gets Rory's round off to a rocky start

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 6:42 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy’s third round at the Travelers Championship got off to a peculiar start before he even hit a shot.

McIlroy had just been introduced on the first tee at TPC River Highlands and was ready to unload on his opening drive of the day when a squirrel ran across the tee box a few feet in front of him.

McIlroy stopped his swing and laughed it off, but the squirrel continued to linger for several seconds, criss-crossing from one side of the packed tee box to the other. And while this was no black cat, the pump-fake to start his round didn’t exactly help the Ulsterman.

McIlroy ultimately blocked his drive into the right rough after enduring his brief rodent delay en route to an opening bogey, and amid soft conditions at TPC River Highlands he played his first five holes in 2 over. McIlroy started the day at 7 under, three shots behind leader Brian Harman.

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Kaymer in six-way tie for BMW International lead

By Associated PressJune 23, 2018, 5:29 pm

PULHEIM, Germany - Danish golfer Lucas Bjerregaard shot a 5-under 67 to equal the week's lowest round for a six-way share of the lead after the third round of the BMW International Open on Saturday.

Bjerregaard had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey to finish on 5-under 211 - jumping 23 places and joining local favorites Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer, England's Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai, and Australia's Scott Hend at the top of the leaderboard.

Bjerregaard was fortunate to play before the wind picked up again later in the afternoon.

Full-field scores from the BMW International Open

Kaymer, the 2008 champion, delighted the home supporters with two birdies in his last three holes for a 71.

Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Chile's Nico Geyger were one shot off the lead after rounds of 69 and 73, respectively.

Defending champion Andres Romero equaled the week's best round (67) to be among a large group two shots off the lead going into Sunday, including three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.