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19th Hole
News and Opinion

Golf Blogs: Patrick Wills

Date CreatedMost Popular

Crazy Numbers
Jul 1, 2015 10:51 AM
This past week in golf we heard about a couple of crazy, do-a-double-take numbers - one low and one high. We got word of Patrick Wills who shot a 57 in a Summer Solstice tournament at Laurel Hill Golf Course in Lorton, Virginia. How you react to that news might depend on whether or not you diligently count every stroke when you play. For instance, some headlines read, "Virginia Golfer Makes Three Aces, Shoots 57" like it was fait accompli. Other headlines shouted, "Former Marine Golfer Claims to Have Shot 57..." as if there was some doubting the tale. The epic round was on a course that hosted the U.S. Amateur Public Links tournament in 2013 so this was not your local pitch and putt. The course was set up at 6,021 yards for tournament play. And yes, the round included three aces - two for albatrosses. Wills made his firs "1" on the 278-yard, par-four 7th hole, using a 3-wood. Then he banged it in on the 311-yard 10th hole. A regular run-of-the-mill ace on a par three followed on the 14 hole where Wills used a 5-iron to negotiate the 176 yard uphill hole. That's 765 yards, three stokes. Anybody can shoot 57 with that start. Nonetheless, Wills, who plays to +4 handicap, felt the need to defend himself, rather than bask in the glory of his round, "I’ve been around the world 10 or 12 times, fighting for this country’s freedom," he said. "People are allowed to believe what they want to believe - I fought for that freedom. But I know what I shot, my playing partners know what I shot and the people at the tournament do as well. So people are entitled to believe what they want, but I’ve always been drawn to golf because it aligns with my morals. I’d rather call a penalty on myself, or even disqualify myself, because I respect the game.” The other number was a big one - 3,000,000. that was the rounding off of the number for the money Phil Mickelson gave an associate for gambling purposes. That is just tip money for Lefty. This is a golfer, we are told, who never shies away from a good bet on the golf course. Sometimes he even gets in trouble for it. Like the time he won $500 in the player's lounge from Mike Weir by offering 25-1 odds that Jim Furyk would hole a bunker shot out on the course. But not this. There are no plans to prosecute Mickelson for anything.

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