Casey & Dougherty, the come back boys.

The Cadillac Championship was Paul Casey’s first tournament after dislocating his right shoulder snowboarding on Christmas Eve. It was most memorable for his hole in one on the par 3 15th. As Paul walked up to the 15th hole, he made a bet with his caddie, Craig Connelly, the portly Scot they call ‘Weeman.’ Paul bet Craig that if he made a hole-in-one on No. 15, he would split the prize, down the middle, with Connelly. Casey had just double bogeyed No. 12 and followed that with a bogey on No. 14, so the expectations were pretty low. They shook hands to seal the bet and Connelly handed Casey an 8-iron. Paul didn’t see the ball go in, but the exuberant celebration of his caddy let him know it was a hole-in-one. Paul said;

“I kinda turned away, thinking I hope that just misses, Craig went bananas. In a moment of disappointment I thought I’d have to give him some money.”

Paul’s disappointment suddenly transferred to Connelly a few seconds later. As Craig jumped around the tee box in glee, thinking he was good for half the value of a luxury car, a rules official came over and told Casey that there was no prize for an ace at No. 15, you’d have to ace No. 13 to win a car. Casey joked;

“I’ve never been so relieved in my life, I’ve never wanted to not make a hole in one when the ball is that good. I’ve never enjoyed not winning a car so much. With the money he’s made, he can buy his own car.”

Paul was satisfied with his performance, after his long self induced lay-off.

The other player returning to golf is Nick Dougherty, playing on the Challenge tour at Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic. Nick was leading the tournament after three rounds, but faltered on the last round, finishing tied for ninth place. A good result on his first outing on his comeback trail.

Good luck to both boys, and I hope their improvement continues.


Joburg Open 2nd Round

Highlight of the Joburg second round was Englishman Richard Finch firing a hole in one at the par three 12th. Strangely enough he was not too pleased to achieve the feat, if it had come during the last round it would have earned Richard a million rand for the effort. Finch’s hole-in-one helped him into a share of the lead at the Joburg Open, sharing that position with Robert Rock and  George Coetzee at the tough Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East Course.

Finch said of his hole in one, “On 12 I looked at the back of the tee and read the board which said there was a million rand available for a hole-in-one in the final round. As my shot landed I turned around and said ‘Oh no!’ because I had hit it on the perfect line.”  “Some of Darren Fichardt’s family and friends were at the green and they started cheering, so it was clear it had gone in.” “I made one at Humewood a few years ago during the SA Open. It was sponsored by South African Airways, so I won a million air miles, which was nice.”

Richard was also delighted with his second round effort, “Starting today at five-under-par was interesting, a few birdies and you’re right up there amongst the lead, but a couple of bogeys and you miss the cut. But I’m delighted with today, I thought some of the pins were really tucked away, so I just tried to be sensible and get it on to the green to give myself a chance. I managed to roll a few in, which was good,”

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