Sunday, February 17, 2013


ACE Group Championship-Second Round Results

                                            The Devil's Pupit's David Hurst, at TwinEagles 

The Champions Tour is restricted to professional golfers who have reached the half century point in their lives. Although that seems to be a given, my point is that these players are experienced.

The importance of experience became evident today, as the winds of change swept across South West Florida. All afternoon. Every player had to make adjustments for every shot. Shots that would have landed on the green under normal conditions were held up by the wind, and landed in nasty bunkers. Others were blown off course into the rough.

Bob Tway paid a severe penalty when he was found guilty of playing an illegal shot from the rough. It was studied carefully, and he was assessed a two stroke penalty. He ended the day with a 79, 14 strokes above his score the previous day. His judgement in that situation was undoubtedly affected by the wind conditions.

Cien Soon Lu came in at five under par after the first round. A native of Taiwan, his name has rarely appeared at the top of money boards on the tour; however, after taking a double bogey on the first hole Saturday, he birdied seven of the next ten holes. He fished three strokes off Langer’s pace, tied with Tom Pernice Junior.

Very few players bettered their scores from the first day. Bernhard Langer, the first round leader with a 62, played brilliantly the second day, and managed a 72. With that, he still maintained the lead he had at the beginning of the day.

Kenny Parry, last year’s ACE champion, is certainly the tournament favourite. In fact, in a tongue-in-cheek gesture, he was announced on the first tee as the “Mayor of Naples”. Parry has opted to use a cart for the tournament. He is no doubt in some pain, as he is scheduled for knee surgery next week; nonetheless, he soldiers on, and has posted very respectable numbers.

                                            Kenny Parry, "Mayor of Naples" 

Palm branches sweep across the greens, driven by the breezes that are measured near forty miles an hour. There are a few spectators enjoying Domincan cigars, and the aroma wafts through the crowd. A crsip February day, but certainly not worth a winter jacket.

                                            Phil Stambaugh and Bernhard Langer

Get real, folks, it’s Florida. Throw a blanket on the orchids, and head for the first tee.

James Hurst

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