Following Peyton, Tiger and Berman's General Obnoxiousness Around the Quail Hollow Pro-Am

Words by Jim Ryan, who excels at all country club sporting activities. ↵
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↵Many pro golf spectators say they like to attend the pre-tournament pro-ams more than they like to attend the tournaments themselves. They’d probably say it’s because the crowds aren’t as large and the players are more accessible on Wednesday. It’s also, of course, their last chance to see golfers as bad as themselves for the rest of the week. ↵

↵To this duffer’s disappointment, the players he followed Wednesday morning at the Quail Hollow Championship pro-am did not, in fact, suck. The pro was one Eldrick Woods, and he gets paired with the big guns at these events. In this case, it was club president John Harris, who in the words of another club president, the immortal Judge Smails, is no slouch himself. Oh, and their third was a nice young man named Manning who plays football in Indiana. ↵

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↵As you can imagine, Peyton and Tiger drew a pretty large crowd, and they put on a pretty good show. Tiger is Tiger, and Peyton has some game himself -- which you’d expect from a 30-something Southerner will millions of dollars and plenty of leisure time between February and July. ↵

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↵From what I saw, Peyton wasn’t terribly accurate off the tee, but he showed some good feel around the green. On the par-3 13th he flew the green with his tee shot and flew it again with his chip. “It’s too quiet out here for me,” he quipped. “I need someone to hit me in the back after the shot so I feel more comfortable.” He then drained his chip for par. ↵

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↵Peyton’s caddy was his Colts teammate, Anthony Gonzalez, who didn’t seem to be enjoying himself all that much (maybe because the chrome-domed receiver neglected to wear a hat on the sunny day). I’d like to think Peyton guilt-tripped him into the gig along these lines: “Anthony, I’m going to make you a very wealthy man by continuing to throw you touchdown passes with my laser rocket arm, so you will carry my bag and rake sand traps for me in North Carolina in late April.” ↵

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↵The celebrity appearances didn’t end with Manning. Dr. J was there, though I didn’t get to see him. I did see NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson and Michael Waltrip (Johnson was average; Waltrip was pretty good). ↵

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↵Waltrip was in the same group as Chris Berman, whose presence prompted a local sports radio host to ask listeners to come up with the most annoying golf foursome possible. More annoying than Boomer himself were his fans, who were mainly (and not surprisingly) boomers. They frequently shouted “back, back, back, back, back!” or “he could go all the way!” after his shots. These are undoubtedly the same people who yell “get in the hole!” every time Tiger hits a tee shot on a par 5. ↵

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↵It should be noted that Berman joked around with fans, signed autographs for kids and generally entertained his spectators, which made me think that maybe he’s not an insufferable blowhard, after all. Perhaps I need to watch this again. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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