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The Eagle Has Landed

by | Aug 14, 2023

These blog posts usually do not cover individual achievements but we have to make an exception.  The protagonist in this story is Todd Tuomala, a member of Monterey Peninsula Country Club.  Todd has a love/hate affair with his driver and stepped up to the 16th tee on the Dunes Course.  Todd had just made a remarkable par on the difficult, par 5, 15th hole after a less than serviceable tee shot into the left bunker.  After a great shot out of that bunker, he holed a eight “footish”putt to make par.  Onto to the 16th but the driver failed again as the ball faded into the left bunker off the fairway.  The bunker on the 16th  is a waste bunker with trees impeding views of the green as the waste bunker carves all the way to the green where it yields to greenside bunkers.  Most players in this position would merely hit a chip a shot 50-75 yards back into the fairway to try to get up and down from that spot for a par.  The 16th green is horizontal and so large that it commands two pin positions.  On this day the pin position was the easier pin position on the right where the green severely slopes from right to left.    Any approach shot to this green should be targeted at least 10 ft. to the right of the pin where it will release to the hole.  Todd had no intention of chipping back to the fairway and playing it safe to try to make par.  He had a decent lie in the bunker but was blocked by the tree.  Let’s just say that this shot was high degree of difficulty with a potentially bad ending.  The only shot possible was to aim right and hopefully fade the ball in the direction of the hole.  This was a very low percentage shot and could have resulted in complete disaster and a big number.  Todd was about 175-180 yards out and grabbed a six iron to give it a go.  I stood in the middle of the fairway like the cat that ate the canary-110 yards with a perfect lie and watched Todd take a mighty rip.  The ball was smashed and headed to the right side of the green and to my amazement,  it hit the green some 30 ft. from the pin.  As soon as the ball hit the green, I watched incredulously as the ball began to pick up speed and head for the hole and after at least 4-5 seconds it was definitely going in and it did.  EAGLE 2!  Most eagles are shots holed from the fairway with an excellent iron shot.  Todd chose the most difficult route possible and this shot was at the end of the incredible difficulty area–a 15 on a scale of 10.  A wager placed on Todd making Eagle here would have bankrupted Draft Kings.  Congratulations Todd–Eagle 2’s are few and far between.

Fed Ex St. Jude

Lucas Glover defeated Patrick Cantlay in a playoff after Cantlay shot 64 in the final round.  Glover has turned his putter from deficiency/weakness to strength.  Just two months ago, Glover missed a two foot putt in a playoff to miss qualifying for the US Open.  Now his putting has gotten him two consecutive victories on the PGA Tour.  Glover moved to the long putter to counteract a series bout of the yips and with great patience and persistence is probably now one of the best putters on tour.   Perhaps Glover may be the second coming of Bernard Langer.  Langer suffered terribly from the yips and moved to the long putter and is currently the best player to ever compete on the Senior PGA Tour.


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