Ok folks, take your seats ... it's
time once again to prove we have entirely too much time on our
hands. Get ready to draft your golfers. Yes, if your skill has
failed you up till now ... fear not ... it's time for the terminally
Hopewell soon resounds with the repeated
chorus of "Go for the green" emitted after gut wrenching
contemplation of the myriad choices facing each duffer as the
assemblage breaks up into foursomes for the qualifying holes.
Three of last year's four participant's in the Pro Golf
Skins game, including champion Brian Farrelly, failed to
attend in 2009, leaving the field wide open. 37 of last year's
67 participants did return, all thinking they would use their
experience to become one of the four participants in this year's
Skins game. However, they soon found that experience was not
the key as three of this year's final foursome came from the
19 players who had not participated last year.
58 participants teed off from the Hopewell room this year.
Members of the BPA Board of Directors made a partial comeback
this year, as Ken Gutermuth earned sixth place laurels with a
4 under par score and Bruce Reiff finished just behind in ninth
place with a 3 under par round. Andy Lewis (41st, 2 over par)
and GM Bruce Monnin (48th, 3 over par) performed more in line
with past results.
After the 75-minute first round was completed on the 18 holes
of the 2002 version of the Augusta course, three golfers had
claimed spots in the Skins game. Bernard Beckerman (playing with
Fred Couples) led the field at 8 under par. Mark Neale (Retief
Goosen) was right behind at 7 under, while Eric Brosius (Phil
Mickelson) was also safe in the clubhouse at 5 under.
That left only one opening in the championship Skins game.
Five players (Paul Risner, Ken Gutermuth, Robert Drozd, Rich
Meyer and Arthur Field) all finished four under par and went
into a sudden death playoff to claim the last spot for the final
These five players took on Pebble Beach. Paul Risner bogeyed
the first hole to drop out of contention. Authur Field dropped
out when he bogeyed the par 5 second hole, and Ken Gutermuth
and Rich Meyer were also eliminated with their par scores when
Robert Drozd's David Toms sank a birdie putt to move on to the
These four players were then transported to the Lancaster
Host Golf Club (sparing no expense) for the 12-hole Skins game.
Mark Neale jumped out to an early lead when he birdied the first
hole. The next three holes were halved, making the crucial par
5 fifth hole worth four Skins. Robert Drozd was the only player
to birdie the hole, grabbing a huge early lead.
After the sixth hole was halved, Mark Neale earned two more
Skins with the only birdie on the par 4 seventh. The eighth and
ninth holes were halved, so when Eric Brosius won the par 4 tenth
hole with a birdie, the Skins were 4, 3, 3 and 0. This was bad
news for Bernard Beckerman, who was eliminated from play in fourth
place with zero skins.
Eric scored another birdie to win the skin on the par 3 11th
hole to tie Robert at four skins apiece. That meant that if either
Eric or Robert won the final skin on the 12th hole, they would
be the champion. If Mark won, there would be a three-way tie
for first and a sudden death playoff.
Eric started out with merely a par on the par 3 twelfth. Robert
looked to have the tournament in hand when David Toms sank a
birdie putt on the hole, but Mark Neale halved the hole when
Retief Goosen also sank a long birdie putt. The skin was carried
over to the par 4 13th, and Eric immediately put on the pressure
as Phil Mickelsen birdied. Robert and Mark each had birdie putt
attempts to halve the hole, but both of their putters failed
them to give Eric Brosius the victory with five skins.
Robert Drozd took home the second place plaque with four skins,
while Mark Neale received no wood and had to settle for third
place laurels with his three skins.
Pro Golf Results For AREA
1st Bernard Beckerman
2nd Mark Neale
3rd Eric Brosius
4th Robert Drozd
5th Rich Meyer
6th Ken Gutermuth
7th Arthur Field
8th Paul Risner
9th Scot Palenshus
Curt Collins II
19th Lisa Gutermuth
22nd Nicole Reiff
29th Nick Kramer
34th Christina Hancock
41st Andy Lewis
James Kramer Jr.
48th Bruce Monnin
52nd Heather Palenshus
56th Ted Simmons
57th Erica Kirchner
58th Debbie Gutermuth
1st Eric Brosius
2nd Robert Drozd
3rd Mark Neale
4th Bernard Beckerman
Golfers soon spill out of Hopewell
in search of more elbow room for those all important dice rolls.
Jennifer Drozd and James Kramer witness Robert Drozd's qualifying
The blessed final four await
the start of the Skins Game with eventual victor Bernard Beckerman
holding the exalted fuzzy dice - the key to victory once one
masters the art of "Go for the Green".