If it were possible to combine Tom Amson, Ken Taylor, Vic Istchenko and Dan Hogberg into one individual, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson would be shaking in their boots, er, golf shoes.
At the Cancer Society’s Bob Park Memorial Tournament on Saturday at Mountain View Golf Course the fearsome foursome hit a 53 using a best-ball format.
The lowest golf score on record is a 55, produced by Homero Blancas in 1962 on a course just over 5,000 yards in length. From start to finish on the white tees, the ones used in the tournament, Mountain View runs about 6,100 yards.
“It was unbelievable—actually, it was amazing,” said Taylor. “Putts were going in, Vic was hitting his driver a mile, and onto almost every green—we didn’t just have one guy in tight, we had a couple guys in tight. A number of times we had to figure out which one we wanted to putt.
“We had balls within 10 feet on almost every hole.”
In what could give most golfers shivers, the four hit three eagles, two pars and—wait for it—13 birdies. Their two pars came on holes eight and 16, which are par threes.
“We all have good handicaps, we’re all good golfers,” said Amson, who is also president of the golf club. “But to get everyone firing like we were today is pretty unique; it doesn’t happen often.”
In all fairness to Woods, Mickelson and Blancas, the foursome used nine mulligans. Unlike the mulligans golfers hope no one sees, these were legal mulligans purchased by teams to help raise money for the worthy cause.
“The funny part is that Dan and Tom are the two best putters—no question about that,” said Taylor. “So they had Vic and I putt first and I probably made eight putts and Vic made a bunch—we just hammered the putts in.”
“We were reading the putts, telling them where to hit it, and they were knocking them in,” added Amson.
Finishing second was the team of Blaine Tessier, Shannon Tessier, Mark Tubman and the Yukon’s current men’s champion, Phil Mullin, scoring a 59.
With the highly respectable score of 61, taking third was Drew Wintemute, Bill Whitty, John MacPhail and Jerry Frizzel.
Second-place team members Shannon and Blaine Tessier also won individual contests with Shannon taking the longest-drive prize for the women and Blaine taking the same for the men. In the contests for closest to the pin, held on holes eight and 13, Trine Aird won the women’s and Jay Jung won the men’s.
With a short auction of golf accessories and other donated items at the Roadhouse after the awards ceremony, organizers announced that more than $15,000 was raised to fight cancer.
The tournament’s namesake, Bob Park, was a sport enthusiast and sports-bar owner in Whitehorse. He died of pancreatic cancer in August 2006.
“I think he would be humbled, year after year, by the amount of people and local businesses that get involved,” said Crystal Birmingham, Park’s former partner and tournament organizer. “He’d be humbled by the amount of support and by all the people that still care about him.”
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