Featured Columnist Andy Reistetter is on site at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open at En Joie Golf Club in Endicott, New York. Endicott is one of the Triple Cities along with Johnson City and the author's hometown of Binghamton. Here are his thoughts after Round Two on Saturday, June 26th , 2010.
Dan Forsman, a winner on the Champions Tour earlier this year has opened with a pair of 66s to lead by the slimmest of margins going into the final round of the 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods Open.
There are 10 players within five strokes of the lead including the 2007 U.S. Senior Open champion Brad Bryant, who is in solo second, one stroke behind.
Others in the pack looking for a Sunday shootout on the perfectly conditioned En-Joie golf course are debutant Mark Calcavecchia, legend Nick Price, the Boss of the Moss Loren Roberts, and the always competitive Fred Funk.
With the possibility of overnight precipitation and the ensuing soft greens the Champions En-Joie course record of 62 may be in jeopardy as well as Forsman's lead.
R.W. Eaks shot the record score in the final round in 2007 on his way to the inaugural Dick's Sporting Goods Open victory.
Contender Funk knows what it is like to play well and lose a lead on the final day when others go low.
Starting off six-under par in the first five holes, Lonnie Nelson shot 63 last year to erase Funk's three stroke lead.
Forsman started with three straight birdies today after a poor warm-up session on the practice range. A three-wood that split the tight fairway on the first followed by a flip wedge and ensuing birdie calmed him down. He did not make his first bogey in the tournament until a leaky right four-iron on the 212-yard par-three 14th hole. With all the trouble in terms of O.B. and water left on the four finishing holes he strung together a series of pars and secured the lead when Bryant bogeyed No. 18.
The key to scoring at En-Joie is to drive the ball in the fairways nestled amongst the tall trees found especially near the landing areas of all the par-fours and fives.
Forsman expects to be anxious again and hopes get off to the same start tomorrow as he did today.
"Golf by its nature is vey elusive," Forsman interjected in his post round media interview, "and you have to be grateful when you have it, it's something you borrow, never own."
Bryant was disappointed in his finish.
He could have used his favorite driving one-iron that he left home not knowing the fairways would be so hard and fast. His game plan is to "simply make birdies" and "manage Bradley."
Leaving the media interview room as Forsman entered he noted "there's your leader," and Forsman replied "well said."
We'll have to wait and see what happens in the shootout tomorrow before the final verdict of "there's the champion" is rendered.
It was another awesome day for this hometown boy on and off the links. I met John Fox, the well-known sports writer for the local newspaper for the last 61 years. Though not as active the last 17 years, he will write his final column tomorrow exactly 61 years from the day of the first. He vividly remembers covering Dr. Cary Middlecoff setting the course record nearby at the old Vestal Hills golf course down by the Susquehanna River way back in 1949 when he won the U.S. Open, his first of three majors.
He also remembers covering the big Reistetter kid pitching for the Binghamton Central baseball team way back when.
I followed a fellow member of the NBC Sports broadcast team, Gary Koch, today. That's a stretch of course since I am the lowest ranked, most loosely associated member of the team when I do spot for them, and he of course is one of television's finest tower reporters.
Last week in Pebble Beach I inadvertently rode into Pebble Beach with the top talent of NBC Sports—analyst Johnny Miller—who by my personal account is one of the nicest and most gracious men in the broadcasting business that I have met in my first three years.
By the way the key to getting a good ride into a United States Open is the parking pass. Former U.S. Open champions like Miller park in Lot No. 1, so named because it is the best parking space there is.
What next, a slimmer Roger Maltbie making a comeback on the Champions Tour? Not that farfetched as he and Koch won the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf three times, most recently in 2009.
I am reminded of an old corporate friend that rode the elevator up with the CEO of the company. Getting off on the third floor as he continued to the top floor he remarked that they had something in common—both of them were at the highest level that they were ever going to reach in the company.
And both were happy with that.
Koch never got over an unforced double bogey in and around the green complex of the eighth hole. Playing a fluorescent ball that is neither green nor yellow but a shade of both colors, he missed makeable birdie putts inside 15 feet on the last four holes. The consummate gentleman helped out his fellow playing partner and Monday qualifier Rich Parker on the 15th hole, interpreting the rules of golf resulting in a favorable drop from a water hazard.
Everyone is calling me "Mr. Spiedie" as I once again indulged in the local cuisine on the tee at the 14th hole. I am hoping the Golf Channel caterer serves up some spiedies for lunch tomorrow before we hit the golf course. Tough job, I know but someone has to do it.
It was another large gallery day at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open as a local law firm sponsored an "En-joie the day on us" free admission day.
Let's see what happens on the golf course tomorrow in the Sunday Shootout near the Susquehanna!
It will also be a treat to find out what John Fox has written in his last column.
Good living and good golfing, my friends.
Andy Reistetter is a freelance golf writer. He follows the PGA TOUR volunteering and working part time for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and The Golf Channel.
He resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida near the PGA TOUR headquarters and home of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.
He enjoys pursuing his passion for the game of golf and everything associated with it. He can be reached through his website www.MrHickoryGolf.net or by e-mailing him to AndyReistetter@gmail.com.