I tried, I really tried to watch some of the 2008 ADT Golf Skills Challenge to see if it stirred any interest at all. Nope. The unfortunate Stupid Season event was thrown up against meaningful, last week of the NFL season games with playoff implications. At 4 PM in my neck of the woods was aired Jets/Dolphins, and Cowboys/Eagles. Watching the Cowboys get trounced was still better than anything the golf thing could put up.
They messed with the format this year by pairing players with caddies. Well, sort of. Fred Couples and his long time looper Joe LaCava. Greg Norman and his progeny Gregory. (I had hoped Norman would choose Chris Evert). Peter Jacobsen and the infamous Fluff Cowan. Rocco Mediate and his usual, Matthew Achatz. I can't even begin to explain that the caddies had caddies. Trust me, they did. To give you an idea how contrived this spectacle was, keep in mind that Achatz won three of the four "challenges" to position he and Mediate in the final.
In the half hour or so of coverage I watched it seemed like the kind of thing my buddies and I do after a round when there's still a score to settle. Chipping, putting, trouble shot, and approach shot contests are a steady theme in our golf. Fun to do, but observing it is like watching dust settle. The only major difference is that we play for dollars or better yet, beers. They play for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hey, it is the same. Pocket change for us, pocket change for them.
I must give this atrocity the little bit of credit it deserves though. In the final "approach shot" challenge, from about 110 yards, to decide it all, the younger Norman stuck his shot to one inch. Mediate had five shots to better it, meaning hole it. His final attempt landed a little long and backed up slowly to catch a piece of the cup. It just as easily could have holed for an incredible win. I'm getting excited just recalling it.
Waiting for Jan. 9, 2009. 2009 PGA Tour schedule.
*Oops, almost forget, Normans won.