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October 27, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Byrd says Phil's shot was better than ace

Posted at 12:47 PM by Mike Walker | Categories: Cristie Kerr, Donald Trump, Jonathan Byrd, Rocco Mediate

What’s better than winning a PGA Tour event playoff with a walk-off hole-in-one? Winning the Masters, according to Jonathan Byrd.

Byrd, whose hole-in-one in the Las Vegas dusk to win the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children's Open was the stuff of Disney movies, said that the shot of the year is still Phil Mickelson’s 6-iron from 209 yards off the pine needles and through a narrow gap in trees to the 13th green on Sunday at the Masters.

Q. Your ace is getting a lot of talk. If you had a choice on your shot of the year, what would your choice be? That or what Rocco Mediate did [hole out for eagle on 17 on the way to winning the Frys.com Open] or the shot of Phil Mickelson out of the pine trees at Augusta, your unbiased vote?

JONATHAN BYRD: Out of those three shots?

Q. Unless you can think of another one.

JONATHAN BYRD: I can't. I don't watch enough golf to know. I would say mine was the most dramatic to actually win a golf tournament with a hole in one. It's something that's never been done. I would think it's probably a different deal trying to win a major. I would say in the whole scheme of golf, that's more important or more meaningful to hit a shot like he did through the trees. That's obviously very dramatic. But to win a major championship, I don't think that's any more important. When it involves me, that's the most important thing that can happen to me, so it's obviously very meaningful to me. But golf as a whole, I would say probably a great shot to win a major championship is probably a bigger deal.

Q. But he missed the putt.

JONATHAN BYRD: Well, I mean, you could say it changed the momentum for him to be able to win the tournament. Obviously, that is the main goal. Not necessarily to make eagle, but to win the green jacket, and he was able to do that. I don't know. I'm kind of struggling emotionally with this whole thing because people are leaving me voice mails like the greatest shot to ever win a golf tournament and all this stuff. And I'm like, really? Are you kidding me? I'm just trying to get on the tee.

Course superintendents who stare at goats

Julie Williams of Golfweek reports on the unusual course-maintenance equipment at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.: a herd of goats. It appears that goats are more effective than people at clearing brush from hard-to-reach ravines. Plus, they don’t ask for health insurance.

With 150 large-bodied meat goats wandering the canyons, the landscape is rapidly changing at Pasatiempo. The first herd arrived at the end of September, and already the goats have exposed peaks and ravines that were in hiding since the 1920s and ’30s. [Course superintendent Paul ]Chojnacky expects the goats to clear about 12 acres total, digesting their way through the canyons – without disrupting play – at a cost of a little more than $1,000 per acre. The requisite manpower and machinery would cost roughly 10 times that, Chojnacky said.

Not only are goats cost-effective, but they’re also erosion friendly. Unlike sheep, goats won’t tear the entire root from the ground, experts say, and the animals’ hooves help compact the soil, unlike a team of groundskeepers. The goats are corralled by electric fencing and guarded by Anatolian shepherd dogs.

Stray Shots: Stories we saw while LeBron and Dwyane Wade were reminding us of when Tiger teamed up with Phil.

You don’t mess with The Donald. That’s a lesson an elderly Scottish woman who opposed Donald Trump’s golf course development in Scotland is learning the hard way. (Via BBC News)

Cristie Kerr is the No. 1 player in women’s golf, the eighth time the top spot has changed hands since Lorena Ochoa retired in April. Where have you gone, Annika Sorenstam? (Via The Orlando Sentinel)

Golf is dark in the United States this weekend, but the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia, a PGA Tour- and Asian Tour-sanctioned event, has attracted some big names to its 40-man field, including Ernie Els, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler. (Via Yahoo! Sport UK)

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