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My Greatest Shot
By Cherney, Ron
March 22, 2002
Thank you for your patience in my answering your letter regarding the greatest shot that I ever saw plus the best shot that I felt that I was able to hit.
The shot that I most remember seeing someone hit happened when I was a 13-year old boy in 1950 at the Colonial NIT in Fort Worth, Texas. Jerry Barber had hit a second shot over the green on the second hole into a deep rut that had been made by a tire of a truck. After being refused relief from that tire rut, he took some type of wedge, straddled the ball with his back to the hole, hit down on the ball with the club. The ball popped up out of the rut, ran up the slope that was on the back of the green onto the green and down to the hole about six inches from the hole. Even as a 13-year old boy, I realized that I had seen something incredible that had happened because of someone's creative imagination.
As for my own self, considering the circumstances, the best shot I ever made was on the 71st hole of the 1971 Masters. I had slightly hooked my drive up the left side of the 17th fairway, and the ball took a wicked bounce to the left and ran into the front right-hand bunker of the 7th green. I was approximately 150 to 155 yards from the hole with a high lip of the bunker confronting me plus an overhanging pine limb that was sticking out from an adjacent pine tree. I could visually see the flag on the l7th green above the lip of the bunker but below the limb of the pine tree. To this day, I don't know how, but somehow I was able to hit a 7 iron over the lip of the bunker underneath the limb of the pine tree with a slight hook that came to rest just off the right edge of the green about 35 feet from the hole. From there, I had a simple chip and was able to save par and, thus, preserve a 2-shot lead going into the 72nd hole.
Wishing you good success with your project, I remain,
During his first eight seasons on the game's center stage in the 1960s, Texas native Charles Coody rarely played the role of leading man. Like many members of the supporting cast, he played in a sport dominated by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper, and Lee Trevino. But, in 1971, Coody emerged win the Masters. Coody, 66, competes on the Champions Tour.
HOGAN HERO: "We didn't have TV then, so all you could rely on as the newspaper. We didn't get golf magazines. When we received the paper in Stamford, which was north of Abilene, we got the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, which had news of Ben Hogan. Hogan had his car wreck in 1949, and I started playing golf in earnest in late 1949 or 1950. I went to Colonial and watched him hit balls."
POLIO: "The kind I had as a kid did not leave me in any type of paralysis. It left me very, very stiff. The first four days I was in the hospital, I had tremendous headaches and a fever. I slept all the time. The only time I would wake up is when they would put hot blankets on me, and this was in the height of the summer. But, on the fifth day, my fever broke, and I felt fine. I was extremely fortunate. There were two others on my block who had it. One was like me. The other became paralyzed from the waist down."
A HALF-PENNY FOR HIS PUTTS: "in 1969, my daughter, Caryn, was with a kid who gave her an English half-penny. The next evening, my wife and I were talking at dinner and I made some reference to the fact that I just couldn't make a putt. Caryn knew I spotted the ball with a coin, so she pulled out this half-penny. 'Here, Daddy, spot the ball with this coin,' she said. 'it will bring you good luck.' I've been spotting my ball with that coin since 1969. I've been lucky not to lose it."Continues...
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