Shaw Charity Classic champ presents record $2,276,251 donation to local charities on behalf of tournament
The layout at Canyon Meadows, argues the man who put it to the lash in September, doesn’t need any moats or alligators, Blair Witch Project-sized rough, longer terrain or narrower landing areas.
“Now wait a second,” interrupts Rocco Mediate. “Hold on a second. Second place was 15-under-par, if I remember correctly. That’s about the average of our tournament scores on tour.
“Problem is, some a--hole went out and shot 22-under-par, right? So the answer is, don’t let him come back.”
The 2013 Shaw Charity Classic Champions Tour runaway winner — by a whopping seven shots over Tom Byrum — was back in town Thursday to help dole out a staggering $2,276,251 in tournament monies raised for local charities, including the Kids Cancer Care Foundation, Kidsport Calgart and Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.
When last in Calgary two months ago, the longtime resident of Naples, Fla., was blistering hot. Twenty-two-under hot, to win his second Champions title. Now, today, he’s cold. Minus-3 celcius cold.
Which might explain the tuque perched on his head, indoors, in the Keg bar.
“I’ve been wearing this for three weeks now. I’m taking this month off. That’s good. I haven’t done it in a long time. How long is a long time? Thirty years. But it’s cold in Minnesota. I don’t like cold. And Minnesota’s home now. I’m not used to freezing my butt off when I walk outside.
“I bought my first winter coat in 30 years two weeks ago. I’m not happy about that, either.”
“The things you do for love,” murmurs Mediate. “She’s from Minnesota. She HATES Florida. See, the give-and-take is this: She travels with me 10 months of the year, so she wants to go home and see her family for seven weeks in the winter, before we head out on tour. Plus I do love Minnesota in the summer.
“She’s so fantastic. Wedding’s coming up. Yeah, I got real lucky on that one.”
The town in question, by the way, is Excelsior, roughly 10 miles outside South Minneapolis.
“It’s about . . . as big as this bar, I would guess (pop. 2,376, actually),” reckons Mediate. “Right on Lake Minnetonka. Beautiful spot in the summer. So nice.”
As alluded to earlier, the manner in which he ripped Canyon to bits during the inaugural trip around the track left some folks wondering if maybe it didn’t need a tweak or two, or three, to toughen it up to pro scrutiny.
“Ah, that happens occasionally,” Mediate reasons, shrugging. “Some guy loses his mind for three days. Doesn’t happen all the time. I wouldn’t be upset to see them make it a bit tougher, say make 15 a par-4. No. 18 is your risk-reward, they moved up the tee, which is great, what they should’ve done.
“There’s a couple tees you could push back, but it takes away a bit of the fun. It doesn’t matter. Think about British Opens, they don’t give a crap if you shoot 3-over-par or 3-under-par. They don’t change the golf course. They let you play it. I don’t know if our tour staff would do too much different, to be honest. The fairways are so narrow. I love that. I love that feeling of being . . . enclosed. The people that pay to watch us? They want to see birdies. So unless it’s a frickin’ major? Let it go.