Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Observer Gets Nervous at Crunch Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Observer Gets Nervous at Crunch Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union sports columnist

ST. AUGUSTINE -- Wayne Levi was lining up a long putt on the 10th green.

I was standing nearby, realizing that I made a HUGE blunder off the tee. Bad snack selection.

As Levi stood over the ball, and I tried to chew as tentatively as possible, this is what went on inside my head: "You could have CRUNCH gone with some CRUNCH nice soft CRUNCH CRUNCH cookies. But nooooo. Not just granola. Crunchy granola. Perhaps the noisiest food known to man. What were you CRUNCH CRUNCH thinking?"

I suppose I should backtrack.

In an effort to bring fans even closer to the players this year, the Senior PGA Tour has come up with a long list of ideas -- everything from instructional clinics to contests that make fans "honorary observers."

Yesterday, the Senior Tour allowed me to be an honorary observer, which meant that Deborah Kobza, a software designer from Ponte Vedra Beach, and I walked the course with the next-to-last threesome to tee off in the second round of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

Kobza's husband, Joe, entered a contest through First Coast News. And on Monday, they got a call saying they had won. So did Dan and Elaine Straitiff of Orangedale and Craig and Julie Gustavson of St. Augustine. Not that the Gustavsons believed the message on their answering machine.

"It was April 1," Julie said. "So we both thought it was the other one playing an April Fool's joke."

No joke. Well, not until Joe Kobza, a retired greyhound trainer, showed up and walked the course Thursday with Gary McCord's group. He was close enough to hear McCord, when asked whether he wanted to hit or wait, say: "I'll wait. I probably should wait for cryogenics so I can come back and play this hole."

"He was joking the whole day," Kobza said. …

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