Bob Gilder won the 1982 Westchester (now Buick) Classic in style.
He took a six-stroke lead, and a ton of momentum, into the final
round by holing a three-wood shot for a double eagle at 18 on
Saturday. A year later Gilder's caddie, Creamy Carolan, and I
reminisced about the shot. "That's a nice bronze plaque they put in
the fairway to commemorate Bob's miracle," I said.
"No, it's not," Creamy indignantly replied. "It's in the wrong damn
It won't be in the wrong place for long, because I've persuaded
Westchester to rectify the error. Gilder and Creamy told me that
they'd been 253 yards from the flag that day, but when Gilder
returned to Westchester in the fall of '82 to show the club where
to put the plaque, he mistakenly said that the pin was cut in the
front right of the green when, in fact, it was back right. That's
why the plaque was placed 8.3 yards too far back.
On Sunday, Larry Taylor, Westchester's assistant superintendent,
told me, "I'd like to move back the plaque right now, but it's
anchored with cement so we'll have to do it after the tournament."
The 18th is a terrific closer because so much can happen. Hit a
slight draw off the tee and you have a shot at a 2, like Gilder.
Spray your drive into the nasty, U.S. Open-high rough, or hit your
approach into the cavernous bunker 20 yards short and 30 feet below
the green, and it's easy to make a 6.
*For 28 years Gorjus George has drawn the yardage books that the
COLOR PHOTO: DAVID WALBERG (LUCAS)
TWO COLOR DIAGRAMS: DIAGRAMS BY GEORGE LUCAS No. 18 Par-5 538 Yards