For me, as a kidgrowing up in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley, golf was invisible. Hell, Iwas invisible, if not disposable. I was a young Mexican-American who didn'tknow his father and whose mother left him to be raised by a grandmother. Ingolf terms I started life OB, three-putt, snowman.
My first memoryof golf was watching it on TV, where I saw someone who not only looked like me,but someone who had grown up dirt-poor and been abandoned by his father yet hadgone on to become one of the greatest players of all time. Because of LeeTrevino, I was the first person in my family to wield a club that wasn't swungin anger. Trevino became my symbol of opportunity.
During theensuing years I turned my opportunity into professional success, whicheventually allowed me to become friends with Trevino. This past September, Ilured Lee back to Pebble Beach for the first time in 22 years to be myprofessional partner in the Wal-Mart First Tee Champions tour event.
Lee and I hadscheduled a practice round for the day before the event. He wanted to go toCypress Point, one of the most exclusive courses in the world, but I hadalready booked us a time at Pebble. Luckily, I persuaded him to come over, orwe would have missed one of the proudest moments of both of our lives.
As we strolledtoward the green on Pebble's 3rd hole, a downhill par-4, the sight of twoMexican golfers with white caddies caught the attention of the maintenancestaff. (I guess the fact that it was Lee and me had something to do with thatas well.)
All work stopped,and many of the laborers gathered to watch us play through. I realized that, ina way, Lee and I were walking symbols of opportunity for these men, who wereworking so hard to prepare the course--and to create a better life for theirfamilies.
Thesuperintendent approached and asked if we wouldn't mind getting in a photo withhis guys. I noticed a large lawn mower nearby and asked to have it broughtover. Then I called to Lee, and we all climbed aboard. You'll notice in thephoto that the driver's seat is empty. That's to symbolize that we are allequal and that anyone, regardless of race, gender or financial status, can riseto captain the ship and control his or her fate. Lee did, I did, and so willthose men.
It's my favoriteshot of all time, and the photo hangs proudly in both Lee's house and myown.
Perhaps it'sappropriate that it was taken with a disposable camera.
by JAMES P. HERRE
Move over, Jay Haas--Nick Price is the new sheriff onthe Champions tour.
MacKinzie Kline, 14, will be the first to use a cartin an LPGA event
COURTESY OF GEORGE LOPEZ AND LEE TREVINO
GREAT SHOT Lopez (center) and Trevino proudly posed with members of the Pebble Beach grounds crew.
NICK WASS/AP (CASEY MARTIN)
HANNAH GAL/CORBIS (HEART)
DAVID WALBERG (DEER)
JENS NIETH/ZEFA/CORBIS (EYE)
DARREN CARROLL (CAROLYN BIVENS)
TODD BIGELOW/AURORA (KLINE)