Nuts And Bolts
Quick Start - Deciding to turn professional can be a scary experience for an amateur golfer. The biggest fear has to be wondering if you are going to make any money. In other words, how long can you survive as a touring pro golfer?
Just making the first cut at a professional tournament can be monumental, but then how much will you win? Jack Nicklaus' first check as a pro was for $33.33 for finishing in a tie for 50th place at the 1962 Los Angeles Open. Things worked out all right as Nicklaus won three tournaments that year and he did manage to win a few more before ending his career.
Ben Kohles must have had a few reservations about turning pro after he finished tied for 18th in his last amateur event, the Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club last month. His decision was made quickly because as an NCAA All-American at the University of Virginia, he was offered a spot in the Web.Com Tour's Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational at Columbus, Ohio, the following week, so he decided to turn pro.
Any concerns Kohles might have had about making money were quickly erased as he not only made the cut, but he also finished first at Columbus and pocketed $144,000. Then last weekend in his second pro event, Kohles won again and earned a check for $117,000.
Not bad for someone who didn't start playing golf seriously until he was a sophomore in high school.
Kohles has earned $261,000 in his first two tournaments. That's a bit more than Nicklaus earned at the start.
In case you're interested, in Nicklaus' rookie year of 1962, Arnold Palmer finished as the money leader with $81,448.33.
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Fantastic Finish - The major league schedule maker was on the mark when he decided to have Cincinnati play at Pittsburgh in the final three games of the National League regular season.
It could come down to a three-game series to determine the Central Division champion.
Of course, the Reds, who led the Pirates by 2 games at the time of this writing, could have the division all wrapped up by then and it could simply become a three-game series to end the regular season.
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Going Opposite Ways - Two former Jamestown Jammers pitchers whose last names begin with ''V'' are having contrasting seasons.
Jason Vargas, who was the Marlins' second-round pick in 2004 when he began his pro career with the Jammers, was named the American League pitcher of the month after going 5-0 for Seattle in July.
He currently has a 12-8 record with a 3.69 ERA.
The Marlins' No. 1 draft pick the following year was Chris Volstad and he pitched for the Jammers in 2005 after six games in the Gulf Coast League. After moderate success with the Marlins in four seasons, he was traded this year to the Chicago Cubs and started out 0-6 and was sent to the minors in May. He was recalled to the Cubs in July and suffered another loss to go to 0-7. His record now stands at 0-8 with a 7.22 ERA.
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Saving Marriages - We have received the news of quite a few club championships being determined at area golf courses. It's early to have a club championship tournament for some of the courses, particularly those that used to hold their club championships on Labor Day weekend. That often involved not two rounds, but three with rounds on Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. And possibly four rounds if both the semifinals and final were played on Monday.
The three-day weekend makes it possible, but it can also cause a lot of grief in some households. I know one past participant who referred to a club championship tournament on Labor Day weekend as ''divorce weekend.''
That's because it did not go over very well with a lot of wives when they were informed by their husbands that the family wouldn't be going anywhere on Labor Day weekend because they had to play golf for three days.
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Closeness Counts - When the New York-Penn League All-Star Game is hosted by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in Niles, Ohio, on Tuesday, the National League affiliates all-stars will be managed by Angel Espada of the Jamestown Jammers and his entire coaching staff will also be there.
Why the Jammers' manager and coaching staff? The team is in fifth place in the six-team Pinckney Division and there are plenty of NL affiliates with better records, including the Auburn Doubledays, a Washington Nationals affiliate that leads the Pinckney Division.
Records have nothing to do with it. The decision was based on proximity. Jamestown is the closest NY-P League city to Niles, Ohio, that has a National League affiliate