breaking: Judy Gundy, mother of Mike and Cale, passes away

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Opinion: This duel in the sun isn't exactly Nicklaus vs. Watson at Turnberry, but it's memorable nonetheless

Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a tee shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday.  [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]
Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a tee shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

The human drama of athletic competition has been in short supply since the pandemic hit. So back in late March, during a staff Zoom meeting, we figured out how to solve the problem.

We’d just stage our own.

OSU writer Scotty Wright and high schools writer Cameron Jourdan are fairly serious golfers, which in our realm means they own their own clubs.

So we devised a plan — a match between Scotty and Camcorder, played with the proper social distancing. We’d send a photographer, I’d go and write it up like it was the PGA Championship at Oak Tree.

We scheduled it for early April. Then the golf courses closed, and the remake of Nicklaus vs. Watson at Turnberry would have to wait.

It waited until Monday, and this Duel in the Sun was staged at Lincoln West. The match came without the pomp it would have garnered in April, when no sports were happening. Now, of course, we’ve had several weeks of NASCAR, and the PGA Tour is restarting, and even a couple of junior golf tournaments have been staged in the OKC metro.

April, when temperatures were in the 60s and cabin fever was high, would have been better. But still, I took the opportunity to stroll the green links and see a couple of my pals in something other than Hollywood Squares mode.

I made like the old network coverage of golf and didn’t join the action until the ninth hole. I missed the guys; I didn’t miss them so much I needed to spend four hours with them under the summer sun.

Golf can be a social-distancing sport. A short par-4 is more than three football fields long. The old Polo Grounds’ dimensions to centerfield (483 feet), which seems so vast, is about a 6-iron.

Still, we probably broke a few honor codes when I jumped in the cart with Scotty on the 10th hole. He offered, I accepted.

Camcorder walked — “I can’t remember the last time I rode,” he said, “and I didn’t want to sit next to him talking trash all day.”

Turns out it was a good move. I figured Camcorder would win, since he had aced the second hole at Lincoln West a few months ago. Reminds me of the old M*A*S*H line, when the doctors found a horse roaming the Korean countryside and B.J. announced he had stepped in some manure once. “You’re in charge,” Hawkeye said.

Make a hole-in-one, and you’re in charge.

But when I arrived at Lincoln Park, Scotty had a five-up lead through eight holes. He once shot a 32 on the back nine at Lincoln West, which isn’t as impressive as Watson shooting 31 on the back nine at the British Open, but still.

Despite temperatures in the 90s, there was something serene about the day. Always is on a golf course, especially a track as quality as Lincoln. Lots of trees, lots of hills, lots of beautiful grass. Cool scenes, if not cool weather.

Camcorder’s father, David Jourdan, who played football at OU in the early 1990s, tagged along. “Cameron’s got a coach,” said fellow writer Jacob Unruh, who also was part of the gallery. “That’s an advantage.”

I don’t know. I think I’d take the cart over the coach.

Scotty golfs left-handed, which wouldn’t be so wild if he actually was left-handed. But he’s not. Swings a golf club and a baseball bat left-handed; if he was on tour or in the big leagues, he’d be quite a curiosity.

Camcorder rallied a bit; he almost made another ace, this time at the 12th hole, adjacent to No. 2, where his first hole-in-one came. But Scotty won back-to-back holes at 13 and 14 to win the match 5-and-4.

“Off the record, I knew I was going to beat him,” Scotty said, before backtracking and saying I could use the quote.

But Camcorder, at 24 almost 20 years younger than Scotty, played well after he was eliminated. They finished all 18 holes, and each shot 87.

“I knew he’d get tired at the end, if I could stick in there,” Camcorder said with the brashness of a millennial.

Both were competitive to the end. I miss such competition. But I miss my colleagues more.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at 405-760-8080 or at btramel@oklahoman.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at oklahoman.com/berrytramel.

Related Photos
<strong>Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday.  [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]</strong>

Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1480017d023c6ad477e24e9ca68d72b9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5fd55c232ecabc50db3dff128ea39c05.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a tee shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a tee shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Oklahoman reporter Scott Wright hits a tee shot during a match play game against fellow reporter Cameron Jourdan at Lincoln Park West Golf Course on Monday. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-15b5882a54303c07e1fefc60611754e1.jpg" alt="Photo - After a slow start, Oklahoman reporter Cameron Jourdan made a rally on the back nine Monday at Lincoln Park West Golf Course. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" After a slow start, Oklahoman reporter Cameron Jourdan made a rally on the back nine Monday at Lincoln Park West Golf Course. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> After a slow start, Oklahoman reporter Cameron Jourdan made a rally on the back nine Monday at Lincoln Park West Golf Course. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

Comments