Tag Ridings, from Texas, was ready to tee off in the Miccosukee Championship on Sunday at 8:54 a.m. Then he got “the call” early in the morning.
His wife was about to have their baby back in Texas.
Golf? Baby? C’mon, Tag, make the right choice.
He did. He withdrew before his tee time, high-tailed it to the airport and was on his way to Texas.
He made it in time to be there for the birth of his daughter, Charli.
As they say in golf, “Well played,” Tag.
The only flaw in the Miccosukee Championship that concluded Sunday was something that could not be controlled — the weather.
Well, one person, champion Shawn Stefani, did control it, and that’s why he’s the champion.
Stefani shot a Miccosukee Championship-record 9-under-par 62 in Saturday’s third round in conditions that included 35-mph winds. He never trailed after that, and the 62 he put together is arguably the best round in the tournament’s history.
Tournament executive director Don Strock called this year’s event “a strong tournament.” He was more than pleased with how things turned out in the tournament’s 10th year.
Yes, the weather for many weeks before was wet and made getting the course in shape a monumental project that superintendent/general manager Dan Hyland was constantly dealing with. Then, during the tournament, the winds came roaring across the course, buffeting both players and shots.
“Dan Hyland did a great job,” Strock said. “Ask him if the course was as good as it can be, he’ll say no. But with all the weather it just wasn’t possible. He did a great job of keeping it together.”
Strock was also happy about the crowds. “We had a lot more people on the course,” he said. “And the skyboxes have been packed.”
Nick Thompson of Coral Springs faltered in the final round, shooting a 3-over 74 to finish at 1-under 283. Thompson earned $9,975 but dropped from 19th to 20th in money winnings on the Web.com Tour with a total of $186,451. The top 25 money winners for the year will receive their PGA Tour cards.
Miccosukee winner Stefani leap-frogged from 16th to fourth on the money list. After his $108,000 payday at Miccosukee, Stefani has earned $303,311 for the year.
Leading the money list is Casey Wittenberg with $407,453. Wittenberg failed to make the cut at the Miccosukee Championship with rounds of 74-74.