Lee Trevino lights up 2001 Par 3 Shootout at Threetops in Gaylord

By Kiel Christianson, Senior Writer

GAYLORD, Mich. -- Day two of the ESPN Par 3 Shootout on the par-3 Threetops Course at Treetops Resort promised as much excitement as day one. Although it would be hard to top the highlight of the first day: Lee Trevino's $1,000,000 hole-in-one at the seventh.

Threetops golf course - Treetops Resort - hole 3
The third hole on the Threetops golf course at Treetops Resort.
Threetops golf course - Treetops Resort - hole 3Threetops G.C. at Treetops Resort - 9th
If you go

In fact, Treetops' Director of Golf, tournament host, and one of America's top instructors, Rick Smith, did a bit of research last night and discovered exactly how significant Trevino's ace really was: One swing of Lee Trevino's club grossed not only the one million bucks, but also $10,000 for closest to the pin on that hole, making the total $1,010,000. As such, that one shot was the most valuable in the history of golf.

So how to top that? Well, let me just say that the folks here at Treetops couldn't have scripted it any better....

Before giving away the end, though, a few things should be pointed out. First, since no one earned any skins after Trevino's ace on day one, there was already $40,000 on the first hole today. Second, no one got a skin until the 18th, making the last hole of the event worth $230,000 (including closest to the green money).

Now, the fact that no player had any skins until the end of the day doesn't mean there wasn't any action. Unlike the Battle at Bigyawn, er, Bighorn, which aired Monday night to a rousing chorus of snores from viewers around the world, the Shootout had some great shots and outstanding action and fun.

The fun emanated in great waves from Trevino, as usual. His quote of the day in reference to the aforementioned painful co-ed knock-around the night before. "Why would anyone want to mike Woods, Sorenstam, Duval and Webb?" Trevino asked Rick Smith (and everyone else on the range). "You put all four of those people at the same table at a dinner party, and you'd be lucky to get five words out of them combined!" Regarding Tiger's imprudent self-expression during the match: "The only time I heard any of them speak all night was when Tiger cursed. At least that was exciting!"

The action was a direct result of one aspect of the format, unique to the Shootout, which they call skin "validation". This means that anyone winning a skin on a hole has to at least tie for low score on the following hole. As Phil Mickelson put it: "I love the validation. It's the only event in the nation that uses it, and it ensures that no skin will be won on a fluke." Even after his ace yesterday, Trevino had to validate the additional $20,000 skin on the next hole (which he did).

This validation system had players winning skins several times today, only to fail to validate them on the subsequent hole. And the money rolled over, and over, and over.

The most dramatic failure to validate came on the 8th. Phil Mickelson, after a birdie on the 7th, air-mailed the green on the 150-yard 8th and lost his ball. That's right, this yank rated about a 7 on the Goosen scale.

You can now just imagine the heartwarming finish: With $220,000 on the line, and no validation pending after the final hole, Mickelson hit it stiff. Ray Floyd had a long putt, which ended up missing by two inches. Trevino and Azinger both chipped, missing the cup by no more than three inches each. And then possibly the nicest guy on the Tour ran in an absolutely perfect putt for nearly a quarter million dollars - and redemption.

And when Lassie pulled little Timmy from the well, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Like I said, they couldn't have scripted it any better.

Final Results: Lee Trevino: $1,120,000

Phil Mickelson: $330,000

Paul Azinger: $60,000

Raymond Floyd: $30,000

Kiel ChristiansonKiel Christianson, Senior Writer

Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment