Boever entertains Montreux members
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Tuesday is usually the slowest day at the Reno-Tahoe Open. There is no pro-am, and many of the golfers straggle into town and venture over to Montreux Golf & Country club for a practice round.
From the putting green and driving range area, you could hear laughter and applause every few minutes. Dan Boever, a perennial finalist in national long drive competitions and a trick-shot artist, was holding court.
Boever entertained a crowd of mostly Montreux members for probably about an
hour. Of all the outings he does, it’s the only one he does specifically for country club members.
“Jim (Kline, tournament director) called me and told me how the members go out of their way and give up so much for a couple of weeks,” Boever said. “He wanted to do something to say thanks.”
Boever hit some long drives on the practice hole at Montreux, and two of them landed on the green, which is at least 350 yards away. He told some jokes and did a nice job entertaining the crowd of between 75 and 100. He can work a crowd as well as some comedians around.
It was in Florida where he started playing golf again after his eight-year minor league baseball career ended in 1989. He eventually moved to Springfield, Mo., and he was knocking the ball a mile.
“People were encouraging me to enter a long driving contest,” said Boever, whose longest drive is 473 yards. “I found one, qualified and made it to the finals.”
Boever’s first show was in 1997 and the next year he did 10. He eventually signed a contract with Pinnacle, and now travels around the country entertaining golf fans.
It’s hard to take the baseball player out of Boever, though, and he chased that dream for many years.
“My life was oh so similar to Bull Durham,” said Boever. “I got to Mile High Stadium, saw the big lockerrooms. I would have slept there. I didn’t need an apartment. I was 28, single and I would have played for free.”
Spoken like a young ballplayer.
Former RTO winner John Cook is one of 11 players to have withdrawn from the tournament.
Cook officially withdrew Monday, and Tommy Armour withdrew on Tuesday.
Also skipping the tournament were Briny Baird, Brett Quigley, Tom Byrum, Brandt Snedecker, Tim Herron, Bo Van Pelt and Nathan Green.
Cook tied for fourth in 1999, the first year of the RTO, and then won the championship in 2001. He tied for fifth place last year.
A total of 11 alternates are now in the field – Jim McGovern, Blaine McCallister, Bob Burns, Scott Gump, Ian Leggett, Greg Kraft, Len Mattiace, Gary Hallberg, Willie Wood and Joe Edwards.
Spike McElroy, Guy Boros and Dave Rummels are still awaiting word on their status. Boros was a late entry last year, and missed the cut after back-to-back 73s.
The annual Pro-Am is scheduled today starting at 6:40 a.m., and it gives fans a chance to see some of the top names in the field.
Former British Open champ Todd Hamilton tees off at 7:30 a.m. on No. 1, and Chris Riley, who always plays well at the RTO, tees off from No. 1 at 8 a.m.
Defending champ Will MacKenzie tees off at noon from No. 1, Kevin Stadler, son of former PGA star Craig Stadler, tees off from No. 10 at 12:20 p.m.
Teen sensation Tadd Fujikawa starts at 12:50 p.m. from No. 10.
LOCALS IN RTO FIELD
Three local players are entered in this year’s tournament – Todd Fischer, Rich Barcelo and Michael Allen.
Fischer, who lives on the Montreux course, lost his PGA Tour card last season. He’s been playing on the Nationwide Tour this season, and having success. A win here would get him back on the tour next season.
Fischer was third in 2005 here, winning $204,000. He has missed the cut in his only two PGA Tour events this season, and is on a sponsor’s exemption for the RTO.
Allen has two top-25 finishes this season, finishing in a tie for 19th at the EDS Byron Nelson Classic, and tying for 22nd at the U.S. Bank tourney in Milwaukee. Allen has earned $231,297 this season.
Barcelo has made the cut in nine of his 18 events, and has one top-25 finish. He took 22nd at the Honda Classic, and has won $152,441 this season.
Daily admission is $20 at the gate and $15 online (www.renotahoeopen.com), and there is parking available at Wedge Parkway and Mt. Rose Highway for $5.
From there, fans get free transportation to the course.
The first departure is at 7 a.m., and the last shuttle leaves the course at 7 p.m.
•Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281