Late moves let golfers scramble to tournament
Web posted Saturday, April 16, 2005
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Ted Purdy got a call from his father, Jim, on Friday afternoon congratulating
him on making the cut.
Purdy wasn't sure if his father's information was reliable. The runner-up at last year's MCI Classic, Purdy
had left the course at 5-over par. He was three shots off the projected cut and felt little chance of playing
the weekend at Harbour Town Golf Links.
But it turned out his father was right.
Because of some strange developments, including a late triple bogey from Mark Hensby and a last-hole
double from Scott Simpson, Purdy and all the others at 5-over 147 were suddenly in the field.
"I've never seen a cut move that much," Purdy said Saturday.
And you might never see the Purdy family move as much as they did when they confirmed Jim Purdy's call.
Purdy said he and his family - wife, Arlene, and son, Sam, - got off their plane bound for Phoenix "right
before the doors shut." With no other plane seats available, they rented a car at the Atlanta airport and
drove five hours back to Hilton Head.
Purdy's bags, including his tour clubs, already were stored on the plane and took off for Arizona as
scheduled. Purdy called his friend Hensby to ask if he had a spare driver and putter.
"Well, mate, you can have my whole set," said Hensby, who tied for fifth at the Masters Tournament but
missed the cut here at 8-over.
Purdy toured Harbour Town on Saturday morning, his caddie carrying a white Ping golf bag with Hensby's
name on the leather. The black windshirt, windpants and shoes also were Hensby's.
The Purdys needed a lot more to spend the weekend on this resort island. Pulling in at about 1 a.m.,
Purdy hit a 24-hour Walgreens for the gray golf shirt he wore in the third round, along with some supplies.
They shopped an MCI Heritage merchandise tent for their third-round outfits.
Jerry Kelly got the news as he was flying home. The tour veteran had dropped Chris Smith off in
Indianapolis and had his rental jet pointed toward his Wisconsin home when he learned he had more golf
Kelly was tied for 87th and also figured his time at Harbour Town was done.
Plus, his 6-year-old son Cooper had an important baseball practice five minutes from the Wisconsin
airfield that Kelly didn't want to miss. So when he got the call that he was tied for 71st, he was skeptical,
Kelly's party waited in Indianapolis while things got sorted out, then flew the 90 minutes back to
Savannah-Hilton Head Airport.
"It wasn't too bad," he said. "We had a tail wind."
Kelly said he's not the kind who will hang around tournaments waiting for others to screw up so he can
But Kelly was glad to have the extra two rounds to work out the swing problems that have followed him this
season. He's had only one top 10 finish, his tie for eighth at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January.
Kelly finished with 73 on Saturday.
Purdy and Kelly expect to make money on the turnaround. Last place at the MCI Heritage last year paid
Purdy couldn't help feeling hopeful about the cut reprieve. After all, Harbour Town might owe him
something after his five-hole playoff loss to Stewart Cink that ended with a controversial ruling in Cink's
"I thought it might be a sign," he said. "On this golf course, comebacks are possible apparently."
Cink trailed Purdy by nine strokes when last year's final round started. This time, though, it was not to be.
Purdy had four bogeys on his final six holes for a 76, far behind leader Darren Clarke.
His clubs and luggage are supposed to be flying back in time for today's final round.
--From the Sunday, April 17, 2005 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle
Ted Purdy takes a club out of fellow golfer and friend
Mark Hensby's bag as caddie Bobby Conlon watches
while on the 16th fairway during the third round of the
Hensby delivers for
By Laury Livsey
PGA TOUR Staff
Oct. 14, 2009
Mark Hensby delivered mail.
During his late teenage years, in his native Melbourne, Hensby snagged a job with
Australia Post, and each day he would load the envelopes, packages and parcels into
a basket on the front of his bike and drive the Melbourne streets putting mail in the
boxes. Daily, it was a two-and-a-half-hour process.
It wasn't the best job a fledgling professional golfer could have, but it paid the bills.
"Christmas time was the worst," Hensby explained, remembering the additional cards
and packages that showed up each December. "It was a fair, good run each day. But
it was a way to make some money so I could come to America. I always knew I would
play golf for a living."
Because Hensby delivered mail, he also knew bikes, or, at least, his bike, the one that
was a little tough to pedal. His new Specialized carbon composite beauty has one
thing the Hensby bike of 1989 didn't: Gears.
Starting Wednesday, while PGA TOUR players are preparing for the Justin
Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, Hensby will be on his
bike shifting those gears with nothing but 430 miles of desert, mountains and
coastline ahead of him.
The golf pro-cum-cyclist is one of 30 participating in the Ride for Semper Fi in
partnership with the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. All the riders have been
gathering donations, with the proceeds going to the five-year-old organization that
has provided in excess of 13,500 grants totaling $29 million to injured and wounded
Marines. Of the 30 cyclists, Hensby is the only one with a silky putting stroke and the
sweet long-iron game.
So how did a professional golfer, who's not even a U.S. citizen and has no relation to
the United States Marine Corps, find himself on a bike raising money for wounded
"My next-door neighbor asked me," said Hensby matter-of-factly about John C.
Greenway, chairman of the Ride for Semper Fi. "John did the ride last year, and I got
kind of interested. My dad was in the (Australian) Air Force for 22 years, as was my
mom. My dad had served in Vietnam, and I had always been interested in the military.
Because I wasn't getting in any tournaments, I told John I'd do it this year, and here I
"But, seriously, mate, the other reason I'm doing this ride is that I've had a lot of
opportunity in this country," Hensby continued, speaking about his adopted home.
"Without the opportunity that I've had over here, I wouldn't be where I am. To do
something for these men and women, these injured Marines, well, it doesn't take
much of a sacrifice to give back to these guys and allowing me to do something I
really believe in."
The ride began at 11 a.m. ET in Scottsdale, Ariz., not far from his Mesa home, with a
few dots on the map the daily destinations during the next three-plus days. Tonight
it's Quartzsite, Ariz., the first stop. Thursday the group will head to the California town
of Brawley, part of the Calipatria and Westmoreland metroplex. Following an overnight
stay there, the destination is the blink-or-you'll-miss-it Julian, Calif., on the north edge
of the Cleveland National Forest. By noon Saturday, the 30 riders will pull into a place
you may have heard of -- San Diego -- home to Balboa Park, where the Naval Medical
Center San Diego, near Camp Pendleton, is located.
Hensby is no stranger to long journeys, at least in a figurative sense. It's been more
than three years since a car plowed into his Mercedes SL in Arizona, sending the
vehicle into a power pole and Hensby and his son, Chase, to the hospital. Hensby's
career changed dramatically after the crash. He was coming off seasons where he
won $2.7 million in 2004 and $1.3 million in 2005 and played on the International
Team in The Presidents Cup.
"The car was just a mess. If you had seen it, you would have thought someone was
dead," Hensby said.
The whiplash and the bumps and bruises are long gone. But a nagging foot injury has
kept him from returning to his form of four years ago. It's been an odyssey that saw
Hensby go from 27th in the Official World Golf Ranking in late 2005 to No. 640 today.
While his foot has felt better, he's only been able to play a limited schedule due to a
rotator cuff injury unrelated to the car accident. So with quite a bit of available time,
Hensby decided to put his feet -- both of them functioning at 100 percent -- to work,
all for a worthy purpose. In preparation for the ride of his life, Hensby has predaled
250 miles last week, going 78 and 76 miles on back-to-back days.
"No doubt," he said when asked if this is the best shape he's ever been in. "This
bicycling, as tough as it is, has gotten me in good shape, and I feel pretty good. It's a
pity I haven't been able to play [tournament golf]. It's as good as I've felt since 2004."
In the five PGA TOUR tournaments he entered this year, Hensby has made two cuts
-- at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee (tied for 46th) and the Buick Open
(tied for 37th). Hensby has already entered the TOUR's National Qualifying
Tournament with the hopes of regaining full PGA TOUR playing privileges. "If that
doesn't work out, I will try to get my card through the Nationwide Tour," he added.
Depending on how Hensby feels following his 430-mile adventure, he's even
considering Monday qualifying at next week's Frys.com Open in Scottsdale.
"I'll have to wait and see," he said. "The first two days [of the ride] are pretty flat. The
third day, it's brutal because we're going up through the mountains. We do 50 or 60
miles then we have 15 miles uphill with a six-percent grade."
Of course it will be difficult. Hensby knows that. But then he thinks about why he's
riding in the first place.
Hensby's PGA TOUR pals Ben Crane and Ted Purdy have already donated to the
cause, understanding the role they can play by helping out when fellow TOUR players
are involved in worthy charitable pursuits.
"One of the greatest things we can do as professional golfers on TOUR is to give
back. Obviously, we're in one of the greatest situations an athlete can be in. Playing
on this TOUR at this time is pretty special," Crane said. "It's really cool what Mark is
doing. He's stepping in to ride his bike a heck of a long way to help raise awareness
and support. I'm just happy to be involved in a small portion of that."
When the cyclists pull into Balboa Park this Saturday, Marines will be there to greet
them, and those 30 riders who navigated the 430 miles will gladly hand over all the
donations they've accumulated.
And Hensby will be one of the 30, on his bike, making yet another delivery.