- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
This was a tournament that followed the same sort of route as The Beast, the noisy coaster attraction at the park a few hundred yards away. For the first two days the unlikely name of Alexandra Reinhardt was on top of the leader board. After rounds of 67 and 68, she had the lowest 36-hole total in the 29-year history of the tournament. Reinhardt hasn't won in nine years on the tour, and as she took a lead of four shots, she sounded more hopeful than confident. She talked of having the nerve to "trust" her swing and explained that her goofy-looking hat with the oversize bill was to protect her lower lip from sunburn.
Reinhardt's hot streak was more than unexpected, seeing as she'd begun the year by missing six straight cuts. One writer, trying to slice through her anonymity, asked her: "Didn't you used to be a lot heavier?"
"No," answered Reinhardt. "Actually, I'm a little overweight now."
"Well," stammered the writer. "Didn't you used to hit the ball a lot farther?"
"No, I've always been about average."
"I know," concluded the reporter, aghast at his ignorance, "you're really Chinese."
"Right," answered Reinhardt. "I've had my eyes done. Want the name of my doctor?"
Haynie rolled into the lead like a gentle wave on Saturday, an afternoon on which Reinhardt came back to earth with a 75. Haynie has been on the tour for 23 years, and because she's shy, retiring and slow-moving, she seems almost feline as she pads softly around the course. Her swing is so smooth it could put you to sleep. She's known on the tour as The Divine Miss X, because she's so skilled and so unobtrusive that while she has played her way into the Hall of Fame and set a bunch of records, she has hardly been noticed.
Her third-round 67, fashioned on five birdies and 23 putts, set her up for a good crack at her fifth major championship, which would have given her the lead among active players.
It was somewhat surprising that she was around at all, since she quit golf in 1977 when the pressure got to her. She would have attacks of "morning sickness" when in the lead. Haynie came back to the Tour in 1981 and since then has won three tournaments and $401,585—almost as much money as in her previous 20 years on the circuit. Asked the difference between now and then, she said, "I don't throw up."