April 14, 2004

Scelfo Speaks Out

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As the men’s golf team prepares for the Ivy League Championships at the exclusive Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson, N.J., Sun senior writer Per Ostman works on his short game with junior Kevin Scelfo.

1. Were you rooting for Phil Mickleson on Sunday?

Oh yeah, of course. I’m glad that he finally won.

Why now? What changed in Lefty’s game? Usually, he folds like a house of cards on Augusta Sundays.

Yeah, I know. We collapse at the end, too. It’s really bad. He got the benefit of reading DiMarco’s putt on 18. He was finally making the short putts he usually misses, and he played a lot more conservatively than usual.

Have you ever been to The Masters before?

No way. It’s the toughest ticket in sports. It’s easier to get into the Super Bowl. Some of the guys in my house got in to see it this year; that’s pretty cool.

It’s that “Old Boy’s Network” they’ve got down there in the South.

Yeah, you’ve got to know someone.

2. Who needs a “manssiere” more — Mickleson or Colin Montgomery?

[Laughs] Definitely Phil. He’s bouncing around everywhere, and he wears those silk shirts so you can see everything.

You watch him walk up the 18th fairway and you want to clap for him, but you can’t move because his bosoms are hypnotic. You’d think that with the Tiger-induced fitness craze that he’d make it to the gym every once in awhile.

Yeah, but he’s got a really hot wife.

I guess looks don’t count for everything. There’s hope for us all.

3. Martha Burke was absent from the tournament this year after protesting Augusta National’s “all-male” membership policy. Does Hootie Johnson have the right to bar women from joining his club?

Yeah, they can do whatever they want. It’s a private club, so they can have any kind of membership restrictions they want. There are private clubs all over the country; why should The Masters have to be any different?

The one hitch to all of this is the rising star of Michelle Wie. If she qualifies for the tournament in a few years, does she get to play at Augusta?

Sure. They’ll let her play. Now, if she wins, she’d become an automatic member of the club. I think there’d be some issues there. But I don’t see why they wouldn’t let her play if she qualified. There’s a difference between allowing qualified golfers play The Masters and having membership rules.

If she gets in, do you like her chances?

I think she’ll play in the next couple of years, but I don’t see her winning.

4. My friends and I were watching Wie play Wailea in her native Hawaii earlier in January. She just missed making the cut on a men’s tour event — it was thrilling to watch. But the talk soon turned from the swing of her driver to the swing in her hips. I had to check my lecherous friends and remind them that Wie is only 14. That said, is Michelle Wie hot?

Well, she has potential.

Haha, nice. Don’t we all?

I think she’s a little too tall. 6-2 is pretty big. It’s a bit of King Kong in the making. She’s got a sweet stroke, though.

Yes, she does.

5. What’s the most famous golf course you’ve ever played?

I live five minutes from Bethpage.

You’ve played The Black Course???

Yeah, a lot. But I hate it now, because you have to play with all these terrible hacks that just want to say they’ve played it. A round takes like eight hours.

Is it as hard a course as they say?

It’s harder. It takes a toll on you.

Knowing how difficult it is firsthand, is Tiger’s 3-under par performance at the 2002 U.S. Open even more impressive?

I was there! I watched him do it, and it was amazing. If you haven’t seen Tiger play in person, do it. Just watch him once. He hits shots I can’t even imagine trying.

Is he in a slump?

No. I think he’s been fiddling with his equipment too much — it seems like he has a different driver every week. Maybe he was a little over-confident in firing his swing coach [Butch Harmon], but he’ll be fine.

Do you think his engagement to Elin Nordegren has anything to do with his not winning majors? Do women weaken legs?

Nah, he’ll be fine. They said the same thing about Jack Nicklaus. And he did better after he was married.

Come on. You can’t just block out that blonde hair. Yeah, he’s Tiger, but he’s also a male human being. When he’s standing over a putt, he knows that no matter how bad he shoots, he goes home to a Swedish supermodel.

Yeah, and about a billion dollars. I don’t know, I think he’d have a motivation problem if he were a normal person. If it was me, I’d be drained.

6. What’s the hottest women’s team at Cornell?

Oh, man. I don’t know. Whoever is in Friedman with us at the same time.

You don’t know which team it is?

I’m not sure. They’re hot, though. Is it soccer? Maybe it’s women’s soccer. They’re pretty hot.

I’d have to agree with you.

The golf course is near where the equestrian team practices, so we see them. But it’s not up close, so I can’t tell if they’re hot.

You know what they say about equestrian girls, right?

No, what’s that?

They have naturally strong inner-thighs from all the riding. It’s like doing kegels.

Really? I’ve never heard that before.

A good friend of mine is dating a girl who rode horses all her life. He’s very happy.

7. Would you rather have the ability to fly, the power of invisibility, or the strength of 100 men?

Can I fly really fast?

This is your dream. Sure.

Cool, then I’d do that. Then I could get out of Ithaca whenever I wanted to. If you flew at walking pace it wouldn’t be as cool.

Yeah, people would stare.

I could fly down to Florida a see the sun for a few minutes.

8. What kind of sticks do you use?

Titleist. Titleist woods, Titleist irons, Cobra wedges, and a Ping putter. That’s pretty standard, I guess. Most of the guys on the team use all that.

You don’t like the Nike clubs?

That stuff’s trash. I hate it. That’s probably Tiger’s problem.

They make pretty comfy golf shoes, though.

Oh yeah, the shoes are great. That’s what they do. They should stick to that.

Titleist balls, too?

We get a sleeve of Pro V balls every round for free.

Do you realize how many people would kill for that?


9. Is golf a sport?

Of course it is. Let me set that record straight. It takes the most hand-eye coordination of any sport, and I’ve played them all. People say that it’s a “skill” or a “game” and not a sport, but you try walking twelve miles carrying a 30 lb. bag.

So, why can Barry Bonds hit a ball traveling 90 mph amidst 50,000 fans screaming at him to strikeout, but golfers need absolute silence to hit a ball that’s sitting still?

I don’t really mind it when people talk when I play. What’s bad is when it’s been silent and then, all of a sudden, someone yells or something. You’ve got to remember, our target is only four inches wide. A baseball player can hit the ball anywhere he wants in the field. He can foul off pitches all he wants. If you hit a “foul ball” in golf, you’re screwed.

9a. Hey, can I make fun of my brother?

Please. Fire away.

I’d like him to know that I’m the better twin.

Does he play golf?

Yeah, but not on the team. I do have him for a TA in Stats, though.

You’re brother is your TA? Do you do any work for that class at all?

It’s not like he gives me the answers or anything.

Sure. Who’s the better golfer?

I’m definitely the better golfer. I am superior in all aspects of life.

10. Do chicks dig the long ball?

Of course they do. Who doesn’t?

Amy Mickleson and Elin Nordegren sure do.

Archived article by Per Ostman
Sun Senior Writer