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Woods gives Shade his day in the sun

May 07, 2006

April 27 was a day Tom Shade will never forget.

The Frederick, Md., resident, a retired principal in the Frederick County school system, has played golf for 45 years, but he will forever remember the acquaintance he and his wife, Delores, made during a visit to Las Vegas that week.

To set the stage, Shade entered the Buick Scramble million dollar hole-in-one contest, a sidebar to the annual Buick Scramble. Ten months ago, he simply filled out a postcard. Months later, he was one of five individuals chosen to compete in the contest at the Cascata Golf Club in Las Vegas.

"(Buick) called and told me I was one of the five and to get ready for an all-expenses paid trip for me and a guest," said Shade.

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The rest is all memories.

The five competitors were to get their shot at a hole-in-one in the company of Tiger Woods, Buick's national spokesman.

"Tiger gets up first and uses the backboard of the green, spins the ball and it is about six inches short," said Shade. "I used a new rescue club that's like a 4-iron. My shot took the same flight as Tiger's and I was excited. The ball stopped about six feet from the hole and I ended up the closest."

While not winning one million dollars, Shade did return home with a new Nike SasQuatch driver and enoughstories for a lifetime.

"I've never experienced an emotion like that before," said Shade. "To see Tiger's shot and then my shot."

Following the competition, about 200 people were waiting for a clinic to be conducted by Woods.

Shade said Woods talked about golf, his father, bungee jumping and caddie Steve Williams' wedding. The competitors, Shade said, were informed by an advance team that Woods would not be available for any questions nor autographs.

However, Woods went his own route and opened up to questions.

Delores Shade had heard Woods' strength was coming from being able to bench press 400 pounds, so she ebbed her husband on to ask him that question.

"Contrary to what people have said, I don't bench press at all," Woods said, related by Shade. "I exercise, but I don't lift because I don't want big pectorals. That can hinder your swing."

Shade said Woods was a very warm, personable individual who said that his question was a very good question.

"He treated everyone warm, and my wife noticed that he took time to answer questions with a direct look at the person asking," said Shade. "He acted like he was your neighbor."

Fast start for Schultz

Beaver Creek professional Dirk Schultz will have a busy schedule this summer, expecting to play in 15 to 20 events throughout the Middle Atlantic PGA section.

He has won two MAPGA pro-am events, recently taking the Wachovia Apple Blossom title in Winchester, Va. with a 5-under-par 66. A week earlier, Schultz took the top spot in the pro-am at Piney Branch outside of Baltimore.




Tim Koelble's Divots column appears on Sunday's. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311 or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com

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