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Tewalt knows the score at U.S. Open

DIVOTS -

June 22, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

The recent U.S. Open Championship gave every golf fan many thrills over a five-day span, ending with Tiger Woods winning in a playoff over Rocco Mediate.

For one Hagerstown native, the championship unfolded before his own eyes.

Tim Tewalt, a North Hagerstown graduate, is a resident of Charles Town, W.Va., and works at Fort Dietrick in Frederick, Md.

Tewalt served as a walking scorer during the Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. He volunteered for the job in October, 2006, by sending an online application to The United States Golf Association.

"It was a great weekend with a lot of buzz," said Tewalt. "By Saturday, everyone was waiting to see if Tiger would run away or be challenged."

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As it turned out, Mediate was the last-standing challenger and nearly pulled off the upset win before Woods' birdie on Sunday's 18th hole forced the Monday playoff.

"There were a lot of people hoping that Mediate would win, " said Tewalt.

A walking scorer works inside the ropes with an assigned group, tracking each shot and the subsequent lie on a palm pilot. He indicates whether the ball is in the fairway, rough, fairway bunker, etc.

Tewalt's week began with 90 minutes of practice on Monday of Open week and included a picture-taking session on Wednesday before things began in earnest on Thursday.

His Thursday group consisted of Bob Gaus, Garrett Chaussard and Phillippe Gasnier, three qualifiers. On Friday, his original assignment working with Stewart Cink, Sergio Garcia and Vijay Singh was changed and he ended with Jason Bohn, Dean Wilson and Kevin Tway, son of PGA vet Bob Tway, who caddied for his son.

After a scheduled day off Saturday, his Sunday grouping was Boo Weekley and Anthony Kim, two players with recent Tour victories.

"(Weekley) is definitely a pure country boy," said Tewalt.

With the help of the South Course layout, Tewalt said there were several times when he caught a look at The Big Three - Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott - during the first two rounds as they criss-crossed the fairways among the throng of fans.

"I'll tell you the fans out there just love Mickelson," he said. "The fans line the tee box and greens early just to see him."

Tewalt has been no stranger to volunteer work at major golf championships.

He worked the 2000 U.S. Senior Open at Saucon Valley (Bethlehem, Pa.) as a marshall, the 2002 Senior Open at Caves Valley (Baltimore) as a player escort and spent the last seven years as a walking scorer for the Senior Players Championship in the Baltimore area.

"There are some characters out there and some are as personable as can be," said Tewalt. "Some of the players that have just got into the PGA Tour haven't quite warmed up yet."

He said one of the players he fondly remembers at a Senior Open was when he scored for a group that included Hugh Biachi during the pro-am.

"He was so impressed that I had driven 88 miles, he gave me a dozen Titleist ProV1's," said Tewalt.

His next assignment will be the Senior Players Championship in October at Baltimore Country Club. Also in October, 2009, applications for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Washington will be taken and Tewalt's past experience is sure to be a factor in his selection.

Golf Outing

The Discovery Classic Golf Tournament will be held July 25 at Black Rock Golf Course with an 8:15 a.m. shotgun start. The proceeds will benefit the Hagerstown Lions Club and Discovery Station. Cost is $80 per player, which includes lunch. For information, contact Jim Fritsch at 301-797-2650.




Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024, or by email at koelble@herald-mail.com

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