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The Honorable Dr. Ewart F. Brown, the Premier of Bermuda (kneeling on left), Quinton Sherlock (center) of the BJGA, and members of the BJGA with the donation presented by The PGA of America at Monday's Champions Clinic. (Photo: The PGA of America)

Fab foursome wows fans during Champions Clinic

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An enthusiastic gallery of more than 300 fans -- including several dozen junior golfers -- watched Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman and Retief Goosen show off their skills Monday during the annual Champions Clinic at Mid Ocean Club.

By John Kim, Coordinating Producer

TUCKER'S TOWN, Bermuda -- With bright-blue skies and deep-blue waters surrounding the historic Mid Ocean Club, the setting could not have been more ideal for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf Champion's Clinic on Monday.

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Champions Clinic Transcript
Jim Furyk Profile
Retief Goosen Profile
Padraig Harrington Profile
Trevor Immelman Profile
Tour Mid Ocean Club
20 Questions: The Players
20 Questions: The Caddies

An enthusiastic gallery of more than 300 golf fans -- including several dozen junior golfers -- witnessed PGA Championship and Open Championship winner Padraig Harrington, Masters champion Trevor Immelman, former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen, demonstrating their skills in a variety of short-game situations, including chipping, bunker play and putting.

The clinic, to be broadcast later in the day on GOLF Channel, took place on the 17th green, a short walk from the Mid Ocean Club clubhouse. Beginning the festivities were opening remarks by Brian Whitcomb, the President of The PGA of America, and then the presentation of a $10,000 donation to the Bermuda Junior Golf Association.

Each of the major champions was then asked to give a brief answer to questions posed by GOLF Channel's Adam Barr -- ranging from the impact of winning a major championship to a look back on the past season and how it relates to their respective goals for the future.

But the greatest entertainment of the day were the shots demonstrated by the players for the enthusiastic crowd. Adding to the challenge of executing shots were a brisk breeze and some difficult hole locations on the 17th green.

Furyk, The PGA Grand Slam of Golf's lone American who is making his fifth appearance in the event, set the tone for the light-hearted event as his initial chip appeared to be quite good until the ball caught a slope near the pin and slowly trickled away. The groans of the crowd soon turned to laughter as the ball, which nearly stopped by the hole, ended up 30 feet away as Furyk continued to speak, thinking the ball would ultimately cease rolling.

Immelman emphasized the importance of grip pressure and the pressure in your arms and forearms for the chip, and then backed up his advice by hitting a 90-foot chip that stopped a foot from his target. He drew an enthusiastic response when he then declined to hit another.

Harrington, after discussing the enormity of winning two major championships in one year (and three in just over 15 months), then followed with a few chips of his own, getting more laughs when he asked to hit more after a less-than-stellar first chip.

Goosen was given the most difficult assignment -- a long chip from buried lie in the rough -- but the South African extricated it well with his first attempt.

The highlight of the event may have been the impromptu autograph session that the players held with the children of the BJGA as the players moved from the chipping area to the bunker. The children, sitting neatly behind the bunker in order to get a good view of the players, soon scrambled to get in position to get a coveted signature on hats, shirts, flags or anything else that could be inked.

The clinic concluded with Furyk and Goosen demonstrating shots from the bunker and then Immelman and Harrington offering putting tips for the crowd.

"It was good," said Aaron Railton, a 13-year old member of the BJGA who enjoyed watching Harrington offer advice (but claims Tiger Woods as his all-time favorite). "I enjoy seeing and learning from them."

"He learns that not even the best players hit every shot perfect," added his mother, Wendy. "(It was) something he can definitely learn from."

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