Editor's picks: Our 7 favorite golf stories of the year
The best golf stories of the year aren't always the ones that happen inside the ropes.
Sometimes they're the ones that nobody knows about, or the ones that you need to know more about.
In 2017, the editors at PGA.com stumbled upon many of those.
Here's a look, in no particular order, at seven of our favorites. You can click on the headline to read the story:
Synopsis: During a qualifying round for a LPGA event in 1988, former LPGA winner and 2011 PGA First Lady of Golf Mary Bea Porter-King saved the life of a drowning toddler. Porter-King hit a lousy second shot into a wooded area on a par-5 hole. When she arrived at the ball, she noticed the dire situation on the other side of a wrought-iron fence.
The incident involved an Amish family who didn't know what to do (like call 9-1-1). Porter-King performed life-saving CPR on the young boy. Through the years, Porter-King and the boy -- now a grown man -- have kept in touch and become friends.
Synopsis: A 16-year-old Michigan boy named Keaton Cleland, was born with a heart defect called “Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome” or “HLHS.” The defect means that the left side of the heart, which receives oxygen-rich blood from your lungs and pumps blood through your arteries to the rest of your body, never fully develops.
An avid golfer and golf fan, Cleland always wanted to attend the Masters to follow his idol, Jordan Spieth. That's where the Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped in.
Make-A-Wish was able to send Cleland and most of his family to Augusta National for the 2017 Masters. In the story, we learned more about Cleland's own game -- he was his high school team's MVP -- as well as some of the hurdles he's had to overcome in his young life and how heart breaking all of this was for his family at times.
Synopsis: Mike Reasor, a PGA Tour journeyman, once shot rounds of 123 and 114 in an official event... after making the cut.
How is that possible from a PGA Tour caliber player? We went back in time to those two days in the 1974 Tallahassee Open to find out how exactly it all transpired.
What we learned through accounts given by Reasor's widow, a best friend and a fellow competitor, is that Reasor's scores were more a testament to the determination of a proud, stubborn man than those of a clown.
What if we told you that Reasor shot those scores playing with just one hand? He did. And you'll have to read the story to find out why.
Synopsis: Imagine, if you will, having a putt to establish a new course record at a prestigious country club.
Now, imagine missing that putt on purpose not once, but twice, to avoid setting or tying the course record. That's what PGA Tour pro Len Mattiace did in the early 2000s at Rhode Island's Pawtucket Country Club.
Pawtucket CC's record score of 61 belonged to its late PGA Head Professional, Les Kennedy, who set the mark in 1970. Kennedy was a legend around Pawtucket CC and Mattiace felt he had no business owning something that meant so much to the club's members.
In this story, Mattiace and his father-in-law (and playing partner that day), reveal the conversation that unfolded on that 18th green before Mattiace prepared to hit his putt.