OFF THE ICE

Jones vs. Peckham - Live Blog

Ryan Jones wins in sudden-death, earning bragging rights & more at Blackhawk

Wednesday, 31.08.2011 / 1:00 PM / Off the Ice
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Jones vs. Peckham - Live Blog
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10:11am.
Theo Peckham arrives and the match's rules are unveiled. It sounds like they'll be playing $100/hole. Although he's clearly having fun, Peckham is taking this very seriously. "Do you see what Jonesy is posting on Twitter? It's a disgrace," he said.

Peckham and his caddy, Trisha Dumigan, have headed to the driving range to warm up.

10:39. Ryan Jones arrives and his caddy, Willy Cooke from Powell River, meets him in the parking lot. Willy is absolutely hilarious. He's going to be a hoot on the course today.



10:57am. We're sitting at Hole 1. Another rule change has been introduced. Peckham gets four mulligans throughout the round while Jones gets one.

11:00am. Both players have teed off. Jones and Peckham have made some excellent drives on the first hole. Looks like we've got something good cooking!



11:15am. We're playing in a skins format, so the players have carried over the $100 bounty into the next one. Jones' drive on Hole 2 was a good one, and he made sure everyone was aware:

"Somebody's further," he shouted in his best Happy Gilmore voice.

11:23am. Peckham makes a spectacular putt to save par, earning him an early advantage. Jones is poised to respond on the course's first par three. A hole-in-one here would earn the winner $1,500 in cash, courtesy of Blackhawk and Volvo. Neither player could make it happen. "That's going to be ugly," Jones says of his shot. On we play!

11:57am. The players appear to be gaining momentum, although another skin has yet to be won. Both players recorded an [epic] eight, but turned things around with a pair of glorious shots. Along with my coworker Nyki Scheuerman, we're all pretty shocked at the skill level being shown here today. They're much better than we expected.


I got the chance to speak with Peckham and Jones moments ago. They're not thrilled with their play to this point, but both insist they're working toward better things. "I'm messing with him already," Peckham said. "I'm getting in his head."

12:09pm. Peckham strikes a par and earns the previously carried-over skins. No. 24 leads with all the skins, $600 to this point in the match.

12:25pm. Needing to step up, Jones takes his next putt very seriously:



12:28pm.
And it worked out well. Jones gets on the board, but Peckham still leads 6-1. There's plenty more to come, mind you.

12:30pm. There have been a couple questions about side-bets. Yes, we're encouraging them at all times. That, and beaking them whenever possible.

12:42pm. Peckham loses his ball and concedes Hole 9. Slowly but surely, Jones is making a stellar comeback. Peckham still leads, but his advantage has been sliced to 6-3.

12:53. Peckham wins another, going up 7-3. At the next tee box, our scorer has suggested the players up the stakes and battle from the championship tee. "Caddy, bring me the big stick," Peckham said. He's certainly bringing the swagger. Jones, while laughing, wasn't quite as happy:

"Is there any chance of getting my ball back? This hole sucks!"

Before moving on, the group posed for a photo at this stunning tee box:



1:22pm.
Peckham still leads 7-4 and the caddies have gotten in on the action. Willy and Tricia putted to end the 12th, giving everyone in attendance another reason to cheer as they knocked them in. Willy got caught up in the moment, as you'd expect.

"Willy, you put my head cover on my wedge!"

2:01pm. At one point he was down 6-0, but Jones has come all the way back, gaining an 8-7 advantage on his counterpart. Peckham isn't pleased with the outcome. It's probably a combination of not playing well and a possible rule violation. Jones accidentally tapped his ball while setting up, and Peckham argues that it should be counted as two strokes. That would have halved the score, but the outcome will not be changed.

Not having won a skin in a while, Peckham has only three holes to regain his composure.



2:12pm. At Blackhawk, a time-honoured tradition happens at the 17th tee. There, you must drive a shot across the North Saskatchewan River, entering into a special bond with the course if your shot clears the drink or tree line. Both players were able to accomplish this, but it only managed to annoy No. 24 and his back-nine disappointment:

"Sure, I can hit that one straight but not when it counts!"

2:20pm: Jones' approach goes astray, but Peckham doesn't approve of the ruling by the scorer:

"He gets a good shot because he hit it into the trees?" Yes. Yes, he does.

2:29pm. Although discouraged, Peckham battled back hard, winning the final two holes and forcing a sudden-death playoff. The crew raced back to Hole 1 to complete the round and declare a winner. With one hole to play and bragging rights on the line, Peckham and Jones are tied 9-9.

2:45pm. Back on Hole 1, the competition for bragging rights is getting more intense by the second. Both Peckham and Jones have made solid drives, setting up a sure-to-be climactic ending. Someone will win this. We'll go all night if we have to!

2:48pm. With Jones on the green in two, Peckham faced a challenge from the fringe. His long-range chip was deep and he completely fell apart. Jones two-putted his way to victory by a 10-9 score.

2:55pm. In an unexpected (well, not really – I was asked to help earlier in the day) turn of events, Video Producer Nyki took a pie in the face from Ryan Jones as we met him for a post-game interview in the parking lot. Don't worry, she's OK. Many laughs were shared and she'll have the delicious memories as a keepsake.

3:10pm. We had a little surprise waiting for our winning caddies in the clubhouse. We presented them with crested sweaters that Jones and Peckham both signed and posed for photos with. Willy and Tricia are loving this surprise.



3:15pm. Sitting down for a post-round meal with the crew, sharing stories and having a good time. It's been a wonderful day. Check back later today for a photo gallery from the event, and Friday's Link episode for behind-the-scenes footage.

Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick

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