Reality show lends swing to par play

Golf

April 18, 2006|By PAUL MCMULLEN | PAUL MCMULLEN,SUN REPORTER

Some golfers with two-bit swings will take aim at a $250,000 prize outside Ocean City this week.

The Links at Lighthouse Sound is the setting for The St. Joseph Pressure Challenge, a reality show that will air on CBS May 14 and 20. It will be taped today through Thursday, and network analysts David Feherty and Bill McAtee are the only celebrities involved in a competition open to players with a handicap of eight or higher.

The 30-player field will be pared to 20 at 2 p.m. today, with a closest-to-the-pin contest. CBS will film from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Wednesday.

To earn the grand prize of $250,000, a player must par nine consecutive holes. The players will be granted three mulligans apiece, and can walk away with smaller cash prizes when they feel as if they're pressing their luck, a la Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

An interesting background or personality was requisite to make the cut at Lighthouse Sound, as 1,100 players filed online applications with Golf Magazine for the tournament. The 30 include a New York City firefighter, a police hostage negotiator from Florida and a retired Navy aviator from Massachusetts. There are three women and 27 men, including four from Maryland.

Rick Weber and Bill Herbst are Ocean City restaurateurs who have known each other for several decades. Weber lost a leg in a motorcycle accident in New Zealand, and vows to give his winnings to the hospital that saved his life. Herbst, aka "Taco," has earmarked a charity that deals with the needy in Worcester County.

"During the casting call last month, I performed well with my short game, and came off OK when the interview light came on," Herbst said. "It didn't hurt, that I had my own cheering section."

Azam Baig, an Annapolis pediatrician, has an 8.5-stroke handicap and dreams of opening a center for underprivileged children.

The youngest contestant is Eddie Krumpotich, 22, who played football, basketball and tennis at Glenelg High in Howard County. He's a senior at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., where he sings in an a cappella group. His designated charity hits close to home.

"I'll either pay off the loans my parents took for my education," Krumpotich said, "or take them on vacation."

paul.mcmullen@baltsun.com

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