Home » HEADLINES AND FEATURES, Lead, Randy Walker, Top Stories » Diamond Resorts Celebrity Pro Golf Win Enhances Mardy Fish’s Status As No. 1 Golfer Among Tennis Pros




By Randy Walker

@TennisPublisher

 

Mardy Fish may not have been the No. 1 tennis pro in the world, but he’s certainly the No. 1 golfer in the world among tennis pros.

The former U.S. Davis Cup team standout and 2004 Olympic silver medalist won the celebrity golf championship at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando Sunday with a 14-point victory over former NHL hockey star Jeremy Roenick. It marked the second time that Fish had won the prestigious title on the Celebrity Golf Tour, also winning the event in 2016.

Fish is certainly the most accomplished golfer among tennis professionals in modern times, regarded as the second-best celebrity golfer behind former baseball star Mark Mulder. While Fish excels on the Celebrity Golf Tour, it was former Wimbledon and U.S. singles champion Ellsworth Vines who also played on the PGA tour in the 1940s and 1950s. Vines and Frank Conner from the 1970s are the only two men to play in both the U.S. Open in golf and tennis, as discussed here:  http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/12210 This is a feat that Fish is hoping to accomplish one day via local U.S. Open qualifying.

There are two “majors” on what is regarded as the modern-day celebrity golf tour – the Diamond Resorts Invitational and the American Century Championships in Lake Tahoe in the summer. The last few years, both events have been dominated by Fish and Mark Mulder. Fish and Mulder are the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, so to speak, of celebrity golf. Mulder has won the last three titles in Lake Tahoe, with Fish finishing second last year. At the Diamond Resorts Invitational, Fish won the title in 2016 and this year, while Mulder won the title in 2017.

When asked by course Golf Channel reporter Billy Ray Brown of his mind-set during his round Fish answered, “Play your game and try not to look at the score board too much. But just try to make as many birdies as you can.”

Golf Channel TV commentator and former PGA Championship winner Lanny Wadkins remarked the irony that Fish did not look at the scoreboards on the golf course, when in tennis, the chair umpire calls the score after every point and you can’t escape from knowing what the score is.

Fish entered the final day with a six-point lead over Mulder in the Stableford scoring system that awards points for scores, including three points for birdies, one point for pars. The pivotal moment in the round came when Mulder made back to back birdies on No. 11 and No. 12 to cut the Fish lead to 4 points. However, Mulder hooked a tee shot out of bounds on the 13th hole tee, a par 5, and he made double-bogey to lose two points. Fish then made a six-foot birdie putt to earn three points and earn a five-point swing on one hole to then lead Mulder by nine points. On No. 15, Mulder hooked another tee shot into the water, a shot that Wadkins said he saw Mulder also hit on the driving range before the start of play. Mulder lost two more points with another double bogey while Fish made par to earn another point. With an 11-point lead after 17 holes, Fish didn’t even need to play the par-3 final hole as the lowest score given out in Stableford scoring is a minus-two-point double bogey.

Following the win, Fish immediately headed to the airport to catch a plane to Australia where he will be working as part of the ESPN TV broadcast team of the Australian Open.

“It will be interesting down there,” said Fish to the Golf Channel’s Brown of the Australian Open. “It will be interesting to see if (Roger Federer) can defend his title and Novak Djokovic is back, which is nice and some of the big boys are back, so we’ll see if some of the Americans can do well too.  I’ve tried to keep up as much as I can with the Australian summer, I’ve been down there quite a lot and it’s fun. It’s always nice to go from the cold weather. Usually everyone’s cold, there’s not too many southern hemisphere players period. So usually everyone’s going from cold to warm and it’s people down there are so awesome and it’s great to get down there. It’s such an outdoorsy sort of place and laid back sort of place, so it’s called the Happy Slam and the players love it. They treat the players great. So it will be nice to get down there.”

Prior to competing in Orlando, Fish supported his charitable foundation, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation in Vero Beach, Florida, by participating in a charity fund-raising golf tournament at The Windsor Club, where his father Tom serves as the director of tennis. See Fish’s fine golf form here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR3e5cBeDyw

In addition to his celebrity golf outings and work with ESPN, Fish also competes on the PowerShares Series tennis circuit alongside fellow tennis legends Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Jim Courier and James Blake.

 

Mardy Fish hitting his final tee shot at the 2018 Diamond Resorts Invitational

Mardy Fish hitting his final tee shot at the 2018 Diamond Resorts Invitational



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About Admin
Randy Walker is a communications and marketing specialist, writer, tennis historian and the managing partner of New Chapter Media – www.NewChapterMedia.com. He was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s marketing and communications division where he worked as the press officer for 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties, three Olympic tennis teams and was an integral part of USTA media services team for 14 US Opens. He is the author of the books ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and THE DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER

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