An 8 Handicap vs. Torrey Pines. Your Call?

Following the thrashing that was the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, Tiger Woods told the media, "If you're a 10-handicapper, there is no way you're breaking 100 out there."

Consequently, NBC, the USGA, and Golf Digest jumped at the opportunity to test Tiger's claim. After a lengthy application process, the three sponsors chose one amateur golfer to play Torrey Pines under U.S. Open conditions. Well, at least pretty close.

Their choice? John Atkinson. Out of over 56,000 essay, one written by Terry Beutler, a caddie for Atkinson in Omaha, Nebraska, was chosen. Beutler wrote, "Can I break 100? No. Do I want the chance? Yes, but not for me. You see, my best friend since sixth grade was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer last April. He has never smoked, and it's just one of those life things. He is a wonderful father, husband, friend and son. Last summer he had a double treatment of chemo and walked 18 holes the next day and shot a 76. He's a 5-handicap. The statistics aren't on his side, but, like John says, they have never done a study of 100 John Atkinsons."

Atkinson will play in a celebrity foursome: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, "Today Show" anchor Matt Lauer, and music artist Justin Timberlake (right). Additionally, according to Greg Norman's blog, the Shark will be on the bag for Lauer.

The round will be broadcast during NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open on June 15th.

Best of luck John.

What do you think? An 8 handicap (slightly better than Tiger's subject) breaking 100 at Torrey Pines?

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