Las Vegas, Nevada (October 21, 2011)–I feel a little bad writing this, but it's a cool story to watch. Las Vegas PGA Tour star Bill Lunde is one hole away from cashing a check for a million bucks. If Cameron Tringale doesn't eagle the 485-yard, par 4 17th hole this week, Lunde will win the season-long Kodak Challenge and the million that goes with it. –By Brian Hurlburt.
"Obviously it's been a long year grinding away on this deal," Lunde told the media gathered for the final official PGA Tour event of 2011 at the Magnolia Course in Florida. "It kind of started off as a kind of friendly rivalry between myself and a couple players that were doing well. As the year progressed, it became a little more reality of that you could actually win this thing. And then that turned into for the last couple months of being nervous on Thursday mornings of the tournament because I'm on the Kodak Challenge hole, which means nothing, but in reality it was a big deal for me because I was leading and needed to make these birdies to stay up at the top and continue the effort to try to win this whole deal. So it's been fun, but I will be glad when it's over. Hopefully Cameron doesn't hole-out from the fairway and make eagle."
Lunde continued: "I'm aware of it every week. I think it definitely varies where I am emotionally in the tournament based on whether I've birdied the hole that week or net yet. (Laughter.) I could tell you like Thursday would be really quiet; Friday would be even quieter until I make birdie. But once we made birdie, then my caddie and I have almost like a little celebration over on the side … 'Thank God that's over with. We did our work this week. Now let's go try to win the tournament.' … So it just depends on if I've made birdie or not on how I felt about that hole at the time during the tournament."
Lunde also battled with fellow Las Vegas resident and longtime friend Charley Hoffman. Lunde on the friendly competition: "Charley, he wasn't planning on playing anymore after the Vegas event. But once he kind of saw where things were in the Kodak deal, he says, 'Well, you know, if I make eagle on 16 there in Vegas I'm playing the rest of the year just to try to take a million from you.' (Laughing.) Being Charley, it didn't surprise me he said that. He tried to jinx me a month ago. He would be like, 'Oh, it's over right now. Lunde's got it locked.' You know, everything you're not supposed to say. So it's just in good fun. You know, it's been a fun deal."
So hopefully this article isn't a jinx, but if Hoffman has been trying to jinx it for months to no avail, it has to be a lock. And, even if Tringale makes eagle, it only ties the score and they will go to a playoff. Tringale, early in his second round, was on the cut line to make the weekend so the million could be won today should be miss the cut.
Now in its third season, the Kodak Challenge celebrates beautiful holes and memorable moments on the PGA TOUR and challenges players to perform their best on 30 designated Kodak Challenge holes. The player with the lowest cumulative score on his best 18 Kodak Challenge holes wins the $1 million. The 485-yard, par-4 17th on the Magnolia Course is the 30th and final hole of the 2011 Kodak Challenge season. Quotes courtesy ASAPSports.com.