Las Vegas, Nevada (October 23, 2011)–Bill Lunde went to Disneyworld and didn't get a lousy t-shirt. What he got instead was a million dollars for winning the season-long Kodak Challenge. Entering the week, Cameron Tringale had a chance to tie with an eagle but at the 11th hour Fabian Gomez crept up and a deuce by him would have thrown Las Vegas Golf Region resident Lunde for a loop as well. . –By Brian Hurlburt.
"That was an unwelcome surprise," Lunde told the Golf Channel about having Gomez pop into the picture along with Tringale. Lunde sat on the set of The Golf Channel watching Gomez' final shot miss for eagle. With that, Lunde breathed a sigh of relief and waited for the check presentation.
Lunde spent a lot of time during the season watching the Kodak Challenge leaderboard. He always took special care to do well on each hole. The million-dollar paycheck becomes one of the biggest checks ever cashed on the PGA Tour by a Las Vegas golfer, if not the biggest. Unfortunately, we don't have the official records to back up that claim. Suffice it to say, winning a million is huge.
"I've been up at the top of this thing for months now, so it's kind of been on my mind for most of the year, I would say," Lunde said prior to this week's event. "At the beginning I kind of unknowingly was making birdies and kind of joking with my caddie, you know, saying 'Hey, Kodak Challenge hole this week.' We'd make birdie and I would go, 'Oh, that's going to be nice.' And then as the year progressed it became more of a focus because here I am leading, you have a one-shot lead or what have you. So then we were very focused on the holes." Lunde led the competition for 21 weeks in a row.