PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

The Tradition: From Agony to Ecstasy

August 14, 2008

SUNRIVER, Ore. -- The Jeld-Wen Tradition began Thursday in the wake of a gamut of emotions, from sorrow to joy, for which the Elysian Fields otherwise known as Sunriver is an appropriate setting for either.

On the 18th green of the Crosswater Club in the shadow of central Oregon's snow-capped Mount Bachelor on Wednesday night, a memorial service was held for former U.S. Open champion Orville Moody, an 11-time winner on the Champions Tour, who died last Friday at 74.

As many as 20 Champions Tour players, more than a fourth of the field in the Tradition, were on hand for the service, conducted by Portland Trailblazers chaplain Al Egg. Among those who spoke were Moody's daughter Michelle, who often caddied for her dad on the Champions Tour, and Evan Byers, the tournament director of the Tradition, who also caddied for Moody.

On a more upbeat note, Champions Tour player Des Smyth took a phone call from his son Greg, 24, on Thursday morning, a few hours before teeing off in the Tradition. Greg was calling to inform his parents that he had won the eighth largest jackpot in the history of Ireland's Lotto, 9,426,636 Euros, nearly $14 million.

Greg, a college student studying horticulture, paid $6 for a quick pick ticket Wednesday and when he was having breakfast Thursday morning he checked his numbers and discovered that he had won.

-- John Strege