Complicated, right? Of course it is, it's golf. But let's back up. The Kodak Challenge is a season-long competition across 30 tournaments where each tournament has a single designated "challenge hole." Contestants select their best 18 holes across all tournaments, and the lowest score relative to par will win. Generally, because of the sheer number of tournaments necessary to be in competition, the challengers are a Who's Who of "Who's that?" This year's leaders include Lunde, Tringale, Josh Teater, Fabian Gomez and Blake Adams. In other words, as soon as they get off the golf course, nobody's going to stop them in the street and try to cadge some of that sweet Kodak coin off them.
There's always the possibility for drama; last year's winner, Troy Merritt, took the $1M in a playoff with Aaron Baddeley and Rickie Fowler. But this year, Lunde leads Tringale and Teater by two strokes.
The hole this time around is the treacherous par-4 17th at Disney's Magnolia Course. Teater isn't playing, so Tringale has just one option: eagle the hole to hopefully force a playoff. Problem is, only two eagles have been recorded at the hole since 1998. Uh-oh.
If he's able to win, the paycheck will mark a nice end to a rocky season for Lunde. While he's made 20 cuts in 27 starts, he's only finished in the top 25 three times. Start strong, finish weak, in other words. Still, a Kodak Challenge win will paper over a lot of bad memories.
- Cameron Tringale
- Bill Lunde