LA QUINTA, Calif. (April 7, 2013) -- Maybe it's the thrill of hitting the ball instead of trying to throw a ball by someone that's trying to hit it. Whatever the case, professional pitchers often take to golf and become quite good at it.
The all time leading money winner on the Celebrity Players Tour is former MLB All Star Rick Rhoden. And John Smoltz, also a pitcher, is now considered one of the world's best celebrity golfers.
For Mark Mulder, who retired from professional baseball in 2010, The Golf Channel Amateur Tour has become a way to keep the competitive juices flowing, as opposed to taking prize money in celebrity tournaments (which ends amateur golf eligibility).
At PGA West over the weekend, Mulder posted rounds of 72-68 in the Western Masters, for a three stroke victory over first round leader and former professional (golfer that is) Tom Isaak of San Diego. The Western Masters is one of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour's major events. Clearly Mulder will qualify for the national championship as he did in 2012.
And he had to post a nice charge to win the title.
That's because Isaak, a high school math teacher, with a solid iron game and handy short game, posted an excellent 69 on the TPC Stadium Course on Saturday for the early lead.
Mulder positioned himself nicely at even par 72, but it was in the final round, where he caught fire. Mulder made 5 birdies and an eagle to get well into the red numbers at 4-under as Isaak -- who framed starting and ending birdies on Sunday with an amazing 16 straight pars, couldn't find his first round magic and finished second at 1-under.
Jeff Benton of Buckeye, Arizona finished third at 2-over 146.