Outside the Ropes at THE PLAYERS, Rd. 4
May 11, 2014
By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM
- Fans came out donned in pink during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- What's happening outside the ropes at THE PLAYERS Championship? PGATOUR.COM will highlight some of the unique stories that goes beyond the competition each round. Check out Sunday's Outside the Ropes below.
One of Sunday’s biggest cheering sections at THE PLAYERS came dressed appropriately for “Pink Out Day” in support of their favorite competitor, but it wasn’t one of the golfers.
“Jude’s Dudes” T-shirts were out to honor one of THE PLAYERS biggest supporters, Judi Zitiello, who has not missed a tournament since moving to Jacksonville some 20 years ago. Sunday, she was being treated for cancer at the Mayo Clinic after being diagnosed last week and will undergo surgery on Monday.
Judi helped co-found Funk’s Punks in the mid-1990s. Funk won THE PLAYERS in 2005.
Funk and Zitiello both serve on the board of the J.T. Townsend Foundation, with Zitiello serving as Board Chair. The foundation was named for J.T. Townsend, a high school football player who suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury in 2004 and died in 2013.
Sons Louis Zitiello and Dominic Zitiello were on the golf course early Sunday in support of their mom on Mother’s Day. Close to 100 T-shirts were printed. The slogan and idea to print the T-shirts was the brainchild of family and friend and neighbor John McManamon.
“She hasn’t seen the shirts yet,” said Louis. “She is a gift from god and the greatest mom to ever live.”
VOLUNTEER OF THE DAY
When Malcolm MacIver retired after 30 years in law enforcement, the Derry, New Hampshire native knew golf was going to be a more important part of his life.
Not only is he playing to a 10-handicap these days, but he is also finishing what he hopes is the first of many THE PLAYERS as a volunteer on the No. 7 green.
Like many volunteers, MacIver was lured in by a friend who worked as a captain on No. 8. About a year and a half later, MacIver is working a few feet away from his friend and now living at Nocatee in Ponte Vedra.
As he was finishing up his shift in Sunday's final round, MacIver, like another day on the force, was happy to report no problems.
"It was a great time," said MacIver. "These volunteers are very good and it gives us a chance to give back. That's a big part of it for me. Also, I enjoy watching good golf and being with good people, plus this is a great organization and gives to great charities."
MacIver was especially impressed with the golfers.
"They're all gentlemen," he said. "Very friendly and upbeat. They're great with the kids. You see them going through the ropes, knuckling the kids and giving them balls. It's great for the game."
TASTY TREATS AT WINE AND DINE ON 9
On a day that's all pink, why not salmon?
At Wine and Dine on 9, demand has been steady all week for the pink fish, but not like it was on "Pink Out Sunday."
Chef David Medure, co-owner of Restaurant Medure with brother Matthew, admitted it's not your typical "ball park or stadium" food, but was averaging about 60 plates of salmon sold a day at his popular portable restaurant located between the No. 9 fairway and No. 5 green.
Officially called "crusted pistachio salmon," there's certainly an art to its preparation.
"We sear it first, then get nice caramelization on both sides of the fish," said Medure, "Then we top it with a basil pistachio pesto which adds a garlic and salty oiliness to it which is really good. We serve it over creamy leeks which is probably the best part of the dish."
The topping of the creamy leeks sauce makes the dish, according to Medure.
"It's a tough onion but when you cook them for a while, you can braise them in chicken stock, white wine, and a little parmasen cheese and cream. They stir very delicious."
17 Hours on No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass
SOCIAL MEDIA WALL
For those fans who enjoy social media, a trip to The Grove, behind No. 17, to see the social media wall is a must at this year's PLAYERS.
Tweets and Instagram photos by the hundreds were flying into the Twitter account @THEPLAYERSCHAMP on topics from Rickie Fowler's wardrobe to debates on what's the tastiest menu item on Tacos on 12.
IDS, a Jacksonville-based company which runs software at sporting events, updates the wall constantly with selected tweets and images.
Ali Quinn, a tournament staffer for THE PLAYERS who manages the channels for Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook, said the wall is a popular spot for fans this year. There are also two other social media wings located in The Patio just off of No. 18 and near the No. 10 tee and in The Grove.
"We're telling people to hashtag THE PLAYERS or any of the theme days that are going on," said Quinn. "CRAZY PANTS was Saturday and Sunday is PINK OUT. The media is obviously tweeting about the tournament, but fans are talking a lot about fan enhancements on the course."
Also, eight Ponte Vedra High School students can be seen roaming the course, handing out social media business cards with information on how to engage with THE PLAYERS online and wearing blue T-shirts which read: "Social Media Caddies. Find us @THEPLAYERSCHAMP."