Puerto Rico’s Twinkling Stars
Stars shine bright in the Puerto Rican sky as well as on land. Attending the Puerto Rico Open and touring the island was like a Forrest Gump movie, bumping into famous people at every turn.
Chi Chi Rodriguez is the ambassador for the PGA tournament event. When offered a bottle of water, he declined saying: “It will ruin the whiskey.” The word for joke in Spanish is “chiste” and that may be the reason for his name, Chi Chi. He said the younger players “are far better than we ever were”. His joke to us was: “How do you keep a blonde in suspense?” “How?” we asked. After a long look he said: “I’ll tell you tomorrow”.
Chi Chi’s friend, the great Robert Trent Jones II played a few holes with us on his Bahia Beach Golf course as he described his philosophy on golf architecture and life itself. Standing on the ladies tee with enormous fairway bunkers looming ominously, he was asked if the drive should be directed over them. “Well yes, that is why I put them there”. Success evokes his quip. “Bobby’s bunker didn’t get you. We’ll have to get a portable one for you“. He brings visual artistry of a course in harmony with nature. His artistic talent also carries over to poetry which brought us to tears, made us laugh and inspired for sure.
Bob pointed out the home of Oscar de la Hoya who according to Royal Isabela owner, Stanley Pasarell, signed up to preview his course on the day of a hurricane and insisted on playing when the rest of the island took refuge, even while his home was being hit.
At the Gran Melia breakfast buffet we encountered Chris Tidland who joined our table and gave us insight into the good family life alternatives on the PGA tour. By the end of the day he had tied the course record and led the event. Meanwhile Mike Weir withdrew due to injury after a bad shot on 9 and took solace playing ball in the pool. John Daly’s son chose the beach for his ball handling while his dad in bright pants was not making the cut.
A VIP reception featured tall and lanky, dark and lovely, Miss Universe who treated us to a photo. After snapping over 1000 of them that day with total strangers, she was still smiling and engaging. That is pretty much her whole job for a year. Also dark and handsome in the hospitality tent, actor Amaury Nolasco Garrido, was recognized from TV series Prison Break and many other shows. He studied biology at the University of Puerto Rico to become a doctor, but the closest he came was playing character Ricky in the ER medical drama series in 2002. Watch for this self proclaimed hugger in the 2011 movie, “The Rum Diary” starring as Segurra. We highly recommend Puerto Rico as our new favorite island for golf and star gazing.Written by Alice and Danny Scott
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