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B's Happy After Long Drive Competition

by Dyan LeBourdais / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA -- Pull that golf club back, take a running start, and swing at that ball as hard as possible. Do all of this and dress like beloved movie character  Happy Gilmore and you’ve topped the charts at the “Swing Like Happy Gilmore” long drive competition.

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On Tuesday, September 1, the Boston Bruins own Milan Lucic and Tim Thomas judged the driving contest as well as the best-dressed “character” at Golf Country in Middleton.

Before the tournament, Tim Thomas explained what he was really looking for in Tuesday’s event.

“Well I just want to see a whole bunch of people having a lot of fun. That’s the main goal,” he said.

“It will be interesting to see who will really connect and maybe send one way out there,” said Thomas. “I’ve done it before playing around and a lot of times you don’t hit it well, but every once in a while you can really smack it.”

During the competition, many players were really able to connect a la their favorite hockey playing golfer. Winning the under-14 competition was 14-year-old Nick Nice from Wakefield with a 160-yard drive. The winners of the adult competition were Mark Millard and Bobby Noys, with 234-yard and 214-yard drives respectively. The winner of the dress-like-Happy competition was James O’Blenes.

Lucic was amazed at all the swings he saw during the event, especially at the ones that gained some distance.

“I’m not that good of a golfer,” said Milan. “I wouldn’t be the best guy here at this competition. I can tell you that much.”

He has even tried to swing like Happy himself.

“I have tried it out. It doesn’t work too well,” said Lucic. “I don’t know how [Adam Sandler] perfected it the way he did, but what works for you for you works for you I guess.”

Thomas took his job as judge seriously even disqualifying one of longest drives of the day because he deemed it wasn’t enough like Happy’s.

“[I’m] judging to make sure they’re not cheating,” said Thomas. “That they’re really doing the Happy Gilmore swing, that it’s not just a regular golf swing.”

“We had to disqualify one of the earlier leaders,” said Thomas with mock seriousness. “He still would have been in third place, but he missed it and took another swing when he was standing there so we had to lay down the law.”

Participants were given three fluorescent yellow golf balls, a golf club, and the instructions to run, swing and keep the ball between the white lines. While keeping the ball between the white borders proved difficult because of the wind, so was hitting the golf ball from a running start. Needless to say there were many “whiffs.”

That said, however, the movie has definitely had a major impact on Boston sports fans.

O’Blenes, a Peabody native, was decked out in full Happy Gilmore attire including work boots, sweatpants, a plaid flannel and Bruins hat.

“It’s been my favorite movie since I’ve been a little kid,” said O’Blenes before doing his best Happy impression. “I know like all the quotes.”
Nice, who won the under-14 competition, is a big Bruins fan and loves Happy Gilmore, so it was no surprise that he had fun trying to shoot like Happy.

“I loved it. It was so fun!” said Nice. “We were watching ‘Happy Gilmore’ and then my dad’s friend called up and told us about this so we just had to come.”

In the last week, Nice and his father have watched Happy Gilmore about 5 times. In that time, Nice has developed a favorite scene: the alligator.

Evan, a 9-year-old participant, shared his own favorite movie moment. “When he gets the alligators head and he shoves it into the guy,” said Evan. “The alligator took his hand off!”

Like many of the fans that attended the event, Lucic is a fan of the movie as well.

“It’s an instant classic, I feel like [Adam Sandler] is an innovator of the sport of golf and he brought a new style to it,” said Lucic.

All of the money raised from the event will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation.
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