Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes
as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content
Coyotes players, coaches and front-office staff members took a rare day off from hockey on Monday to play in the team’s annual golf tournament with their fans and corporate partners at Legend Trail Golf Club in Scottsdale.
Coyotes Charities was the event’s big winner as approximately $50,000 was raised via the tourney, silent auction and other various donations made by the participants throughout the day.
|Olli Jokinen tees off at the 12th Annual Coyotes Charities Golf Classic. |
Monday’s weather was perfect for golf, what with cloudless skies and a soft breeze, and from what I saw and heard afterward, all 28 fivesomes playing the best-ball scramble had a good time. Each group had either a Coyotes player, coach or staff member assigned to it, and the results were very interesting.
Brian McGrattan and his four partners won the tournament with a score of 16-under 56.
“This is the best time I’ve ever had at a golf tournament,” said Josh Evans, 26, who was part of the winning team. “McGrattan is hilarious.”
Evans told me at one point in the round McGrattan used an aluminum can as a tee on a long par-3 and knocked his ball off the can and onto the green.
Eric Gallagher, 35, also was part of the winning team. He, too, enjoyed playing with the new Coyotes enforcer.
“He’s a stand-up guy,” Gallagher told me. “Lots of times, pro athletes play in these events and they hardly speak to you. With him, it felt like he was just one of our buddies.”
Other Coyotes players received similar compliments.
Ed Jovanovski’s fivesome and Mikael Tellqvist’s fivesome tied for second place at 15-under 57.
There were skill contests within the tournament and some of the players ended up winning those. Steven Reinprecht won the longest drive competition, and Daniel Winnik won the closest to the pin contest with a shot he placed within five feet of the hole on long par-3.
Rookie Viktor Tikhonov
played in the group in front of my group and consistently ripped his drives seemingly 300 yards or so.
|Ed Jovanovski worked hard for his second place finish at 15-under 57. |
“I just hit them in the fairway and they did the rest of the work,” Tikhonov said of his partners.
Meanwhile, Goaltenders Coach Grant Fuhr played in the group behind my group and dazzled us with his lengthy and accurate drives all day.
Rookie Kevin Porter and his group finished in last place and earned some free golf lessons as a prize. Porter’s group carded a 1-over 73.
Porter was a good sport about it afterward and noted that he played with a set of rental clubs instead of his own sticks. I asked him what went wrong.
“My teammates were pretty good,” Porter said. “We just didn’t make any putts. We’d always two- or three-putt.”
Then he smiled and added, “And we were probably a little too honest.”
I played with coaches Ulf Samuelsson and Doug Sulliman, Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving and Chief Communications Officer Jeff Holbrook. We shared a lot of laughs and finished 10-under par.
PGA golfer Jeff Quinney, whom the Coyotes sponsored in 2008, spent the day at the 12th hole hitting tee shots on the 225-yard par 3 for anyone who donated $20 to Coyotes Charities. We did, and he hit a beauty for us to about eight feet behind the hole, and yours truly rolled in a putt for a birdie. I have to admit, it felt pretty cool teaming with a PGAer to birdie a hole, so cool I’ve almost forgotten that I hit a 2-iron less than halfway to the hole with Quinney watching about five minutes before the aforementioned birdie. Almost.
All in all, it was a fun day. I encourage those who have never participated in this tournament to do so next year.
And I thank Director of Community Relations Sarah Finecey and her staff for putting on a great event. Check back to phoenixcoyotes.com later this week for a photo slideshow and video of the tournament.
Thanks for reading.