|Celebrities Bill Martin, Betsy Kling, Mike Cairns and Tony Zarrella teed it up at Browns Stadium for charity.|
Where's Phil Dawson when you need him?
The Browns reliable field goal kicker could have been a good caddie Wednesday afternoon as four local media personalities teed it up from an unusual green: the 20-yard line at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Bill Martin, Tony Zarrella, Betsy Kling and Mike Cairns each had three chances to make a chip shot through the goal posts during the Bridgestone Invitational Media Day. A Dawson-like shot through the uprights earned each celebrity $1,000 for a Northeast Ohio charity. While all four downplayed their golf skills before taking their swings, we couldn't resist handicapping their games (all in the name of charity, of course).
Bill Martin, Fox 8
Playing for the HUGS Foundation
What kind of golfer are you? Competitive. "The talent is there. I need more time to play."
When did you start golfing? "I really got serious about it about 10 years ago. I played as a kid then stopped for a long time."
Best part of your game? "My driving’s gotten really good — nice baby draw, about 280 yards."
Worst part of your game? "Right around the green — chipping."
His shot: Martin swung for the fences, lofting his first shot high into the air, through the goal posts and into the upper deck of the stadium.
Tony Zarrella, 19 Action News
Playing for The Up Side of Downs of Greater Cleveland
What kind of golfer are you? Competitive. "I can play and put a 90 on the card. I could get 85 on a good day, but that’s about it."
When did you start golfing? About 20 years ago.
Best part of your game? "I got a great short game. I can get out of trouble, and I think it’s because I’ve done it so much. I’m always in trouble."
Worst part of your game? His tee shots. "I just bought a new driver and the [salesman] tried to talk me out of buying it. He said, 'Really? You want to spend $400 on this driver.' "
His shot: Maybe because of those issues off the tee, Zarella took a careful approach, driving the ball safe and low through the uprights on his first attempt.
Betsy Kling, Channel 3
Playing for Hattie Larlham
What kind of golfer are you? Duffer. "Bad. I usually don’t even keep score."
When did you start golfing? In college about 15 or 20 years ago.
Best part of your game? "My cheering ability — cheering on the people I’m golfing with."
Worst part of your game? "Probably my swing, which is probably a bad thing to have as your worst part. But golf is just a great game to get out and enjoy the weather anyway."
Her shot: Kling’s first shot was wide right. On her second attempt, her chip skipped short in the end zone. But with pressure on, she lofted her final shot successfully through the posts.
Mike Cairns, News Channel 5
Playing for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
What kind of golfer are you? Competitive. "I can shoot 85 or I can shoot 105, depending on the day."
When did you start golfing? "I started late. My dad was actually a college golfer, and I played a lot of baseball as a kid. I didn’t pick up a club until I was about 16 or 17 years old."
Best part of your game? His pre-swing mechanics. "I can tee the ball up better than anybody. ... That means put the ball on the tee better than anybody, not necessarily hit it. But I drive the ball really well. I can hit the ball far."
Worst part of your game? The mental part of the game. "Sometimes you start making some bad swings and it’s like all over, and it gets in your head."
His shot: Cairns, who was worried he might hook his shot into the owner's suite, split the uprights right down the middle on his first shot.
Thirteen-year-old Evan Steigerwald from First Tee of Cleveland also got a shot at winning money for his organization at the Bridgestone Invitational Media Day. Evan, who says he’s been golfing since he was 3 or 4, put his ball through the posts, earning $1,000 for First Tee of Cleveland, a youth group that builds character and values through the game of golf.
Phil would have been proud.