Toledo, Ohio - The good vibes Bruce Lietzke was reliving from his U.S. Senior Open win here at Inverness Club eight years ago were replaced by shooting pains throughout his right shoulder late in Thursday’s opening round.
Finally, after driving his tee shot into the 14th fairway, Lietzke called it a day — and a championship — citing a lingering pain as the reason for his withdrawal.
Today the pain got really bad, especially when I was hitting it from the rough a bunch, he said. I just couldn’t make a hard swing and when the club would stop there would be like a shot of pain in my shoulder.
Lietzke, who, by choice, had not played a competitive round since the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in late April, was eight over par through the par-4 13th hole.
I’m disappointed, but I didn’t want to risk it, Lietzke said.
On Wednesday, Lietzke said he has twice suffered from a frozen shoulder, which is the loss of motion due to inflammation of ligaments around the shoulder bones.
I'm pretty sure it has to be fishing related, because it can't be golf related, he said, adding that he suffered a frozen right shoulder following his win here in 2003 and in his left shoulder in 2004.
Lietzke said he was encouraged by a trip to the on-site physical therapy trailer late Wednesday, being told he had a pretty good range of movement, and that it could be tendinitis.
Lietzke was already scheduled to meet with a specialist on Monday in Minneapolis, Minn., where he is scheduled to play the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship.
Prior to picking up his ball, Lietzke, who posted a 2-over 39 on the outward nine, had played Nos. 11-13 in six over par, including a quadruple bogey 7 at the par-3 12th.
The part of the golf course I was playing today I wouldn’t wish on anybody, he said.
Lietzke wanted someone to coin a phrase for the Inverness Club’s difficult five-hole inward stretch that starts with the par-3 12th hole.
Well, how about the Monster Mile?
On Thursday, hole Nos. 12-16 played 170, 457, 451, 213 and 477 yards, respectively. Or 1,768 yards in total distance — 8 more than a true mile.
While a difficult stretch, Joey Sindelar, who posted a 2-under 69 and played the holes in one over, says the skein is relative to the broader picture.
It’s just an interesting way that they’re glued together in that so many of the classic, bloody-nose holes are in a row here, he said of the consecutive holes that normally help make Inverness Club’s outward nine. Sometimes you see 8 and 9 at Pebble Beach, but then you've got 7 and 10 on each side, so it's not so bad. But here, their version of Pebble Beach is let's do it four times in a row.
I bet you’re getting a lot of blank looks and ‘What is that hole?’ I think it took a lot of players a long time to realize a few things: Like that there is only one par 3 on one of the nines and what is the par here [37-34 – 71]. Our test is about keeping our nose down and hitting one shot and playing one hole at a time. And then when we’re done we look up and say, ‘Hey, that was a difficult stretch of holes.’ But a USGA test is always tough. You can always make bogey on any hole.
Sounds like the entire 18, not just five holes, at Inverness may need a moniker.
John Cook is one of the local favorites this week at Inverness Club, having been born in the Toledo suburb of Maumee and going on to an All-American career at Ohio State.
But he’s not the only Buckeye in the field drawing cheers.
Joey Sindelar, who played with Cook on the 1979 NCAA championship team and was an All-American himself, enjoyed his first round in Ohio as a senior golfer by posting an opening 2-under 69 at Inverness Club.
"Oh, sure, yeah. I was getting lots of well wishes out there, and ‘Go Buckeyes,’ and all that kind of stuff," Sindelar, 53, said. "I can certainly tell I'm in the state of Ohio. That’s good stuff."
Sindelar, who was runner-up in the 2009 U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick, near Indianapolis, did some good stuff at Inverness, offsetting three bogeys with five birdies to sit five behind leader Olin Browne.