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Volume 25 No. 239
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Weekend Plans With Fox Sports Golf Announcer Shane Bacon

Fox Sports’ SHANE BACON earned some serious bragging rights among his counterparts last weekend. Bacon, a former mini tour player, called the U.S. Senior Women’s Open on FS1 on Sunday before going inside the ropes for a U.S. Open sectional in Dallas the next morning. He earned that spot after advancing out of a local qualifier in Phoenix, but make no mistake -- he had to hustle to make that 8:10am tee time. While Bacon didn’t advance out of the sectional, he still took THE DAILY through his wild 48 hours (and 36 holes) and what it was like to tee it up against the pros.

EVERYTHING’S BIGGER IN TEXAS: When you get through local qualifying, you put in where you’d like to play sectionals. I put mine as Walla Walla, Washington. One of my best buddies is from up there and I figured I could go drink some wine and play golf with him. Due to scheduling with Fox Sports, I ended up switching my sectional to Dallas. Now we have the pickle of broadcasting the women’s event in North Carolina the night before. On Sunday, we got off the air at 5:00pm ET. I had to ship my clubs from Phoenix to Texas before I left for N.C. because it was such a tight window. I had an hour drive to the Raleigh airport, got there maybe 30 minutes before we boarded and thankfully there were no delays. I landed in Dallas around 9:30pm local time, and my buddy who was caddying for me snagged me at the airport. We had a quick bite, got to bed around 11:00 and got up at 6:00am. Then it was time to get to the golf course for an 8:10am tee time.

TEE TO GREEN: The first course we were scheduled to play that day printed off 100 yardage books for the players in the field, but then gave both players and caddies each their own book. So they ran out quickly and I had to reach out to the USGA to see if I could get one. This was a place where you needed to know the numbers. The USGA ended up getting me one, but there was also a local 16-year old, JACOB HOBART, who hit me up on Twitter and had a yardage book. My dad drives over to his house and he lets me borrow the book for the day. I had that as a backup so shoutout to him. Twitter can be such an awful space sometimes but the last couple of weeks I’ve had so many people reach out and be helpful.

SWIMMING WITH SHARKS: I don’t know if the PGA Tour players even noticed I was in the field, but it was really fun to be in their arena for a day. To be on the range next them, to have BRIAN HARMAN rolling putts next to you. I played with MARTIN LAIRD who has won 3 times on the PGA Tour. You’re going through the same process that they’re going through. I don’t know if I necessarily gained street cred, but one of my goals was to go out there and play comfortable golf. That first round I did a pretty good job of that. Winds got pretty gusty for round 2 and conditions were tough. I had a couple bad holes but other than that it was a solid round. Tournament golf is just different -- you feel different mentally. You’re not used to it like those guys are. I feel like for the most part I did a good job of putting together respectable numbers.

GET ‘EM NEXT YEAR? It’s a fun thing to put yourself in. Thousands dream of making a U.S. Open. I played in the Phoenix local alongside a 40-year old and a 21-year old. That’s the beauty of the game and it makes for such a unique thing in sports. You’re not going to walk on some hoops team and somehow wind up on the Warriors for the NBA Finals. But in golf there’s this hope that we all have. Sillier things have happened. When the email comes next year with the qualifying dates I’ll be jumping in again.

Know of someone you'd like to see featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot an email to tleary@sportsbusinessdaily.com.