Michael Geffre, a 1998 graduate of Aberdeen Central and former Leola resident, had the experience of a lifetime on Monday. He teamed up with two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Jansen to win a pro-am golf tournament at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., site of this week's PGA tour stop for the Farmers Insurance Open.
It was just kind of a last-minute deal, Geffre said, explaining that he is an agent for Farmers Insurance, the new sponsor of the former Buick Open. I got a call from corporate and was asked if I wanted to play in it and how could I say no?, Geffre said.
The Aliso Viejo, Calif. resident, whose parents Adrian and Ruth still live in Aberdeen, said he enjoyed every minute of playing with Jansen.
He's just a classy guy, Geffre said. I can't say that I was really nervous. You're not going to go out and try to beat them.
Geffre said in addition to playing on a course that has been groomed for a PGA event, the other lasting memory was just watching Jansen hit the ball. He recalled Jansen playing a ball 258 yards out with a 3-wood, hitting it over a gully, and placing it within 18 inches of the pin.
You watch these guys on TV and you see them hit these incredible shots and you can't even begin to understand how good these guys are, Geffre said. You just kind of stand there in awe. It's an experience you can't even put into words. It's just a thing of beauty.
Geffre is hoping to get a chance to defend his title next year as Farmers Insurance has signed on as a four-year sponsor of the tournament. For now, he has a crystal vase, a photo with Jansen and a golfing moment that will last a lifetime.
Probably one of the coolest sports experiences that I've ever had, Geffre said.