Lehman, Hoge to participate in 'Chasing the Jacket' Masters virtual chat on Wednesday
Two of the area's top professional golfers to host a discussion on the Masters golf tournament this week
FARGO — Tom Hoge has never been shy about his affinity for college football and professional golf. The two are having a marriage of sorts this week at the Masters in Augusta, Ga.
For one, it’s the Masters. Probably enough said. For two, ESPN’s “College GameDay” is going off course and broadcasting its football pregame show Saturday from the par-3 course on the Augusta National property.
“A fun time of the season,” Hoge said. “You have football and the Masters at Augusta, that’s pretty unique and a lot going on.”
What’s also unique is going to happen Wednesday, Nov. 11. Hoge and Tom Lehman will be the featured guests in Bell Bank’s “Chasing the Jacket: a Masters chat with Tom Hoge and Tom Lehman.” The virtual discussion will be open to subscribers from 3-4 p.m. with members being able to access it at the following link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__OzXo9vgSU27ZkEBM9koqg .
The event will later be aired on WDAY-TV on Sunday, Nov. 15 from 3-4 p.m. with a recording available on Forum Communications websites.
Lehman, who grew up in Alexandria, Minn., has 35 career professional victories, including the 1996 British Open. He finished in a tie for third in 1993 and second in 1994 at the Masters.
In the latter, Lehman, Larry Mize and Jose Maria Olazabal were tied entering the back nine on Sunday.
Olazabal prevailed by two shots.
“I think for a lot of people in the United States, the Masters is that tournament we’re all familiar with being played on the same course every year,” Hoge said. “So you get familiar with some of the holes on the back nine and the big shots coming down the stretch.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament that is usually held in April is being played in November for the first time.
“I think we’re curious to see what it’s going to look like this year,” Hoge said. “How the course changes and what that could mean for a potential winner.”
Playing the Masters is one of the few goals Hoge has yet to achieve in his professional career. It’s a tough invite to get. Hoge, a Fargo South graduate who played collegiately at TCU, said he looks back to the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii where he was in contention down the stretch. He finished third.
“That was the first time I locked up my (tour) card and felt OK there at the time,” he said. “But as it got closer to the Masters, it stung a little bit more that I wasn’t there competing in it.”
Lehman, meanwhile, has played in the Masters 13 times. The last was in 2006. Hoge and Lehman do share one area of prestige in common: Both were medalists at the Pine to Palm in Detroit Lakes, Minn.
“I think back to tournaments like the Pine to Palm, he’s been a measuring stick growing up,” Hoge said. “He’s just a competitor out there. His professional career didn’t get off to the fast start that most guys do but he stuck with it and he played so great in so many majors. He was in the final group of the U.S. Open which is incredibly hard to do. Winning the British Open and just his longevity and what he’s been able to do. He’s playing into his 60s on the Championship Tour and playing well.”