05/23/08 11:18 PM ET
Eveland a big hit at golf tournament
Lefty outdrives legends Stewart, Blue in long drive contest
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
It's safe to say Eveland's getting good use out of them, though. A day after pitching the first complete game of his career, the 24 year-old added another first to his sports accomplishments -- this time coming on the golf course. Eveland stole the show Thursday at the A's Community Fund Golf Classic in the long drive contest, with a winning drive of 328 yards.
"It was so much fun out there," Eveland said Friday before the first contest of a three-game series against Boston. "I was swinging well, but I wouldn't have won if the other guys weren't hitting all their balls off the fairways."
The "other" guys were former A's star pitchers Dave Stewart and Vida Blue, who teamed up to face Eveland and teammate Chad Gaudin. Eveland barely made it to the final round after driving a ball 327 yards -- just six yards ahead of Gaudin's shot. After Blue was unable to get a ball on the fairway, Stewart easily grabbed a spot in the finals with a drive of 280 yards.
The much-anticipated battle between Stewart and Eveland, which reliever Joey Devine had predicted Wednesday, turned out to be a repeat of the first round.
"He still kept hitting everything off the fairway," Eveland said with a laugh. "But in the end, the competition is all gentlemanly."
The competition may have just been for fun, but when asked how he felt before teeing off, the usually cool and collected Eveland couldn't stop talking about the butterflies that wouldn't leave his stomach.
"I was so scared," he admitted. "That was the first time I had swung a club in front of a crowd, so I was nervous during the whole thing."
Upon hearing this, A's broadcaster Ray Fosse shook his head and laughed at the pitcher, who replied, "And Ray's team somehow came out in first on the course."
Fosse and his first-place team shot a 20-under on a par 70 to beat out other competitors, such as manager Bob Geren, whose team took third with a score of 55.
"My team did well, just not as good as Fosse's team," the skipper said. "But I'm just the beginner."
The tournament, held at the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, Calif., raised more than $125,000 that will support charitable organizations in improving the quality of life for people throughout the Bay Area.
Jane Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.