Stars of the PGA Championship flocked to the world premier of the new movie ‘Seven Days in Utopia’.
Academy award winning actor, Robert Duval was present at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in suburban Atlanta along with the lead actor, Lucas Black plus the film’s Director, Matthew Dean Russelll and the book’s writer David L. Cook that inspired this latest golf theme movie.
Three PGA players in Rich Beem, Stewart Cink and Rickie Fowler, who featured but albeit very briefly, were on stage before being joined by Russell along with Black and then Duval, who was afforded a standing ovation.
Black plays the part of Texas-born pro Luke Chisholm who takes a 14 down the last while leading on the final day of the Callaway San Antonio Open.
In the presence of his father, who was acting as caddy, Chisholm ‘loses the plot’ after finding a water hazard and then breaking his putter over his knee and hurling the club head into a water hazard.
Chisholm leaves the course furious and in coming to a T-intersection, he makes a right turn to the small town of Utopia where after avoiding a bull on the road, crashes through a fence with Duval riding up his horse to enquire his well-being.
Duval is a former PGA Tour winner, played in the Ryder Cup but quit the game when he turned to the ‘bottle’.
However he talks Chisholm in spending seven days with him on his own private golf coure but it’s other activities away from the course that Duval lay out for the hapless pro.
Duval takes Chisholm fly fishing, has him paint scene of a ball lying a tree and asks Chisholm to paint onto the canvass how to play the shot while there is a dramatic scene when Duval is flying his private aircraft, and in handing Chisholm the controls, the plane’s engine cuts out.
Duval hands all responsibility for bringing the plane down saftely to Chisholm but then when the plane is about 500 feet from the ground, Duval realises he had turned the motor off by accident.
At the end of the seven days in Utopia, Duval spells out three letters for Chisholm to keep in mind – S F T or swing, feel and touch.
Strangely the washed-up Duval is able to manage to obtain an invitation for Chisholm to play in the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open the very next week after he spends seven days in Utopia.
It is in the tournament we get a small glimpse of Beem, Cink and Fowler whereas it is K. J, Choi, as T. K. Oh is Chisholm’s main rival to the Tour title.
Choi has contested the Valero Texas Open on three occasions but not since 2005 when the Koeran missed the cut.
And strangely, Choi’s regular caddy, Andy Prodger, who was among the official guests, was not a part of the movie, and instead was replaced by a Korean-born looking caddy.
Both Chishol and Choi end regulation play tied and in the play-off Choi goes for the par four, 18th with a driver sending his ball through the green.
Chisholm, with his father who he hasn’t seen since taking a 14, lays-up with an iron and then hits a lob-wedge to some 15-feet right of the flag.
Choi hits the flagstick with his second but sees his third stop right on the edge of the hole.
In that classic Hollywood manner, Chisholm is set to end the hero of the movie, in taking out a long-handled putter to win the event with his birdie putt.
But in a bizarre twist, and with the ball just inches from the hole, the movie concludes with Duval suggesting it doesn’t matter if Chisholm holed the putt or not, as it’s all about how you conduct yourself in life and also trusting in God.
However producers tease the audience by suggesting to go onto www.didhemake theputt.com to see is Chisholm in fact becomes the Valero Texas Open.
But a word of warning, you have to wait until after September 2nd, when the movie opens across the U.S., for the answer.
Other golfers competing in the PGA Championship present at the launch included Masters Champion, Charl Schwartzel and the Swedish trio of Johan Edfors, Freddie Andersson Hed and Ryder Cup winning star, Peter Hanson.
VERDICT – Another good golf theme movie, and while very different to its predecessors not one to hardly set the box office on fire.
Robert Duval was superb so to was Lucas Black as Luke Chisholm while Melissa Leo played the part well of a possible and future love interest to Chisholm.
The only real negative was the ‘over the top’ commentary at the end of the movie from the Golf Channel’s Brandle Chamblee and the painful Kelly Tillman.