April 8, 2014-By Don Nichols
Following last week’s full slate, this week saw another full field of 20 players that gathered on the friendly front nine on a breezy but pleasant Tuesday afternoon that followed a day of heavy rain. The Commissioner once again invoked the “lift, clean, and replace anywhere except the hazards” rule, but the course was remarkably in good shape with little or no standing water. (Something that would have been unheard of years ago)
10 UNDER TAKES IT! COMMISH’S “21 CLUB” TEAM EDGED OUT!
The foursome of Jim Williamson, Doug Gooding, Bill Meagher, and Ron Majors got the complimentary golden ale by posting a score of 10 under to slip by the Commissioner’s “21 Club” (all four players with 21 handicaps) which was right behind them at 9 under. The winners leaped to the lead on # 7, doubling their score from 4 under to 8 under, then picked up two more on # 8 before salvaging par on # 9 to top the leaderboard.
The right to be the day’s sponsor was decided by the tie breaker system which resulted in the last group to tee off ending up in the “buy zone” with a net score of 4 under. Losing the tie breaker hole # 6 and seeing their Club bill dinged ($5.13 incl tax) was the team of Lee Pearson, Tom Kisgen, Frank Corrigan, and Al Roberds. Also crying in their beer, so to speak, was the team of Mike Gaddis, PJ Wade, Tim Martin, and Bill Buist which approached # 9 at what would have been a tie for the winning score at 10 under– but the ill fated foursome choked on the pressure cooker three balls counting finishing hole and dropped four shots.
Bill Meagher posted the best score of the day with a 37, matching his score on Opening Day. The five handicapper (and only single digiter in the field) opened with back to back bogeys and added one more later, but pulled it together with birdies on the two par 5’s to end up at one over and all alone at the top of the leaderboard.
Ron Majors and Commissioner Don Nichols each finished at a net 3 under but Majors won the sudden death “chip off”. The more highly skilled Majors offered to skip the chip off and split the bounty, but the Commissioner insisted that the good weather and remaining day light called for a resumption of the ATAG tradition of one winner. (and so, basically, the Commish took one for the team. You would have thought that Mr. Majors, flushed with cash, would have at least offered to buy the Commish a beer. Just saying.)
Frank Corrigan, last year’s Pink Lady Champion, grabbed his first Pinkster of the year in only his third try, finishing at the bottom of the leaderboard with a net score of 9 over. The 25 handicapper, had one of his miserable days, doubling and tripling his way around the front links, with a strong triple, triple, triple finish to ink his name right behind Jeff Colbath on the season’s Leaders in the Clubhouse.
Shot of the Day went to Jim Williamson, known for his prowess with the wedge, who chipped in from 70 feet out on # 7 for a birdie-“net eagle”. It was the second week in a row that Mr. Williamson was noted for Shot Of The Day. Honorable mention was given to the Commissioner who managed to save bogey-“net par” on # 8 after seemingly having an unplayable lie in the holly bushes behind the green. Acting as if he had practiced what amounted to a trick shot a million times, the Commish gripped down low on his sand wedge, planted his face into the bushes away from the hole, spread his feet apart, and hit the ball backwards between his legs. The scarred but functional Pro V 1 proceeded to cooperatively bounce gingerly onto the green and then roll down to within two feet of the pin, much to the amazement of his appreciative playing partners.
The Birdie Club doubled its production from the prior week, recording 6 of the elusive “one unders“. Bill Meagher was credited with a generous donation of two tweeters to go along with single contributions by Ron Majors, Jim Williamson, Kevin McGlynn, and Bill Buist. It was Buist’s first entry into the Birdie Club since the 2012 season.
Final Results/Scores: 4-8-2014 Front Nine
Williamson (45), Gooding (48) , Meagher (37), Majors (39) -10
Wymer (50), McGlynn (51), Jobson (48), Nichols (44) -9
Gaddis (50), Wade (43), Martin (44), Buist (46) -6
Colbath (52), Healy (45), Arnold (50), Morris (45) -4
Roberds (50), Pearson (45), Corrigan (58), Kisgen (48) -4
-The players initially gathered on the upper deck to enjoy the “coolish” weather and wait for the match results and then re-convened to the Grill to consume additional beers and chicken wings.
-Bill Meagher once again lamented the fact that the winner of Low Gross gets nothing but a photo op while the low net winner pockets the cash. His complaint was met with deaf ears by the predominately high handicap ATAG Tour players. The Commissioner noted that, as the only single digit handicapper on the ATAG Tour, Mr. Meagher should win the Low Gross in every match he plays ,and thus a recurring photo on the Gallery page of this blog should be enough validation for his ego.
-There was much discussion of the change in the format of the upcoming Member-Member Tournament from the traditional two man best ball to an alternate shot/shamble format. Players were surprised and disappointed in the change and were unanimously opposed to the new format which is a clear disadvantage to the high handicappers who, despite getting strokes, are known to zing one or two out of bounds (or worse) in any given round, and the fact that they may be stroking on said hole does not mitigate the disaster.
-The Commissioner missed last week’s match as he was attending the annual Commissioner’s Conference in La Jolla, California, where all the commissioners were treated to an 18 hole round on the Torrey Pines South Course, site of the 2008 U.S. Open, and the future 2021 Open. And, at the subsequent Awards Banquet that evening, the Commissioner was also pleased to graciously receive, on behalf of ATAG, an award from the U.S.G.A for having the”Best Golf group In America That Plays A Competitive 9 Holes Of Golf After Work On A Tuesday During Daylight Savings Time.” Players should be proud of this recognition considering the number of golf groups throughout the country that were in contention.
That’s it for the recap of this week’s match. Scroll down to see the results of last week’s match which was chronicled by Acting Commissioner Danny Morris.
Recap of 4-1-2014 Match-By Danny Morris
It was an absolutely perfect Atlanta spring weather afternoon. Temp at 78 degrees. Light breeze. The match was set for 20 players. All were on time and ready to play. We teed off under the leadership of Eddie at exactly 4:51. The lead group of Martin, Houle, Jobson, and Cowles were chomping at the bit to get going and they set a pace that was impossible to match. That group finished significantly ahead of Group 2 however; their score didn’t match their speed, they were -1 as a team.
Wings and beer awaited the whole bunch and there were independent, lively conversations at the four or five tables spread around the ATAG upper deck. The team of Anthony Morgan, David Danzig, Tom Player, and William Thornton bought beers for Bill Meagher, Danny Morris, Jim Williamson, and Mike Gaddis.
Low Net-Danny Morris (34)= $20; Low Gross-Ron Majors (41), Pink Lady-Marty Arnold (44)
Shot of the Day- On hole 13, after two long shots, Jim Williamson ended up in the bunker next to the #4 green. From about 140 yards, Jim picked it clean out of the bunker and stuck it on the green about 20 feet away and just missed the birdie, settling for wonderful fairway “sandy par”.
Interesting fact–The team of Corrigan, Arnold, Kohn, and Kisgen gave back four shots on the last hole. It wouldn’t have changed their position on the leader board but it would have made them all happier.
Birdie Club-Morris, Martin, and Majors
There was intense movie discussion with several conflicting reviews of Wolf of Wall Street offered up by several folks. Word is, the F-word is uttered 507 times in this movie. I saw the movie and I think that might be a little light. Probably closer to 750. Overall, a generally lovely day of golf. No explanation of the mediocre scoring–it wasn’t the course or the weather.
Final Results/Scores: 4-1-2014 Back Nine
Meagher (42), Morris (43), Williamson (45) , Gaddis (43) -9
Wymer (48), Healy (45) , Majors (41), Colbath (52) -7
Corrigan (48), Arnold (53), Kohn (44), Kisgen (48) -2
Cowles (49) Jobson (50) , Houle (52), Martin (45) -1
Morgan (51), Danzig (54), Thornton (49), Player (45) +2