April 17, 2012- By Don Nichols
The forecast was rain and, sure enough, the clouds became dark, the siren wailed, and the rain began to fall shortly before the 5:00 pm start causing the players to gather in the Grill and do some early beer consuming and chicken wing eating. But the delay was only about 30 minutes and when the skies cleared, another full field of 20 ATAGers eagerly reported to the first tee and the fifth match of the 2012 season was on!
SCORES ON LAST HOLE CREATE BOTH VICTORY AND MAYHEM!
The requirement that three best scores of the foursome are counted on the last hole of a nine hole match is proving to be the critical point in the competition as demonstrated by this week’s first and last place finishers. Each of the two groups in question were 9 under going into # 9. One group excelled by picking up three shots to finish with the winning score of the day of 12 under, while the other group failed miserably, dropping four shots to finish in ignominious shame with the last place score of 5 under. Being rewarded for their stellar efforts was the team of Marty Arnold, Mike Schmal, Henry Sawyer, and Jim Williamson who managed three “net birdies” on the clinching hole.
Experiencing the agony of defeat was this week’s Commissioner’s Team of Kevin McGlynn, Lee Pearson, Doug Healy, and Don Nichols. This marks the second week in a row that the Commissioner’s Team has choked on the last hole, dropping three shots on #18 in last week’s match to also finish DAL. This week’s team’s finish was more of a comical ending to what had been a well played team effort. Two of the four players–Pearson and Nichols— were on the green, one putting for birdie and the other for par. But the other two–McGlynn and Healy–appeared to be slugging it out in a last ditch effort for the Pink Lady. Electing to re-tee after hitting his tee shot in the creek, seventeen handicapper McGlynn’s next attempt was a low line drive burner that went under the bridge and kicked out of the creek and then sailed across the green before coming to rest high up on the bank behind the green, leaving him lying three. His first chip shot fell short of the green and his next attempt went some 10 feet past the pin. Not to worry, though, because nineteen handicapper Healy was lying one in the greenside bunker and surely he would make no worse than a bogey-net par. However, that was not the case as Healy elected to stay and play in the sand box (for quite some time I might add) before finally sailing the ball out of bounds in a high menacing arc toward the pro shop followed by his anguished cry of “fore” as the cart attendants scrambled for cover. With Healy now “in his pocket” and both Pearson and Nichols missing their birdie/par putts, McGlynn was able to two putt to finish out the hole for the team with a painful 7, “net 6”, and the four shot drop is now in the record books.
Final Results: 4-17-2012 Front Nine
Sawyer, Arnold, Schmal, Williamson -12
Chasteen, Jobson, Wymer, Kohn -9
Gooding, Sellner, Colbath, Majors -9
Martin, Corrigan, Morgan, Batelaan -7
Pearson, McGlynn, Healy, Nichols -5
The following players earned individual recognition:
BRAD REESE LOW GROSS AWARD: Lee Pearson 38 The seven handicapper posts his second 38 in as many tries on the front nine, offsetting four bogeys with two birdies to edge past Richard Batelaan for the best score of the day of two over in the Reese-less field.
LOW NET WINNER: Mike Schmal -4 Thirteen handicapper Mike Schmal, a two time low net winner in the 2011 season, picked up his first low net for 2012 in only his third match of the season, firing a 39 for the best low net of 4 under to take home the 20 one dollar bills.
PINK LADY WINNER: Frank Corrigan 56 The 25 handicapper picked up his second Pink Lady in as many tries with the high score of the day of 56. It was almost a blemish free round but he was unable to escape making par on #5 which diminished what could have been a record setting round after making four triples and four doubles to claim the pinkster. (Since Corrigan already has a full supply of pinksters, the Commissioner quickly reclaimed the round symbol to hold for future winners.)
SHOT OF THE DAY: No shots of the day were reported although Mike Schmal did receive honorable mention for his approach shot on the number 5 par five hole. Lying approximately 220 yards from the green after his tee shot, Schmal elected to let his ego allow him to go for the green (only a few of the players on the ATAG Tour are able to get on a par 5 in two). As described by his playing partners, the lanky Schmal rocketed the ball the correct distance and watched it land in the middle of the green–only to continue its journey through the green and over the bank into the creek below. (Not sure what happened next, but the scorecard reveals that Mr. Schmal made bogey)
BIRDIE CLUB. The front nine was a little stingy this week, allowing only four birds to be made, two of which were donated compliments of Lee Pearson, with the other two contributions from first time joiner Mike Schmal and from Richard Batelaan. Batelaan has now made one or more birdies in each match he has played in this year and continues as the Leader in the Clubhouse with a total of 6 of the elusive one unders.
COMMISSIONER’S CORNER (Observations Of The Commish)
Another loud and raucous crowd on the porch with players electing to engage in private table discussions and chow down on the outdoor grilled burgers, making it difficult to announce the match results or enable any kind of story telling. Also, other non-ATAGer smokers began arriving on the porch which essentially ended the exclusive ATAG experience for the evening.
–Cameo appearances were made by PJ Wade, Brooks Cowles, Danny Morris, and Mike Gaddis. Morris and Gaddis had earlier finished winning their Billy Jones match 2 and 1. Cowles announced that he hopes to soon rejoin the ATAG Tour.
-The Commissioner was not happy with his team being DAL two weeks in a row and did admit that he does keep a “SL” of those players who contribute to the team’s demise. The pain of this week’s loss was softened somewhat in that the Commish was not obligated to pony up for his pro rata share since one of the players on the winning team (that would be Henry Sawyer) left early before the results of the match were announced. The ATAG Bylaws provide that if any member of a winning team is not present to receive the Golden Ale Trophy, such trophy shall be awarded the Commish. (In this case, the Commish was essentially obligated to buy himself a beer.)
That’s it for this week. Check out the photos in the Gallery and see the Leaders in the Clubhouse and scroll down to see the individual scores from today’s match.
Final Leaderboard 4-17-012 Front Nine
Gooding / Kohn 43
Martin / Healy 47