October 21, 2014-By Don Nichols
After last week’s inclement weather forced a cancellation, the final ATAG match of 2014 was graced with a beautiful, sunny day that saw 16 players show up on the first tee to compete one last time for the coveted Golden Ale Trophy.
COMMISSIONER’S TEAM ENDS SEASON AS IT BEGAN–VICTORIOUS!
This week’s Commissioner’s Team of Danny Morris, Ron Majors, Mike Schmal, and Don Nichols fired a best ball score of 9 under to win the right to sip the complimentary golden brew for the last match of the season. The Commissioner was quick to point out that the Commissioner’s Team also won the opening match of the 2014 season and admitted that he had, indeed, purposely assembled the same team for the finale. However, plans went awry when Mike Gaddis was late in arriving, causing the Commish to substitute 12 handicapper Mike Schmal for the 14 handicapper Gaddis. But, that turned out to be a fortuitous change to the line up as Schmal played one of his best rounds of the year to help lead the Commish’s Team to victory. ( a quick look at the score cards revealed that the “original” Commish’ s Team would have finished 4 under)
Stepping up to earn sponsorship rights to present the victors with their free brewsky was the 6 under team of Scotty Greene, Frank Corrigan, Jeff Kohn, and Tom Kisgen, while the other two teams came in at 7 under each.
Meagher and Schmal Tie For Low Gross! Bill Meagher and Mike Schmal each fired a 39 to share Medalist honors.
Schmal Wins Low Net in Chip Off! Mike Schmal and Tim Martin each finished at a net 3 under, setting up a chip off in the failing daylight. The co-winners wanted to just split the spot but the other players demanded a chip off and the Commissioner agreed to comply with the wishes of the majority. Martin lost the coin flip and went first and flubbed his attempt which set the stage for Schmal to merely plop the ball onto the green (where it damn near went in), enabling him to pocket the 16 one dollar bills for his second low net win of the season.
Healy and Corrigan Share The Pinkster! Sixteen handicapper Doug Healy and twenty five handicapper Frank Corrigan shared the “sucked more” moniker, each posting a net score of 5 over par. Since Corrigan has a garage full of Pinksters, the Commish awarded the last Pinkster of the year to first time winner Healy who feigned a smiling acceptance. (Healy later blamed teammate Tim Martin for buying him drinks during the round.)
Birdie Club Finishes With A Flourish! The Birdie Club ended the season with a flurry of 6 birdies from the field of 16 thanks to double contributions from Tim Martin and Mike Schmal, and single deposits from Tom Kisgen and Bill Meagher. Five handicapper Meagher ended up as the top Birdie maker of the year with 13, but fourteen handicapper Tim Martin made it interesting, posting four birdies in his last two matches, to finish just 3 birdies short of Meagher.
Final Results: 10-21-14 Front Nine
Morris, Schmal, Majors, Nichols -9
Arnold, Healy, Martin, Meagher -7
Buist, Gaddis, Williamson, Kohn -7
Kisgen, Colbath, Corrigan, Greene -6
-It was a beautiful evening and the mood was festive as players relished their last gathering on the upper deck porch, with many staying past 8:30 pm, including long time Ansley member Al Roberds who made a surprise cameo appearance.
-It was announced that the end of the year party and awards presentation would be held in the Tennis Center on November 4th, where ATAGers will have a private venue to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while reflecting on the season and experiencing the famed ATAG camaraderie one last time before the winter off season.
–Some of the highlights of the season:
–27 weeks of nine hole matches with an average field of 18 players and only four rain outs.
–18 “cameo” appearances by players who could not make the match but did not want to miss out on socializing with their fellow ATAGers.
–not one, but two Eagles, (one by Bill Meagher and one by Jeff Colbath), breaking a six year drought, and the Birdie Club roster ended up with 33 different players who contributed a total of 89 birdies over the 27 matches. (Compared to last year when only 64 birdies were recorded by 24 players over a total of 29 matches.)
–16 different Low Net money winners shared a total purse of $444 (not equally, mind you), while 20 different players were awarded the Pink Lady.
-the match on March 25 was played in the toughest weather conditions on record as a sudden arctic blast accompanied by strong winds arrived during the round (a day earlier than forecast) but the 16 players saw it through before hastily retreating to the Men’s Grill at the conclusion of their round.
-the Commissioner’s Team broke its losing streak and ended up as the top winning team for the season, restoring its rightful place on the ATAG Tour.
That’s it for this year, a year that seemingly went by faster than the others–but that seems to be the case every year since ATAG “officially” began in 2001. Like the prior years, this season again embodied what has become the spirit of the ATAG fraternity, a special fellowship of Ansley Golf Club members who gather every Tuesday after work for a friendly but competitive nine hole round of golf followed by a few beers while discussing their rounds.
In closing, the Commissioner, on behalf of ATAG, would especially like to thank the Ansley Golf Club staff for its assistance and cooperation in making sure the ATAG experience is possible. There is not a finer golf staff in Atlanta, so to you, we say “thanks for your support” and see you next year!