Sunday, June 20, 2010

TOLERATED SINS

Tolerated sins fall short on Sunday afternoons at the U.S. Open.
Puzzled fans watch their exalted march past with a thud,
wondering why sense makes no sense with the USGA at the
throttles.

Our trophy fell to McDowell, toasting his countrymen to wee
in the morning.
Joe Dahl


DENNIS MALONE: (+7) (+4) (+8)=(+19) TIE 3rd
70-73-77-78-CHOI
72-72-72-74-CLARK
77-81-OUT------------------COMPTON
75-73-74-80-DUVAL
74-72-74-79-FUNK
73-76-73-71-GARCIA
78-78-OUT-------------------KIM
76-71-77-81-WATNEY
78-71-70-76-WATSON
73-83-OUT--------------------YANG

JANE NASER: (+3) (+7) (+9)=(+19) TIE 3rd
73-74-73-74-ALLENBY
75-72-74-72-CABRERA
70-73-77-78-CHOI
76-73-71-76-CINK
72-75-74-71-FURYK
73-76-73-71-GARCIA
76-76-OUT--------------------GOYDOS
72-70-81-77-KELLY
72-77-73-74-PERRY, K
72-74-75-77VERPLANK

JOE DAHL: (+6) (+1) (+13) (+13)=+33 EMBARRASSED
75-72-74-72-CABRERA
70-73-77-78-CHOI
73-68-72-73-ELS
73-73-77-76-GLOVER
79-75-OUT-------------------------MOLINARI, F
75-72-72-79-MOLINARI, E
72-77-73-74-PERRY, K
75-74-77-73-STRICKER
76-71-77-81-WATNEY
73-83-OUT--------------------------YANG

FRAN KELLY: (E) (+6) (+16) (+13)=+35
70-73-77-78-CHOI
71-75-74-78-DONALD
73-68-72-73-ELS
72-75-74-71-FURYK
73-73-74-73-HARRINGTON
72-77-78-79-JOHNSON, ZACK
78-74-OUT----------------------------MAHON
70-73-77-78-POULTER
75-77-OUT-----SLOCUM
75-74-77-73-STRICKER

COTTMAN-MAN: (+1) (+3) (+20) (+10)= +34
72-76-74-72-BARNES
72-72-72-74-CLARK
73-73-77-76-GLOVER
76-76-OUT--------------------------GOYDOS
70-71-75-80-ISHIKAWA
78-74-OUT--------------------------MAHAN
73-76-83-79-MARTIN, P
70-73-77-78-POULTER
72-75-82-68VAN PELT
78-69-79-76-VILLEGAS

GREG MARTOCCIO: (-2) (+5) (+23) (+29)=+55
73-74-73-74-ALLENBY
78-83-OUT-----------------------CAMPBELL, M
69-73-77-78-CASEY
70-73-77-78-CHOI
71-75-74-78-DONALD
78-73-OUT------------------------KIM
78-74-OUT------------------------MAHON
75-77-OUT------------------------McILLROY
70-73-77-78-POULTER
78-69-79-76-VILLEGAS

BILL CARTER: (-1) (+6) (E) (+14)=+19 2nd PLACE!
73-74-73-74-ALLENBY
69-73-77-78-CASEY
76-73-71-76-CINK
72-72-72-74-CLARK
72-75-74-71-FURYK
71-70-66-82-JOHNSON, D
72-77-78-79-JOHNSON, Z
72-77-73-74-PERRY
70-73-77-78-POULTER
75-77-OUT------------------------McILLROY

DORIS: (-1) (-2) (+15) (E)=+12 WORLD'S CHAMPION!
73-76-75-70-APPLEBY
70-73-77-78-CHOI
70-70-75-68-CURTIS
73-68-72-73-ELS
72-75-74-71-FURYK
73-73-74-73-HARRINGTON
72-77-78-79-JOHNSON, ZACK
79-71-OUT---------------OGILVY
70-73-77-78-POULTER
78-69-79-76-VILLAGAS

One for Us

Raw and real meets Mr. Watson, neither presumes a thing. A ton of flesh, no more no less, outlasted hands too damp to pull the trigger. Sixty year old Tom Watson needs a top fifteen finish today for an exemption to next year's U.S. Open, advantage us.
The Journey-of-Hope denies all but the winner except today, ''get 'em Tom, we're with ya all the way!"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

LOST AFTER FOUND

Buggers and beer-unlucky or kind? The cliffs of doom spun wedges and minds, blame and credit to an ocean fog on cut day at the U.S. Open, Pebble Beach style.
Bump-ups, sliders and skippers, lost battles to victorious pin locations that hardly amused the world's best. PGA champion, Y.E. Yang, fell to yesterday's mischief with 49 on the home nine.
Seaside trees, showing losses to past winds, barely moved, advantage Phil. A tournament low 66 rewarded Mickelson with a 4:45 p.m. tee-time, beware.
Joe Dahl

Monday, June 14, 2010

A FAIR TRADE-from 'WHEN HE WAS ME.'

Living on a boat and playing the winter tour mixed poorly, too far from the action and rocking boats made for wobbly legs. Doctor Art produced pictures of a spine gone wrong and suggested a new sport. The Olympic drinking team felt like a fair trade. The advantage: negotiable starting times, no penalty for lateness and a flexible dress code, playing alone is frowned upon but never a deal wrecker and no rulebook. No one complains about slow drinking and few keep score. The gods rested.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

BEER CADDY

Three wins at the Saint Jude Memphis Classic should be remembered, few do. Not tall but firm, he found greens and fairways in regulation; a two-toothed old woman, in a mu-mu dress, pulled out of the gallery would have putted better than he. A voice, damaged from years of smoking, never complained.
Once quoted on his thoughts of the USGA's decision on knee high rough in the U.S. Open, he said, "They don't flood the outfield for the World Series." Outspoken,yes, concernedno, Dave Hill is his name. As an upstart pro, I watched him on the range for years: sliders, draws, high or low, always on command.
Hill played cards with the caddies, one brought him beer on the course, unfortunitly the part I learned the best.

YA SHOULDA BEEN THERE

Other than Cott taking a well-dressed man by the throat on the way up the elevator at The Waldorf, the boys enjoyed the night out. An ill-advised comment, from a weekend wannabe, toward Tina eliminated any chance of a complicated good-bye.

Our pro-am team came from the Bronx. Cott said, “They weren’t much to look at but they had some great handicaps.” They resembled convicts in street clothes. The big guy tried to hide a pop-tart complexion, calling attention to the loose skin below his chin. My imagination rallied, knowing he scared street mutts, and some forms of unsolved germs.

His brother landed in our foursome, another blessing. Before seeing his smooth swing and high handicap there were concerns over sibling ego wars, dropped immediately when his first shot left the clubface headed for Long Island.

The brothers told me that our fourth man transformed himself into a nervous wreck with the help of low-end vodka and lower end women. The unknown agencies that run The Cott approved. He smiled.

They rejected my offer to help their various peculiarities on the range after the round. Cott assured me that my invitation went unheard on their sprint to the bar.

The team finished second and we took third individually. The mood justified ignoring the two-hour ride back to the Poconos. True champions find time to tell war stories. The first two crippled them. I said, “That story reminded me of one that happened at Fernwood.”

The big guy never took his eyes off of mine and still flagged down two waitresses. I said, “One day this dig it's and baby type guy waltzes in the pro shop with rings on every finger and a semi wanna be Elvis hairdo. He was loud and he wanted what he wanted.”

The drinks arrived. No one seemed distracted.

“Under tow was his innocent looking girlfriend with center-fold credentials. She had a deep Bronx accent. Cott asked her if she was from Maine. She said, ‘I don't know.’ "

Cott’s laugh disrupted interplanetary communication.

“The guy was a player. He wanted everything, a golf pro's dream. ‘Get my girl some golf shoes, golf bag and a good set of clubs.’ My heart went to where hearts go when the mother load walks in. Now he says, ‘She's gonna need a glove.’ That’s all well and good but with werewolf finger nails, the fitting looked tough until The Cott here cut the fingertips off of all five fingers of a fresh out of the wrapper glove, my man. Then the guy said, ‘We'll need a couple dozen balls, tees and a scorecard.’ So there I am adding as fast as I can and come up with a number like the national debt of Costa Rica. Cott chimes in, ‘The score card’s on us.’ I wanted to kill him.”

My terrible trio and faithful caddy pounded the table just loud enough to get a look from the manager.

“The poor bastard hands me a grand and heads for the door. Two seconds later he makes an about face and says, ‘OH, yeah, we need a cart for eighteen holes. What da ya need pro?’ I said, ‘Twelve bucks.’ Sifting through his money he looked up and said, ‘How much for three holes?’ ”

Friday, June 11, 2010

"GOOD JOINT, NO ONE WILL BELIEVE US."

CHAPTER 32+33 ~ GREASED TREASURE

Some are smart enough to design their own life; some go with the tide.

The illusion of luck stumbled. Arm in arm with a crumbling future, reality once again asked me to step down. Gavel down, request denied.

It was hot. Fumes chased vapors off of Pocono roads. Ripples of hot air wiggled upward just to rub it in. Spit refused to land.

Heat and I were friends. Pretenders used it for an alibi, giving up early on savable rounds. Grinders never quit.

Club pros rarely played practice rounds, too busy with kids or a demanding female. The dreaded cold six-pack or a live pick-six-ticket at the track tempted single pros.

Morning found me cutting the fairways and the greens to show the difference. The bunkers seemed good enough to skip a day but a Mosaic eye never sleeps.

Around four that afternoon Cott said, "The clubs are in the Charger. Let's go." We drove to Fernwood Resort to check out the course with a reputation for eating egos. Our best finish there was tied for showing-up.

On arrival the place looked empty. By the sixth hole Cott read my mind. "The man who can spin the ball can win here, Mick. Hit 'ol Cott a few of them low two irons."

Some believed that Cott ran on the eye of fait but he knew his stuff, that time simplistic in design but sound. His freedom of thought deserved respect. The Norms flinched when he spoke.

The ground felt as hard as algebra. Our strategy would work unless it rained.

Spending a few bucks at the host club was just good business, nothing more J.V. (junior varsity) than accepting the hospitality of the club and spending the jingle down the street. We went in. The view in the bar overlooked a shaded creek, sparking memories of jumping in without worrying about what others would think. The sound of the rippling water changed bad moods. The place smelled fresh. No one was there.

That all-important third draft beer arrived just in time. We had just about worn out the little bar maid when a curly haired gentleman strolled in with an economic grin and a semi-automatic personality. People with employee dog tags moved faster.

Never knowing who’s who, we found little downside in starting a conversation with a stranger. Positive connections were fun. Cott needed to be talked down from killing the blockheads. I said, "Did ya play today?"

Donating a stingy turn of his head, he said in borrowed laugh, "Ha, play, ha, not today. What’d you think of the course?"

Internal wars began between good and evil. Say something positive, fought with …did the guy cutting down the trees die?

An awkward delay needed words. My arbitrator settled for, "It's a tough year to grow turf. I'm Mickey Knight from Mo-Nom-O-Nock, how about a beer?"

He waved off the offer with a shake of his head and no eye contact. “I'm Peter."

Cott ordered three anyhow.

The conversation lacked direction before the curly headed one persisted. “Truthfully, did you like the course?"

"Great."(I should have quit there.) “Was the designer in a bad mood when he built the last three holes?”

Peter gave me a non-answer stare.

I said, “They’re brutal. Back to back to back as finishing holes makes it tough. It’ll take good nerves to win here.”

Our pleasantries finished with a bone-braking handshake. Peter left without paying. I looked around, no Cott. Since he rarely used the head, I knew we were leaving.

Four miles down the road Cott started acting up. He locked two hands around his throat, hung his tongue out and made panting sounds. No explanation needed, he had the thirsties.

Just then he startled me. "TURN HERE."

Doing sixty-five it took talent. On route #209, an old gray building made of shingles, lay injured on the left side of the road. A turn-slide dumped us in the cobbled stone dust bowel known as THE STUMBLE INN.

Cott had changed into plaid pants and a canary yellow golf shirt after the round. Bad idea, he didn't care.

Native studies 101, considered outsiders the enemy. They believed interlopers stole the good job, meaning the applicant could count to eleven. Marrying family members since Nero quite explained it.

The good ol' boys wore jeans, scotch plaid shirts, suspenders, and work boots. We hardly fit. In a tone that needed a whisper, Cott asked me, "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS JOINT?"

My kaki pants and white shirt kept them from killing us. It helped when I asked the toothless grandmother behind the bar, "Young lady, can ya get the house one on me?" Involuntary auras circled the room. Condemning thoughts turned exalted.

The jukebox banged. The patrons shuffled. They spun around the floor in some thigh-slapping rendition of an old Indian ceremony. Suddenly the top half of the door to the kitchen opened just behind the bar. The door fit the d├ęcor, blending with the cobwebs and antique tools hanging on the walls. An old coot with a mangy gray beard yelled out. “ARE YOU READY?"

The faithful yelled back. ''WE BE READY."

"ARE YOU REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY READY?"

"WE..." The lower door kicked open with a thud. Everyone rushed the door. We looked at each other expecting a Candid Camera sneak attack.

A small pig, greased with a years worth of K-Y jelly for newly-weds, ran out squealing like a trailing politician. People dove over each other to catch the little guy. The temptation to leave surrendered to an auditioning beer. We stayed.

I could hear the pig examining his plight. The chasers appeared to be from our planet, none of the Pocono bourgeois, purely coincidental. Each thought prompted the next. Does the pig know he’s naked? That he needs a hat? Too busy to laugh, I focused on the fairness of the fight, a little pig versus a band of bar rats who grew up studying: mithmatic, cousin humpin’, trappin’ squirrels and jammin’ animal waste in transmissions before traded-in time, a tough lot, but trickable.

Through twisted arms, some flabby, some for bending steel, they bounced off of each other on unscrubed floors reaching in vain with fingers that looked like thorns to the frightened little rascal. Their knees squeaked like dock lines in a storm. The chasers were not pacing themselves. As they tired, it became easier to define them. Most showed leathered necks with criss-crossed lines from decades in the sun. A woman in a nurse’s outfit, far from delicate, accentuated a hump on her back. No doubt she took body parts home from the hospital to feed her dog.

The pig began looking more confident, realizing he had the superior mind, he maneuvered back and forth inspecting his flank, me, hoping he had checked his horoscope.

An older man, accelerating his own demise, sat down on the floor, allowing the others to drop dead first. He smelled of shrimp, his hair rustled, black with white, resembled electrical wire. No doubt the tooth fairy possessed his mind.

The odds were narrowing in the pigs favor when the wind blew the front door open. Imagining his death as route #209 bacon stopped me. I needed to settle down. It didn’t work. The pig required management to make for fairer fights, a chance to take a bar rat home if victorious.

Encouraged but breathless, the warrior pig slowed. The magnitude of his courage inspired me. A woman the size of Aunt Jemima cornered the little guy after the other patrons passed out.

Cott said, "Good joint. No one will ever believe us."

W/C 1267

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