The Gainey – U.S. Open Tournament is in the books. Congratulations go out to the winners Dave Hopkins and Lowell Shonk. They ran away from the field with a seventeen under par performance. They dominated the opening day with a twelve under par score without the help of their chosen pros of David Toms and Webb Simpson. They faded slightly on the second day of the tournament, but their pros stepped in and put them over the top.
- Hopkins/Shonk -17
- Kotzin/Kotzin -14
- Howe/Swan -9
It was also a great performance for the duo of Mike Forde and Howard Jones. After the first day, they were hopefully mired in last place. They showed their true metal on Day Two by garnering the strength to gain four strokes on their closest competitors and heroically avoided a DFL finish. They actually climbed all the way into a tie for last place.
When asked what kept them out of first place, Forde waxed philosophical, “Twenty-six strokes,” he pined. Then he added, “That and a lousy partner.”
Jones was a bit more analytical when explaining the obstacles between them and the championship. “The sun got in my eyes quite a bit. The wind was always in our face. The damn ducks looked so sad, but I knew I’d be arrested for feeding them in Scottsdale. I had new grips on my clubs. My feet were killing me. There were some gravitational anomalies around the #6 green on the Lakes course. And frankly, my playing partner’s diet came into play on a few of the holes. The only thing I can say on the positive side is that the pace of play was good on the Dunes course. It was like we were the only group out there. The greens were a little rough, but hey, we putted about as well as we normally do.” He felt that if they’d had a couple of breaks (and a better pencil eraser) they could have easily overcome the twenty-six stroke deficit.
“I’m not one to complain,” continued Jones, “but Gabriel was always making noise three holes away. The gallery was constantly snapping pictures in my back-swing. And obviously, the rest of the field cheated. I mean look at Shonk’s picture. He’s wearing a hat from the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club and the tournament wasn’t even over. He obviously had inside information. Come on, the guy wears gloves on both hands when he golfs. Clearly, he’s worried about leaving fingerprints.” Suspicious indeed!