There’s a reason it’s called the “Winter” Classic. This year’s event was held in the midst of a record cold spell in Scottsdale. We thought golf carts might be required to have snow tires and chains. Fortunately, no one spun out rounding curves that were blanketed with ice even late in the day. Gary Graham looks like he just came in from the ski slopes rather than the warm southwestern desert. It was so cold, Howard Jones actually considered wearing long pants for the event. It was so cold, Marty Howe didn’t tee off; he faced off. It was so cold, Carie was actually seen without a smile on her face. It was so cold, the Canadian geese flew south. It was so cold, the cart girls were selling beer warmers. It was so cold, balls were cracking. Some said Hell actually began to freeze over.
Speaking of Hell freezing over, the big winners of the tournament were none other the Bruce Partridge and Jim Woods. They smoked the field racking up 69 highly modified Stableford points beating Brian Williams and Mike Steele by three. George Stelmach and Rick “Go Green” Hurula finished in third place seven points behind. They made strong moves in the race for the Gainey Cup.
A bit of a controversy did ensue in the wake of the event. A couple of teams were penalized for turning in “incorrect scorecards”. With an irresistible urge to provide editorial comment, I must cry “foul”. In one case, Don Coolidge and Gary Anazalone were penalized three stroke because their scorecard had indicated a score of “2” Stableford points on the eleventh hole. However, the actual gross score box had not be filled in with a “4” representing the par which Coolidge actually made on the hole. I maintain that the “2” Stableford points are equivalent to a par on the hole and that the score had actually been recorded when the “2” was written in the box on the card designed for the points total. After all, there is no other way the “2” points could have been earned unless a par had been scored, therefore, the gross score had been recorded when the “2” was entered upon the card. If the gross scores had been written as Roman numerals, would the card been rejected? “IV” is in fact equivalent to “4”. What if the scorer had written the word “four” onto the card? Its significance would have been pretty clear. When the “2” Stableford points were written on the card, it was the absolute equivalence of a gross score of “4”. There were no other explanations. There was absolute equivalence. There was no ambiguity. Ah, but the tournament officials had to make the tough calls and that was one of them. I told you it was cold that day.