Friday’s match saw the good, the bad and the ugly (another original). It was “beat the pro” day and nine players accomplished the task. Nevermind that Matt Anzalone had to use his gross score while his competitors, some with as many as twenty-one strokes, tried to keep up with one of the finest club pros in Arizona.
I had the pleasure of partnering with Matt and was pleased to witness something I’ve never seen and never heard of – three eagles in a stretch of seven holes. As if that feat wasn’t spectacular enough, our playing partner, George Stelmach, threw in his own eagle on the next hole.
Matt’s first eagle came on the par 5 #9 Lakes. A conservative tee-shot found the middle of the fairway. A 6-iron landed about six feet from the hole. He then used his putter to open the cash register drawer. Two holes later on the par 4 #2 Dunes, Matt’s drive dropped cozily four feet from the hole. Kaching – eagle number two. Four holes later on the par 5 #6, Matt ripped a monster drive down the middle of the fairway. His second shot came to rest about seven feet past the hole. The next sound we heard was the ball clicking off his putter face and rattling into the bottom of the cup a second and a half later.
I hadn’t seen so many eagles since my last trip to Alaska. Enter George Stelmach stage left. An excellent drive on #7 Dunes was followed by a crisp iron shot that found the hole for the group’s fourth eagle in eight holes. Obviously, the game is too easy.
Despite the spectacular show put on by these denizens of Gainey golf, Matt’s putter betrayed him a couple of times and he ended up carding an even par round on the day. This opened the door for Jim Woods, Dennis Kildare, Jim Gabriel, Ken Vlah, Don Coolidge, George Stelmach, Joel Temple and Bruce Partridge to eke out a victory with net scores in the red numbers.
The day was characterized not only by these awesome performances, it was also a day of some nightmarish holes. I personally showcased my skills by going eleven over par over a three hole stretch from #1 through #3 Dunes. It was small consolation that I played the last six in even par. The round was one for the toilet bowl. At least I’m not the only one (or two) with a nine on his card. But who am I to point the finger? Full results here. Oh and who was it that said, “Obviously, the game is too easy”?