I admit I’ve been a little remiss in my posts recently. Somehow, it’s a bit distracting to have your leg cut off. But here I am back at “work” bringing you up-to-date on the hunt for the Inferno Cup. The competition is fierce and the turnout has been exceptional. The average number of participants has nearly doubled over the same period last year.
Following yesterday’s round (June 14th), here are the standings for the Cup. Jim Woods leads the field with 160 points. Bruce Partridge is right on his heals with 150 and Mike Wentrup sits twenty points behind with 140 points. All three players have played in five events. Mike Nichols and Ken Vlah are each with 130 points having played in four and three events respectively. Click here to see the complete standings.
The Inferno Cup has been a big factor in changing the character of our golf group. Yesterday’s performance numbers prove the point. The “young bucks” like Rick May, Bryan Noonan, Drew Price and others have taken the performance standards at Gainey Ranch to a higher level. To illustrate the point, let’s look at the sad tale of Kurt Saulnier.
I had the good fortune of playing in Kurt’s group yesterday. I watched as he missed a two foot putt and his gross score ballooned to a 67 for the day. In days past, a gross 67 would have won low gross honors by a large margin and Kurt would have taken home more skins than Daniel Boone. Kurt was feeling pretty good in the Member’s Grill as we awaited the final cards. Anthony Arvidson’s card took Kurt out of first place. Arvidson had seven birdies and an eagle in route to a gross 65.
OK, Saulnier still had no reason to hang his head. His 67 would have him in first place at the U.S. Open after the first two rounds. But surely, his skin haul would be substantial.
After all, seven birdies, five on the back nine alone, is nothing trivial. Birdie on #5 Arroyo a skin? Eric Nielsen, Bryan Noonan, Rick May and Dave Inman all walked on that one. Saulnier surely takes a skin with birdie on #8. “Not so” said Arvidson. Fine, Saulnier birdies #10. So do Nielsen and May. Try a birdie on #11. Arvidson, Harold Hoeg and Rick May all said, “Not on my watch.” Saulnier comes again with a birdie on #14. Arvidson, Nielsen and Evan Carr all reject the attempt with birdies of their own. #15 then? “Sorry” say Ron Dobkin and Jim Woods. Finally, a birdie on #18 is rejected by May, Noonan and Bruce Partridge and one-upped with an eagle by Arvidson.
So in a nutshell, Kurt Saulnier posted what for about forty minutes was the lowest gross score ever recorded for the Kildare Group. When the dust settled, he had not won low gross honors. He had not won low net honors. He had not won a single skin. And in part thanks to getting paired with a cripple (me), his team barely managed a fourth place finish. This seems to be similar to registering with an online dating service and getting paired on a blind date with your ex-wife.