“Encinas” – from the Spanish word meaning “live oak tree”. A hard wood that when ignited, burns very hot. It’s hard to shake and once it’s in your way, you’ll play hell getting it out of your way. “Raoul” – a Frenchified version of “Ralph”. There is a small town in northeastern Georgia named Raoul. More than a quarter of its residents live in poverty. The rest live in Lee Arrendale State Prison, its largest employer.
What’s all this got to do with golf at Gainey Ranch? Hell if I know. I’m just trying to research possible explanations for the performance of our own Raoul Encinas on Friday the 21st. I had the pleasure of playing in Raoul’s group Wednesday and I can tell you that if he dropped his ball out of his pocket, it only stood about a 50/50 chance of landing in-bounds. He hit some absolutely prodigious drives, but the rest of his game was an indescribable Armageddon, probably the result of having to hit his second shots with a ball that had one side flattened by the face of his driver.
So how do you account for Raoul Encinas’ Friday performance? He fired a net 58! That ties the lowest net score on record (for the past year). Laurence “The Hun” Rosen carded a 58 in late April just before mysteriously leaving the country for a few months. The probability of shooting net 58 with a 16 handicap was just under 5,000 to 1. That’s the second highest probability recorded in over 3,000 rounds (again behind “The Hun” Rosen). Encinas posted five net eagles and six net birdies as he inflicted his version of a slash-and-burn round on the Lakes/Dunes courses.
Jim Stamatis and Evan Carr each turned in net 63 to finish five strokes behind Encinas. (My best round in my last 115 efforts was a net 64; I wouldn’t have finished in the top three!) You can see Friday’s complete results here.
In the race to the Inferno Cup, Raoul and his teammates, Dave Inman, Steve King and Jim Woods picked up 50 points each. Woodsy now has a 20 point lead over his closest competitor, Mike Wentrup. Steve King and Dave Inman gained enough points to claim a third place tie, but they remain 60 points behind Woodsy. Current Inferno Cup standings and Friday’s match results are here.
Anthony Arvidson took low gross honors with a 67. Dave Inman finished second with a fine one-under-par 71. Raoul Encinas finished third in the gross division with a 75.