One week ago, Mike Nichols shot his career round. His smile was so big it couldn’t have been removed surgically. Friday, Nichols not only beat his career round, he beat it by four strokes! He carded a spectacular round of 68 on the Dunes/Arroyo course combination. He exorcised two bogies with an eagle and four birdies in route to a “2,000 to 1” odds golf miracle. Awesome round of golf.
Given the low probability round, one might have thought the strangeness would have ended there, but apparently the Devil has taken note of the “Inferno Cup” name and is now a participant. The evidence? Let’s start with Nichols himself. He scorched the course with his career round and his team would have walked away with the team event, but another team needed a low handicap blind draw. As those of you present at the after-party noticed, the Devil was in control of the golf computer. When no one was looking, he pressed the blind draw button and the team of Jim Stamatis, Dan Hourihan and Mike Wentrup ended up with – you guessed it – Mike Nichols as its draw. Nichols played so well, he beat himself into second place. He left the house with 40 Cup points and two skins. Tom Hansen, Jim Woods, Pat Collins, Ken Vlah, Rick May and Scott Hull also won skins and Jim Stamatis won two more.
The weirdness didn’t end there. Mike Wentrup became ill and had to leave the field after nine holes. A command decision was made by the Commissioner to replace half of Wentrup’s round with a “half- blind” draw. Naturally, when looking for a half-blind golfer, the Devil selected Bruce Partridge. Wentrup’s empty nine was filled up with Partridge’s 48. The team of the Greek, the Bostonian, Mike Partrup and the hired gun Nichols still finished on top. Here are the full team results.
- Mike Nichols – 68
- Rick May – 75
- Jim Stamatis – 77
- Mike Nichols – 61
- Scott Hull, Jim Stamatis and Gary Graham – 65
Miscellaneous match notes – Mike Forde shot a 4 (binary) for his round – the Devil was pleased. Raoul Encinas didn’t do that well and will be gone for a couple of weeks getting help from a USGA licensed exorcist. Raoul’s “possession” carried over into the Member’s Grill when he tried to get the computer to generate the match results. Flames belched forth from the keyboard and the laugh of the Devil was heard in the background. Nonetheless, a big thanks go out to Raoul for stepping in and handling scoring for the week while Jones was conscripted into the Colorado golf wars. Who could have guessed that Raoul would be joined by “half-blind” draws, career rounds and the Devil himself. Raoul did an admirable job in some difficult circumstances.
One last note – Nichols can win no more. This was the last file photo I had of him.