A Big Friday at Gainey Ranch

It’s beginning to get crowded at the top of the Inferno Cup standings. After Friday’s round, Dave Inman, Jim Stamatis and Dennis Kildare remained in the first three places, but they’re definitely hearing footsteps. In all, seven players are within 100 points of the lead.

Steve King - Low Net Winner
Steve King – Low Net Winner

They must have figured out something that mystifies Steve King and Howard Jones both of whom claimed a third place finish Friday along with its 30 Cup points. They each fell one position in the standings. King is a C.P.A. and Jones is an engineer/mathematician. They looked so pensive as they stared at each other wondering what magical arithmetic system lets you win 30 points and fall in the standings. Their teammate, Raoul Encinas, also won 30 points and he moved up three places. Oh well – sometimes, life just ain’t fair.

Yesterday’s team winners were Tom Hansen, Dan Hourihan and Mike Miller. They needed a scorecard playoff to edge out Lee Barclay, Bruce Partridge and Jim Stamatis. Bruce is looking notably older after suffering another defeat. Encinas, Jones and King finished third. There were six forty-dollar skins paid, one each to Dennis Kildare, Scott Hull, Dave Inman, Jim Stamatis, Tom Hansen and Howard Jones (with a net “albatross” on the par five #5 Lakes).

Dave Inman has been on a terror and went low again Friday firing a gross 74 to take the honors. In the low net arena (also known as the banditos bracket), Steve King carded a net 65 to claim the honors.

Low Gross

  1. Dave Inman – 74
  2. Mike Miller – 77
  3. Steve King – 78

Low Net

  1. Steve King – 65
  2. Dan Hourihan – 66
  3. George Stelmach – 67

Following Friday’s regular play, the course was packed for the Yarnell Fire Golf Fundraiser. Golfers played a nine hole scramble and then enjoyed a magnificent reception.

Hot Shot survivor Brendon McDonough with Mike and Kathleen Forde and Liz McCarty
Hot Shot survivor Brendon McDonough with Mike and Kathleen Forde and Liz McCarty

All the major television stations and newspapers were present as Gainey Ranch G.C. general manager Jim Murphy presented the charity with a check for $100,000.00. Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots was present as everyone honored his nineteen fallen comrades. Here’s the write-up in the Arizona Republic.

As a side note, one of the honored guests and contributors was John Gunby, the Head Golf Professional at Prescott Lakes Golf Club. As it turns out, John was one of the organizers of a tournament at White Mountain Country Club in Pinetop, Arizona exactly thirty years ago. It was in that tournament that I was randomly paired with a good looking young woman golfer named Liz McCarty. We ended up winning the tournament and collecting a very substantial sum of money. I refused to give her portion to her until she agreed to go to dinner with me. After holding out for two weeks, she finally agreed. Our 29th wedding anniversary is September 15th. When I realized John Gunby was in the room, I checked with my attorney and the statute of limitations has run out.

In Search of Miracles – July 31st

Jones Celebrates
Jones Celebrates

The voice of Natalie Wood, the child star of “Miracle on 34th Street” has echoed in my head for weeks. “I believe, I believe” she cried out resolutely. The only difference was that she believed in Santa Claus. I believed in getting a skin in the Kildare Group. Admittedly, the existence of Santa Claus seemed to have a much higher probability. But I’m here to tell you miracles do happen. I went home with two of them. Put down the beads brother; my prayers have been answered. Oops. Almost forgot – there were others out there playing too.

Wednesday’s match was a most interesting affair. Nine two-man teams competed in a best net ball format. One twist was that the teams weren’t selected until after the match had been completed. The computer button for team selection was pressed by Jim Stamatis. Yes, he and his partner Dan Hourihan finished with Inferno Cup points. The other twist was that each person on a team had to account for nine of the 18 holes in the best ball match. It was a creative and fun idea of Dennis Kildare. Eight out of the nine teams had no changes in their scores when compared to a normal best ball match. Only one team lost a stroke as a result of the nine hole requirement. Ironically, it was the team of Raoul Encinas and Dennis Kildare. They would have finished in a first place tie. But when each was forced to account for scores on nine of the holes, they lost one stroke which dropped them from first place into a second place tie. They lost the tie breaker and fell into third place. Ouch.

The match was won by the team of Bruce Partridge and Joel Temple. Coincidentally, Phil Graham ended up paired with his brother Gary and they took second place. Three hundred dollars were divvied up between six skins. Gary Graham, Tom Hansen, Raoul Encinas and Dan Hourihan took one each while Howard Jones grinned over two of them.

The individual play winners battled heat and humidity.

Low Gross

  1. Joel Temple – 76
  2. Dave Inman – 78
  3. Gary Graham and Mike Miller – 79

Low Net

  1. Raoul Encinas, Gary Graham and Bruce Partridge – 65

There were no changes at the top of the Inferno Cup standings with Inman, Stamatis, Kildare, Woods and Hansen hanging on to the top five spots respectively.