And Then There Were Ten

Steve King was on fire
Steve King was on fire

Friday September 6th found “Team Mars” playing against “Team Moon”. In a particularly tough format where all three of a team’s balls counted on six of the eighteen holes, “Team Moon” (Mike Forde, George Stelmach and Bryan Noonan) edged out the last place “Team Mars” (Gary Anzalone, Ron Dobkin and Dan Hourihan) by a mere twenty-six strokes. On the “count-all-three” holes, one team was ten under par while the other was seven over par. All other teams were neatly bunched near the middle of those extremes. None even got close to the Moonies or the Martians on either side. Complete match results.

Eight skins were won, one each by Mike Nichols, Sandy Wiener, Bryan Noonan, George Stelmach, Mike Miller, Dennis Kildare, Bruce Partridge and Mike Forde.

It seems odd that no skins went to Steve King who turned in a career round of 74. His handicap is falling faster than Sandy Wiener’s bankroll in a fifty dollar match play tournament.

Low Net

  1. Steve King – 62
  2. Pat Collins – 65
  3. George Stelmach – 66

Low Gross

  1. Bryan Noonan – 71
  2. Steve King – 74
  3. Mike Nichols and Pat Collins – 79

There are now only six matches left in the chase for the Inferno Cup. Some of the field has been mathematically eliminated, but that certainly doesn’t mean they shouldn’t come out, win some skins and ruin the days of some of those still in the hunt. They can talk in Partridge’s backswing, walk in Gabriel’s putting line, stand behind the pin as Hansen putts, call rule violations on Miller, yell “Hurry” as any of a half dozen guys take their fifth practice swing, drive over Forde’s balls in the rough and crepitate as King cracks his drive. There is still a lot of fun that can be had by all – not to mention the challenge of developing new ways to cheat undetected.

These players are out of the hunt because there aren’t enough matches left to reach the requisite fifteen rounds – Hickey, Molever, Nielsen, Wiener, Saulnier, Castro, and Noonan. Skyler Irvine, Rick May, Evan Carr and Nate Sanders have to play all remaining matching to be eligible for the Cup.

Assuming it will take 450 points to end up in the money, Harold Hoeg is mathematically eliminated. Six first place finishes leaves him with 430 points. Ron Dobkin could sweep the next six rounds and still finish with 440 points. If Rick May plays and wins all of the last six matches, he could theoretically snatch the last money position, but the odds of that happening are about the same as me getting a call from the Dodgers wanting me to pitch in the World Series. The same can be said about Skyler Irvine. Evan Carr needs a bonafide miracle and frankly, it ain’t gonna happen.

Scott Thompson, Joel Temple, Pat Collins and Nate Sanders hold slim hopes, but they’re going to have to shoot “lights-out” in the final three weeks. Realistically, out of the thirty-four original competitors, only eighteen remain in the hunt. Many of them are in desperate need of some good golf rounds. If I were a betting man (my ten dollar Nassau with Sandy Wiener technically isn’t “gambling”; it’s a sure bet), I’d say that the money is going to go to six of those that are in the top ten as of this writing.

I guess I should offer one caveat. I’m currently hovering in thirteenth place and need about ninety points in the last six matches to crawl into the money. I’d have to finish first or second probably four out of the remaining six competitions. The odds of that happening aren’t great. But, if I knew the programmer, I’d probably stand a better chance. Let’s see how things roll.

Feathers, Feathers Everywhere – September 4th

Hull - Right where he wants them
Hull – Right where he wants them

Oh sure! Now that his membership check has cleared the bank. Now that the majority of the Gainey Ranch golfers have unofficially deemed him “Mr. Nice Guy”, the cat starts munching on the canary. Scott Hull (shown here attempting to hide his glee) has racked up twenty two rounds at Gainey Ranch since he started playing with us in early June. In his first ten rounds he averaged 87.3. In the next ten – 87.2. In his last eight rounds, the average has fallen to about 84.6. He has magically shaved nearly three strokes off his average. Yesterday, he entered the bird cage, latched the door behind him and ate the field. He finished in first place (by three strokes) in the net competition. He landed in second place in the gross competition. His team finished in second place in the race for the Inferno Cup. And he ran to the bank with not one, but two skins. He looked odd sitting in the Member’s Grill with all those feathers around his mouth. It appears the honeymoon is over.

Forde 76Mike Forde played like he was young again and took second place in the net division. Mike Miller won the low gross honor with a 77.

Low Net

  1. Scott Hull – 65
  2. Mike Forde and Steve King – 68

Low Gross

  1. Mike Miller – 77
  2. Scott Hull and Steve King – 80

After the Commissioner’s team captured first place in the team competition, Dennis Kildare moved from fifth into third place in the Inferno Cup standings. The other big mover was Steve King who climbed from ninth into seventh place. Jim Stamatis still clings to a slim lead and Dave Inman holds on to a tie for third place. Based upon the photo from the competition in Barton Creek, Texas, they’re not too worried and are putting Gainey Stamatis and Inman Barton CreekRanch golfers best collective foot forward in Texas. The picture is a touch blurry; you be the judge.

The real money in yesterday’s match at Gainey went to the skins winners. In addition to Scott Hull’s pair, Mike Nichols, George Stelmach, Steve King, Bruce Partridge, Lee Barclay, Ron Dobkin, Pat Collins and Tom Hansen each escaped with one. If Howard Jones would have removed his putter cover prior to putting, there would have been three fewer.