After a warm and (by Arizona standards) humid Saturday Inferno Cup match, some big moves were made in the Cup standings. Heard Broadrick moved up 13 spots into 21st position. Dennis Kildare jumped from 28th to 15th place. Jason Sample went from 10th to 6th while Loren Molever from 32nd to 25th place.
Today’s match was won by the team of Heard Broadrick and Dennis Kildare. Loren Molever and Jason Sample finished two strokes back. Mark Ramser and Jim Gabriel were third, three strokes off the lead.
Matt Bintzler took low net honors posting a 67. Club Champion, Bailey Ogrin claimed low gross with a 74.
There were no changes in the top five positions in the Inferno Cup standings, but the field is closing in.
The greens continue to test golfer’s patience and build character. Once the summer rains arrive, they’ll start filling in, but for now, they are riding a little rough. I witnessed others having difficulty, but suspect I took the prize for putting misery. On the par three sixth hole on the Arroyo course, my tee shot landed about a foot from the pin. After a little hop, it came to rest 26 inches from the hole. I did manage to salvage a bogey. Come on rain!
The professor gave a lesson that won’t soon be forgotten. George Stelmach stood on the 15th tee only three over par. He felt good about his round. Only twice had he played so well at Gainey Ranch. He shot 75 on June 2nd of this year, but on an easier course combination than the one he was playing. On October 17, 2012 George shot his best round in years when he turned in a 74. If he could play the last four holes in even par, he would match his best round in years. As it happened, he couldn’t do that. He played the remaining four holes, including the toughest hole at Gainey, #7 Lakes, in two under par. George finished with a one over par 73. The net 58 tied Dennis Kildare, Raoul Encinas and Lawrence Rosen for the lowest documented net score in over two years at Gainey Ranch. The odds of scoring 73 on Arroyo/Lakes with a 15 handicap? 11,400-to-one!
While George was lighting it up, there was a golf match going on. It won’t come as a great surprise to learn that the winning team was that of Kris Rosser and George Stelmach. Kris shot a fine 76 to help George to victory lane. Howard Jones and Matt Bintzler finished second three strokes back. Stelmach earned enough Inferno Cup points to move him into fourth place in the standings while Jones’ second place finish helped him climb past Scott Hull into first place. Rosser took over fifth place.
Forgive me. I just can’t help myself. Some metaphors are just begging to be used. I realize I may have lost some of our younger golfers (you’ll figure it out soon enough), but those of us playing in the fall of our careers will understand the metaphor better than others. Today’s Inferno Cup round was a test of patience. The course is going through “the change”. As it’s browning up and drying up, it’s toughening up. It no longer listens to our commands. Never mind that there are brown areas in the fairways that give pause to he who tries to pick the ball clean, there are bigger problems once (if ever) someone reaches the green (speaking of metaphors). It’s the time of year when the grasses are “transitioning”. As we await the start of the summer monsoons, the greens are more than a bit patchy, dry and bumpy. Frankly, they’re a real bitch. Strike a five-foot putt, sit back and try and predict the results. The ball moves left, then right, right again, a bump or two later it arrives at hole’s edge only to be deflected by the pouting mouth of a fickle and unpredictable target. It’s no fault of the green’s keeper or the ground crew; it’s just nature. Live with it. Most of us will survive. But for the time being, go ahead – pretend you’re in control. Enjoy your own “personal summer”. The course is a real bitch right now.
Despite our challenges, some golfers managed the course well enough to turn in some respectable rounds. Jason Sample carded a 75 to garner low gross honors. As the father of a new-born, he’s dealing with his own challenges, but apparently dealing with them well.
OK boys. We got through that one. We’re alive, sitting up and taking nourishment and looking forward to the next round. It’s getting crowded at the top. My advice . . . let the greens do what they want with your balls. Once we get through a couple of big storms, life will be good again.
A lot of golf was played Friday and Saturday and some significant moves were made in the Inferno Cup standings. The fact of the matter is – it was warm. Summer in the desert is upon us. Now before you Canadians and Minnesotans and North Dakotans and Washingtonians and other escape artists start pointing and saying, “I told you so”, consider this. We were forced to swat no mosquitoes. Sweat was not dripping from our chins. We played 18 holes in roughly three hours. Our humidity is 16%. After a brief dip in the pool (or lake on #9 if you’re Bailey Ogrin), it is actually quite comfortable if not a wee bit chilly.
Meanwhile, back on the green, Friday’s competition saw Bill Petsas, Kris Rosser, Ken Vlah and Scott Hull finish at the top of the leaderboard. They beat Don Fruchtman, Jim Gabriel, Dan Hourihan and odds-on favorite, Blind Draw by one short missed putt. The rest of the teams finished well back apparently playing in a different event. Scott Hull strengthened his hold on first place in the Cup standings, but his lead is up for grabs as he’ll miss a couple of events. It’s unlikely he’ll return to his position at the top of the heap.
Jim Gabriel turned in an outstanding round of net 62. George Stelmach and Bill Petsas also performed very well. Petsas took home low gross honors with a 75.
Wednesday’s Inferno Cup competition was, to say the least, interesting. It was a cross between a golf match, an intelligence test and reality show based upon finding your way around a golf course without dehydrating, being eaten by fire-ants or losing sight of Annie’s Mobile Restaurant and Lounge. Like mice in a maze, golfers worked their ways through the challenges that Mike Nichols had laid down for them. It wasn’t easy, but there were no fatalities.
The match format can best be described by the following formula.
The competitors played the same courses, but in different directions (split tees). Half of the competition called for a three man scramble. The other half of the competition called for a single best ball unless of course you were playing a par five in which case you needed two best balls. Handicaps were adjusted to reflect the phase of the moon and current tidal conditions and guys named “Mike” were given special powers that other golfers were denied.
Second place went to the team of Skyler Irvine, Sandy Wiener and Scott Hull. The runner-up finish gave Hull enough points to move him to the top of the leaderboard, but there’s still a lot of golf left to play. By the end of the week, forty-one players will have accumulated points in the race for the Cup.
Former club champion, Bryan Noonan turned in a one-under-par round from the back tees to win loss gross honors in a rare Friday morning Inferno Cup round. He beat his closest competitor by ten strokes. He carded five birdies and walked away with more skins than Davy Crockett in a good year. He also took low net honors distancing himself from the second place finisher by three strokes.
The Lakes/Dunes course played a little tougher than normal. It gave up only ten birdies and half of those went to Noonan. Six, seven and eight Lakes as well as seven and eight Dunes all played at well over bogey. The greens were tough and challenged everyone but Noonan.
Wednesday’s Inferno Cup match was a tale of extremes. Eight teams fought it out in a best ball, modified Stableford match. Mike Hickey and new member James Wexler came out on top just edging Kris Rosser and Bruce Partridge. Another new member, José Leon captured third place. A single point separated each team. The winning total was 26 points while third place was 24. Mike Hickey shot up to fourth place in the Inferno Cup standings while Kris Rosser climbed into the top ten for the first time. The consistency award goes to the team of Scott Hull and Howard Jones. By the time they made the turn, they had already amassed nearly as many points as it took to win the event, but they finished in the style of a Las Vegas hotel demolition and actually dropped three points on the back nine. Strong finishers indeed.
Dan Hourihan, Mike Miller and Bruce Partridge – 66
Kris Rosser dominated the skins game winning three while Wexler, Jones, Partridge, Hourihan and Hansen claimed one each.
The Dunes/Arroyo course played well with scores averaging 86.6. The final two holes proved to be the most troublesome playing at slightly higher than bogey. The sixth hole on the Dunes course was the friendliest with an average score of par plus a third of a stroke. Surprisingly, there was nothing worse than a bogey on the hole.
Although it’s early in the season, our resident paparazzi has been lurking in the bushes at Gainey Ranch. Some of the photos from last week’s action can be found by clicking here. You can enlarge any photo by clicking on it.
We’ll be getting more in the future. Try to look pretty and wear your finest golf garb. Try and use a golf swing that looks good of film.
Also a couple more tips to make you look more handsome in the photos (and some of you guys really need the help). If you spot the paparazzi somewhere, try to be aware of where you park your carts. Carts (and pictures of golfers riding in carts) generally make lousy photos. Try to park carts out of the line of the camera.
If you are an ugly person (like Howard Jones), try not to stand directly behind a pretty person (like Mike Forde) when he is swinging or otherwise in the line of sight of the photographer. Your face will ruin his pictures. Ugly people (you know who you are) should wear colorful clothes to distract the eyes of the observers.
Also consider hitting your ball onto the green such that your back is to the camera while you’re putting. Consider keeping your hands off your private parts and above all else, do not relieve yourself within range of the camera; we can get fairly clear pictures at distances of over a half mile. Those who ignore this advice will be receiving payment booklets – and don’t be late on your payments; the interest rates are beyond usurious.
For those of you who don’t care to have your picture taken, attempting to hide only exacerbates the problem. Photos of you will be rarer and call for higher premiums, especially if you are caught throwing a club, hissing or spitting.
Those who view the site with a discerning eye have suggested a mistake has been made. Poppycock!
It seems Mr. Thomas Hansen has questioned the authenticity of the scoring results in which it was suggested that given the fact that his Hansen/Hickey team finished second in the Howe group standings, they couldn’t have finished seventh in the Inferno Cup standings. A review of the data has shown that Mr. Hansen was correct. The Hansen/Hickey team did in fact finish second.
As it happened, he had been given a zero handicap when the scores were tallied. My feeling is that he has always wanted to be a scratch golfer. He should bask in the glory of playing scratch. But nooooo . . . Mr. Hansen was more concerned about the trivialities associated with Inferno Cup standings. How petty.
With all of this said, the Fitzhenry/Jones team remains in first place and when the sun sets, isn’t that all that is important? I hasten to add that Mike Nichols normally double-checks all of these results, but he is in Hawaii sipping Lava Flows and swimming with turtles. How narcissistic.
Here is a photo of Nichols’ swimming buddy in Hawaii. He sent it to me (no joke) this afternoon. He’s obviously not suffering. I thought he didn’t like slow play.