Thursday July 7th –
I had to battle a fellow named Graeme in the first round of the Newlands Cup. Graeme is a 10 handicap, meaning I’d have to give him seven shots during the match. One of my frequent golf partners Ben joined us for the round. I started off with a bang, nailing a 25 footer for birdie on the first hole to take the 1up lead. It was shortlived, however, as Graeme got a stroke on the second hole and was able to get back to even. I played the front nine in 39 shots, not a terrible score by any means yet I was THREE DOWN through nine. This guy was just playing fantastic golf. Then came the back. I birdied 10 and parred 11 and 12, winning all three holes (even giving him a shot on 12 didn’t help him) so we were now all square on 13. He took advantage of his shot there, with his net birdie beating my par. I evened it up with another birdie on 15 but his par/net birdie on 16 gave him the lead again going to the 17th hole. He started throwing up on himself (figuratively not literally), three putting the hole to bring the match to all square. Then on 18, after we both destroyed drives right down the middle, he airmailed his approach over the green and couldn’t get up and down, giving me the match 1up. What a tough match…I shoot a 74 and barely am able to get by! Oh yeah, Ben shot a ho-hum 69…boy do I wish I had his talent!
Friday July 8th –
Work sucks right now. Everyone is either a) on vacation b) sick or c) suspended due to violent behaviour (long story). Meanwhile, I haven’t had a full week off in almost two calendar years. The Rabid Pandas opened their summer season with a convincing 7-2 victory tonight. I had a goal and two assists in the contest; our team has picked up a few new players and we look really good…maybe a second consecutive championship is in order!
Saturday July 9th –
Played poorly at the club today, shooting a 79. Lost $9.00 out there today to boot. Just hitting it all over the park right now and I hope I can straighten out my driver before tomorrow’s Niagara Cup opener at Hunter’s Pointe G.C. I took Jacky out to Fresco’s for dinner Saturday evening. I had this pretty nice seafood pasta (spaghettini with shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops). We then caught Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the movie theatre. No plot, just a means for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to look good and show off their great chemistry. And that unbelievably worked, as I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Jolie has to be the hottest woman on God’s green earth. I had to clean the drool off my chin a couple of times…hopefully Jacky didn’t notice! 😉 Three stars out of four and recommended if you like the lead actors. Don’t go if you dislike them…this movie absolutely depends on you liking these two.
Sunday July 10th –
The Niagara Cup is a local interclub tournament between all of the courses in the Niagara Region. You get put into a flight with two other courses and play three match play events: first one is usually a two-man scramble, second is usually a two-man best ball and the third is singles. I say usually because one of the clubs in our flight, Niagara-on-the-Lake G.C. had to drop out, meaning that only St. Catharines and Hunter’s Pointe would do battle in this flight. We’ve also decided to forgo the scramble matches and just have the best ball and singles events. I was paired up with our young club champion from 2004, Josh. I’d never played with him before so it would be interesting teaming up with him. We were pitted against the top player at Hunter’s, Stephen, who also is the points leader on the Niagara District Men’s Tour; I haven’t heard of the guy he was paired with. Just like Thursday, I started off with a bang. All four of us drove it left, three of us, including me, in the fairway bunker. I hit a pitching wedge from about 115 yards right over the stick to about 7 feet. My partner Josh hit his in there about 25 feet away while the other team hit their shots to about 35 feet each. Josh ends up nailing his long putt for birdie, allowing me to pick up and off we went! We ended up winning #2 and #3 as well…a dream start against guys at their own course. Things started getting out of hand on the seventh hole, when I dropped a 30 footer of my own for birdie for the 4up lead. Josh made a nice par on 10 to give us an incredible 5up lead but the Hunter’s Pointe team FINALLY won a hole with a par on 11. Their mock celebration was pretty funny and broke the ice a bit. Josh is an INCREDIBLY quiet person…nice kid but not a conversationalist at all. I was fine with it to be honest…it gave the other team the impression we were here to play and made us a bit more intimidating. Anyway, any thought of them getting back in the match was dashed when I sunk a monstrous 40 footer on the tough par four 13th for birdie to give us the 5up lead again. I missed about an 8 footer for birdie on the 14th (you’re welcome Toast!) but we were able to win the match 5&4 with the par. The event awards three points for each match (one for the front nine, one for the back nine and one for overall) so we had locked up two of the points. Unfortunately for us, the other team decided to get hot right at the end of the match to take the back nine point. We were 1up on the back nine on the 17th tee but the unknown player went birdie/eagle on the final two holes to give them the one point. St. Catharines is slightly down after the first event, 5.5 points to 6.5. The singles events take place at our club in August. I was thoroughly impressed with my partner Josh’s golf game; very poised for such a young guy. I totaled his score up after the round and noticed that he shot 34-38 for an even par 72. That’s just fantastic golf! I was erratic out there but my putter was solid enough for me to post a 76. We also won a skin for the birdie I made on 13 so that was nice too. Hunter’s also put together a REALLY great dinner for us (bacon wrapped chicken with grilled vegetables) along with this rich cheesecake for dessert and complimentary booze! Wow! Great day!