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‘Solidly horrible’ good enough on the links

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POSTED February 4, 2009 4:53 a.m.
Leaning over the putter given to me that goes with the bag full of other clubs I didn’t pay for and no one wanted, I took a breath.

Everything flat and even, I’m money from three feet or closer, most of the time. Sitting 3-over par and only three feet separating me from the cup, I rushed the putt, but it didn’t matter.

Yeah, Shooter!

I lost that ball on the next hole, the second of 18 I planned to walk with two golf buddies and a guy that joined our party.

I blamed the water-in-one on the intimidation wake made by the Plus 1 that had French Camp GPSed on some device. I couldn’t tell if it was an application on his phone or a straight up GPS golfing friend.

Needing to replace the ball I just deposited in the water, I found a Lady Pinnacle with a purple ribbon and took a drop. With my $10 56-degree wedge, I plopped it 20 feet down green from the flag. One hit later, I had the shot of the day and was only 5-over after 2 holes.

Since I started golfing with a quorum of English buddies a few years ago, the third hole has provided some of the top shots. Admitting nothing, just speaking hypothetically, maybe the net that protects the trailers on the third hole could be a little taller.

Just saying.

The thought was wedged in my conscious as I lined up my 7-iron, but luckily the Lady left the sweet spot with only a slight drift from left to right. Lying two and on the short grass, I was a putt away from par, but instead I Happy Gilmored to a double-bogey.

Post-fight- in-Russia Rocky could have read the green better than I did on the fifth hole, and my tee shot on 6 soared like a penguin and would have decimated the tibiofemoral joint of anyone standing in the fairway, but inexplicably found the green.

However, I again couldn’t muster the skill to keep my over-par score from increasing. In fact, I didn’t get a par the entire round. I three-putted on 7, nudged my drive 200 yards short of the green on 8 and launched my pitch over the flag on the I-could-spit-on-the-green-from-here 9th.

Seventeen-over at the turn, using a ball that apparently used to belong to a dude named Joe (it was written on the ball), I certainly had plenty to be happy about.

Friends getting fired, a truck payment’s worth of pay possibly being disappearing from next year’s paycheck and all other distractions didn’t enter my mind.

My rival and I were never separated by more than two strokes. Amazing how miserable golf can be so similar.

We didn’t know where Plus 1 stood, but I’m sure we were a good two touchdowns ahead – bad for golf.

Tied on the 18th, the pressure strangled all but me. I had it in the bag well before I tapped in my final bogey of the round, just as the bright of day was replaced with the bluish hue of evening.

I played solidly horrible, and still won the rivalry matchup.

Yep, it was a good day.

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail aklund21@gmail.com.
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