You never would have expected that this grueling contest of wills would go down to the final hole, but it did. It was one of those wonderful days out with the guys hacking around in nature and laughing out loud, making great shots and bad ones too, once in awhile a slight curse here and there.
On Friday afternoon at exactly 16:17 the battle of Michael and Kiffin (Merikans) versus Thomas and Dion (no team name) began. The weather was perfect, sunny and dry, the fairways extra hard meaning that our amazing drives would roll and roll forever making us feel like real joe blows.
As is inherent to our golf course these days, the greens were irregular and bouncy, meaning that you had about a fifty-fifty chance of making putts just outside the gimme range. Frustrating yes, but adding an extra sense of excitement and unpredictability fitting for the true spirit of golf where nothing is certain.
The first hole was a good start for the Merikans as they turned on the gas and won the first hole with a par (thanks to a nice chip by Michael).
On the second hole the Merikans messed up knocking both their balls into the trees on the left, playing give-away golf with a triple bogey, and it was back to all square. What a waste.
After that it was just another day on the links with a long streak of five ties nothing special just pars and bogies.
Starting on the eighth hole and thereafter for three disappointing holes, Thomas and Dion pulled together a string of great drives, super approaches, chips next to the hole, that kind of thing. Michael: what happened to us we're three down can you believe that?!
I turned to my fellow Merikan and reminded him that we had not won a single bleeping hole since the first one, we need to get our act together. Remember the Alamo!
It worked and we pushed forward winning the next three holes in a row, this time around it was Dion and Thomas playing give-away golf, and coming to the fourteenth tee box we were all square again. Wow, how'd that happen so quickly?!
Tied fourteen to remain all even. On the fifteenth both Thomas and Dion nailed their shots on the dancing floor for a likely par possible birdie. Michael made a great sand shot from the left bunker rolling the ball up close, but yours truly missed yet another short putt, one down with three to go.
Merikans won the sixteenth after another great chip by Michael to within a couple inches of the hole for a gimme. Lost the seventeenth and there we were one down with only one hole to go.
Thomas and Dion were hot but not quite hot enough. They drilled their drives in excellent position, but Kiffin punched his drive even further even to the bunker in the middle of the fairway.
Dion's approach looked really good (ended up over the green but we didn't know it at the time), so Michael was under alot of pressure. When I turned to him and said it was his moment to achieve the Warhol's fifteen minutes of fame, he duly addressed the ball and made it happen.
The Merikans had to win, and when we finally made it to the top of the hill and discovered our ball pin high five feet to the right and the opponents' ball over the green with a nasty downhill chip, we knew we had a chance. I was convinced that I'd finally make my first normal putt of the day and tally that birdie.
Thomas and Dion pulled off a respectable bogey (after the stupid ball kept rolling and rolling past the pin) and of course I missed the birdie putt curling it left and downhill from the hole. It was definitely what you'd call a semi-easy putt but a good knee-knocker just the same.
With confidence Michael rammed it into the back of the hole for the par. The grueling contest of wills was over, and we tied 1-1.