M C Hammered

5 07 2010

Brian, Clay, Luke, Adam and Oliver (and 90 or so others too numerous to mention). What do they have in common? Well, by Friday evening at the Edmonton Country Club they were all M C Hammered. No, I’m not suggesting that they went out and got well and truly pissed (although it’s not unlikely that one or two of them did). M C in this instance stands for ‘Missed Cut’, the curse of the journeyman pro on whatever tour he plies his trade. As those who made it to the last two rounds (on the Canadian Tour it’s the top 60 plus ties out of 156 starters who progress) teed off on Saturday morning those who had failed to progress were dealing with it in their own particular ways. Oliver, for example, was analysing his second round stats. “17 greens in regulation. How can I only shoot one under with 17 greens in reg?” he asked nobody in particular. Then he answered his own question. “35 frickin’ putts. That’ll do it.”

Adam and Luke, two young Aussies, were trying to find the cheapest available flights to Saskatoon, next stop on the tour. I’m not sure if they know that the Dakota Dunes course is a half hour drive out of town and I hope they have a host family to stay with. As I’ve observed before, it’s a tough go making a living on this or any other minor tour and a missed cut means nothing but expenses for the week with no income. Clay, a great young guy from Minnesota, is at least going to defray his expenses by giving a ride to three fellow pros who will no doubt take care of the cost of gas. Once there, like Brian, he’ll be staying in his camper van at the course – not exactly in the lap of luxury but enjoying a camaraderie that I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist on the PGA Tour.

Rules corner: On Saturday I followed a group of players on their back nine – and boy was it nice not carrying a bag! Yannick Benson from Montreal (tied for the lead at that point) was playing with Darren Griff from Nanaimo and a young Brazilian called Lucas Lee. On the par 4 14th Lucas sliced his tee shot into the right hand rough. He then whiffed his shot from the love grass, but hit the ball on his backswing after his club ricocheted off a tree. Not sure what to do next, he called for a rules official. He then played his next shot onto the fairway and promptly holed his approach from ninety yards out! In the meantime he had also replaced his original ball, taken two to get back on the fairway and then got the ball in the hole with a chip and two putts. So, the obvious question is: what did Lucas score on the hole?

While you’re trying to figure that one out, I’ll give you what must be Saturday’s least likely quote from an M C Hammer.”Wow! I’m glad I missed the cut. Otherwise I’d have never got to see this stuff!” (Unnamed tour player just after Paraguay and Spain had both missed penalty shots within sixty seconds of eachother before Spain went on to score a late winner which hit both posts before crossing the line).

I’m now in Vermilion, eastern Alberta, staying with the parents of one of Julie’s closest friends. You know you’re in a small prairie town when you get lost, knock on a door at random and the person who answers knows exactly who you’re looking for and where they live. Not only that, but when I went to the liquor store this morning the guy behind the counter already knew who I was and what I was doing here. Tomorrow morning I head on to Saskatoon, which apparently is under several inches of water – should make for some interesting rulings on casual water at Dakota Dunes.

Talking of which, the answer to the rules question is that Lucas took an 8 on the 14th. If you hit a ball by accident (i.e. the ricochet off the tree) you must replace the ball and take a one stroke penalty. This means the other ball, the one he holed out with from the fairway, didn’t count. In the words of the immortal Glen Parsons, golf can be a very harsh mistress… (Lucas, by the way, was very phlegmatic about the whole affair.”Four, five, eight, eleven”, he said while waiting to play from the next tee. “The rules officials will sort it out.” With an attitude like that I wish him well for the future).

Anyway, I have to get the van shipshape and Bristol fashion (don’t ask – it’s something my dad used to say) ready for the drive to Saskatoon, where I’ll be meeting Brian prior to his practice round on Wednesday morning. It’s my last chance for us to make the cut before I have to head for home, so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

All da best!

Dave B.




4 responses

5 07 2010

As usual Dave it’s another great post. After reading your account and following Brian for a couple of years I still find it amazing how these young pros keep going, mentally and physically.
Take care of yourself. I took a minute to look up ship shape and in Bristol fashion. Like you, I used it a lot and knew its meaning but not the origin. Take a peek here if you wish.

7 07 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks Martin. I completely agree with you about what a tough go it is for the guys on tour – it’s a long way from the PGA, that’s for sure… Thanks also for the link to ship shape and Bristol fashion. This is becoming quite an educational blog, I think.


6 07 2010
Glenny the Sandbagger

The best of luck to you and Brian in Saskabush. The odd reference to faint hearts and pork sources can’t hurt when it comes down to the back nine on Friday.

7 07 2010
Bagger Dave

I’ll keep it in mind if things are getting tight, Glenny…BTW, for the first time ever I wish you and Ringer were around to discuss geology with me. How can there be real sand dunes a thousand miles from the sea. Did there use to be a Saskatchewan sea or is it to do with glaciers?


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