Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

The Loop

My Buddies Trip II

August 17, 2009

Nick, who has skinny white legs that are brighter than bleached socks, is the classic buddies trip comedian--good for group belly laughs and the butt of most of our jokes. His hair, as he says, is "fluffed and muffed" and reminds me of a Jimmy Johnson dew. He blows it dry first thing in the morning and it doesn't move all day.

Nick swings like Charles Barkley, speaks like Yogi Berra. If his ball comes up short it's because, "the sun held it up." Or, "I hit it farther than it went." If he duffs it off the tee he says, "at least it went straight." He's a 26 handicap who uses a "barbeque wedge" around the greens. He calls it a barbeque wedge because it's the same club he uses in his backyard to hit wiffle golf balls into his barbeque during practice sessions. Instead of using the term "touché," Nick says, "crochet." If his ball comes to rest near the hole of a burrowing animal, Nick asks if he can have a free drop because "my ball is next to an endangered species." We all just shake our heads. In baseball there's Manny being Manny in reference to Manny Ramirez. On our trip to Baywood there's Nick being Nick.

We all love him, but I'm glad he's not on my team. I coudn't put up with his on course shinanigans. I have Glen "Stubby" Stubblefield as my pro, Tim "The Head" Hetrick, Mike Clark and Eddie Bello (a picture of what we're sure will be the winning team in the next post). We tee off this afternoon for the first of two tournament rounds. I went out and followed Tony's team for a few holes this morning. The Baywood greens are running fast and it was foggy, so the short course was playing long.

Again, the format is one low gross and one low net on each hole. When I left them, Tony's team was struggling. Which is why I left them. Nick was blaming the bad round on "the gallery." My team's best first round score has been 12-under. In yesterday's practice round we were 13-under and no one played great, which we took as a good sign that we're poised for '09 greatness. Only time will tell. We figure we need to get to 20-under to have a chance at our first title.

Here's a picture from the 11th tee box. It's listed at 445-yards and it's the hardest hole on the course.


*--Matty G.