PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


Amateur event features 40-mph gusts, leading to crazy high scores, 24 WDs and a 12-putt (!!)

December 09, 2020

What's the Scottish saying? Nae wind, nae rain, nae golf. Whoever first uttered that phrase probably didn't account for the wind blowing 40 mph.

Those were the conditions on a brutally windy day Monday at Rustic Canyon, which hosted the Southern California Golf Association's Tournament of Club Champions. The 18-hole stroke-play event is open to any SoCal club champion who has a handicap index of 2.4 or lower. Ninety-three players entered. Just 67 survived.

The wind was so bad that it caused 24 players to withdraw, in addition to one DNF (did not finish) and one NS (no start). It's hard to blame them after hearing what it was like from someone who played in the event. Andy Ho, who won his club championship at The Vineyard GC and shot 100 on Monday, tweeted out some inside info:

Incredibly, Ho's 100 was not the high score of the event. Six players shot higher scores, including a 51-over 123. Just two players broke 80, the winning score a six-over 78 from Silver Lakes CC's Ricky Montanez. In another tweet, Ho claimed that there was just one birdie carded in his foursome the entire day, and it came from a player who also made a 10, 12 and an 18. That player is Grant Beachley, who shot the 123:

As impressive as Montanez's winning 78 is, Beachley toughing out a 123 with an 18 might be even more impressive. It takes an immense amount of pride-swallowing to do that. According to Ho, Beachley 12-putted (!!!) the 18th:

Beachley should be given some sort of medal for this gritty performance. Here's footage of what these guys were dealing with. No, this is not Beachley putting. Just some other poor soul:

Nuts. There's "carnage" and then there's "we should probably cancel this thing due to the hurricane-like winds which has made the course unplayable."