February 17-19, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Tournament Details. The game – Stableford format (modified). Points: Triple bogey -2; Double -1; Bogey 0; Par +1; Birdie +3; Eagle +5. Round 1 Friday was gorgeous, 78 & sunny. Grand Dunes awaited us. White tees – 6272 yds / slope 126. With sunglasses on and SPF applied, we all had fun in the sun, but when the fun was done, the standings told the story that golf is all about scoring!
Results After Round 1
Question at end was "Will Randy run away with it again? or can someone step up and challenge?" Dinner and drinks were at LONGHORN’s (a wonderful steak house) at the new mall located at the 501 / 17 intersection. Round 2 Saturday, threat of rain, temperature at 50 and dropping, but we got the round in. Tidewater, Silver tees – 6164 yds / slope 130. Rain gear at hand, it was move day.
Results After Round 2
Drinks at the clubhouse. Laughter, Charlie with a "half-gallon size martini", good tidings, and then Chuck "blew up" and yelled at everyone. Scared the bartender off and we had to leave. Went back to the condos sulking until Chuck apologized to each of us, then we went back to drinking and eating pizza and junk food. Chuck, we love you but you were so sensitive! Did you take your meds? How about a good cigar and a scotch?
Final Round – Sunday, sunny, but cold. Front was a blustery 20 mph wind at 40 degrees (wind chill felt like 32), Back nine, totally different, wind died and got up to 45. Myrtlewood Pinehills course, White tees 6112 yds / slope 125.
It was a classic, one for the BGA records.
At 1st tee box, Spank (+9) was tentative and knew a charge by Leftie (+3) was going to come. Sure enough, the front nine was all Leftie by shooting a 39 and picking up 8 points (2 birdies and 2 pars), while Spank shot a 47 but managed to lose only 2 points. So it stood at the turn, Leftie at +11 and Spank at +7. That birdie on #9 by Leftie gave him the momentum.
A quick stop at the snack bar for Spank to get a sandwich & coffee and to warm up fellow player, Mike Campbell (front nine 49) with hot cocoa and a bowl of chili, provided a new relax air and energy for both players.
At the 10th tee box, Spank, with a mouthful of a ham & cheese sandwich, told Leftie, "well I guess I got to put my move on". Leftie responded, "bring it on". Number ten, Spank in with a bogey, Leftie took a double bogey. Now only holding a +3 lead.
At eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen, Spank went on a tear for birdie, par, par, bogey, par. Leftie did it at double bogey, bogey, par, bogey, bogey, bogey. Score now was – Spank +13, Leftie +10.
At sixteen, Spank had a meltdown and scored a triple bogey, Leftie at bogey. Score now is Spank +11, Leftie +10. A one-point lead with 2 holes to go.
What is about to happen in the next 2 holes will go down in the annals of BGA history.
The 17th a par-3, pin up, centered in a "bowl" placement, bunkers in front, playing short at 125 yds. Leftie on green, left of pin but with a severe down hill run. Spank came up short, on grass lie but needs to pitch over a bunker. Spank would get up and out for a bogey. Green was cleared for Leftie to either birdie (for win) or par (for a tie).
Leftie 3 putted. Frustrated, and only he knows what churned, he turned, tossed his mallet putter about 30 feet in the air carrying some 40 yds and disappeared in the canal. Leftie went to 18th with no putter.
Number 18. Spank on in three. Leftie provided an amazing 4-iron shot from the base of tree to be next to fringe in two, chipped up with run pass cup and left himself a 12 footer and now lying three. Spank came up a ball short of par and got a bogey. Leftie for the win (par) selected to use a sand wedge opened and use the front edge as a putter. It was a two putt for a bogey. Spank wins by one-point. It was a great match by two great gentlemen.
Side note: Mike "Nighthawk" Campbell awoke with new found energy on the back nine and shot a 38 and picked up 9-points, added to his -4 of the front and he netted out with +5 on the final round.
Historical perspective: The Kohler was originally conceived by some whacky BGA founders and was some golf to play in the winter months. Never got a rise, compared to the SPAM (skins) or the crown jewel – The American Open. The BGA tour is all about improving our game as we improve our character. Well, the Kohler is your character builder and to score you need to improve your game.
The Kohler has been held at Myrtle Beach for five of the last six years. We skipped one due to a bad winter in 2003. Randy "Leftie" Broughman has held the coveted trophy for 4 successive titles – 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005. He has been Captain of a winning Wellman Cup team (St. James Plantation) A great champion and southern gentleman.
The reason we bring this up is that the SOUTH has been good for the BGA. Every year our Southern host – Scott Rush – yes, big loveable Scott – leverages his business ties and gets the BGA set up in comfort and great courses. His assistant, Chuck "don’t piss me off" Petrilla has been a proponent of Myrtle Beach and has made it a permanent stop in the tour. What Don "Duff" Drehoff does for Ocean City, Maryland, so to does Scott, Chuck and Randy do for Myrtle Beach.
THANK YOU GENTLEMEN.
If you have not participated in the BGA season opening tour event at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, then you are missing a gem in your golf life. Come on down, it only gets better. It happened to Frank "Spank" Mejia this year – a little magic happened.