Yoos fullas today have the distinct displeasure of hearing both Goldstein and I rambling about Day 105. Because we tied. Usually when there's a halved match (skins, in this case), the man with the lowest gross score has the honour - but we both had 77 so we've decided to share the duties on this occasion. Had it gone to a birdie countback, I would be on full duties, as I clocked up 5; however had it gone to an eagle countback, my pal would've pipped me, given he had one (and I'm sadly still sitting on zero for the year). So there you have it.
Armidale could've been lifted out of rural New Zealand. It's up high (about 1,000 metres above sea level, I think); there be deciduous trees; and there be rednecks. Well, no rednecks actually - but the bit about the temperature and falling leaves was true. The autumn colours were stunning, actually. Leaves redder than George W Bush's nose before he stopped drinking drew not only my gaze but my golf ball. I spent a lot of time in the trees. Because i like trees and wandering among them.
Mick got chatting on the 1st tee to some local lad called Josh. Josh didn't endear himself to me at first, because he started talking to Mick while I began the downswing of my first stroke of the day. I hooked it into the trees, made 5, and lost 6 skins in the process (5 had been carried forward from yesterday, after 17 and 18 were halved). So I threw him a steely glare.
As it turned out Josh had only just taken up the game a couple of months ago - to spend more quality time with his father in law (awwwww) - so he wasn't fully up to speed with Etiquette And All That. When the appropriate moment arrived I tactfully asked him whether his father in law had shared with him not only The Rools, but also a word of wisdom or two about Etiquette (which as we all know is just as important). Not really, apparently. So not his fault, and therefore no hard feelings.
I'll now turn you over to Mick, to tell you about how I double bogeyed the 18th after a birdie run to surrender 3 skins (to his bogey) and halve the match. Mick:
Through 9 holes today our golf was, as it tends to be, frustrating. Armidale is a course that seems to lend itself to scoring low. The greens roll true and are relatively flat. Many of the holes are short, and there are 5 par fives all of which are reachable in two. But then again, the greens are the size of postcards and if you suffer from I Can't Chip Syndrome, like I tend to do, missing greens results in numerous bogeys. But then I made the call on the 10th tee that we needed to make 6 birdies combined on the back nine. And being guys who like to take up a challenge, like playing-golf-every-day-worldwide-2010 type challenges, we set out down the 10th with nothing but birdies in mind. Jamie slotted the first on the 10th. We both missed a couple of short putts on the par three 11th and 12th and then JP got the ball rolling again on 13 with a tap in on that par 5. By this stage the light was fading and the pace of play picking up as we were scurrying around to get in before dark. A couple of short putts missed on 14 and 15 and our chances of making the magical 6 were fading. But then, with our backs against the wall, we had a combined score of 7 on the par 5 16th. Not bad going. We decided that an 'eagle-birdie combo' meant that for our monthly skins battle, the skin for the birdie carried over until the next birdie was made - and so JP stepped up on the 17th and duly made birdie 3 to pick up 4 skins. So there he was, three skins up on the last tee with 3 skins on the line.
18: So, Jamie, not wanting to write the blog (slash, dare I say choke), stepped up and blocked it staight right towards the out of bounds. A quick swear word and a provisional tee shot later we walked off down the fairway. But then, surprise surprise his ball has bounced down, in play. But, Jamie was faced with a tree in his way with out of bounds down the right. He was forced to hit a cut. Jamie hitting a strong slice is as likely as he shooting 59. But, being a chap up for a challenge (see above) he took aim out left and let rip.... Straight into the trees. No slice. A pitch out to the front of the green and JP needed an up and down for 5 to put some pressure on me to two putt. Anyway a long story short we were both standing over 8 footers to win the day. I duly missed (3 putt), and it was all up to Jamie to make a 5 dirtier than the Indian streets, to halve the last. But, as you can tell by the indepth nature of this blog post, neither of us really wanted to win today and Jamie missed. Day halved. And not in a good way with a combined +3 on the last. That's golf.
We then jumped in the car and drove to Coffs Harbour. Despite the incessant road works slowing down the already car-sick-windy-and-slow roads, we made it to Coffs circa 8pm. Where we were greeted by our host Dave Johnson. Dave had a few mates around and we all went out for a cheeky Chinese dinner at the local 'Dragon' restaurant. Dave Church is also staying here at the moment, a larrakin (slash leading vet)) out from the UK. Both Dave's are part of the old man's infamous golfing holiday group which hacks around Melbourne each February. We were also joined for dinner by 'Fishy' who is also a Melbourne regular from Way Back. The conversation flowed as we enjoyed fine food and wine. Tomorrow we're having a four ball with DJ and DC at Bonville and it promises to be one of the days to be remembered in 2010...
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