Third in a series of daily first-person stories from the 36th Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship – the world’s largest golf tournament.
By TONY LEODORA
The logical argument to give up the game of golf continues.
Four 7s, five three-putts, a pathetic total of 38 putts and some erratic ball-striking led to a round of 94. Coupled with yesterday’s 96, they are the two highest scores I have posted in almost 20 years of playing in the World Amateur Handicap Championship.
The scene of the Round 2 car crash was Indian Wells, one of the older courses in the Myrtle Beach area. It is located in the Garden City area, heading south on Highway 17. Twice it has been designated for commercial and real estate development … and, twice, the plan was shot down. It’s time has come.
The course was designed by architect Gene Hamm … on a bad day. It is a very tight course, with water on 14 holes and large oak trees placed in very peculiar spots throughout the course. Like in the middle of fairways. Or cutting off access to the green, even from well-placed drives in the fairway.
Our very affable and calm group did not enjoy their experience.
Herbert Thompson, a retired college president from Jamaica, had what he called “the worst day of golf in my life.” He struggled to a 101. But, to his credit, the former president of Northern Caribbean University did not raise his voice or utter a single curse word.
Wes White, a very tall retired Air Force technician, who now works in civil service in Warner Robbins, Georgia, also had a tough day. It began on the second hole when he played the wrong ball, incurring a two-shot penalty. The amazing part of the story is that he was playing a white ball, but hit my yellow ball by mistake. Rather than claim color-blindness, he just laughed and explained that he was playing yellow balls last week.
Actually, he may have been a bit distracted, en route to an unusually poor round of 87. Next week he leaves on his civil service job for an assignment in Qatar.
Mike Costin, a CPA from the Chicago area, is playing in his first World Am. He earned honors in our foursome with a round of 82. That moved him up to a tie for 8th place.
The rookie handled the pressure well but admitted, “Not only is this my first World Am but it is my first competitive stroke play event ever. The stress of having to make every two-footer is amazing.”
There was no upward movement for me, as I continue to look up at most of the flight. But, after making an unexpected birdie on my next-to-last hole on Tuesday, I will be back for more punishment.