San Jose Country Club treated us like kings or better on a typically splendid First Coast day. We enjoyed light winds at 9-13 mph, pleasant temperatures at 80-88 degrees, and scattered clouds under a waning gibbous moon three days past full. With almost 14 hours of daylight to do our business, why worry about the pace of play?
Mother Nature blessed the First Coast region with a favorable climate for groundskeeping but it takes much more than watching the grass grow to produce the exceptional greens and fairways we enjoyed today. A major fraction of today's field raved over the great course conditions. Kudos to the course superintendent and his greenkeepers.
And special thanks and congratulations are due to our front-office hosts–Todd Bork, Bill Basney, and Rocky Staples (l-r)–for a superbly executed event. Did Rocky shake every hand in the cart-up area? It was a warm welcome by any measure.
Coming into the seventh week of this year's MSIS series, 127 players signed up for a chance at finishing atop a field that produced 74 birdies and two eagles. One of those eagles was a hole in one made by Leedom Kettell (SG) at the par 3 hole 8.
Yesterday Darren Clarke, a month shy of 42 years, became the second oldest player to win the British Open. Let's see what Darren can do when he reaches the age of a typical MSIS champion! That is, those of us who take low gross or high points in the monthly series of grueling MSIS competitions.
Today Skip Lunsford (JG) was a double-crown champion, leading the field in strokes and points. Skip posted five birdies on his way to a round of 72 strokes and 45 points. It's a special treat when the team rep leads by example!
The points crown was a steal as Skip edged out Ed McCrory (OC) and Conrad Beaver (MP), who posted a whopping 44 points each. Ed helped himself to extra points by snagging four birdies.
SHOT OF THE DAY
With eight MSIS rounds under his belt, Leedom Kettell (SG, above) enjoyed his first hole-in-one. He managed the feat with a 9 iron from 134 yards. Barney Poston (Tournament Chairman) reminded everyone that MSIS views the unwritten rule of an open bar for a hole-in-one as an urban myth.
9:00 a.m., Monday, August 15
Marsh Creek Country Club
A Mark McCumber design (1988)
6,062 yards, 70.0/126
Dave Spring, Team Representative
Cary Splane, PGA, Director of Golf
THE SHAKY LADDER
On the season, the top five teams—San Jose, Jacksonville, Magnolia Point, World Golf, and Osprey Cove--maintained their places in the standings. It was moving day for three other clubs: Marsh Landing, St. Johns, and Sawgrass moved up two places each. With three outings left before the playing of the Brady Cup, we're waiting to see who stumbles. Here's a summary of how today's top four teams fared.
Jacksonville Golf & Country Club
With 264 points, Jacksonville was handsomely led by Captain Skip Lunsford who was the mad bomber: topping everyone with the lowest strokes and the highest points. He was backed up by Wib Finch who brought home 40 points in his 93rd event on the MSIS Tour.
Hidden Hills Country Club
With 262 points, Hidden Hills' success hinged on Captain Mark Morrison and five teammates making their quotas: call it a sextuple and forget about the odds. Dave Orr, at the top of that heap, scored 42 points against 852:1 odds.
San Jose Country Club
With 257 points, San Jose learned Captain Bill Basney was no slouch at 42 points but Chuck Hansen and Don Mathis stole the bacon with 43 points each against 114:1 and 317:1 odds, respectively. San Jose would have captured first place today but for two incorrect scorecards.
St. Johns Golf & Country Club
With 255 points in a tiebreaker over Marsh Landing, St. Johns had to make do with Captain Bob White sitting out. The top performers included Bill Stewart, Bob Porteus, and Carl Insel at 42, 41, and 40 points.
Eagles: 2 Chuck Hansen (SN) on hole 1, 8-Iron,
123 yards and two bounces
Leedom Kettell (SG) on hole 8, HIO
Birdies: 5 Skip Lunsford (JG)
4 Ed McCrory (OC)
3 Wib Finch (JG), Warren Lemme (SJ)
Steve LaFave (OC), Denis Wright (PV)
8 Made on hole 6
7 Made on holes 14 and 17
Strokes: 72 Skip Lunsford (JG) at 13:1 odds
90 MSIS Average (2010 average: 91)
Points: 45 Skip Lunsford (JG) at 13:1 odds
35 MSIS Average (2010 average: 34)
CLOSEST TO FLAGSTICK
Hole 5: Ed McCrory (OC) 2' 9˝"
Hole 8: Leedom Kettell (SG) 0' 0"
Hole 12: Gary Owensby (EH) 1' 3"
Hole 17: Dennis Williams (EH) 5' 1"
DIFFICULTY RELATIVE TO PAR
The course gave us a break today: 113 pickups were recorded, none on holes 7, 8, and 13! If you recall, we had at 90 pickups at World Golf Village in June, 89 pickups at Marsh Landing in May, 63 pickups at St. Johns in April, 187 at Deercreek in March, 159 at Hidden Hills in January, and 225 at Ponte Vedra Inn in December. How many pickups can you expect in the next outing at Marsh Creek?
Even though you expect to get strokes on holes where you most need them, the following charts show those are not necessarily the most difficult holes.
Today's Toughest Holes
21 pickups were taken on hole 17 (10th toughest.
Today's Easiest Holes
No pickups were taken on holes 7 and 8
and none on hole 13 (11th toughest).
Once again, your scorecards were processed by a volunteer crew of fellow-competitors who must operate under high pressure; incredibly, they didn't make a single data-entry error.
Coordinator: Glenn Dobrick (SG)
Readers: Jim Henderson (SN),
Tom Cusick (SN)
Scorers: Roy Gulick (MP), Joe Power (EH)
Tally: Ralph Belter (HH)
Board: Todd Bork, PGA, Director of Golf
Mike Smith, PGA, Asst Professional
Sorter: Rachelle Cusick (SN)
Our PC system fulfills USGA Rule 33-5 by adding your scores, applying your handicaps, and calculating the Stableford results of each hole. The system also implements Note 1 to Rule 6-6. The scoring area operates to minimize the time between when the cards are returned and when the prizes are announced. Within the next 24 hours, the Committee undertakes a 100-percent audit to detect errors that may have been made by markers, competitors, or the scoring team. Erasures are double scrutinized and on
occasion markers are phoned for clarification. This month, the audit revealed errors that led to two penalties of disqualification by USGA Rule 6-6d. Shades of the 1968 Masters Tournament when Roberto De Vicenzo said, "What a stupid I am."
SUMMER READING REDUX
In the last issue, Bill Smith (EH) gave us a list of seven golf books to enjoy during the upcoming hot and humid weather. Bill ran across another one that merits your attention during our continued hot and humid weather.
To Win and Die in Dixie: The Birth of the Modern Golf Swing and the Mysterious Death of its Creator by Steve Eubanks. "James Douglas Edgar played 36 holes each Monday with Bobby Jones and developed the 'Movement' now known as the modern golf swing. A ladies man, Edgar was found on an Atlanta street one night at 11:30 pm where he bled to death from a severed artery above his left knee. The crime was never solved."
["This is one of the most riveting unknown stories in our game, and one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time." —Paul Azinger]
You needn't look far to find a group of frequent MSIS players. This month we spotted a group with 259 MSIS events under their belts. From left to right below, Gary Owensby (EH) has played in 80 events; John Whitman (WG) in 6 events; Wib Finch (JG) in 93 events; and Mark Snitzer (DC) in 80 events. What is it that keeps them coming back? Is John Whitman counting the days until his 80th event?
Here's another group with three oldtimers and a rookie. From left to right below, Glenn Dobrick (SG) has played in 51 events; Mike Cooper (SN) in 49 events; Rich Langille (HH) in 6 events; and Roy Gulick (MP) in 60 events. By the way, Roy Gulick is resigning as Team Rep after 7 years to be replaced by Bob Wildner, a rookie with 4 events under his belt.
The August Newsletter will be released in the next week or so. A full and up-to-date accounting will be given at that time. Our account balance is $2008.60. I haven’t checked recently but we may have a few pennies of earned interest in addition to that balance.
Come on! Submit an idea or material for an article that might interest your fellow-competitors. Surely you've seen or heard something interesting during an MSIS outing. Stories about things that happened on the course are a staple. Everyone loves a chuckle although a groan is sometimes more instructive.
Your story needn't be the absolute truth! Why not brag about a tricky hole or a great shot? Stretch the facts or share the pain?
Also, please feel free to submit an opinion or suggestion for improving MSIS events. Whatever you submit needn't be related to golf. All we need is a rough draft or a slim outline.