Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Big Golf Bet

Chris' brother Josh, checked in on the blog recently and forwarded the entry about the Pine Top weekend to the rest of the guys.

Bill's first response was, "How do you have so much time to write that novel?". His second response was "I agree with everything you wrote except the part about you being a better golfer than me. In fact, if we played 10 rounds of golf against each other, I bet I'd win 8 of them!"

I chuckled on the inside and told Bill that he was nuts. Later he called me back and said he wanted to make a bet. We would play 10 rounds for $500 total. Whoever won the most rounds would win the bet. I accepted right away. Then to tweak Bill a little bit, I sent a copy of both of our handicap sheets with the scores of our last 20 rounds on it. Over the last 20 rounds, I have been better by over 1 stroke. I compared this to Tiger Woods leading the PGA Tour in stroke average by over 1 stroke. "Who would you rather have in this bet, Tiger Woods or Jim Furyk?" I asked Bill. I also noticed that I had played over 40 rounds in 2006 and Bill had played less than 15.

Bill then tried to change the bet to 4 rounds in 4 days like a normal golf tournament. First of all, I know for a fact that he could never clear his schedule to play 4 days in a row. I could barely do it, and I don't have to deal with 3 kids. Secondly, my back would never make it so I politely declined.

Then I realized that Bill is scheduled for knee surgery in December to fix his meniscus and possibly his ACL. So this bet may take 12 months to complete. This is even better for me. Besides dealing with a surgically repaired knee, Bill tends to lose focus on his golf game if there is not an immediate bet on the game. Having to wait 6 to 9 months to win the bet will drive him nuts.

We had our first round together last Wednesday. Phoenix Country Club has just come out of overseeding and they have yet to mow the rough. They did not overseed the greens, so they are running really fast. In other words, the course is playing pretty tough.

I was not all that confident in the current state of my game, because my last rounds were in Pine Top with Bill in the Stag Tournament. I could not hit a drive in the fairway to save my life there and I had not swung a club in the 3 weeks since. I was counting on the fact that Bill had not played in 3 weeks either and that maybe I could scratch out an 85 which should be good enough.

I started off fantastic, with a drive down the middle, a nice layup, and a wedge to 5 feet for an easy birdie. Bill had a bogey and I was two up after the first hole. The first hole was the last hole I hit a fairway with my driver.

By the turn, Bill had taken a one stroke lead. By the 13th hole, I had caught up due to Bill taking a couple of double bogies. On the short 14th, I pulled my drive left, but found an opening and hit a great wedge to about 7 feet. Bill had hacked his ball up the fairway and into a greenside bunker. I was up by one stroke and had a chance to go up by 3 if I make my birdie. I missed the chance and was up 2 going into the 15th hole.

The 15th is a short par 3 over water. The pin was back right, measuring 155 yards. Bill hit a 7 iron over the green and into the back bunker. He grumbled about me giving him the wrong yardage with my laser range finder. I liked my swing, but I caught the ball a couple of grooves low, and sent mine into the back bunker as well.

Bill had a pretty easy shot out of the bunker, but mine was on a bit of a downslope and I had another bunker and the lake on the far side of the green. In other words, I needed to hit a really good shot, just to keep it on the green. I caught it fat and left it in the bunker. Bill hit a good shot to about 6 feet. I was now determined to hit a good shot, inside of Bill's. I hit my next shot thin and into the bunker by the lake. I could not stop the momentum and left my next shot in the bunker. Next shot, over the green into the same bunker I had just left. Finally I was out, and to add insult to injury I made the 20 foot putt for 7. In conclusion, I went from 2 up to 2 down in one hole.

The last three holes did not go any better as I was pressing trying for birdies and Bill played really solid golf. He actually played the last 4 holes in 1 under par, so even if I just bogeyed 15, I may not have held up.

Bill ended up with an 82 and I had an 89. Horrible golf by me, but encouraging in that I played pretty bad and still felt like I had a chance to win with 4 holes to go.

So I am down 1-0 and I have a baby due any day now. If I can get it back to even before the baby comes, I will be in good shape. We may not play again until at least January and that will give me some time to tighten up my game. We may play this Saturday, stay tuned.

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