Thursday, January 6, 2011

Desert Marlin

It's been a few days as my father and I enjoy the somewhat warm Scottsdale weather. My dad flew in about a week ago to prepare for our week at the Desert Marlin at Greyhawk. It's a two man team event, one pro and one am. A number of Tour players stop by to play in it, and we got our foot in the door last year as a last minute fill in for Peter Kostas and his son. Somehow we were invited back. We played our practice round with Stan Utley and our friend Mike Petty. It was good to pick Stan's brain a little bit, as there's not too many better putters than him. That evening was the Dry Heave, where Gary McCord harasses you via microphone while you try to hit a 110 yd shot over water. Top 3 closest to the pin win some money. They had an MC there too, to switch songs for each player, as Gary had songs picked out for certain guys. The MC got me good in my down swing, but I still managed to hit it about 10 feet pin high, no good though. McCord had a song picked out for my dad, and made fun of him for being media, but my dad hit a pretty good shot, and kind of spun the wrong way and was a little bit past. Probably 7 or 8 feet. No good either.

The first day is a 2-man scramble and our putters where cold as ice. We played with Ted Purdy, who is probably one of the absolute nicest guys on tour. My dad and I shot 68, which placed us near the bottom. We left a solid 5 shots out there with our putters alone. Afterwards we had lunch with Ted and were talking about my current situation and how I'm looking for somewhere to practice and play, now that my membership at Golf Club Scottsdale ran up and then more than doubled the price out there for me. Ted immediately got on the phone and called a couple courses to help me out. Hey, did I mention he's probably the nicest guy on tour? Yeah.

Day 2 saw us play a bit better. It was a best-ball format and I got us off to a solid start and played the first 14 holes in 3 or 4 under. We ran into a 20 minutes backup on 15 and I was pretty useless after that. My dad picked us up though with back to back birdies on our 15 and 16th holes. We shot a 66 and moved up about 20 spots, but still fell short of the money. We played with Frank Conner, who has the distinction of being the only man on the planet to play in both a Tennis US Open and a Golf US Open. He's older, but he's still got game. We had an absolute blast and now I'm gearing up for my first Gateway Tour event in a few days out at Anthem Golf Club.

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