My player is Kris Tamulis.
Arrived at the course around 1:30 yesterday afternoon and received a note to meet Kris on the back nine. She had already teed off taking a handful of sticks which ‘The Nerd’ had to tote together with the fourteen his player Moira Dunn had in the bag. By the time I got situated, borrowed sixty quid from Worth, bought a yardage book and dressed for the potential nasty weather that turned perfect, it was a bit late. To compensate, I started on eighteen, walking the course in reverse order. As I approached the fifteenth fairway, that unmistakable bucket hat, atop the gargantuan noggin of Moira’s looper, alerted my senses that I had found my quarry. We finished the back then continued on.
Today was just practice. A morning and afternoon shotgun pro-am filled the Royal Birkdale links and no play was permitted before or after.
Circuitous travels: Before heading for England, I spent the night at the Hotel Stars, just a stone’s throw from GVA. At 60€, it was the cheapest I could find but worth less than half that I discovered. I bit the bullet but the kicker was the 24€ the b####rd hit me for the cab ride to the airport. I’ll know better next time. This place should be your last resort!
The next hurdle to climb was getting to Southport. The plan was to take the train from Manchester Airport to Southport then another to the course. But luck was on my side this time. Karen Stupples was on the same flight and offered a ride in her rental car which turned out to be a ‘Beemer’ instead of the Ford she had requested. Even though the rate was the same, she figured it may cost her more due to the increased chance of multiple speeding tickets.
Karen was not that familiar with this part of the country so her friend Kay was called upon to guide us along. Karen and Kay seemed like close friends but then again, how close can you really be to your GPS? As it turned out, it was a good thing Kay was navigating. A road closure had us going in one big circle.
We drove in the rain the entire way which meant the early arrivals played the course in the same conditions. Didn’t look like they experienced a fun round. Cleared up for the afternoon groups.
Monday qualifier: Brooky wins by four.
This ain’t the LPGA: The tireless and altruistic volunteer sprit is not to be found on this side of the pond. At least to the extent as in the States. Most folks here get paid for their duties here such as the guy minding the bag room. He closed it at 7:30 yesterday evening (after pulling a thirteen hour shift) leaving some luggage under lock and key til today. Even transportation called it a day at seven. Many players and their assistants were still on the course.
Don’t leave France without it: A luggage service was provided for caddies and players from Evian to Birkdale to avoid toting that extra weight aloft. A couple lorries jammed full with clubs and bags departed Sunday evening and arrived about midday on Monday. Unfortunately, one looper’s passport made the trip with his suitcase. Had to stay another day and get a temporary from the American Embassy.
Sometimes, it’s the little things: That’s how Karen Stupples saw it when she was first off by herself last week. The breakfast offered-up by our benignant host was second to none and she calculated that expedient play would get her another go-around before lunch was served. Made it with time to spare.
More of the same: I was next to the eighteenth green when Shin made her birdie putt to take the lead. Barley got an acknowledgement from the gallery. It was as if she made a par to finish with a seventy-eight. No one wanted her to win. Sorry Seoul Sisters, that’s the reality.
Wow! This is what happens when I take a couple days off. My fingers ache.
And then there was this.
Getting a university degree ‘can slow down dementia’ Back to school for me!