Evian Masters 2006-Evian France

My player this week is Bo Bae Song

Week off: Spending the next five days right here in Toledo. A round trip out of Detroit, for my European travels, will leave a fairly short drive to the London Hunt Club for the Canadian event.

  • Whoooo are you? (to be sung like the theme from C.S.I.) It happened again. More than once, my similitude to one of the “rich and famous” was acknowledged by one of the masses. As we walked off the tenth hole in the final round in Toledo, a guy ogled my mug, turned to his buddy and verbalized “Look, John Voight is caddying”. Yes, this has occurred numerous times but the best was receiving the royal treatment from the staff in a Daytona restaurant as we supped dinner. We all had a good laugh over that one.
  • War of words; Looks like the “Comish” has fired a shot over the bow of another tournament. This time it’s the ShopRite Classic in Atlantic City and involves our new Ginn event. Check out this Golfweek article.
  • Keeping in touch; Don’t know if a Wi-Fi connection (free of course) will be available in Europe but I’m assuming the tournaments may supply one. One way or the other, I’ll have blog entries albeit a bit late at times.
  • Mindless madness; With all the time between shots, vacuous thoughts meander my cranial crevices and last week was no different. With Morgan Pressel in the group in front, I just couldn’t help thinking of the promotional opportunities available with the similarity to the word pretzel. Let me expound. Would her clubs be called “Pressel Sticks”? If she was wearing yellow would she be a “Mustard Pressel”? And so on. I know, I’m a sick puppy so I’ll apologize now to all the Pressels who may read this.
  • Shui this; Just arranged rooms for a couple players for The British at one of the the more unusual establishments. The Feng Shui Hotel will house these two and will be interesting to see how they play. With everything arranged for complete harmony, a one-two finish will be expected. I’ll hold back the names just in case they bolt and make other plans. Wonder if they will avail themselves to the offered therapies and treatments? I find the Metamorphic technique of particular interest.
  • Not so rare after all? A. J. waited seven years for another hole-in-one to grace her scorecard but how about three in consecutive weeks on the same hole! Check this out.

The Trip

Booked my round trip from Detroit to Manchester way back during the Michelob event and at a very good fare indeed. But as with most bargains to good to be true, a few strings come attached. A wicked lay-over at O’Hare (seven + hours to be exact) has given me plenty of time to observe the human condition. Here are just a few thoughts as I pass the time.

  • By far the most frequented eating establishment is McDonald’s. Three or four to one in my estimation.
  • Getting dressed down by your wife in public for failing to follow her instructions should be grounds for divorce. Happened to the guy sitting next to me and she was still “tore him a new one” twenty-five yards down the concourse.
  • Nothing perks up your day (men’s department) more quickly  than an attractive, well endowed, braless woman running through your field of vision trying to make her next connection.
  • The need for aimless conversation (witnessed by the incessant use of cell phones) must have been endowed by our creator. How do the followers of a monastic lifestyle manage? By the way, if they do cause brain tumors, neurosurgery is the way to go for your offspring.
  • Unruly children would be another good use for duct tape. They should be affixed to their parents.
  • Starbucks may be one of the all-time greatest flimflams ever perpetrated on the American public. Pardon me while I slurp on a grande, soy milk, caramel macchiato with chocolate shavings and munch on my apple galette.

Had a feeling I’d run into a familiar face or two while awaiting take off and Stacy P. and her dad Lou just happened to be on the same flight. They also had a long lay-over coming up from Tulsa but the connection is different out of Manchester even though we arrive within minutes of each other in Geneva.

Lou, preparing for his overnighter to Manchester

I change planes in Amsterdam but don’t think I’ll have time to sample the “special pastries” Herr Steffler raved about after his trip to The World Cup. Made it without a hitch but one of my bags didn’t. Don’t know if it will or not.

  • Very disappointed with our digs. The Hotel du Palais is a real loser. We have a very small room with twin beds, no air (temps are pushing 90), and bordering the street which teems with night life. Since it’s mandatory we keep the balcony doors open for ventilation, sounds of the city will delay my eventual trip to dream land.

The Tournament

My player this week is Bo Bae Song.

Monday: Walked the course and it’s one hilly mother! This track is a workout even without a bag on your shoulder. Everything slopes towards Lake Geneva and the greens have a  consistently high reading on my Exelys Break Master.

  • Stickless; Met Bo Bae at our designated time but the clubs didn’t. Probably sharing space with my lost Samsonite. Julie Inkster is in the same boat but along with the clubs, throw in all the rest of her luggage. She even flew first class but no such treatment for her belongings is provided. She’s pissed!
  • The most important meal of the day; Heard breakfast is on the cuff for caddies (we get to dine with the players) but that’s where the free grub stops. 40 Euros is the going rate for the cadero lunch which puts it out of reach for most.
  • Fancy meeting you here; We also get to hang with our bosses in a lounge area which houses adjacent locker rooms. Internet access is also provided so my updates should come on a regular basis.
  • Vanishing act; This doesn’t happen very often but Natalie Gulbis’ clubs and luggage showed on the her scheduled flight but she didn’t. Efforts to contact her have been futile so far. I’m guessing alien abduction.
  • Transients in transit; Took Lane Kjeldsen three days to get here due to weather delays and tack on an extra 24 hours for Woody (after being rerouted to New York only to start over in Detroit) for the same reason. Steve Kolchar has been trying to get out of Cleveland since Friday but he’s a no-show so far. Hold on a second, he just walked in.
  • Dropping like flies; Already down to 90th on the world rankings.

Tuesday: Played eighteen with Soo Young Kang and Tommy Thorpe on the sack. We were done by 1:00 and a good thing too, it was another scorching afternoon.

  • That’s more better; The lunch fiasco has taken the path to righteousness as we’re permitted to order off the menu with a  20% discount or select just part of the buffet at a substantially reduced rate.
  • Caddies down! Lance, Lorena’s looper, bit the dust yesterday from the heat and Colin Cann, Paula’s counterpart, whacked his big toe on the door in the his hotel and took today off. He’ll give it a go tomorrow with a hole cut in his shoes for a tad more room.
  • New look; We all went to dinner yesterday at what must have been a tour favorite restaurant  because it seemed everyone was there. Ty and Sophie even showed sporting new facial hair. Just Ty that is. The start of a Van Dyke was clearly visible but, after paying the past “Comish” a complement on his neuveau appearance, he confided that it’s coming off in the morn.
  • That’s just shocking; Luke, Brittany Lang’s brother and caddie, found out the hard way about the electricity differences when traveling abroad. It’s 240 volts vs.110 for the U.S. He had the adapter plug but not the converter for his DVD player and poof, fried the power supply.
  • A hedge against inflation; An unusual hole-in-one prize awaits the most fortunate on the 195 yard fourteenth. A gold bar weighing in at one kilo goes home with an ace. Iben Tinning won one last year.
  • FAN-tastic; A promised air circulation device for our room was awaiting our return yesterday and made all the difference in the world.
  • Round two over the bow; Read about it here.

Wednesday: Round one is in the books and our five birdies, countered by five bogies, leave us even-steven.

  • First for me; Lost my yardage book on the way up the hill on the fifth hole but used Bo Bae’s to attain a bird anyway. Did the same by the thirteenth green and the result was no different. Another bird.
  • When animals attack! Brittany Lincicome’s proclamation of being attacked by a fish on her week off prompted yours truly to investigate more deeply. Turns out she was stuck by a pin fish while attempting to extricate a hook from the poor devil’s mouth and an examination of the purported wound discovered it was a a veiled attempt for sympathy. After receiving a stunning rebuke from any caddie within earshot, she countered by rubbing in the fact her room was so cool she actually had to turn the air off at one point. Touche´.

The second mutilation by the little beasties was to Jennifer Rosales this morning while warming up for today’s round. A vicious sting upon her upper arm,, perpetrated by a lone marauding honey bee, prompted an immediate withdrawal. No allergies present but a claim of an induced “panic attack” was the explanation.

  • Don’t they ever learn? Add an alarm clock to he electronic ash heap after caddie Steve Kolchar gave it the 240 volt treatment. He believes his iron survived, but did seem to get quite hot during use. Will find out tonight if that also will be his next purchase upon his return to the States.
  • Viva Italia? Had pizza for dinner last evening and pasta carbonara the day before. For lunch today, lasagna and penne with pesto graced my plate. What country am I in anyway?
  • Mood music; The tournament sent their version of  The Blues Brothers into town to sooth the savage beast within the caderos.

The Band

The Audience

Jake or Elwood?

Thursday: Do ya hear that train a com’n? Two first class tickets sil vous plait. The destination was Bogeyville and we didn’t get off till the four under par we made it to disappeared. Another round of even with two to play.

  • Revenge of the humans! In addition to previously mentioned attacks on two of our own, the overly aggressive birds attempting to steal a free meal off of all who dine on the patio, are reminiscent of something out of a Hitchcock movie. Turn your head and they’re on your plate before you can say sac le bleu! After one of their forays, I decided it was pay-back time. Lunch consisted of a cheese and mushroom omelet, with more fries than I could consume, so I amassed a pile of beak-size “pomme frit” and dowsed them with Tabasco. After placing a few within easy reach of the airborne scavengers, they were quickly spirited away to be dined on in more seclude surroundings. Never saw those freeloaders again.
  • Oooh that feels good; A welcomed adjunct to the player/caddie lounge is a massage chair. With multiple modes able to work every aching muscle, a few minutes before or after your round will ease the pain away.

John Killeen with his new found love. If it could only cook.

  • Footie fantasia; The annual soccer game tween the locals and players/caddies was held yesterday and very well attended. Victory was snatched from defeat by two late goals with a final of 9-8 for our side.

Lets play two!

Friday: Would have settled for even today. The same stretch of holes cleans our clock every day. Shot +2 including a two inch putt that failed to reach the cup! Tried to one hand it and it bit her in the butt.

  • How can I forget; Failed to mention the “Beer Garden” (hospitality) Evian provides just behind the clubhouse. Endless supply of grog (wine if you prefer) and French finger foods. BURRP!

Saturday: Another +2  leaving us tied for 48th. Too many errant shots left no room to climb the latter.

  • It’s hammer time; Looks like the beer garden is thee destination after the round. Heard more than one person say they’re getting hammered tonight.

Sunday: It’s pro-am day and many a player was not ready to tee it for  for six hours, in a two best ball event,  my player included. The “hammer” fell for many in the wee hours of the morning and the only cure would be a few more hours sleep and something to ease that throbbing between the ears.

Bo Bae felt the ravages of late night parting after ten holes and decided to withdraw. Subsequently, she was informed that failure to complete the round would result in a whopping 50% reduction in the money she won which was almost $6000! Out back we went and finished what we started.

  • Hell of a day; The best way to describe today is excruciating. We were paired with three ladies (invited by Renault) and only one had a semblance of a golf game. Since the format was two best ball, with very little picking up, scores over ten per hole were commonplace. Factor that in with Bo Bae’s pounding head and eventual disruption in her lower intestines, she was not a pleasant person to spend the afternoon with. This was noticed immediately by the group and conveyed to me by a a newly found acquaintance who happened to be following along. In fact, they were extremely disappointed upon her return to finish the round. Don’t think she’ll get a passing grade when the final report card is turned. B. B. just doesn’t realize which side her bread is buttered on.
  • Thanks pops; Everyone knew of the planned partying after Saturday’s play and a little leniency was granted by some of the chaperones. One underage (in the States) player’s dad realized the inevitable and had a bottle of water waiting on the nightstand and five Excedrin on his daughter’s pillow.
  • I’ll take a local; Many players either gave their cadero the day off or let them leave early to walk The British Open course. Jay Rothenberger (Christina Kim’s looper) took it easy in the caddie lounge and iced his sore foot while Woody found it an opportune time to give him a little spritz with the “shower in a can” (Evian brand of course).

Pampered to perfection.

  • Looky here; A visit to the  Beer Garden, upon completion of Saturday’s play, found caddie Neil Carter tending to Nobby’s son Luke till the little tyke had enough. A badly needed sip from the cadero’s “Fountain of Youth” straightened the little bugger out. No worries, it was just a bit on the tip of his tongue.

Two cry babies.

Cheers!

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