Florida Naturals Championship 2006-Stockbridge GA

My player this week is Yu Ping Lin

Sunday: Due to a Saturday finish, this is travel day for most. I fly back to Atlanta but some unfortunate souls are four wheeling it and should be somewhere on I40. Two of the road warriors are Scraper and my roommate Boston Ralph. Another nickname for Ralph is ‘Iron’ cause he’s a man of iron when it come to driving long distances.

  • Beats a taxi any day; Found alternative transpo (from our previously half-in-the-bag cabbie) to the airport via CLS Transportation. A mini-bus picks you up at your door and delivers your butt for only $5, plus gratuity of course. A very efficient operation but our driver John was a bit reminiscent of Sgt. Friday (played by Jack Webb) from the old TV series Dragnet. His spiel, delivered in a very monotone cadence, was precise, to the point and without a word wasted. “Just the facts ma’am”.

Monday: Still didn’t have a job but Naree flew in for the qualifier so I worked the day for her. We played the four week old Crystal Lake Country Club and, as all new courses, hard and fast is an understatement. Throw in a 20 mph wind and only one under went into the play-off. Unfortunately, Naree wasn’t one of them. Three players went down number one but only two survived. Kelli Kuehne missed a two footer and was eliminated. Soon after the finish I received a message from ‘Country Club’ Mike. He was unable to work for Yu Ping Lin so I gave her a buzz and snagged a loop for the week.

  • The well ran dry; With plenty of time left in the day, I decided to at least walk nine holes of the tournament track. Heard it was in poor shape and that was no exaggeration. Looks like another course that seems to have run out of cash. Over seeding was bypassed (zero rough) and I have no idea what they did to the greens. Ugly is an appropriate adjective though. Heard Chick-fil-A dumped $200,000 a year into the course but there’re bye-bye. Don’t count out anyone this week but the big knockers hold a premium with all the reachable par fives.

Tuesday: An empty course, owed to the pro-am at Eastlake Country Club, afforded a rare opportunity to play a practice round without holding up another group. In fact, we played the last nine by our lonesome with very little waiting. As earlier stated, it’s playing hard and fast with many shots landing on the front of the greens and rolling all the way to the back. Give the greens a good whack with the putter and that hollow sound you hear foretells your shots bouncing over!

  • How not to win friends and influence people; Steve ?, a refugee looper from The Nationwide Tour, twice tried to get me axed from Yu Ping’s bag in as many days. Yesterday he contacted her after I was hired but was told he was too late but could work next week if she got in. This ballsy buffoon countered with a two week or no deal proposition. To Yu Ping’s credit, it was no deal. Then on our way to the first tee this morning he attempted the same ploy once again! Actually tried to hijack the bag with me only yards away. What a jerk. Needless to say, he won’t be working for Yu Ping anytime soon.

  • Hey buddy, can you spare a dime? The grapevine has our resident infamous cadero, you know who I mean, squandering three large at the tables in Vegas and looking for a $100 loan by the end of the week. I doubt if he had any takers.

  • Moon-struck; Mini Moon Pies are one of the snacks afforded us on the first and tenth tees and turns out to be one of Yu Ping’s favorites. Downed at least two that I know of today.

  • Freebies; Looks like a good week for caderos. A $25 gift card for The PGA Store from the qualifier coupled with another, this time for $35 from the tournament, was a welcome not expected. Throw in a food coupon each day for a sandwich, snack and drink along with a voucher for a free appetizer at the local Outback and we be smokin’.

  • Wake up! It’s time to go to work; A few caddies waited for the East coast swing to make an appearance which included ‘Sir Whiff-a-Lot’. Known for blowing a few early morning tee times, he still managed to snag a bag out of the parking lot this week.

  • Golden rules; Had our first rules meeting of the year and covered rule 18, what do you do when a ball is moved. Robert O. Smith and Charlie Williams ran the show and fielded questions afterward. I had the misfortune of calling a penalty on Angela Jerman in the qualifier when she lifted a ‘ball in play’ by mistake. No players ever show for these meetings and it costs them now and then.

  • The Great Korean Smoke-out; Christina Kim’s dad is now on his fourteenth day off the ‘coffin nails’. Hope he doesn’t get the munchies. Can’t afford to start packing on the pounds with all the hoofing we do.

Wednesday: Showed up at 8:00 and done by 10:30. Easy, peasy… you know the rest.

  • Gimme a hug; Nancy Lopez is the official hostess of this event and I caught her ‘working the room’ this morning.

‘Chocolate Chip’ Wall, Nancy, Chip’s loop Jackie Gallagher-Smith and  Laurie Rinker

  • Zoom, zoom, zooooom; A veteran cadero is sportin’ new wheels this week and it’s a stunner. Inconspicuous it’s not, this muscular Mustang looks like it should get a ticket for speeding just sittin’ there.

ZOOM, ZOOM, ZOOM

Thursday: One of the best weather days I’ve seen here but even par is the best we could do. Yu Ping just doesn’t have the length to go low on the par fives like most players and many of the birdie putts we did have refused to fall.

  • Eatin’ money; Flipper almost struck out two weeks in a row finding a bag, but Cathy Johnston-Forbes snuck in at the last moment for Giulia Sergas, and he’s finally looping again. Snagged her when still an alternate.

  • The quicker-picker-upper; Just recalled what the texture of these greens was analogous to. Just picture a blotchy green corrugated paper towel.

  • I can’t see clearly now…; Waiting to tee off on the first hole, Yu Ping pointed out that she could see much better with her contact lenses but putts poorly because she could see the line too well. What? The explanation was lost in translation but the gist was that the putts fell more frequently when the line was not so obvious. No comment.

  • A site for curious eyes; Giulia Sergas’ website is finally up and running and quite creative to say the least. Better have high speed though, plenty of pizzazz. In English or Italian, your choice.

  • Caddie Smack responses; Read the feedback this hack of a golf writer received after ripping Wie’s cadero at Nabisco. He cherry picked only part of what I wrote for his reply.

Friday: With more wind today, I figured the cut would be one under. Since Yu Ping wasn’t lighting it up with birds I just hoped we would be even going down the short par five eighteenth to give us a chance and, as fate would have it, that’s exactly what came to pass. Laying just in front of the green in two, and left with what seemed to be a routine up and down, the bump and run into the false front checked our pellet twelve feet short and the putt was missed. Third time ‘The Pinger’ missed the cut by a stroke this year.

  • Bad yardage; ‘Ball in hand’ was the rumor being propagated by ‘Chocolate Chip’ this morning after overnight rains hit the area. But this was pure balderdash as the course was still quite firm. Shame on you Chip. I may have to inflict punishment with a little creative editing to your picture with Nancy.

  • Downy on the rocks; Decided to do a load of laundry at the motel before heading to work and caught the rinse cycle just in time. Apparently, the water regulating valve was done for and dumping all hot into the tub. Not the best temperature for shirts unless you plan on losing weight. But I found a quick fix just outside the door, the ice machine. Started icing down my clothes as if they were a twelve pack awaiting consumption. Looks like it it worked.

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