MasterCard Classic 2006-Mexico City MX

My player this week is Giulia Sergas

Week off: Just hanging out in Phoenix but did get a couple tidbits. Marisa Baena will skip Mexico City cause of a sore hip and what a surprise, Shadow got the axe from Soo Young Moon. I guess finishing second in the first event of the year wasn’t good enough. Fired by her manager, (how impersonal but I’ve been there myself) Shadow was told her coach will be toting the bag. Wouldn’t be amazed if it’s just another tour looper. 

  • Got an angry call from Shadow. Guess he wanted to keep his demise hush-hush but someone read my site and must have given him a buzz. 

  • Did I count correctly? I come up with 129 entrants for Mexico which include six amateurs. Tales of barfing on the range or being perched on the hotel room ‘throne’ must have dissuaded some participants. Even the promise of buggy rides all day wasn’t enough to persuade the diffident.

  • Amazing! I was checking online for hotels at the Phoenix airport with park n fly programs and the best decent one was the Holiday Inn Express at $125 for the AAA rate. ‘Steffler the Protector’ and I are going to share a room then fly to Mexico Sunday morning so on a lark, I decided to call them directly and got the same room for $98.05. Just goes to show that it still pays to talk one on one. You may get a better deal.

Sunday: Awaiting my departure from Sky Harbor Airport , I had time to reflect on the ‘cluster you know what’ of traveling these days. My original flight on Continental was changed and I would not have made my connection, so I ditched that one but did receive a full refund. I then booked a flight on Orbitz from PHX to LAX then onto MEX. United the first leg and Alaska the second. Received an email a couple days ago from Orbitz as a reminder but they didn’t point out the fact that the United flight had changed and it was now 6:00 AM instead of 7:25 and now had to sit at LAX for four hours before heading for Mexico. Since it was an international flight, early check-in is required and they expected me to be there by 4:30! No way. With some precision negotiating, inferring that the earliest I could get to the airport was 45 minuets prior to take off, they rerouted me through SFO then onto MEX. Now I leave at 8:50, a more reasonable hour and avails the time to feast on the continental breakfast at the hotel, and only arrive South of the boarder sixty minutes later. The only problem is, San Francisco is expecting bad weather and who knows if I’ll be delayed.

  • Pick one; An odd question was posed as I checked my two bags. “Which one of these would you definitely want to be on the same plane with you?” Some kind of embargo was in place and they can only guarantee (what that’s worth) that only one would arrive at the same time as me. With some imaginative repacking, I managed to turn one into a carry-on and checked the other.

  • Gremlin attack; Made a connection to the free Wi-Fi at PHX but was unable to check my email with Thunderbird or use the FTP program to update my site. Could surf the Web without a problem though.

  • Is anybody home? I’ve sent two emails attempting to arrange transportation from the airport to the hotel in Mexico but have not received a reply. I’ve heard greeters will be there holding orange signs ready to fulfill our every wish (I’m stretching it) and there shouldn’t be a problem.

  • A leg up; Made it to SFO on time and predictions of a windy and wet touchdown were misguided. With only an hour before flight 977 departed, a purchase of a couple bags of trail mix will provide an occasional snack for the room. ($1.00 off if you bought two, WOO HOO! Still got hosed.)

  • Propagandizing? Smooth air to the land of ‘No Ingles’ but it was peculiar that a segment depicting the misfortunate plight of illegal immigrants in the US, produced by CNN, was shown just before the movie. Although, it was a great adjunct to the ‘road kill’ doused with gravy they served in route. I was hoping for a burrito smothered in green sauce. To top it off, they’re showing a Christmas movie (if it ain’t ‘The Season’ I just can’t get into it.). But it must have been pretty funny, plenty of folks laughing out loud.

  • Whew! Another highlight of this flight was the two ‘stink balloons’ someone emanated in my direction. Confirms the suspicions I had with the menu.

  • Smooth as silk; Landed on time, went right through customs, my one bag made it, got the green light during the bag search and an immediate ride to the hotel. Wouldn’t have wagered on that scenario.

  • This ain’t Taco Bell; We had a little get together in the hotel restaurant for dinner and drinks. A generous helping of enchiladas and green sauce bracketed by two cervezas on each side was my pick.

  • I’m where? Cadero Keith Kennedy made his initial appearance of the season but not without his own travel nightmare. He drives the child care truck between tournaments and, since its first showing would be in Phoenix, the LPGA headquarters was the starting point. All was well till he hit the stretch between Ft. Stockton and Van Horn Texas. Stopped dead in its tracks and is still there. He was towing his own truck so getting to Phoenix to catch his was no problem. Don’t fret. It’ll be picked up by Randy and Donna Wilkins on their way out.

Monday: Haven’t heard from Giulia about when we’re playing. Figure it will be tomorrow. Walked the course and not much has changed. 

  • Of course I ran into a few others doing their homework.

Wilksie and Colin Cann checking yardage with a laser.

Paul Martinez using the Exelys Green Reader.

  • With all the time I had to spare, waiting for the qualifiers to finish seemed reasonable. Snapped a couple good ones.

Official, Sue Witters, verifying scores.

We did it! Cecelia Ekelundh and Minea Blomqvist qualify.

  • When in Mexico; Could be one of the best caddie eateries on tour. ‘Casa Lupita’ serves Mexican specialties for the local and tour caderos at dirt cheap prices. Started my morning off with chorizo and eggs, a side of frijoles, tortillas and a cafe con leche. Even tried the marinated cactus, carrots and onions. Quite tasty.

The crew from “Casa Lupita”

Tuesday: Played our practice round on a buggy but was restricted to cart paths. Giulia’s teacher, Mark, accompanied us around and was pleased with what he saw. Good course and good swings.

The best hole on this track and maybe on tour is the ninth. A very long par five according to the yardage but severely downhill. Most will lay-up on their second but the bold will test their nerve and challenge the island green. Great place to snatch an eagle. Too bad it’s not the eighteenth. It was into the wind today so we laid it up but just for kicks, I dropped one on the first plateau and Giulia zinged a four iron carrying the bunker by a yard. 214 on the fly into a cross wind.

I dare ya!

Wednesday:  Just a few of hours of practice and our day was done.

  • Lockdown; Seems the national pastime of many South American countries, kidnapping, did not take take a holiday. An attempt on some VIP was made 500 yards from the Sheraton Suites, the main player hotel, yesterday but the plot was foiled. The bodyguard did take a bullet though. A warning was issued to the players to stay in doors but many had left for dinner and never received it.

  • I ain’t going down there; Tex, totes for Karin Sjodin, had his own bit of excitement at the Novotel. This is the second hotel of choice and not far from the Sheraton. Deciding to take a short cut from the fifth floor to an adjacent one using the emergency stairwell, he found the doors were one-way and locked him out. Not wishing to discover what awaited his presence below, he took to pounding on the fortified thresholds figuring someone would come to the rescue. 45 minutes of multiple floor door rattling was of no avail so the only way out was down though the urine-reeking subterranean outlet. He finally made it to daylight but a sprint up to familiar surroundings was necessary to ease the tension.

  • KABOOM! The pro-am has a shot gun start and is indicated by rockets set off near the range. There is a time limit of 4:45 and you have to come in when you hear the alert. Three of these rockets were released signaling the end the morning round which evoked a cheer of  “Remember the Alamo!” from yours truly. Just couldn’t help myself.

  • Double or nothing? A rivalry that has flourished for years resumed this week. Kris Tschetter and Cindy Rarick keep their short games in tune by wagering a few Pesos during head-to-head competitions.

Kris and Cindy putting for dough.

Thursday: Sweeeeeet! That’s the best description of today’s pro-am. Four amateurs and only two may tee off on par four and fives, time limit, stopping for some of best Mexican cuisine around at the turn and riding buggies too boot.

  • M’s Revenge; Katherine Hull was the first I’ve hear of to be struck down.

  • Espanol rules; Giulia speaks fluent Spanish which was a bonus for interaction with our team but I still got ‘the donut’ at the end of the round.

  • Our sponsor is who? The caddie bibs are mandatory during the pro-am but not today because it seems they misspelled the sponsor’s name. The word MasterCard was printed as two words, Master Card. New ones are promised for manana.

  • Lets eat; Entrance into the cafeteria, which was afforded to the caddies last year with proper credentials, has been a total screw-up. First we were allowed, then not, and now it’s understood we may go into player hospitality, as long as your player is there, and you have the correct badge.

Friday: Double trouble on one and six left us with a three over round. Not a breath of wind for 10 holes but we couldn’t take advantage. Our highlight was knocking a five iron 219 yards six feet from the stick on nine. Wish I could say we made eagle. Maybe tomorrow Giulia can out it together.

  • Fire down below; Add Nadina Light to the casualty list of intestinal discomfort.

  • Do we really need this? Most events have a few snacks on the first and tenth tees to help tide us over but Kellogg’s All-Bran bars in Mexico?? Is there anyone not regular down here?

  • José Cuervo, you are a friend of mine… Our hotel had an open bar the other night for Priority Club members along with a few snacks. Ping pong, foosball, dominos and poker accompanied the libations, but the tequila shots were flowing, and more than a few loopers got looped.

  • Where’s the Spanish dictionary? Beck Iverson and Audra Burkes are staying together this week and have a room with a convertible sofa. It was absent bed linens so they called the front desk to have some brought up. Some time went by but a knock on the door finally came. It was a delivery of apple strudel! 

  • A round for the boys; The Holiday Inn lounge is the site of last year’s infamous ‘Flipper Fiasco‘ resulting in a whopping six week suspension. So far, it’s been smooth sailing with 2 for 1 cervezas (Sol is the caddies choice) from five till seven, viewing cadero b-ball just outside in the courtyard and an occasional appetizer.

Caddies on “The Sol Train”

Saturday: Not a bird to be had but still managed to make the cut. Went for nine in two again but rinsed it this time.

  • Believe it or not; There was a 30 minute frost delay this morning but they still squeaked in the last group.

  • Security blanket; It seems there is more protection personnel here than any other event. Police in cars, on motorcycles, riding horses and motoring in ATVs.

Sunday: The bounces definitely went our way today. Finished with a three under par round and tied 34th.

  • ALTO! ALTO! Giulia decided to drive the buggy today and must have thought she was back in Italy zooming around in a souped-up Fiat. More than once I had to raise my butt off the seat or get hammered. “I don’t like the brake” was her reply when I objected.

  • A fitting finale; After the round we had access to the player’s lounge for a bite to eat, the men’s locker room (absolutely huge) to shower and a police escort for our bus to the airport. All in all, a very pleasant visit for our amigos to the South.

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