Mitchell Tournament of Champions 2006-Mobile AL

My player this week is Kim Saiki

Sunday: Went out to the course early in anticipation of walking nine holes but started a bull session with Paul Boehmer the club repairman and put it off till the afternoon. Came back out around two and charted the front using he provided yardage book which has a bit to be desired. No numbers off the tees and erroneous green depths in some cases but the numbers to the front do seem to be accurate. As the wind subsided and dusk approached ,the skeeters came out in force and had me swatting and taking notes simultaneously.

Monday: A scheduled 8 AM pro-am had my butt back out early to get in the other nine. Again the pesky biters were out but I was prepared this time. A jacket and a OFF insect repellant wipe kept them at bay.

I’ve heard horror stories about this track but discovered them to be unfounded. It’s not as hilly or as hoaky as I was led to believe. In fact, I’ve taken a liking to it.

Heavy rain was forecast starting early this morning but held off till around noon. Good thing too, I hate checking out a course with a cumbersome umbrella in the way.

Oops; Kim missed her connecting flight and her afternoon arrival has been delayed till later this evening.

Nice knowin’ ya; Mi Hyun Kim has shaved some “ICE” (her caddie Chad) off the bag. She let him go after the final round in Japan. With two left, ya think she’d let him finish out the year. I guess two wins and being fifth on the money list just doesn’t cut it anymore! With few exceptions, when working for a Korean, always expect that this week is your last.

Right place, right time; Hee-Won Han has withdrawn from this event but Shawn, her cadero, didn’t skip a beat picking up the Korea champion Jin Joo Hong.

Tuesday: With only forty players left in the field, and some not even arriving as of yet, signing up for a tee time was unnecessary. We played the front with Jimin Kang and made it a threesome on the back joining Seon Hwa Lee. Dana is looping for Jimin with Wilksie is still surviving on Seon Hwa’s sack

Talk on the front mostly focused in on player/caddie relationships but sexual content encompassed the final nine. Put Dana and Wilksie together and the conversation heads straight for the gutter. Discussion of the best and worst dressed players arose but the quote of the day was an observation from one of the caddies of a particular body transformation. I had to clean it up a bit but here is the gist of it. “If you put her breasts into a pair of shorts it would be the best butt on tour”. The player referred to will remain anonymous.

Frog strangler; It was a good time to be indoors early yesterday evening as over three inches of rain pummeled the Mobile area. I have a ground floor room at the Intown Suites just off of  I 10 and the overwhelming deluge pushed the torrent spewing from the downspouts within inches of my doorstep. Hard to believe we’ll play the ball down this week.

Four inches drenched the course but it was surprisingly playable. The fairways were only mushy in the lowest areas and the greens and most bunkers were fine.

Wednesday: We were second off the back in the pro-am, and with everyone in buggies, made quick work of it. Kim had the same group as last year and we had a blast. They were four “good ol’ boys” equipped with more banter than imaginable.

  • What’s that noise? Close proximity to a Mercury dealer afforded the chance to exercise the remaining warranty on my Sable. The interior mirror has been loose and the fix required replacement. You would think this would be a “run of the mill” operation but not so fast. I was informed that there was a significant possibility the windshield may crack so an auto glass installer would do the work and I would have to leave it for a day.

Upon learning I was with the golf tournament, a loaner car was offered by Wendy (one of the service advisors and avid LPGA fan) so a couple of badges was the least I could do to reciprocate. It all was falling into place until I headed home on the interstate. A rumbling noise from the right rear preceded the total destruction of the tire showering the pavement with shards of steel radial shrapnel. A tow truck was dispatched and within a few minutes I was back at the dealer and a new tire installed. The loaner is a Mercury Marquise with only 16K on the odometer so the tire must have been going flat and I just didn’t notice.

Thursday: Played the ball up just as I thought and when you couple that with a gorgeous day low scores lit up the leader board. We were headed South but bird on fifteen and a ninety foot eagle putt on sixteen saved our day. Shot -1 putting us in the middle of the pack.

  • Come again? Another cadero casualty was served up by Jee Young Lee after the Korean event. She gave Travis a last minute call to go out for that sole event and wanted him to walk the course on Monday. But after traveling some thirty hours it seemed prudent to get some rest and do his homework prior to their scheduled eleven o’clock practice round on Tuesday. He made it so and was prepared as any of us, but when Jee Young learned he took Monday off it must have not set well with her. The following week Travis received an email stating that “she could not trust him” and he was axed. What! What is going on between the ears of some of these Korean players? Has her gray matter been replaced with fermented cabbage? He busted his butt to get there, and was ready to go when planned, but it still wasn’t good enough.

  • The tradition lives on; A few courses we play stack the range balls in a pyramid but here a little twist is added. One more is balanced on the very top and each pro is expected to try and clip it off with the driver without disturbing the others. Kim tried it earlier in the week and went a little deep. I captured it on video and pulled off this still using Windows Movie Player. It’s not super clear but you get the picture.

I think one went right by my head!

Friday: Chose the wrong club on ten and came up short but chipped in for birdie. An awkward lie on eleven put us over the green on the approach but chipped in again for a bird. Misread the putt on eighteen but yanked it to the correct line and birded again. “I’d rather be lucky than good” describes our day perfectly. Shot another one under and gained a few spots.

It dried out enough to “play it as it lies” except for the sixth hole. Still to mushy.

  • Wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Well, almost anyone; The stop In Toledo is one of our favorites, so when finding this little blurb on the Net from The Toledo Blade, I just had to pass it along. Talk about getting s–t on!

  • On second thought; Looks like ICE may not have been the bane of Mi-Hyun Kim after all. She withdrew claiming fatigue. He kept telling her to take some time off but what does he know? Heck, he’s just a caddie!

  • Room for rumors; The Sybase event, annually held at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle NY, may find a new home at Canoe Brook Country Club in Jersey.

Saturday: The wind howled, the temperature dropped and our score went up. Shot +3 and lost all the ground we picked up yesterday.

  • Good Southern eats; With the proper badge we get to dine in the players hospitality area and we are treated to the best the South has to offer. Along with the traditional breakfast fare, grits and biscuits with sausage gravy tantalized out taste buds but the best was saved for lunch. Jambalaya, red beans and rice with sausage, gumbo, fried chicken, collard greens and more biscuits are just a sampling of what we stuffed our faces with. A nice variety of desserts were offered but Kim’s favorite by far was the banana pudding. Plenty of nilla wafers and mounds of whipped cream.

Sunday: Just couldn’t make it happen on the back nine as a couple bad breaks ate our lunch. Shot three over.

  • Another one bites the dust; Donna Earley was cut loose by Meena Lee after the round but no less than five minutes later she was rehired by her old boss, Jennifer Rosales, and will be Singapore bound for The Lexus Cup held in December.

  • Birthday greetings; It was a big day for Dale Jones. Still holding at 39.

  • In the mean time; I’ll be holding up just outside of Hattiesburg Mississippi for a few days. Tex graciously extended an invitation to share some time with his family.

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