State Farm Classic 2005-Springfield IL

My player this week is Pam Kerrigan

Sunday: Easy drive to Springfield. On the road by 6:00 and and in by 1:00.

  • Didn’t take long; Jimin Kang axed Shadow for the second time this year. He didn’t even make it to Sunday as he got the news after Saturday’s round. He’ll be in the lot looking for a loop. The paycheck was a little short as well.

Monday: Walked the course and the fairways aren’t as bad as I’d heard. They’re bad, but not just as bad as I pictured. The rough is in better shape then the fairways and the greens are OK. Examples below.

13th_fairway

13th Fairway

15th_green

Just off the 15th Green

  • I finally might be getting a replacement for my laptop. They agreed to submit my claim. I won’t be getting a new computer if a comparable refurbished replacement can be found. Otherwise, I receive a gift card.

  • Monday at The Rail is usually Deadsville and today was no exception. I walked the back nine first and it was totally devoid of activity. The front did have a few players and ran into Sam and Morgan Pressel.

pressel

Morgan on the 3rd

Tuesday: Pam played in a pro-am at Firestone yesterday so a late practice was scheduled. Teed off with Joanne Mills just after 1:00.

  • Quote of the week? A new pond was installed about 40 yards short of the par 3 eleventh and doesn’t come into play. As we left the tee, Pam asked if it was new and I jokingly told her not to think about it. I then turned to Sarah Bennett, Joanne’s caddie, and said ” If anyone hits it in there they should give up their card” (playing privileges). She responded “They ought to play on the European Tour”! OUCH! She was joking LET players! She promised to come up with a better quote before heading home after Tulsa.

  • Chop-chop; The axe fell on another looper. Mi Hyun Kim let Wilksie go. He’s been with her since The LPGA Championship but lack of success will do anyone in. Chad picked her up for The Rail. By the way, this week is the anniversary of my termination by her father after we won in 1999. Oh such happy memories!

  • Birdie Kim decided to head for her homeland to play this week but it was a last minute decision. She wanted to take her caddie Lance but lack of a passport and plans to work Springfield nixed that trip. I think she’s getting a little heat for not coming up with the moola for Miles.

  • The Nationwide Tour is in Calgary this week and a smattering of loopers have migrated here this week. Don’t know how many got work.

  • This is the last year for long time tournament director Sandra Wheeler and for some, not a moment too soon. She is known to be quite miserly, lets face it, a down right skin-flint when it came to player and caddie amenities. I truly believe “Less is more” is tattooed  somewhere on her posterior. Here are just a few examples.

    1. Jugs of water (no bottles) are on the tees but bottled water is available in the locker room with one caveat. It is not to taken with you when leaving the course. The water by the way, is the Qik-n-EZ brand and has a nasty plastic taste. It lacks an expiration date and must have been a steal.

    2. Players may bring a guest, which includes her caddie, into the hospitality tent. No comp here though, $10 at the door please!

    3. Two types of trail mix are provided in the locker room but instead of having individual bags, a bulk purchase from Sam’s Club and a stack of baggies is provided.

    There have been many more examples in the past and the most irritating was her refusal of an offer from Outback to feed the caddies. Not a dime would come out of the tournament coffers but she wouldn’t go for it.

  • The go-ahead was given to replace my laptop. They’ll be sending an IBM ThinkPad R51 1836Q6U. Much more computer than I have now but I think I’ve earned it.

Wednesday: Played an E-9 prior to the pro-am and it was perfect for plenty of chipping and putting. Most players decided to play the back but we chose the front and were the last ones off which gave us plenty of practice time. Pam needs a a little warm up to avoid injury but we really didn’t have time to hit the range. I suggested playing the first hole with just an eight iron and worked out perfectly. I was set up to work for Ty Votaw, the out-going Commissioner, in the pro-am so Pam let me go a bit early.

It was Ty’s last official apperance in a pro-am and I was part of this historic event. Wish I could report he played ‘lights out’ but it was not to be. He did sink a good sized putt to help our score. Our pro was Leta Lindley and we did have a pleasurable experience. 

As Ty was warming up on the range Mardi Lunn walked by and spouted “Show us what ya got big boy”. I thought the double entendre was self-evident. Ty also mentioned my website and couldn’t help giving me a little dig. “You going to write something nice for a change”? OOOH!

ty

Ty, ripping one into the right bunker on the 6th.

  • Plenty of new homes going up around The Rail and they’re humongous! All the graft in this capitol city must be paying off. Do I sound a bit cynical?

  • For ages the biggest home put here was owned by Springfield’s most profitable mortician but is now up for sale. Wonder if he became his own customer?

funeral_house

Here’s a look if you’re interested.

  • They broke out the Dasani water but remnants of of the Qik-n-EZ still remain. Jamie Hullett said it’s like drinking out of a new pair of shoes!

  • My heart goes out to the victims of Katrina. I was trying to tell Pam about the man who could no longer hold onto his wife’s hand before the water swept her away but I started to choke up.

Thursday: Made it to one under but that’s as far as we got. Even though this is one of the longest tracks we play the difficulty factor is minimal. Large greens with little trouble so the scores are always low.

  • During the pro-am, Ty was constantly in touch with business associates with his Crack-Berry. He finds it truly addictive just the same as with Anna Rawson. The Comish said it was analogous to an amputee that has fathom pain in his missing limb. When mounted on his hip, he swears it’s vibrating when it really isn’t.

  • The bark can be worse than the bite; During Saturdays round last week Matt, Becky Morgan’s cadero, attempted to toss a souvenir ball to one of the kids at the 17th green but it went awry. He retrieved the errant pellet, made a quick pass-off to the tyke and made a hasty retreat. Unfortunately, failing to realize his exact location, made a quick move up and to the left smashing his face into a tree! This brought a chuckle form Becky but it was no laughing matter. He’ll be feeling it for a while. Must have felt like a real sap. I almost hate myself for that one.

  • Maybe I was a bit hard on Sandra Wheeler. Lunch tokens were provided for the caddies starting today. Lou, Stacy P’s dad, cashed his in at the concession tent by the putting green but his choice on the menu, a pork chop sandwich, cost him an extra buck and his iced tee was missing the ice. On second thought, I wasn’t too hard.

Friday: Couldn’t get it done so we were done. We ended our relationship on a sour note and, needless to say, will not be working together again in this lifetime.

  • Heard the Office Depot course will be set up at around 5900 yards. This is quite short but is necessitated by back tees separated by ravines.

  • It’s great to have dreams to aspire to but 86-78 at The Rail, one of the easiest tracks on tour, and attempting to qualify for the PGA Tour? Izzy Beisiegel may be aiming a bit too high. She also had a 7 putt in Portland.

  • I will not be present at The Solhiem Cup matches but will have a mole embedded in the ranks. Promises of updates and pictures have been assured.

  • My room mate Boston Ralph, is looping for Diana D’Alessio and was paired with Penny Hammel. Penny’s dad was following along but stayed back after the fifth hole awaiting there return to the eighth tee. These holes parallel each other and it saves a bit of walking. Bad move! Dianna’s tee ball on the eighth was a wicked snap hook and caught Penny’s dad , who was still standing by the fifth tee, just below right eye. He must have turned away at the last second cause a band aid was all that was necessary.

  • Champ Spikes (soft of course) are provided free of charge and players readily help themselves when the need arises.

spike_change

Michelle Estill and Riko Higashio pick out their favorite colors.

  • One of the favorite caddie watering holes on tour is the Capital City Bar&Grill situated on Dirksen Hwy. across the street from our hotel. $2 domestic bottled beer and all the fried walleye you can eat for $6 are daily attractions but there’s plenty of other good stuff on the menu as well. I sat down at the bar for a beer and the walleye and struck up a conversation with one of the locals. His daughter was the main topic of conversation but he eventually got around to what he did for a living. Heavy equipment operator was his trade of which he made a good living. In fact, he was on call as we spoke! Pounding down the beers (at least four before I got there) just waiting to get in the driver’s seat of a multi-ton piece of machinery set on destruction. Must not be a law against drinking and excavating. Well, this is Springfield.

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