Ricoh British Open – Round Four

August 1, 2010

My player is Kris Tamulis.

When we birdied the last yesterday to put us at +9, I told Kris the goal for tomorrow was to keep it out of double digits. We did with a splendid three under par round.

Today was the best all week weather-wise. Took the rain pants off to work on my tan.

Missed opportunity: If you play golf for a living, you know that the front pin positions can be the most challenging and on a course like this, even more so. The decision to land short and run it on or carry it to the green and putt back is part of what golf here is all about. But today’s setup took that decision out of our hands. No front pins were offered in fact, the shortest was a full eighteen paces on. The twelfth (placed smack in the middle of a knob) and the seventeenth (just on the top shelf) were the most difficult. Outside of those two, the pin positions were quite mundane.

See ya! The tenth hole has a plethora of similar yardage marks along the right side of the fairway and if you’re not careful, it’s easy to miscalculate the distance. Our playing partner, Eunjung Yi, must have done just that and flew her approach onto the middle of the eleventh tee! It was a good twenty yards past the pin.When Kris and I finally noticed where it was, “At least she has a perfect lie” was the best I could come up with. Not bad actually.

Fancy meeting you here: Rick ‘The Nerd’ stopped for a potty break at the TV compound while playing the fourteenth. When he returned to fetch his clubs, a gentleman wondered what was up and asked if he was off to play a little golf. It was commentator Peter Alliss.

Keeping in touch: Twitter can be a very useful and surprising conduit at times. When I flew in with Karen Stupples last Monday, she tweeted that everyone at Heathrow seemed to be in a grumpy mood. Within minutes, a reply from the airport ‘head twit’ asked what could they do to help. “Put in a professional golfer’s lounge” was the reply. Just can’t see that happening. By the way, Karen is pretty good in the TV booth.

And then there was this.

Mandarin woman pursues career on LPGA Tour

New golf coach eager to lead the Cougars

Ricoh British Open – Round Three

July 31, 2010

My player is Kris Tamulis.

Four over today. Going for the pins tomorrow. Maybe.

Last in, first out: Seon Hwa Lee birdied the final hole yesterday to earn her a spot on the weekend. Only problem is, she was in the final group, which played til dark, and teed off first this morning. Not much turnaround time.

Another good one: When one veteran bag-toter was asked how does someone get into caddying and the reply was quick and to the point. “The question is, how does someone get out of caddying?”

Slip slidin’ away: Yesterday afternoon was brutally messy which made the decent, from the eighteenth tee down to the fairway, especially treacherous. It’s a dirt path which turns into a mudslide if you’re not careful. One fairway technician tried his best but didn’t negotiate the very end and went for a wicked backward tumble. First his tailbone then the back of his head bounced off the turf. All the stars and a few planets were visible for a time I heard.

That’s what friends are for: One of the caddies was about to throw away his betting ticket thinking it was a loser until his buds convinced him otherwise. He’s now £500 richer.

Pinocchio would be proud: More accusations of an Asian ‘playing loose with the rules’ arose today. Her ball lay in a bunker with very little room behind for a proper backswing. Apparently, her attempt at striking the ball hit the back of the bunker and she never made contact. Claimed it was a practice swing but her playing partner swears it wasn’t. Quite an argument ensued afterward in the clubhouse. No penalty was given. Who was it you may ask? All I could say is, nobody doesn’t like her.

Ricoh British Open – Round Two

July 30, 2010

My player is Kris Tamulis

Two over today puts us at +5. Just snuck in the cut as the afternoon rain took its toll. As every second ticked away, we got closer until the fives got in. One very veteran looper estimated it was a four shot advantage having the late/early flop. I think he was right on the mark.

Free ride: In fact, it was twenty. That’s how many golf carts were stolen at last year’s Ricoh British Open held in Lytham St. Annes. This year, a keypad has been installed on every one and must be used to start the carts.

You got to know when to hold it … Few and far between port-a-potties have players and caddies alike finding the nearest hideaway in the bushes to do their business. Even if you’re lucky to find one, the pungent aroma will knock your socks off and most don’t even have toilet paper!

Quite alarming: Scenario #1: Earlier in the week, the only restroom that seemed available for our use was the handicapped in the clubhouse. Once when I was using the facilities, a peculiar red cord hung from the ceiling that seemed to have no purpose. Of course, I just had to give it a tug. Oops! That was the ‘call for help’ alarm just in case you couldn’t get off the throne. Must happen all the time cause the guy who came to reset it was moving about as fast as a tortoise in high heels.

Scenario #2: Beep, beep, beep was the first indication something was amiss at our apartment last evening. It was a problem with the alarm system that would should have been fixed by Rick entering the reset code per the posted instructions. NOT! That set off the full fire alarm which woke the entire building! It eventually subsided but that beeping continued all night. I thought all the commotion was just a dream so I never left my bed.

And then there was this.

History of Royal Birkdale and Women’s British Open


Ricoh British Open – Tuesday

July 27, 2010

My player is Kris Tamulis.

Arrived at the course around 1:30 yesterday afternoon and received a note to meet Kris on the back nine. She had already teed off taking a handful of sticks which ‘The Nerd’ had to tote together with the fourteen his player Moira Dunn had in the bag. By the time I got situated, borrowed sixty quid from Worth, bought a yardage book and dressed for the potential nasty weather that turned perfect, it was a bit late. To compensate, I started on eighteen, walking the course in reverse order. As I approached the fifteenth fairway, that unmistakable bucket hat, atop the gargantuan noggin of Moira’s looper, alerted my senses that I had found my quarry. We finished the back then continued on.

Today was just practice. A morning and afternoon shotgun pro-am filled the Royal Birkdale links and no play was permitted before or after.

Circuitous travels: Before heading for England, I spent the night at the Hotel Stars, just a stone’s throw from GVA. At 60€, it was the cheapest I could find but worth less than half that I discovered. I bit the bullet but the kicker was the 24€ the b####rd hit me for the cab ride to the airport. I’ll know better next time. This place should be your last resort!

The next hurdle to climb was getting to Southport. The plan was to take the train from Manchester Airport to Southport then another to the course. But luck was on my side this time. Karen Stupples was on the same flight and offered a ride in her rental car which turned out to be a ‘Beemer’ instead of the Ford she had requested. Even though the rate was the same, she figured it may cost her more due to the increased chance of multiple speeding tickets.

Karen was not that familiar with this part of the country so her friend Kay was called upon to guide us along. Karen and Kay seemed like close friends but then again, how close can you really be to your GPS? As it turned out, it was a good thing Kay was navigating. A road closure had us going in one big circle.

We drove in the rain the entire way which meant the early arrivals played the course in the same conditions. Didn’t look like they experienced a fun round. Cleared up for the afternoon groups.

Monday qualifier: Brooky wins by four.

This ain’t the LPGA: The tireless and altruistic volunteer sprit is not to be found on this side of the pond. At least to the extent as in the States. Most folks here get paid for their duties here such as the guy minding the bag room. He closed it at 7:30 yesterday evening (after pulling a thirteen hour shift) leaving some luggage under lock and key til today. Even transportation called it a day at seven. Many players and their assistants were still on the course.

Don’t leave France without it: A luggage service was provided for caddies and players from Evian to Birkdale to avoid toting that extra weight aloft. A couple lorries jammed full with clubs and bags departed Sunday evening and arrived about midday on Monday. Unfortunately, one looper’s passport made the trip with his suitcase. Had to stay another day and get a temporary from the American Embassy.

Sometimes, it’s the little things: That’s how Karen Stupples saw it when she was first off by herself last week. The breakfast offered-up by our benignant host was second to none and she calculated that expedient play would get her another go-around before lunch was served. Made it with time to spare.

More of the same: I was next to the eighteenth green when Shin made her birdie putt to take the lead. Barley got an acknowledgement from the gallery. It was as if she made a par to finish with a seventy-eight. No one wanted her to win. Sorry Seoul Sisters, that’s the reality.

Wow! This is what happens when I take a couple days off. My fingers ache.

And then there was this.

LPGA’s Futures Tour admits Sarah Brown should not have been disqualified for illegal sand wedge

Ladies Golf Union addresses Alexis Thompson issue

Morgan Pressel: Pardon her French

Amy Winehouse plans to take golf lessons

Local millionaire Jim Justice taps golf passion to bring The Greenbrier back to life

BP Oil Spill: Clean-Up Crews Can’t Find Crude in the Gulf Huh?

Getting a university degree ‘can slow down dementia’ Back to school for me!

Women’s British Open-Round Four

August 3, 2009

My player is Kris Tamulis.

We were first off in a single and cruised around in three hours flat. Shot +1 and avoided a DFL finish.

Congrats! Sweet justice for Catriona Matthew. After the close call last week dodging that fire, she brought home the gold.

One too many: Eun-Hee Ji was DQ’d for an incorrect scorecard. A four instead of five was the culprit. Not sure if it was Saturday’s or Sunday’s round.

Who’s your daddy? Did I, or did I not, have Inkster and Wie as the Solheim Cup picks in my July 23rd post?

Off with their heads! The Korean guillotine – with daddy as the executioner I presume – was hard at work during the final days here. Severed remains of the guys they have depended on week after week, lay strewn in the caddie area. One saw it coming and was prepared but not others.

You get what you pay for: Usually, but for one looper, it was less. His moderately priced B&B seemed in the ballpark with other accommodations here except for a couple minute details. The shower controls were outside the shower itself which could make it a bit dicey controlling the temperature but the this next item was the kicker. Electricity was extra! That’s right. He had to insert a one pound coin into a box to get the juice flowing.

Now, the rest of the story: At least another side of it. Remember when Ian Woosnam found that extra driver in the bag on the second hole of the 2001 Open Championship? Well, that was right here and the tree he threw it under still stands. Ian ripped his caddie a new one for that blunder but a more detailed version of the story has come to light from one of our own loopers.

According to him , Ian was working on the range with his coach trying to decide which driver to use. The caddie was off doing what caddies do and time was running short. After picking the stick he was going to use, the coach casually put the other driver in the bag the caddie returned  and they rushed to the tee not realizing what his coach had done. The first hole is a par three so the extra driver wasn’t noticed. I know everyone would say the caddie should have counted the clubs but the prefect storm had just occurred. Rushing to the tee, someone other than Ian or his looper slipping the driver into the bag and not needing it on the first hole. Just may have been fate. A couple weeks later, his caddie whiffed an 11:20 tee time and that’s all she rote.

Here’s the original version of this tale of woe.

Potty talk: Emily (Jin Joo Hong’s manager) Louie and myself took a courtesy car to our Manchester airport hotels Sunday afternoon and during the hour drive, our conversation touched on many diverse topics with one being the succession to the Queen. We wondered if she would one day step down and the next in line would be elevated to the top spot but our driver conjectured that “She will probably die on the throne.” It took me a couple seconds to twist that comment in a different direction but not Louie. We looked at each other and the silent laughter began. What made matters worse, we were packed in pretty tight and pressed up against each other. Started shaking like two big bowls of jello! Many minutes passed before we could control ourselves and take our minds off of an image of the Queen croaking on the crapper.

Right to the point: Spotted the port-o-let pumping truck as we finished the fourteenth and the company could not have been more appropriately named. “Shit…it” said it all.

Another gem I found in the Heathrow airport was “FCUK”. It’s an abbreviation for the duty free store “French Connection UK”. Tell me your mind didn’t rearrange the letters when you first saw it?

The Rose of Tralee: The Guinness is on Lindsey Wright this coming Tuesday at the Castle Bar in Tralee Ireland. She’ll be pouring pints of this fantastic brew herself I understand.

Women’s British Open-Round Three

August 1, 2009

My player is Kris Tamulis.

Don’t even ask about the dirty dozen. The sky cleared after we were thrashed by wind, rain and cold which didn’t help things any.

Crime watch update: It must have been an inside job at The Dalmeny Hotel. More than one player had things stolen but I found out the rooms were not ransacked. Their belongings were neatly replaced hoping the they would not be noticed until unpacking.

Women’s British Open-Round Two

July 31, 2009

My player is Kris Tamulis.

Added three more to our total. Puts us on the bubble for the cut.

Lucky charm: Our own Doug Brecht, while officiating the last two Men’s Open Championships, has had the winner in his group on the final round. Padraig Harrington in 2008 and Stuart Cink this year.

Crime watch: Heard one of our premier players had her room ransacked earlier in the week and tens of thousands of dollars of jewelry and watches were stolen.

Player of the day: Eagle a par five, back it up with an ace on the next hole then a birdie! Check out Catriona Matthew’s card. Shot 30 on the back.

Shot of the day: Well, yesterday. Morgan Pressell found herself in one of the left side fairway bunkers on the 18th up against the sod wall. Unable to go backwards and not willing to play into the port side hay, she played it left handed into the fairway. That takes a lot of chutzpah but after checking her card, saw she took a seven. Wonder if that story is true?

Out of action: A player withdrew after thirteen holes today. Was shooting bogey golf for the round. “Pulled a heart muscle” I heard. 😉

Bakers dozen: Five bunker shots and a penalty, when one bounced off the sod wall and hit the hozzle of her club, added up to that magic number for Soo-Yun Kang on the 18th yesterday.

Women’s British Open-Round One

July 30, 2009

My player is Kris Tamulis.

Except for a hiccup on the twelfth, it was a very steady round. Shot +6.

Took us around 5 and 1/2 hours to play and getting worse as the day progressed.

New stat for the books? With more golf still left to play, John Killeen decided to peruse the hole-by-hole scores and see what would be the worst-ball total. Came out to 59-69=128!

Got their act together: It was announced that the British Open will be played at Carnoustie and St. Andrews in the future. What a rotation!

Quote of the week? Portland John describes Blackpool as a combination of “Coney Island and Las Vegas in a trailer park.”

A true reality show: It was back to the Trawl Boat Inn yesterday for dinner and the boys were holding court. The highlight of the evening was Worth-Bob doing an impression of Hobbs doing an impression of Worth-Bob giving Inkster instructions on where not to hit it. Priceless!

During the interim, I decided on a light snack to tide me over till mañana.

chicken sandwich

Guinness included.

larry eating chicken sandwich

Down the hatch!

Toot salute: As you can see, the menu items over here very a  bit from what we’re used to which can add to a tad extra flatulence due to the unfamiliarity to one’s digestive system. Schiffer clocked one untimely eruption at seven seconds which way stand as an LPGA record.

News of Note:

Hawaii residents now taxed on Vegas winnings even if they lose. This is what happens when you promise too much and can’t pay for it.

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), questioned the point of lawmakers reading the health care bill. Must be one of the dumbest persons in America.

New York City offers homeless a one-way ticket out of town. Doesn’t Mayor Bloomberg have a spare bedroom?

Man Charged With Having Sex With Horse, Again!

How To Hijack ‘Every iPhone In The World’

Ricoh Women’s’ British Open-Play Time Is Over

July 29, 2009

My player is Kris Tamulis.

I doubt if many players went all eighteen today. Plenty of shortcuts are available to play a handful of holes.

As we teed off around 10:30 while a  driving rain punished our group for the first hole. After the sixth, we cut over to fourteen. By the time we were finished, the wind died and sky cleared. Turned into a perfect day.

A 9 AM shotgun pro-am was played yesterday and an unusual practice round followed. You either had the choice of starting on the first hole with a tee time or any other hole as a shotgun start with one caveat. You could not go past the eighteenth. We started on the par three ninth and, being a links layout, was as far away from the clubhouse as one could get. That’s one heck of a long walk without putting the bag down.

We commenced around 2:15 and some groups played till dark. The wind howled and a intermittent heavy rain tormented us throughout the day causing many players to pack it in before finishing.

Going in the right direction: After the coup: LPGA eases tensions. Includes a status update for next year.

Here they are: Had to do a little digging to find the Monday qualifiers.

Good eats with good friends: The two-for-one dinner menu from The Admiral drew my fancy for dinner yesterday and I wasn’t the only one. Many other players and caddies were in the house. Sat down with Lindsey Wright and a rotating group of loopers telling tall tales of days gone by. Some of the guys that ordered alone could not stomach the idea of not taking advantage of the special offer so they ordered two entrees and ate them both!

Let them eat … pork: Forget the Swine flu, the NHS (National Health Service in the UK) must do something to halt the atrocious conduct of British Airlines of serving bacon sandwiches slathered in butter! That’s the way we started our day on our flight from Geneva. Of course, I was forced to eat it.

On a similar note, the Urban Institute suggests tough love for fatties to keep us all in line. This is what you would get with National Healthcare. The ones controlling the purse strings can dictate behavior.

Good to see ya: We’re paired with Iben Tinning tomorrow and former LPGA now LET looper Neil Carter, is on the sack.

Ricoh Women’s British Open-2009

July 27, 2009

My player is Kris Tamulis.

It’s a miracle! Even our pilot said it was pissing down rain as we headed for Manchester but the unthinkable happened. The sky cleared over Lytham St. Annes and sunscreen was the order of the day but the 30 knot wind off the Irish Sea did temper our enthusiasm a tad.

After arriving, I found a note indicating Kris had teed off about an hour earlier so I stowed my luggage and off I went to find her. It was the fifth hole when I finally caught up and who do I spy toting her sack but Allison Finney. She looked so into it I offered the job for a couple more hole but she declined.

Getting out: Almost everyone was either catching a flight Sunday night or staying at hotel near GVA so acquiring transportation always seems to be a bit dicey during the mad rush. It was no different for four of us (Hee Young Park, her agent Sue, Kylie Pratt and myself) who banded together and attempted to catch an earlier bus than planned from the Hotel Royal. The motor coach was full, but an hour later, our own Evian shuttle  appeared. As we departed, the driver was alerted that one more passenger (turned out to be two) needed to be added from the Hermitage Hotel. We picked them up and off we went. Monsieur “Lead Foot” sped his way though the countryside circumventing a log jam in one small town, using a nifty detour, and made it to the airport without incident. We dropped off the two gentleman and headed for the Holiday Inn Express.

Comfort is key on such a trip and, as many people would do, Sue kicked off her shoes. But when we arrived, she realized one of her errant loafers was missing. Not just stuck under a seat but gone! We surmised it must have fell out when we dropped off the other two passengers and it took awhile for us to stop laughing. Dubbed her “One Shoe Sue”. Later at dinner, jokes of finding it at the curb in the morning or in “lost and found” next year could not be avoided.

And the lucky one is … who knows? Fourteen players went into a playoff for the remaining single spot in the qualifier.

Nectar of the gods … and it was only ₤1.79 a pint during the Guinness Monday special at The Trawl Boat Inn.

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