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Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Cup Final Score: Star Fort LGA - 11, Woodfin Ridge LGA - 5

Star Fort LGA 2012 Pumpkin Cup Team
At the conclusion of the Sunday Best Ball matches the Pumpkin Cup was firmly back in our possession, but the final score doesn't tell the entire story of this annual contest among friends.

Allene Abrams and Theresa Sprouse, who belong to neither the Star Fort nor the Woodfin Ridge LGA have, over the 4 years the Pumpkin has been contested, played for both teams.  This year Theresa played for Woodfin Ridge and Allene played for Star Fort.

Stump, whose real name is Brenda, generally plays for Woodfin Ridge but wasn't able to play this year because her sciatica is acting up.  In 2010, the 1st year the Pumpkin was contested, Stump volunteered to be reassigned from the Woodfin Ridge to Star Fort team because sometimes keeping things even is a bit of a challenge.  Stump was my partner that year and I've always felt fortunate that I drew her as my partner.  I missed seeing her this year.  She's a marvelously gracious competitor.

Because most of us are women of a certain age, there's always quite a bit of cross-team talk about grandchildren and mammogram outcomes.

Allene Abrams (right) and Me,
Enjoying Our Win
Still, there are some on-course highlights from the Sunday matches.

Cheryl, who discovered after being paired with Beast Miller on Saturday that she could play golf, discovered on Sunday that it's more fun to win than lose.

I was paired with Allene for the Sunday Best Ball round.  It was an encore performance.  We were paired for the same format last year.  Before we teed off Allene explained what she expected of me.  I was to putt accurately and not mess around with my chips.  For the most part, I followed instructions.

When we got to the 8th hole, the one with the dreaded pond that intersects the fairway, the #1 handicapped hole for women, Allene expanded her instructions.  Before I took my 3rd, across-the-water shot, she ordered:
Get out there, line it up properly, SPREAD YOUR LEGS, and stay down on the ball!
It always seems to boil down to spreading my legs.

But it worked.  I executed one of my career-best over-the-pond shots and ended up lying 3 with a short chip up to a tricky pin placement, and 2 putts for a bogey.  We halved the hole.  It's the over-the-pond shot that counted for me.

Our match went 17 holes, the score going back and forth several times.  Allene fired off a couple of fairly amazing birdie putts that put us in the red, then our opponents followed with their own impressive birdie putts that put it back to all square.  I executed an unusually wild drive that sent my ball flying across the OB stakes and into a cow pasture protected by barbed wire.  Allene saved us on that hole.

Coming in to our 17th hole (which was really the 14th because we shotgunned the start) we were 2 up and 2 to play.  We were playing a short par-4 dogleg that has a fairway bunker strategically placed at the turn in the fairway and some funky action up close to the green.  My drive went a little too far left, flirted with the edge of the bunker, then got a lucky bounce right, into the fairway.  Everybody else drove clear of the bunker.

We could all make the green on our 2nd shot, but local knowledge is priceless on this hole.  A shot aimed straight to the center of the green will always send the ball into the left greenside bunker.   Always,  Cindy Brown describes situations like this as sucker shots.  I watched the opponents send their balls to the bunker.  Then Allene mis-hit her ball and ended up in that bunker too.  I hit to the right and was just off the fringe for my 3rd shot.  As she walked away from me to get out of the sand, Allene issued another order:
Just get it close.  Don't do anything stupid.
I was afraid to do anything else, so I followed instructions and got close enough to the pin that my tap-in would probably have been a concession under any other set of circumstances.  Not this time, however.  It was going to be a fight to the end.  

All three balls came out of the sand but all were a long way from the pin.  First putts missed and everybody but me was putting for bogey.  I tapped in.  Match over.

Woodfin Ridge & Star Fort LGA 2012 Pumpkin Cup Teams
I reminded Allene that my putt won our Best Ball match last year too.  She didn't remember.  Why would she?

The Woodfin Ridge LGA Team has gone home.  Sam has put the Pumpkin back up on it's high shelf in the pro shop.  Barb and I have put our Pumpkin Cup files in order and set them aside for another year.  

Everyone agreed that the weather was perfect, the food was good, the matches were well paired, and that the pumpkin ball markers were a good idea.