Monday, September 07, 2020

All Eyes Are On Frog Pond Golf Course This Weekend

All Eyes Are On Frog Pond Golf Course This Weekend

By “Sports Editor” Si Lannon 

[This site has not generally over the past several years given much space to sports at any level. You can get all the sports you want at plenty of locations and on all kinds of media 24/7/365and then some. We did attempt several years ago to provide space for Larry Rodgers now with the on-line Sports At A Glance during a couple of college football seasons with his predictions about the placement of the top 25 teams in the big-time football area but with the coming of a truncated version of the playoff system (still based on some Top 25 formula to pick the final four top teams for the two-round playoff) a lot of the steam (and fun) of picking the Top 25 any given weekend had gone out of that effort.    

Si Lannon, normally a guest film critic and occasional music one as well is a nut for golf if you can believe that of an adult man, a very adult man, in this day in age. An otherwise mature and solid citizen chasing after a little white ball that never did anybody any harm in order to put said ball in a hole this size of a coffee cup. And they say that destruction of perfectly good grasslands, sandy beaches and a harmless fetid pond or lake passes for fun among a certain set. Si asked, no, begged, me to let him have a go at a short piece concerning a local club tournament that he was interested in writing about to stretch out his range he was bold enough to tell me. His winning argument though, a surprising one, a surprising one when he told me the number of people chasing white balls that did nobody any harm, was that some twenty-five million Americans give up rational thought at least once a year to play the game. Here is your shot at glory Si. Fore! Peter Paul Markin]      

Forget Mayweather-MacGregor (after all a tightly-wired ready to spring professional prizefighter, a pugilist, should beat some sorry street tough with kickass legs hands down), forget Warriors-Cavs (after all how hard is it for nine feet tall guys to bump into a fruit basket placed ten feet above the parquet), forget the Super Bowl (of whatever Roman numeral after all they are only playing to kill time between commercials), forget the World Series (after all how hard can it be to hit a 95 mph fastball to the heavens), forget the Stanley Cup, (yes forget it since I don’t know a damn thing about the game except most of the guys should do three to five years not minutes for their thuggery), and forget holy of holies, the four golf Majors (after all how hard is it for guys to go begging hat in hand to FedEx, Audi, Firemen’s Insurance, et. al for a nice paycheck for finishing tied for 26th in some goof tournament). Yes, forget all those “fake news” sports because this weekend, this weekend as sunny summer begins to turn autumnal (nice word, right) in New England all eyes will be on the Frog Pond Golf Course nestled in the sleepy Hollow Village section of post-doctoral heavy Cambridge for the annual winner-take-all four-ball team net club championship.         

For those not in the know either about golf or various ways to pass the time like four-ball this format begins with the qualify round to winnow (nice word again, right) the field down to sixteen two-man teams (it could be distaff members as well but none appeared in the lists this year) who were able to hang on after a nail-biting eighteen holes of best ball (the best score by one of the members of the team counting on each hole) using eighty percent of each team member’s handicap (for example a 30 handicapper, a high handicapper, would get twenty-four strokes toward the team’s net score, not gross, that is for those professional players waiting in line for their hand-outs). Those sixteen teams go mano a mano against one another in match play (for example the number one team goes against number sixteen and so on) with the loser eliminated until third week when the final two teams standing fight a battle to the death for the justly coveted and well-deserved championship. Again for the unknowing the treacherous uphill road to victory once the teams square off will be based on the handicap of the best player in the foursome. For example if twenty is the lowest handicap then, say, a twenty-four handicapper would get four shots in tow for the match. Those would be determined by the four hardest holes on the course as listed by the scorecard. Say a player on one team gets a five but “gets a stroke on the hole” which means four then that person would win the hole if say each opponent had a five. If they had four then the hole would be halved-no blood. This madness, and some days it is shear madness that would ensnare even the best minds at Apple or Microsoft, goes on until the eighteen hole unless the match is shortened once a team cannot win. Say a team is down three with two holes to go-done-the match is over and the losers get to hang their heads low and try to avoid eye contact with others out on the course so they don’t have to publicize their abysmal defeat on that long endless road back to the clubhouse and further snarky looks from the flea-bitten denizens around the clubhouse bar most of whom did not make the qualifying cut.     

Get this, unlike those beggarly professionals each participant forks over twenty dollars US (or its equivalent in pounds sterling, stray Euros, francs, no that is no longer current, pesos, silver, spare change or Monopoly money, should that last one as the name of a game be italicized). And the sixteen qualifying teams get to fork over ten dollars US for a cash pool (or its equivalent in pounds sterling, stray Euros, francs, no that is no longer current, pesos, silver, spare change or Monopoly money, should that last one as the name of a game be italicized). Simple except for that eighty percent stuff that requires a handy computer to figure the numbers especially when you have a decimal involved. That and the unspoken eternal vigilance necessary to make sure the opponents who are capable of any crime up to and including murder, murder most foul in their misguided quests for glory play by the rules. (We will leave the rule book for the aficionados and move on.)                    

The first round of matches begin on a cold granite gray early morning Sunday at normally placid Frog Pond (where beside the dissolute seemingly homeless golfers you can find misbegotten dog-walkers screaming at their charges to behave, pitiful ancient joggers plodding along about three miles an hour and assorted younger health nuts doing bizarre twists and turns on the leafy tree-lined road adjacent to the golf course) but I don’t really give a damn about those so-called mano a mano matches since the two teams I have decided to feature here should have “walk-overs.” What I want to look at is the “prelim”-the match-up between the two teams which should meet after a grueling three weeks in the final pairing. Come brisk Saturday morning all eyes will be upon the team of Robert and Kaz pitted against Zhou (no relation to the late former Chinese foreign minister I don’t think although maybe that team could use some of his luck since Zhou reportedly was never on the losing side of a faction fight inside the Chinese Communist Party which took some doing) and Sand-Bagger Jackson. The battle of the century, the clash of the titans, the fight to the death for glory and fame hardly are superlatives enough to describe this impending show-down.    

On the face of it, “off the form” as they say in horse racing (that’s another forget sport while I am at it-how hard is it for fast horses to run fast and what of it) this practice nine should be a “walk-over” for the first named pair. Robert-Kaz under the leadership of what more than one commentator has called the redoubtable Monsieur Roberge the mercurial Kaz shot his best round of the season as that team won the very lucrative qualifying medal and the number one seed (hence facing the number sixteen team and thus “walk-over” is an appropriate way to name the other team’s fate. Moreover the wily Frenchman (via Quebec) Robert is coming off a sparkling fourth place performance in the well-regarded City of Cambridge Quota tournament (no, not immigrants in sanctuary city Cambridge but a complicated to the novice format based on total points which need not be explained here now) and Kaz (nobody seems to know how to get pass those first three letter orally or in writing and so universally Kaz) had a very respectable semi-final finish in the individual net match play club championship earlier in the sun-bleached summer. For the other team Zhou had won a match play format in the spring but everybody knows that is ancient history come the fall and the hapless Sand-Bagger is coming off a lackluster tie for fourteenth in that aforementioned Quota tournament and has been a bust all season. (A couple of seasons ago to show how easy it is to fall from the mountain top Sand-Bagger was being favorable compared to Byron Nelson, he of the record eleven straight PGA championships, when he was winning everything in sight but that too is ancient history in the “only as good as your last round” world of competitive golf. The scuttlebutt in the club house then among the touts, con artists and junkies swapping lies around the ancient highly polished mahogany bar was that Sand-Bagger would have to play all future tourneys with a single club- a nine iron. Yes, how the mighty have fallen.)    

Still I am willing to bet six, two and even that it is not wise to count old hard-bitten warriors like Zhou-Sand-Bagger out. I’ll put my money where my mouth is and bet a fiver on that proposition.

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