Well, it's over. My bid to finish as leading announcer at the Kapalua Challenge ended in ignominious defeat at the hands of McCord of all people. By one measly stroke. I wouldn't have minded so much, but I was leading him by four going into the last round. The tournament was won by the severely underrated Steve Pate, who shot an amazing 20-under for three rounds, but never mind him. The real battle was between the great triumvirate of McCord, Maltbie, and Feherty.
Maltbie, great man that he is, was spotted early in the first round with a Michelob lurking in the cupholder, which as I suspected, augured well for the CBS contingent. For my part, I had prepared myself for the event by stepping up my rigorous practice schedule, and had hit balls twice the previous week, even playing seven holes in one day. I was honed to perfection for my first competitive experience in the two years since I retired. There was only one minor problem. It appeared that I had misplaced my short game. I didn't even know where to look for it. I'd forgotten what color it was, and all of this from a man who, in his heyday got up and down more often than Bill Clinton's shorts. No matter I thought, McCord has two kids with him who call him Grandpa. I can take the old geezer.
Then we were off. McCord and Maltbie both had 69 in the first round, but I, your not even close to being reluctant hero, managed by sheer guts, determination, and about 11 acts of God, to get it around in one less. In the bar afterwards, I was guilty of some shameful gloating. In the second round Maltbie, great man that he still was, went the Anheuser-Marlboro-Busch route, while McCord limped around in even par. I seized my chance with a scintillating 3-under 70 on the Plantation course which left me nine behind the evil Pate, but more importantly, four in front of the even more evil McCord. Naturally, I went into overgloat.
The next morning I knew I was in trouble. McCord, not one to be superstitious, was wearing a pair of voluminous mole skin shorts, his favorite possum hide belt, a hallucinogenic Hawaiian shirt, and worst of all, his lucky fishing hat. He looked like a 50-year-old skateboarder. Also, he felt it necessary to inform me that he had a grass skirt and a couple of coconut shells in the bag in case things got desperate. As it turned out all he had to do was hack it around in 1-over to pit me by one. Aye yes, the dreaded reverse gloat.
Of course now I have to look for an excuse for my abysmal last round. It would be easy to suggest that it was because I don't play enough golf, but personally I don't think that was the problem. I put it down to that hideous piped Hawaiian music that blares everywhere you go over there. By the end of five days, I'd had enough slack key guitar and yodeling to tide me over until my next trip I can assure you. It was all that I could do to resist the urge to beat someone to death with a ukulele. I think it's a cunning plan devised by the native Hawaiians to ensure that tourists like me will go home. Next year I'll be back with ear plugs, and McCord will have no chance.