Friday, November 30, 2007

We all have the occasional bad day now and then, where nothing seems to go right from dawn to dusk. I had a beauty this past Sunday, at the final round of the LPGA Championship. Like most of these experiences, it was triggered by something small, of my own doing, and then snowballed as the day dragged on.

I don't normally drink very much when I'm on the road, but for some reason -- insanity possibly -- Saturday night was a belter. I held court majestically at the bar in the Hotel du Pont, and like one of the tall ships visiting Delaware waters, I swayed and creaked elegantly back to moor myself to the mattress in room 932, shortly after midnight. All was well, until I awoke at 8 a.m. wearing nothing but a black sock on my left foot, and a large blob of congealed toothpaste stuck in my chest hair. This in itself would not have been so mysterious had I not been wearing sandals without socks the previous evening.

Not to worry, thought I, as I stumbled to the bathroom to brush my teeth and chest; stranger things have happened. On the way, I realized, as one does, that at some stage last night, I had drunk at least one ashtray, and was dealing with a formidable hangover. In a stroke of genius, I decided to nip up to the 12th floor for a brisk run on the old treadmill. Sweat it out, just the ticket.

I nodded towards a couple of spandex types in the corner, started the belt up to a feverish six miles an hour, and broke into a blubbery jog. After about 45 seconds, it became apparent that it was not having the desired effect, so I ejected to the safety of the carpet, which, to my horror, seemed to be moving only a little slower than the belt. I was keenly aware of the stares from the spandex sisters in the corner, as I bumped into a pillar, then stumbled over to the water cooler just in time to barf violently into the trash can. I immediately felt much better, and looked over at the gallery, who by now were gaping. I said, "You make me sick!", removed the trash bag, and headed back to the safety of my room to plan my next move.

Into the shower, and off to work. By now, the heat index is close to 100, and I am clammy. I can hardly wait to strap on my radio pack and for the batteries to steam up the small of my back, sending a river of sweat southwards. I use a whole bottle of Gold Bond Medicated Powder, and feeling nothing from the waist down, set off to be wired for sound. I'm walking past the Port-o-lets when one of our cameramen exits. The door is caught in a gust of wind, and slams open, into the bridge of my nose, sending me reeling backwards, right onto my posterior, which fortunately, as I mentioned earlier, is already numbed up. My proboscis, though broken three times previously, is altered once more.

Four o'clock, and the bell rings. I join Julie Inkster, and Wendy Ward on the 10th fairway. I trudge around manfully, trying to stay downwind of them, as they are both having a tough enough day without getting a whiff of me. I want to get home, and I've got a tight connection to make at O'Hare, so I've got to make the flight from Philly. The only thing that can shrink my berries any smaller is a playoff.

Which happens, and lasts until 6:40 p.m. I am in my rental car at 7 p.m. driving towards the City of Brotherly Love. Get out of my way, you buttholes, I smell like a polecat with dysentery, and I'm wearing golf shoes. I get there with about 20 minutes to check in, and my flight is .... canceled. Now I'm upset.

Back in the rental car, I'm heading for the scene of the crime, the Hotel du Pont. Unfortunately, I-95 is closed going south, and I don't realize that I have been diverted onto I-495, and somehow I end up on a bridge that is taking me to New Jersey. I hope there is an early one from Newark, because from here on in, I am acting like I'm doing this on purpose.

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