OK, I’ve got a good news-bad news story for you. After the five-hole playoff last week at the John Deere Classic, your sweat-soaked course reporter scurried to the Quad Cities airport and barely made a flight to Seattle. I was heading for the Fred Couples Invitational at the spectacular new Newcastle Golf Club in Bellevue, Wash.
I got in around 1:30 in the morning, still damp and probably pungent, and polished off a bottle of red wine and a pizza with my old friend and coach Mike Abbott, who is the Director of Golf at Newcastle. I went to bed, and then a strange thing happened: I was abducted by aliens, and returned a few hours later. I only remember it vaguely, but I know it happened because the next morning I got up, went to the golf course, shot 66, and tied with Scott McCarron for the lead. There were 20 tour pros playing and I was in front of all of them but one. I had obviously been significantly interfered with during the night.
Still, might as well have a good old gloat over my new-found proficiency, I thought, so I set about verbally abusing the likes of Stadler, Calcavecchia, Jacobsen and of course, Freddie. I MC’d the evening function and made sure that everyone respected my authority. I was, of course, aware that the reverse gloat was probably just around the corner.
Actually, the reverse gloat didn’t even have the decency to hide around the corner, it was waiting for me on the first tee the next morning. My caddie, Dutch Skiver, a well-known Seattle idiot who was employed for entertainment value, handed me the 3-wood which I hit a 100 yards left, never to be seen again. I started with a couple of sixes and then fell away bit. Dutch was looking at me in that “Who the hell are you?” kind of way, so I explained to him that I felt the effects of the suppository the little green men had given me had worn off. I followed my 66 with a 77. I’m glad it was only two rounds, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a 55 in me.