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Monday, October 01, 2007


Women's Mid-Am 2007 - Day 2

Mr Science Continues:

I forgot my camera in the morning, so I have no picture of Shirley Trier, Ann Lahey, and Brooke Cooper.

Shirley is from Jacksonville Beach, FL and shot 81 yesterday. Started on 10, shot even par 36 on the back, then 45 on the front. She was 44th in stroke play, and won her first match today. She made two very short birdie putts in 4 holes, and I told her she was the "Queen of short birdie putts". She stuck out her tongue a la Mick Jagger in pleasure at that, and noted that there were worse things to be queen of. I can't say for sure, but I think under the back of her white golf shirt I detected a tattoo. I suspect she's a real wild woman, under her reserved and distinguished golfer demeanor.

Ann is from Kentfield, CA and shot a very steady 79. 8 pars on the front. She won today in 21 holes after being dormey-2 (2 up with 2 to play).

Brooke is an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in NY. (I'm sure, Dave, that she must be part of the conspiracy, although it is still not clear to me what the objective of the conspiracy is.) Brooke lives in Manhattan, and drives to Long Island to play golf. She's club champion (probably most of the field is club champion, but she's the only one I asked about that). In an effort to say something that can go into the blog without being edited too much, I will say that if Playboy were to do a feature on investment bankers, she'd be on the cover, even if she didn't want to take her clothes off.

The cart paths at Desert Forest are not paved, but very hard-packed Arizona dirt, which is naturally hard-packed even before you drive golf carts on it for 40 years. But, because they are not paved, the USGA considers them an integral part of the course, and no free drops are given. As always, there was a USGA Rules official with us, and every time a player's ball is on a cart path, the topic comes up. One time Brooke mentioned that she often read the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf" at night. Players are responsible to know the Decisions, just as they are responsible to know the Rules, because the Decisions are incorporated in the Rules. The Rules are daunting enough, at 162 pages in the pocket edition, but the Decisions are a virtual encyclopedia. I suppose it's more interesting than balance sheets, though.

Brooke shot 81 yesterday, complaining about her putting. 8 3-putts in two days. She qualified for match play, though, and lost today, 2 and 1.

In the afternoon, I had the celebrity group. Mary Ann Lapointe, from Canada, was the 2005 Mid-Am Champion. She's also been on the Women's World Amateur Canadian team in 1990, 92, 94, 96, 98, 2000, 2004 and 2006. (She didn't tell me this, it's on the USGA web site
http://www.uswmidam.org/ ) Mary Ann shot a very pretty 75, and won her match today.

Missy Farr-Kaye is Heather Farr's sister. She lives in Scottsdale, and is assistant Women's golf coach at ASU. She was runner-up in the 2001 Publinks. She also shot 75, and won her match today. She'll play Mary Ann in the quarterfinals, if they both make it.

Kim Keyer-Scott is from Cincinnati, and shot 82 yesterday, and lost her match today. The USGA says she was a grandmother when she played for Northern Kentucky University, and was Division II Freshman of the Year at age 34.

The 7th hole is a par 5 with a split fairway. All the women were cutting the corner, booming it over the desert to the right fairway.
Kim hooked her tee ball a little, and ended in the left rough very near the desert. She was unhappy, saying she had hit it in the same place the day before, and words to the effect of "I hate this hole!".

She's a long hitter, though, and the group in front was still on the green so we had a bit of a wait. Kim doesn't stay unhappy for long, and while standing at her ball looking at the green she remarked "what a pretty view this is". I handed her my camera and said "take a picture, I'll email it to you". We figure she'll make it into a dart board.

Our helpful USGA Rules official was nearby, and asked in jest "Is that an illegal range-finding device"? We discussed the USGA's general attitude toward the Rules, as everyone knows there is a debate in progress about what to allow in the way of such devices. Kim then hit her ball onto a cart path, and the official reminded her that she didn't get a free drop. Her caddy thanked the official, and I added "Yes, thanks again."

I don't make a habit of criticizing the swings of +1 handicappers. I'm sure anyone I saw at this tournament, even the ones shooting 88 or 91, could give me my 5 a side (or 6 on this course, and even more from the Men's tees) and walk away with all my money. However, in the case of Kim, I must make an exception. Her swing would make a teaching pro tear his hair out.

All together now, what was the first thing they told you when they handed you your first golf club? "Keep your left arm straight". At the top of the backswing, Kim's hands are touching the back of her neck. If her elbow were bent any more, she'd be choking herself. And yet, she is one of the best players in the country, proving again that the only fundamental in golf is that the clubhead must be square and traveling down the line at impact. How it gets there is irrelevant. Nothing else matters.

Back to the Rules, Tara Joy-Connelly of Duxbury, MA who shot 75-73 and was seeded 3rd, went to her hotel room and was looking at her scorecard on the web site when she realized that she had made a 4 on a hole where they had a 3 on the web. She had signed an incorrect card. She called the USGA and told them, and they DQ'ed her and thanked her for upholding the integrity of the game.

Tell me again why we need to test golfers for illegal drugs?

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