It’s Saturday morning. I’m watching live golf (thanks PGA Tour Live) from the Riv (Genesis Open, soon to be Invitational) and thinking about yesterday’s match at Cripple Creek. We had 5 players again. The course was fairly empty at Noon and the weather was better than what they faced in Pacific Palisades. Let’s go.

Hagen, Cummings, Dewey and I were joined by big Nick Stanisic for the first time this year. Nick still lives full time back in the DC area and plays out of Argyle Country Club in Montgomery County, MD – the same club Denny McCarthy of the PGA Tour came from. Nick’s game is not as good as Denny’s, but he’s a solid 8 handicap and a lot of laughs on the course. Steve, Mike, Nick and I played Wolf and Steve Dewey joined us for a skins game as well – a typical 5 way game for us a Cripple Creek this winter.

Hagen, Mike, and Nick on the Tee

I played much better today, even with the windy weather. The greens were rolling really well for the winter and I came in with 3 birdies and only 29 putts. If you remember, that would be the first time this year I’ve been under 30 putts in a round. Unfortunately, I had one ball OB and another penalty shot (water ball), that both led to double bogeys.

Although I came in at 1 over on the front and 2 over on the back, the betting didn’t work out as well. At least 2 of the birdies cleared for skins, but I was down a little in the Wolf game. Steve and Nick also had 2 skins clear. In all, there were 7 skins so the winnings were relatively small.

There was not much money moving around in the Wolf match either, but there were some great shots. Hagen chipped in for a par/net birdie on #5 to win the hole and a skin for himself. I went Wolf on #7 after hitting a shot to about 8 feet below the hole, doubling the bet. Nick then proceeded to hit his tee shot to about 6 feet. We both made birdie – no blood. Nick sank a nice birdie putt on #15 that won the hole for he and I after the bet had been tripled.

We came to #16. Nick and I were partners again and I was the only person on the green after our tee shots. Nick pitched on and made a nice par. Steve’s chip then rattled off the pin almost falling for a birdie to win – almost! I still had about 25 feet for a 2 and luckily ran the putt in for the win and a skin.

I was up nicely in the match and in a good position on #17, our longest par 5. Mike and I were partners versus Steve and Nick. Nick was out of the hole having picked up after missing with a couple of baseball swings off the wall in the fairway bunker. Steve and Mike were both lying 3, short and right of the green. I had 130 to the flag, but into the wind. Knowing the wind was strong, I pulled an 8 iron and hit what I thought was a good shot. Unfortunately it bounced off the top of the bulkhead about 5 yards short of the flag and dropped into the water. Mike and I then both failed to get up and down and lost the hole.

Steve Retrieving His Tee Shot on #18 from the #9 Green

Steve was my partner on the final hole and he hit a blistering drive onto a green about 10 feet from the pin. Unfortunately, it was the 9th green and the 18th green was still about 195 yards out. He made a nice bogey/net par and I made par. Nick pitched his third shot stone dead for a par/net birdie and they won the hole. I went from a nice win after #15 to a small loss after #18 – such is golf.

The weather looks iffy for Sunday, so I’m not sure when we’ll play next. I did get a nice package in the mail today however. My friend, John Pearson, invited me to play in his Member Guest next month. Here’s what arrived in the mail today.

The Fiddlesticks 37th Annual Men’s Invitational will take place March 6-9, 2019 and I’m looking forward to teeing it up with John. We were flight winners the last time we played a couple of years ago and I hope to do well this year. Fiddlesticks is a beautiful 36 hole Country Club in Fort Myer’s, FL. Look for a week of blog posts and updates from the Long Mean and the new Loch Ness track in a couple of weeks.

The big boys are still playing a Riviera as I write. The second round is finally over and they’ve begun the third round. Justin Thomas and Adam Scott share the lead at 11 under. I’ve got money on JT at +1200 (12-1) and some on Rory as well who is 4 back. Wish me luck!

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