September Golf Report
I remembered to bring my golf clubs to salubrious places this month, and in so doing I remained undefeated in 2009. This is a shocking run of good form. To begin the month, I played ten holes on the new Old Macdonald course at the inimitable Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. There have been rumors that my winning streak ended at Bandon. To that I respond, how can one lose a match on a course that is not even open yet, and on a supposed match contested over a stretch of ten holes? Everyone knows that golf is played over nine or eighteen holes. I’m not counting my 1-up lead after four holes last week (stopped by lightning) at Hong Kong Golf Club as a victory either. One can’t win or lose a match that didn’t happen. I rest my case.
So we move on to the next match, at historic Edgefield and its storied Pub Course, where I played a nine hole match in the setting September sun with my father. He birdied the first to take an early lead, but I kept my composure and evened the match at the second, then added three birdies of my own over the next six holes to put the match out of reach. That was a match I will never forget and was the best 24 I have ever shot (we played a par 27 loop).
I returned to Thailand for a match at Thai Country Club. We played on a sunny day, but September is generally quite rainy at Thailand, so the course played very long. Did that give me an advantage? Or was it my accurate iron play? Or was it my smooth putting stroke that sealed the victory? One begins to ponder these types of questions as the winning streak continues. To go from a pitch-and-putt course one week, travel across sixteen time zones and the international date line, and then to win a match at a championship course is no small feat.
And now on the last day of September, at Green Valley Country Club, in a match I really expected to lose, I made the right shots at the right time to win a staggering eleven skins. A timely birdie at the 7th, a mix of steady pars and the remarkable iron shots that I seem to hit at will — whatever the reason, this was a fortuitous outcome for me in a game (skins) that I had no expectation of winning. One may imagine my trepidation as I stepped to the first tee, as my opponents for this match were the distinguished Jeffrey McNeely, Chief Scientist for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a current A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, along with the intense rules maven Paul Sochaczewski, the dapper Chairman and Creative Director for the International Golf and Life Foundation (IGOLF).