Emotional Appeal Fails ...
Elizabeth Ploran and Brett Mingo have
fallen in with a bad crowd - don't let the pink shirts fool ya.
Dan Dolan Jr, Shannon Keating, Jim
& Alex Bell ... don't burn too many brain cells, guys. It's
only Thursday. Pace yourself.
The secret to Pro Golf's success
... the 19th hole.
A bad police lineup or Pro Golf
finalists ... take your pick.
Pro Golf grew by two more duffers this year, perhaps
thanks to the teaching session run by assistant GM Rob Drozd.
I bet that was a real mind bender! The increase to 73
participants starting off from the Hopewell room was the greatest
number of entrants since 2004. This year we switched to the Pebble
Beach course in hopes of more balls going out of bounds or finding
the water, but scores were only down slightly from previous years.
event was preceded by 2012 email tournament champion, Mark Yoshikawa,
awarding a BPA Pro Golf green jacket to last year's WBC
winner, John Coussis. Mark inexplicably chose to keep the larger
green jacket for himself, leaving John with a jacket approximately
five sizes too small for himself.
For the fourth year in a row, no playoff was needed to select
our four lucky - I mean skilled - golfers in the Skins
game. Six under par was the magic score to reach the Skins game,
and four players (Chris Kizer, Mark Yoshikawa, Peter Stein and
Bill Morse) posted that result. In a world turned upside down,
Mark Yoshikawa was the only returning laurelist and in the unaccustomed
role of favorite going into the Skins game. Five players just
missed out with a score of five under par. The rest of the field
came in with scores ranging from four under to four over par.
The Skins game was notable for several occurrences. It began
when Peter went to start his first ever hole of the Skins game
after over two decades of trying to reach the Promised Land.
When he first touched the big green foam dice used in the Final,
he began blubbering and was overcome with emotion and needed
to be consoled by Mark, who went through the same experience
the year before. After this shameless appeal to fate for divine
intervention, the round began.
As is our tradition, the finalists were not allowed to read
their own golfer cards, but instead had to delegate that duty
to a caddie. While Peter and Bill had fairly standard caddies,
Mark's caddie set the new standard by which all future caddies
will be measured. Ken Gutermuth performed the duties, and he
acted like the staff at a Hilton when they see Mark's quadruple
platinum special guest card. "Let me get the dice for you,
Mr. Yoshikawa," "You need a birdie for the Skin, Mr.
Yoshikawa," and "You need to roll a 46 or better, Mr.
Yoshikawa," were often heard during the Final. By contrast,
Chris' caddie, Lisa Gutermuth, often needed to be prompted to
perform the simplest of tasks for her charge.
After Peter recovered from his emotional start, he birdied
the first hole (with golfer Chris DiMarco) to claim the initial
skin. The second hole was halved when both Peter and Mark birdied,
then Bill (with golfer Robert Allenby) birdied the third hole
to claim two skins of his own.
The fourth hole was halved, then Chris (with Steve Flesch)
strung together birdies on the fifth and sixth holes to earn
three skins for himself. Mark (with Carl Pettersson) was the
last to get on the scoreboard, taking the skin on the seventh
hole. After Bill picked up his third skin with a birdie on the
eighth, he and Chris were tied for the lead with three skins
each while Peter and Mark each had one. With four holes to go,
it was still anyone's game.
The next three holes were all halved, as no one could post
a birdie. In fact, Bill bogeyed all three holes and had to hope
the others halved the holes to prevent them from earning the
skins. That meant that the winner of the last hole would win
four skins and thus the tournament. Bill started the par 3 12th
hole with a birdie. The other three desperately tried to match
him, but all failed, leaving Bill Morse as our 2013 champion.
Chris claimed second place with his three skins, and a tie-breaking
die roll gave third place to Peter while Mark had to settle for
fourth. Pete went off mumbling and looking for puppies to kick.
Be sure to join the fun again in 2014, and maybe even get
in a little practice in the 2014 Fifth Annual PBeM tournament
which should start sometime this spring (right before the Masters).
Bruce Reiff contibuted to this article.
So, that's how Yoshi made the
Yoshi and the Meanie tussle
over who gets the lucky green dice ...
Having successfully wrestled
away the green dice from the little guy, the Meanie proceeds
to slice off the fairway. Who would be dumb enough to stay up
to watch this drivel, anyway?
A record field of 48 players took to the links 99 times to
contest the 4th Annual BPA Pro Golf PBeM tournament. All
players first competed on the Muirfield Village course. A third
of the field was culled with the rest moving on to contest the
Lancaster Host course. The top third of the original field then
advanced to challenge the Augusta National course. The best cumulative
score of the three rounds won the title.
It was far and away our most closely contested tournament in
the four years of the event, as seven players ended the final
round within one stroke of the lead. Defending champion Mark
Yoshikawa jumped out to the first round lead with a 5 under par
effort on the Muirfield Village course. However, unlike last
year where he took a four-stroke lead after the first course,
he was joined at -5 by Debbie Gutermuth, Sean McCulloch and Alexandra
Sean and Grant LaDue posted the best scores in the second round
with 6 under on the Lancaster Host course. This gave Sean the
overall lead at 11 under, one stroke ahead of Mark. Alan Evenson
lingered just two strokes back, Grant and Debbie were three behind
while 2011 champion Dennis Nicholson lurked four strokes off
The 18 survivors moved on to the third course, Augusta National,
which exacted a heavy price from the pretenders. Leader McCulloch
posted a disappointing score of 3 over par to fall to -8 overall.
He was soon passed by Nicholson, who used a 2 under par round
to finish -9 for the tournament. Yoshikawa, who started his final
round 4 over par, birdied the last three holes to tie for the
lead and force a playoff for the title.
Sean McCulloch was not the only player to finish one stroke off
the lead. He was joined by Debbie Gutermuth (who just missed
her birdie putt on the final hole), Mike Pacheco, Grant LaDue
and Bill Morse (who posted the best Augusta score of 4 under
For the tie-breaker, Dennis and Mark faced off for three holes
at Arrowhead Park (the GM's home course). Things started poorly
for the defending champ, as Mark's golfer, Bruce Lietzke, bogeyed
the first hole while Dennis' golfer, Curtis Strange, shot par.
Mark rallied for a birdie on the second hole, but Dennis matched
it to retain a one-stroke lead. Mark showed the heart of a champion
by scoring another birdie on the third hole. But Dennis was not
to be denied, as he rolled a glorious 66 to drain his tournament
winning birdie putt.
Meanwhile, Debbie Gutermuth emerged from six holes of tie-breaker
action to claim third place over Mike Pacheco, Grant LaDue, Sean
McCulloch and Bill Morse - who finished 7th - just out of the
The tournament will be restarted in March 2014. Come join us
next year as we use the time of the Masters and the U.S. Open
to determine another PBeM champion of the BPA Pro Golf world.