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Hack's May Match in the Crabcake Cup
Can I Finally Get a Victory?
After halving my first two matches in March and April, your Hack was looking forward to playing Mt. Pleasant on Sunday. I was looking for a little redemption and the venue was a course I hadn’t played since the 1980’s when working for Citibank.
Mt. Pleasant was the site of the old Eastern Open on the PGA Tour. The inaugural tournament was won by Lloyd Mangrum in 1950 and Arnold Palmer was the victor in 1956.
From Wikipedia, “The Eastern Open Invitational, first played as the Eastern Open, was a golf tournament on the PGA Tour that was played in Maryland in the 1950s and early 1960s. The first nine events were played at Mt. Pleasant Municipal Golf Club in Baltimore, an 18-hole par-71 public course designed by Gus Hook and opened in 1933. For the next three years beginning with the 1959 event, the tournament moved to the new Pine Ridge Golf Club in Lutherville, three miles north of downtown Towson. This course, which overlooks the Loch Raven Reservoir, was built by Gus Hook in 1958.The tournament moved back to Mt. Pleasant after the 1961 event.”
I’d spent the weekend in Bel Air, driving up Friday to play with my family in the 2nd annual “Pro Cup” at Maryland Golf & Country Club. Playing with my two sons, Kyle & Will, and an old family friend Steve in a four person scramble, we shot even par and came in 2nd. The “Pro Cup” is held in honor of my brother Donald, who passed away from cancer and complications from being a lifelong Type 1 diabetic, and is organized by his children. Donald was a PGA Pro, ending his career at Swan Creek Country Club in Harford County when the club was sold by the owner. He was always know as “Pro” by friends and family and as “GrandPro” by his grand children.
My other brother John and I played Greystone Golf Course in Baltimore County on Saturday as I was getting ready for my Sunday match. After starting with 5 straight pars, your Hack three-putted the 6th hole and things fell part from there. No a good warmup as it turned out, but I had a blast with my brother.
Sunday morning saw cloudy skies and a chance of rain as I drive down into Baltimore. My opponent was a 23 year old who many of you have briefly met in this blog - William Jelley. For our 8:40AM tee time we were joined by Devin and Sam who were also playing their match. As I looked around on the first tee, it occurred to me that if I added up the ages of these three guys, they might not equal mine. I was wrong of course, as Sam and Devin were each 34 years old, but they were all younger than both my kids.
From the White Tees, Mt. Pleasant is about 6300 yards, playing to a par 71 with only 2 par 5’s and 3 par 3’s. Your Hack was giving Jelley 5 shots, including one of the 1st hole, the only par 5 on the front. My drive found the center of the fairway while Jelley went right into the trees. As he struggled to get the ball airborne, my 2nd shot was smothered left which I followed up with a fat 9 iron that was short of the green. My opponent finally got on the green in 5 shots while I chipped it to about 8 feet in 4. Unfortunately, I missed the par putt and halved the hole as Jelley 2 putted from 40 feet for a 7 net 6. The match started off looking like a pillow fight - it wouldn’t stay that way.
The next 3 holes were won with pars as I hit fairways and greens, but couldn’t seem to drop a birdie putt. Hole #5 is a 400 yard par 4 and I landed a wedge about 6 feet right of a hole that was cut into a slope. Jelley stroked but was sitting left of the green in 3 shots. After a sweet up and down, he was in for bogey, net par. Needing the birdie to win the hole, I missed the cup and left a come-backer that was as long as the original. Naturally, your Hack missed for a 3-putt bogey and lost hole.
Pars halved #6, but I followed with 2 regulation pars on #7 and #8 to go 4 up in the match. A bad bogey on #9 lost to Jelley’s bogey, net par and we ended the front with your Hack 3 up on the match. I’d shot 39 with 3 bogeys that included only 1 3-putt. The driver was working and the approach game was stellar, hitting 7 of 9 greens, but the birdie putts were not going in.
Jelley was having issues with the big right miss off the tee which put him in some tough spots. His putting was pretty solid, but he pulled a “Gary Woodland” early in the match, hitting a wedge off the green rather than the putter - muttering something about not lagging the ball well. It was a sight to behold as he nipped it cleanly and stopped it near the pin, sinking the follow-up putt. Well done, lad.
The back nine continued the story from the front as pars won #10 through #14 and Jelley was 6 down with 6 to play. Sadly, the match ended on #13 when I missed the green from the fairway and couldn’t get up and down for par. Jelley made an ugly double however and your Hack had finally come through in the 3rd match of the Crabcake Cup.
We continued playing and the other match between Devin and Sam was getting interesting. Devin had built a lead on the front, but Sam came storming back to get within 1 late on the back 9. After some soul searching after hitting a drive into the hazard on #16, Devin held on and won.
Coincidently, your Hack made his only birdie of the day on #16, but limped through the back third of the round with a double and two closing bogeys to shoot 78.
I’d planned to call this the Mt. Pleasant Massacre, but it was really just a case of my opponent running into an old Hack playing fairly well and having trouble getting the ball out of the rough after some sprayed tee balls. Jelley is a fine player and I expect great things in his future matches this summer.
I’m looking forward to the June matches as a TBD course and we’ll be back with some local rounds in the near future. Thanks for following along and remember (especially you Jelley) to keep it in the short grass.