The pros are coming! The pros are coming! Not quite as riveting as Paul Revere's midnight ride in 1775, but our golfing community is abuzz nonetheless. Golf professionals from all corners of the state will be teeing it up Monday in the 15th annual Wells Fargo skins game.
The pro-am will begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed by the skins game at approximately 6 p.m. There's a free community barbecue hosted by Wells Fargo for everyone to enjoy prior to the start of the skins game, and Callaway golf has sent a team of club fitters to assist the wayward hackers of Soldotna find new equipment throughout the day.
We encourage any and all golfers, whether you are participating in the pro-am or not, to come out and enjoy a day full of festivities at Birch Ridge.
Earl "The Pearl" Matthis put on a dazzling display, out-performing 16 duffers of similar age Tuesday morning to take low net with a 29. Mick Reeve captured closest to at the sixth when his shot came to a stop within 2 feet, 3 inches, of the cup.
John "The Last DJ" Davis corralled the other closest to the pin at the eighth. The seniors also award the long putt on the ninth green each week; however the "long" putt was so short I refuse to put the winner or the distance in the column.
Come on seniors. You can putt better than that.
Tuesday Morning Ladies League
The lovable ladies were at it again Tuesday morning for another week of ladies league play. Elaine Anderson, Louis "Rock the Cradle" Schadle, Shirley Johnsrud and Sandi Poe teamed up for a net 27 to take low net honors.
Denise Cox, Beth Roseburg, Chiya Bazen and Georgia Bentley paired for a second-place finish. Denise Cox had the longest putt, rolling the rock into the bottom of the cup from an outstanding 75 feet away. Seniors take note, that's a long putt.
Ladies, are you tired of having your conversations on the golf course interrupted by long searches for missing golf balls? Call the pro shop and inquire about our Thursday Night Ladies Clinic. Bill Engberg and I will be hosting an hour-long clinic, for ladies of all ages, every other Thursday at 6 p.m. for the remainder of the summer.
Tuesday Couples Night
The sun was shining on our flock of lovebirds for Tuesday's couples night. Gene "Wine and Dine" Diamond along with his wife, Teri, conjured up this week's game. Couples played a two-person scramble, teeing off on a variety of tee boxes along the way.
Del and Sally Hoagland combined for a net 23 to take first-place honors. Dave and Sharon Keating came in second with a net 24, ousting Vic and Carol Hussey in a card-off. I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to congratulate Teri on becoming the new principal at Soldotna Elementary. Hopefully, Gene won't spend too much time in detention.
Birch Ridge Golf Committee's Officially Unofficial Golf Rankings
OK, enough of these silly tournaments. The British Open is just around the corner and the Birch Ridge Celebrity Panel is downright giddy with anticipation. Can Rory McIlroy repeat his U.S. Open performance? Will Jason Day, who's finished second in both majors this year, finally tire of being the bridesmaid and capture a championship of his own? My money is on Rory. The kid from Northern Ireland is playing a different game right now.
1. Rory McIlroy; 2. Lee Westwood; 3. Luke Donald; 4. Jason Day; 5. Charl Schwartzel; 6. Graeme McDowell; 7. Steve Stricker; 8. K.J. Choi; 9. Nick Watney; 10. Matt Kuchar.
Answer from last week: The last time American golfers suffered through such an extended major championship drought was 1934 to 1935.
Q. Who won the first British Open and what year was it?