July 23, 2004

Lucky charm services performed.

I'm back from the U.S. Bank Championship PGA golf tournament. Despite the late concert and drive back from Chicago last night, I got up at 6:30, and after a brief blog break and a check of the driving directions, I mixed up a cup of coffee and milk, got in the car and drove to Milwaukee to the Brown Deer Park golf club to watch my nephew Cliff Kresge play his second round of golf. The tee time was 7:54 and there was no way I'd make it to the 10th hole (where he started) in time. I arrived at a quarter after 9 and calculated that he'd go at a rate of about one hole every 15 minutes, so I hurried along to the 14th hole. It was not his threesome, but I had a program listing the threesomes by tee time, so, based on who was playing 14, I was able to figure out which direction to go and I finally found him at 16. The sign had a red three for Cliff and I had to ask a spectator (who turned out to be a friend of Cliff's and a Madison lawyer) whether red meant under or over par. It meant over, so things were not looking good. [UPDATE: I've got red and black reversed in the previous two sentences. I would have thought red indicates a deficit, like the red ink used for debt in accounting. But in golf the negative numbers are good. So should red ink be used for under par or over par? It's confusing! But it's black for + and red for - , just as in accounting. I'll try to remember this time.]

Yesterday, Cliff was 2 over par, and the prediction was that the cut would be at even par (i.e., today would be his last day unless he made it to even). I later found out that he had bogied the first two holes and birdied the third. That had put him at 3 over. He needed to make up three shots (at least) in the 13 holes left to play at the point when I caught up to him. He proceeded to eagle on the 18th hole and then birdie on 2 and 6, ending the day at 1 under par. So he played at 4 under during the 13 holes when I was watching. Afterwards, the caddy came up to me and told me I was his "lucky charm," and then Cliff came out of the little armored building the players where the players officially verify their scores and said the same thing: I was his lucky charm. That was pretty nice.

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