More Confessions of a Weekend Golfer: The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
David Caruso, Jan/Feb 2007
It's your 50th birthday. Your wife of 20-plus years wants to give you a special present. If she has an extra 7,500 euros (around $10,000 depending on the exchange rate) under your mattress that she doesn't know what to do with, I have a suggestion.
Tell her to send you to next year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The only caveat is, it's very difficult to get an invitation. But at the end of this article, I will tell you where to write. Good luck!
|The Old Course Hotel looms over St. Andrews, the host course of the final round.|
The tournament began Thursday, October 5. I arrived on Tuesday morning, early enough in the week to overcome jet lag. On Wednesday, I played a practice round at the St Andrews Old Course with my good friend Jean Engelbrecht. Maybe I should have quit then! I had my best round of the week, but of course it didn't count. It only gave me false hope. I shot a sweet 90 with seven pars. It doesn't get much better than that for me!
|At the Saturday night banquet, I took the opportunity to give putting advice to Els and Vijay Singh.|
The first day we played St Andrews Old Course. We teed off the back side at 10:06 a.m., and by the fourth hole we were 2-under, feeling our oats. Then our games began to unravel. We ended the round with a 73, 1-over. Not bad, but way behind many teams that were as many as 9-under. For Marvin, not one birdie! No help to Jean, and his 73 didn't help us much either.
|During a brief moment on the third day, the team of Jean Van de Velde and Marvin R. Shanken were 3-under at Kingsbarns.|
On day three, we needed to make our move. We were playing Kingsbarns in a three-club wind. I had my only decent round. I shot 44 on the front nine with two net birdies. At one point, we were 3-under, which I caught on camera (see photo, page 110). Then the butchering winds took over and play was virtually impossible. We ended the round with a team score of 75 on the par-72 course. We were so far back in the pack that it was not worth counting. No play on Sunday. Johann had a winning bet. He had offered me 100-to-1 odds I wouldn't make it to Sunday. I had taken him up on a $100 bet. It was the easiest money he ever made!
Even though I didn't do well at the Dunhill, I had a great time and met many interesting, and fun, fellow golfers from around the world. And many of them were definitely cigar aficionados.