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More Confessions of a Weekend Golfer

Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Tom Berenger, July/Aug 2007

(continued from page 1)

Greg Norman
The second hole was a beautiful par 3, 188 yards, with a slightly elevated green. We were all on the green with our tee shots. Greg was away. Amazingly, he sank a 45-foot putt for a birdie. I walked it off because I couldn't believe it. The rest of us parred the hole, but since Rush gets a stroke on every hole (as I do), Greg's birdie didn't win the hole. I was devastated. We were still down one after two holes. Was this an indication of things to come?

We "pushed" on holes three and four. On the fifth hole, a par 4, Rush scored a spectacular natural birdie and won the hole outright. We were now down two and the pressure was on. We pushed 5, 6 and 7. On the eighth hole, Raymond won with a par. And on the ninth, Rush shot a par on a par five, plus one stroke for a net of four. They won the front nine four up!

I now realized that we were in an impossible situation. Rush shot an amazing 41 on the front.

Rush Limbaugh
Greg and Raymond each shot a very legitimate 36. I was out of it with a bloated 48. With Rush playing lights out and getting nine strokes a side, Greg would have to break the course record for us to contend. I was absolutely no help to Greg. I felt terrible!

On the back nine, the wind kicked up quite a bit and we were about to face some very difficult water holes. Raymond won the long par-4 10th with a par and we held them off until Raymond won the 16th.

They were ham and egging supreme! Greg pointed out that he had never before played in a match, in his entire career, when he didn't have honors off the tee at least once. My heart sank. I was embarrassed. Humiliated. Defeated. Greg birdied the par-5 17th. Thank God! We now had the tee box for the very first time, on 18. If we won the hole, we would be even on the backside. The Shotmaker (at least that was my nickname) reached the green in three, or net two. If I two-putted the hole we would win the 18th hole. Alas, it wasn't my day. Any golfer knows what I'm talking about.

But at least we did push on 18. The results were humbling:

Raymond Floyd 36-37 -- 73
Rush Limbaugh 41-47 -- 88
Greg Norman 36-38 -- 74
Marvin R. Shanken 48-50 -- 98

Marvin R. Shanken
We all shook hands and had a good laugh. Ray and Rush were a formidable team to play against.

And Greg Norman, what can I say? A super guy who showed great sportsmanship playing with an amateur golfer who only dreams of playing well in matches like this.

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