July 19, 2013

YORK, Maine (AP) — They say you can’t win a Goodboys Invitational on day one, you can only lose it. Well, there was a winner in the first round of the 23th Goodboys Invitational played here in this picturesque and quintessential New England track, and it wore long, green hair and with a lot of rocks (and I’m not talking the ladies’ finger types). The Ledges Golf Club, as it has done every year the Goodboys have played here, won. And had a willing co-conspirator in the sweltering heat wave that enveloped the players like a big soggy wet blanket. With the temperatures in the high ’90s and the heat index hovering around 105, there was little escaping a tough golf course played under the toughest of conditions.

This was the day Goodboys EXEC-COMM had been waiting for: to show off the advantages and challenges of their new two-tiered system of play, where the six lowest handicaps played from the blue tees and the six highest from the white tees, and it succeeded beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. With the course conditions (“the fastest, most diabolical greens I’ve ever putted” one veteran Goodboy was heard to quote) and heat being what they were every Goodboy had their hands full. Whether this makes a big difference at Wentworth By The Sea Country Club on Saturday or Black Swan Country Club on Sunday remains to be seen, but at The Ledges the blue tees really showed some teeth – in many cases, creating an entirely different hole than when played from the whites.

“Well, EXEC-COMM certainly created a challenge for everyone,” “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis said after carding a 1-over handicap to tie him with “The Great White Shank” Richard for best individual total and the “Killer” Kowalski / Great White Shank team for the clubhouse lead after day one. “This course is tough enough playing from the whites – just ask Cubby [partner “Cubby” Myerow], but from the blues and with the heat the way it was, heck, it was survival golf out there, nothing more, nothing less.”

The standings after day one (team totals against assigned handicap):

1. “Killer” Kowalski / “The Great White Shank” Richard – +10
1. “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis / “Cubby” Myerow – +10
2. “Deuce” Doucette / “Goose” Dwyer – +12
3. “Vegas” Clark / “Skipper” Bornemann – +18
4. “2 Times” Proctor / “Possum” Shepter – +25
5. “Hulkigan” Tripp / “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin – +36

“Friday is really the eye-opener at Goodboys, folks,” says Golf Channel’s Sir Nick Faldos, no stranger to the pressures and challenges of difficult golf courses, being a winner of six majors. “You not only have the most difficult of the three courses played under some of the most adverse conditions the Goodboys will see, you’re also dealing with the unfamiliarity of the new system employed by EXEC-COMM. In the past, the “A” players could encourage their “B” player partners by how they play off the same tees. This year, they can’t worry about what their partners are doing, they’ve got all they can handle by themselves.”

“Goose” Dwyer echoed Faldo’s comments. “Whew, it was a tough one out there, I’ll tell you. The course was playing tough, the greens were as treacherous as we’ve ever played, and bogey golf was a damned good score out there. We fought hard throughoyut, tried to play away from trouble, and feel very fortunate to sit where we are. We’re in a good position, and we can’t wait for tomorrow. Hopefully the storms come in late and it will be a great day.”

“Disappointed, that’s all I can say, said “Possum” Shepter of the defending champion EXEC-COMM team, who finished the day in fifth place, 15 shots behind the leaders. “The course is hard, the rocks are hard, the fairways are hard, the trees left and right all have hard trunks. The water isn’t hard, but then again, water isn’t supposed to be hard, is it? What can I say, the course is hard.”

“Personally, I didn’t think anyone was going to shoot that low,” said “Vegas” Clark, who shot a five over handicap along with partner “Skipper” Bornemann’s 13 over to leave them only eight strokes behind the leaders. He said The Ledges’ fast, swaley greens combined with difficult pin positions led to “really tough putting.”

As the Goodboys spend their Friday night pub-crawling the Portsmouth waterfront they’ll look back on a very successful first day. While easy or not easy is a relative term, they’ll ponder the prospects of “moving day” at Wentworth By The Sea knowing that they’ll be playing an entirely different course than they did at The Ledges. With a competitive leaderboard as it stands after Friday’s play, easy or not, it promises to be an exciting day.

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