[Dramatic music swells]
[Kelly] There is one test in golf that stands above all others, and at its core it all comes down to numbers. Three days, three courses, three states, one opportunity for immortality. Thirteen players. Six teams. Two sets of tees. Fifty-four holes. After which only one team will have the right to be called the top dogs, the big Kahunas, the kings of the hill. And, most importantly, crowned the new EXEC-COMM. Welcome to Golf Channel’s special presentation of the 2013 Goodboys Invitational Preview at Goodboys Nation weblog.
[Dramatic music swells to a close]
I’m Kelly Tilghman here with six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo for our annual Goodboys Invitational preview show. There’s lots to talk about over the next two hours, so sit back, relax, open up a brewskie or two, and enjoy all the in-depth analysis and nonsensical golf-related banter you’ll need to get ready for this year’s Goodboys Invitational weekend. We’re here in Golf Channel’s tower overlooking the sixteenth fairway at Wentworth By The Sea Country Club in beautiful Rye, New Hampshire, site of day two of this weekend’s event, soon to be joined by Golf Channel analysts Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo, as well as our Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte – all of whom will be coming to you live from the Sheraton Harborside on the Portsmouth, New Hampshire waterfront, where the Goodboys will be headquartering just three days from now.
[Nick] Some would call it a headquarters for hind quarters.
[Kelly] That’s a pretty funny line, Sir Nick.
[Nick] Thanks, I got it from Gary McCord.
[Kelly] Brandel, Frank and Tim will be here to provide their own unique insights into what promises to be one of the most exciting and intriguing Goodboys Invitationals in years, and we might even hear from a Goodboy or two as well. Like the past few years, it is back to the beautiful New Hampshire seacoast where, for the first time in Goodboys history, they will play three different courses in three different states over a three-day period. Lots of threes being tossed around there, Sir Nick.
[Nick] Well, you’re right there, Kelly – this truly is something unprecedented for the Goodboys. They’ve played three-day events before, but never in three different states during that time, have they? Unless, of course, you include inebriation as a state…
[Kelly] So true, Sir Nick. The Goodboys will be working their way from north to south this weekend, playing The Ledges in York, Maine on Friday and then here at Wentworth By The Sea on Saturday before finishing up at Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown, Massachusetts on Sunday. It’s pretty exciting stuff – you’ll almost need a road atlas to track their progress…
[Nick] …or a GPS system at least. I just hope the NSA won’t be recording all their conversations.
[Kelly] Or ours!
[Nick] And of course there’s the new two-tiered system of play Goodboys EXEC-COMM has introduced this year where half the field will play from a different set of tees than the other: the low handicappers playing from the blues and the high handicappers from the whites. Unlike previous years, the best Goodboys golfers will really have their hands full and be challenged throughout the weekend to play their best. Should make for really exciting stuff.
[Kelly] There’s certainly lots to talk about on this special Golf Channel presentation of the 2013 Goodboys Invitational Preview. Stay tuned, we’ll be back for more after the break.
[Kelly] Welcome back to Golf Channel’s 2013 Goodboys Invitational Preview at Goodboys Nation weblog. Sir Nick Faldo, as a veteran observer of the Goodboys Invitational over the years, what’s the first thing that comes to mind as we frame this year’s tournament for our viewers?
[Nick] I would have to say the sheer uncertainty of how the low handicap players will be able to handle the pressure of playing from the blue tees all weekend long. For six guys – “Killer” Kowalski, “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis, “Vegas” Clark, “Deuce” Doucette, “2 Times” Proctor, and “Hulkigan” Tripp – it will be one hard grind from beginning to end. The high handicappers in the group – “Skipper” Bornemann, “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin, “Goose” Dwyer, “Possum” Shepter, “The Great White Shank” Richard, and “Cubby” Myerow will still have to play their game as always, but unlike past years they won’t be able to hide behind the skirts of their “A” game partners because those guys will have all they can handle all by themselves.
[Kelly] “Hide behind the skirts”? That’s a rather sexist comment, isn’t it Sir Nick?
[Nick] That’s nothing. Want to hear some others? I can tell you The Funny Guy’s leprechaun joke. [Laughs]
[Kelly] Er, I think it’s time we go to Portsmouth and talk with our team over there. Brandel, Frank, help me – and Nick – out here! What in your minds is the one thing we need to be on the lookout for this weekend?
[Brandel] Thanks, Kelly. To me the big question is not how the real low handicappers like Killer and Vegas do playing from the blues – they should do just fine, it’ll be the #5 and #6 guys (2 Times and Hulkigan) who, if you look at the present Goodboys handicap index, are a good nine to fifteen points behind them but will still be playing from the same tees. To me it’s not a question of whether or not 2 Times and Hulkigan will get strokes off of Killer and Vegas – they will, but their margin for error is going to be a whole lot less because of their relative talent level. I think 2 Times and Hulkigan will have their work cut out for them.
[Nick] And let’s not forget that Goodboy-for-a-day Shep Davidson will be taking the place of “Hulkigan” Tripp on Friday while the latter jets his way from South Africa to New England especially for this event. I’m guessing Hulkigan’s nickname for the weekend ought to be “Jet Lag” because that’s what he’ll be.
[Frank] Exactly. It’s different from the higher-handicapped players who will be playing from the white tees. Even though from seven to twelve their handicap indexes cover the same relative point range, their margin for error is a lot less because they’re playing to lesser yardages and the relative difference in their games is a lot less. The focus, then, will be on the #6 and #7 golfers – Shep/Hulkigan and Skipper – because their handicap indexes and relative position within their tiers tell us they have a greater chance than the others to make an impact by playing better (in the case of Skipper) or worse (in the case of Hulkigan).
[Nick] Shep sounds like a dog’s name, doesn’t it? I can hear the missus now calling out the back door. “Here Shep!” I guess we now have two dogs in the Goodboys, Doggy Duval and Shep. Perhaps they can be called “Team K9″.
[Kelly] Let’s go to our Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte for an inside look at how and why the 2013 EXEC-COMM of “2 Times” Proctor and “Possum” Shepter chose to implement this exciting, yet controversial system of play. Rosey?
[Tim] I spoke with Gaylord Pellrine, long-time Goodboys observer who also serves as council and the head of communications for EXEC-COMM, and he tells me this system of play had been under consideration for quite some time. I’m told 2 Times was the primary motivating force behind this decision because most times his partner Possum was off doing daddy chores and fishing, something he likes to do even more than golf. Possum recently caught a 11″ redfin pickerel at Ponkapoag Pond in nearby Canton, Mass. using a small white rooster tail about 1-2″ below the surface. So if there are any issues with the two-tier system this weekend you can bet the spotlight will fall squarely on 2 Times. Kelly?
[Kelly] Thanks for that, um, interesting report, Tim. Coming up next, our team will discuss the teams chosen for this year’s Goodboys Invitational and what they will have to do in order to win.
[Kelly] We’re back with Golf Channel’s special presentation of the 2013 Goodboys Invitational Preview at Goodboys Nation weblog. Let’s get to the team pairings, Sir Nick. They are as follows:
1. 2012 champions “2 Times” and “Possum”
2. “Killer” and “The Great White Shank”
3. “The Funny Guy” and “Cubby”
4. “Deuce” and “Goose”
5. “Vegas” and “Skipper”
6. “Doggy Duval” and Shep/”Hulkigan”
Are there any pairings that stand out one way or the other?
[Nick] To me the Vegas/Skipper team is one that really bears watching because, as I mentioned earlier, Skipper is the lowest-handicapped player in the lower tier, meaning he’s got a lot of potential upside playing from the white tees, and with Vegas rated right at the top with Killer you’ve got to think he’ll be just fine from the blue tees. Their games and personalities compliment each other, I like this team a lot.
[Kelly] Brandel, there are three players in the field tied with five Goodboys championships apiece: The Funny Guy, Doggy Duval, and The Great White Shank. Which of these three has, in your mind, of being the first to get that coveted sixth championship?
[Brandel] One can argue which of these players has a better chance than the others, but to me the one uncertainty is how each of these players will stand up to the sweltering conditions predicted for both Friday and Saturday. The Funny Guy’s chances, in all honesty, depend on the play of his partner, “Cubby” Myerow. As for The Great White Shank and “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin, both players have spent months integrating new swing changes into their game – The Great White Shank with his team of technical advisors, Doggy Duval with the Ben Hogan Five-Step System; the question is, when the heat is on – both literally and figuratively – how will their swings hold up.
[Kelly] Frank, you’ve got an interesting perspective on the Deuce/Goose team.
[Frank] That’s right, Kelly. As anyone who has paid any kind of attention to all things Goodboys knows, this will be the 17th year Goose has competed at the Goodboys Invitational without having won once. Which is really astounding when you think of some of the other Goodboys who have won. You’ve got to think that sooner or later, even if it happens by accident, the odds and the golf gods have to work in Goose’s favor, and with Deuce as his partner – someone who, by the way, has played very consistently over the years – you’ve got think he’s got as good a chance this year to get that monkey off his back as he ever has.
[Kelly] I like that, Frank – the odds and the golf gods. Sounds like a song The Great White Shank would pen for Stephanie Corby, his partner Killer’s talented wife. Speaking of that team, Rosey, you’ve got some thoughts on their chances this year.
[Tim] There’s no one in the Goodboys field who has worked harder or changed his game more than The Great White Shank. Earlier this year, he dumped Cobra Golf for Callaway, and then engaged Alex Black, the noted PGA instructor who works out of Superstition Springs Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona to completely revamp his swing. I spoke to Alex the other day and he tells me TGWS replaced the standard flex shafts on his woods with senior flex, dumped his long-time Dynacraft putter for a Ping Scottsdale, dropped his traditional orange Wilson 50 compression ball for Callaway Hex Diablos, and weakened his grip to encourage a fade rather than the draw he had been fighting. Alex says he’s playing with a lot of confidence right now and is looking forward to Goodboys weekend where he’ll have the benefit of playing alongside one of the best putters of all the Goodboys to help him read tough putts. This team won together in 2007, I think they have a great chance of doing it again.
[Kelly] Does anyone have any thoughts on “Team HaHa”, The Funny Guy and Cubby?
[Nick] You see, the problem here is that one doesn’t really know just how much or how hard Cubby has been working on his game. You’d like to think he has, but you just never know. The Funny Guy has really been playing well, and you’ve got to think he’ll hold his own playing from the blue tees, but will Cubby, and more importantly, his short game show up and hold up over an entire weekend? I think the jury is still out on that.
[Kelly] When we return, Golf Channel’s Steve Sands will catch up with a couple of the Goodboys and we’ll have everyone’s picks to win this year’s Goodboys Invitational. Stay tuned.
[Kelly] We’re back with more of our 2013 Goodboys Invitational Preview. What would be a Goodboys preview be without talking with a Goodboy or two. Our Steve Sands caught up with two Goodboys, “Cubby” Myerow and “Hulkigan” Tripp, who just happened to be partners at last year’s Goodboys Invitational. Steve?
[Steve] I’m here at Sagamore Hampton Golf Club with “Cubby” Myerow and “Hulkigan” Tripp, who just finished playing a practice round together. You two are not partners this year but I’m guessing the experience of playing together last year created a comfort zone where both of you could get your games tuned for this year’s event.
[Cubby] Once the Bruins season was over it was time to start thinking about playing golf with the Goodboys. Although it’s been hard to concentrate after that stupid Tyler Seguin trade. I also wonder how the Pats’ season is going to go now that Brady has lost both of his best receivers in Gronkowski and Hernandez. It ought to be cool seeing Tim Tebow in a Patriots jersey.
[Cubby shows off his Tebow]
[Hulkigan] Steve, this game and this event is all about tradition, honor, and integrity. I’m just glad to be here and be a part of this special group of guys. Cubby and I had a great time last year, and I’m sure he’ll do well with his 2013 partner The Funny Guy, as will I with my partner Doggy Duval, assuming that friggin’ Shep Davidson doesn’t f**k everything up. Oops, are we on 7-seceond delay?
[Steve] What do both feel you have to do to help your team win this year’s event?
[Cubby] Stay out of my partner’s way and help keep him loose. Did you know the Red Sox are playing the Yankees this coming weekend? I can’t wait to see how the Sox do against them. It ought to be fun watching the games on TV.
[Hulkigan] Steve, for me it’s all about hitting fairways and greens. I know my partner is one of the more consistent players out there so I’m not going to worry about whether he does his job or not. I’m just gonna go out there and play my game, and, Lord willing, we’ll avoid the crooked numbers and be right there come Sunday. That’s all anyone can ask. Well, except whether or not that friggin’ Shep Davidon is gonna f….
[Cubby] Go Sox!
[Steve] That’s all from here, Kelly, back to you.
[Kelly] When we come back, the group’s predictions and final thoughts from Sir Nick Faldo.
[Kelly] Welcome back to Golf Channel’s special presentation of the Goodboys Invitational 2013 Preview at Goodboys Nation weblog. Time for our esteemed panel to make their choices. Guys, who wins, who loses at this year’s Goodboys? Brandel.
[Brandel] I’m picking Killer and The Great White Shank. Great White Shank becomes the first six-time winner in Goodboys history. I think Vegas and Skipper, and 2 Times and Possum come close, but Goose remains “Best Goodboy Never To Have Won A Goodboys Championship” and still no team will have ever repeated as Goodboys champs.
[Frank] I like the Vegas / Skipper team but you can’t count out EXEC-COMM to repeat, I think they have a great chance as well. I think everyone’s sentimental favorite would be the Deuce / Goose team win but I just don’t see them winning. No one gets to six Goodboys championships, and still no repeat champions.
[Kelly] Tim Rosaforte, what do your Goodboys insiders tell you?
[Tim] Kelly, “Vegas” Clark grew up as an infant amidst the scrub pines and sandy beaches of southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. He learned to play golf at an early age and played it well, but it wasn’t until he became a Goodboy that he started making a name for himself as the purveyor of the pigeon sheet bet. With “Killer” Kowalski manning the pigeon sheet this year it’s been a little quiet, but I can tell you Vegas loves the idea of the new two-tiered system of play and it’s really going to whet his appetite for making some fun bets and playing well. I think the new format plays to his and his partner Skipper’s strengths, and I look to them to be odds-on (no pun intended) favorites to win the 2013 Goodboys Invitational. Kelly?
[Kelly] And finally, my partner here in the booth. Final thoughts from Sir Nick Faldo.
[Nick] It’s hard to pick a favorite. I too can see Vegas and Skipper winning, but I can also see just about everyone else in the field having a great chance as well. The playing field has been leveled by making the low handicap players have to work harder for their scores, and you can bet the sweltering weather is going to have an effect on the field as well. If there’s a real winner to pick, it would be the Goodboys Invitational in general because, between the courses EXEC-COMM has chosen this year, the handicap system they have introduced, and the two-tiered system of play they’ve introduced based on that handicap, EXEC-COMM has made changes that will re-energize Goodboys for years to come. I give EXEC-COMM a polite golf clap for what they’ve done – I think it’ll make for great entertainment and a real challenging event for all.
[Kelly] Well that completes Golf Channel’s “2013 Goodboys Invitational Preview” here at Goodboys Nation weblog. A big ‘thank you’ to Sir Nick Faldo, Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Steve Sands, and our Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte for joining me. Have a great night, and as the Goodboys saying goes, if you can’t keep it long at least keep it straight.