We are now back at it after a break and the Tour is headed to Canberra followed by the South Coast of NSW, into Thurgoona and then back to Sydney. A busy time ahead or so we thought. The wet set in and we suffered from some cancellations and postponements, now logistically the next month or so is a nightmare.
Shooter decided to head to a hunting ground that had previously proved to be fruitful and profitable, Yarrawonga.
Disco has been itching to try his luck again since we were rained out in Queensland, he came as a caddy for Rose' in the BMW, played on rain sodden golf courses and gave the touring party COVID, probably deserves another shot at the title.
Cobram on the Saturday, I'm sure its a conspiracy as the competition is Par, the worst game that has been invented so far by a human. Shooter shoots a lazy +1 despite being at a disadvantage and Disco counters with +3 to show his determination and grit. That is enough for Disco to pick up a $20 Voucher and Shooter got $8 in the club competition, we agreed we will pick it up before we leave.
Then Disco starts talking to a guy and telling how he compiled his round, how he was feeling at the turn and how he held his nerve coming down the stretch.
By the time he was finished the pro shop was closed, fucks sake, there's $8 The Shooter will never see.
Sunday at Black Bull and Shooter leaks a couple late for a slightly disappointing 31 points and Disco has an uninspiring 33 but its enough.
We decide to race off to Cobram to pick up the stash and on the way we decide that we need to play the new mini golf for bragging rights but I think we both know its more than that, its a place in history and undisputed mini golf champion (although this will be first time we have played it together)
Early in the match Shooter was having some trouble finding his range, eerily similar to the real putting greens, an early shortcut mishap which resulted in an OOB penalty was not what the doctor ordered, especially when Disco was laughing his ass off at my misfortune, what a prick.
On the other hand, Disco is fucking grinding, no 2 footer is rapidly tapped in, its serious business. He starts with a eagle 1 on the first hole and takes a 2 shot lead, pars the next to extend his lead to 3, a double bogey 4 by Shooter on the 3rd (the OOB controversy) has Disco's lead at 4 through 3, fuck me, its now a herculean task for The Shooter, only a man with an ice water for blood, an acute command of his game and a formidable ability to reach for greatness could ever think about a resurgence from here.
As we all know, that is what The Shooter is all about and the birdie on the next reclaims the honour and some pride, a sloppy bogey a couple of holes later hurts and especially as Disco makes birdie. Two shot swings against aren't good in this tight situation, that's unless The Shooter gets a 3 shot swing back on the next, fist pumping my way up the fairway, The Shooter realises a crowd has gathered so as a true professional Shooter throws out a few high fives and signs a few gloves and balls for the fans. The job isn't all beer and skittles my friend.
Another double on 8 gives 2 of the 3 shot swing back, fuck it.
At the turn, Disco is +1 and The Shooter is +3 and disconsolate. How did it get here ? +3 isn't what we need, it certainly wont win anything, not on this layout not against this competition.
A quick Canadian Club at the turn and some words of encouragement from the swelling crowd seem to have Shooter pumped up as he starts birdie, birdie, par, eagle to be now all square. Fuck me, that's how champions do it. SHOOOOOOT is the chant from the gallery.
One highlight of the day was after Shooter made his eagle 1, Disco followed it in with an eagle of his own, didn't the crowd go off then, for a minute I thought we were at the packed out MCG.
After the crowd settled and the riot police had put away their water canon, play resumed. Passionate crowd here in the country.
It was tense to say the least, you could taste the stress, just like the dodgy pad thai you had after a night on the sauce in Bangkok that time, you know the one, awful and you know its going to be worse coming out. Fuck me.
The next few holes were halved, Shooter squandered an opportunity to take a 1 shot lead into 18 by missing a curling 20 foot putt, fuck off, should have made that one. Then wastes another chance to win in on 18. Shooter, the consummate closer he is, shoots -3 coming in, Disco wilts under such constant pressure on course and the will of the crowd. However, Disco holes a 5 footer with a restricted backswing to tie the match much to the displeasure of a section of the gallery, he is definitely the bad guy in this film.
Shooter wins the toss and hits first.
The first is an uphill par 3 of 13.4 meters, the good players skirt the right rough as the hump takes the ball left and up onto the flat, you must be aware of the bunker behind the hole, a trap for young inexperienced players.
Shooter a little tentative and the ball moves left off the hump to finish 8 feet short of the hole, not great but not horrible, there's a par in that.
Disco mouthing off and laughing at what Shooter has left, his practice strokes are fluid, smooth and precise, this man does mean business.
The putter goes back, on the way through I'm not sure if he gets a cramp, has a yip, or has an early onset of tourette's, it doesn't look good, the putter enters the turf half an inch behind the ball, FUCK !!!! is the call as the ball almost reaches the top of the hill.
After a pause that seems to take an eternity, the ball starts it downward journey, back to where it started, its gathering speed as it goes past the tee box and into the garden. What a time to hit one OOB, the tourette's kicks in again.
After re-teeing it and the laughing has subsided, Disco makes another bold effort. This time he plays it as the architect intended, with pace, skirting the right rough, moving left off the hump. The ball rattles into the flag and goes in for an unlikely 3. Unlikely ? Fuck me, how about inconceivable.
Disco goes off, running around like a fuckwit, a real fucking tool. Even the partisan crowd had to applaud the heroics that had just taken place. I'm starting to think he has won over a section of the crowd. The bad redneck, verandah sitting, corn cob pipe smoking, banjo playing, moonshine drinking, bintang singlet wearing part of the crowd that is, they are his people afterall.
Now Shooter has an 8 footer to win, how the fuck did this happen, how the fuck did that go in, I have to put that out of my mind. Standing over the winning putt, The Zen Master Shooter thinks, Its not this 8 footer that makes the difference grass hopper, its all the previous 8 footers that you have holed that have helped get The Shooter to this position.
In my mind, the dream sequence takes me back to the last 8 footer I holed for a win. Couldn't remember one.
The stroke is as smooth as honey dripping off a stick, the ball never looks like deviating and falls dead in the centre.
To say it was a big win is an understatement, to come here as the underdog, up against this opposition on his home mini golf course and to come out on top makes it feel all the grinding was worth it. We just have to avoid the pitchfork wielding fanatics to get back to the car.
Shooter 1 - Disco 0
On to Mollymook.
Humble in Victory Shooter out.