Chapter News

MGAWC21

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, we bring that back and share it with our friends who couldn't make the trip!

After a year off for global pandemic reasons, 300+ of the world's most mediocre golfers converged on Las Vegas for what felt like a long overdue family reunion with some golf sprinkled in for good measure.

Team Tampa flew out in fits & spurts with the bulk of us hitting town on Wednesday the 3rd.   Since we were in town well before we could check into the room Jay Klee, Tom Wilkes *&Sam, along with myself and Carol Baskin aka Chele, did things a little differently than normal.   We rented Polaris Slingshots and headed out into the desert to see what these "mountain" things everyone talks about actually look like.    Red Rocks Canyon was a must see and next time I'll alot more time to do some hiking and look for danger noodles.

We learned important lessons on the journey down the Strip in these glorified go-karts.  First, they are really fun and get lots of looks even after many years on the market.   Second, they get super hot in stop & go traffic.   No worries, my leg hair is finally starting to grow back.  Third an finally, since they're an open air vehicle they are pretty incredible for sightseeing an allow you to take it all in much better than a car or truck. 

A few players who'd never been out for the MGAWC took part in the Thursday practice round and learned what the hills & shaggy rough will do to you out here is pretty brutal.   The courses were in magnificent shape though and the weather was perfect in the high 70's during the day with not a cloud in sight.   The practice rounds are randomized  as opposed to the competition rounds that are bracketted by your Global Money List ranking which makes for some great pairings.   Our friends from the Yellow Knife Canada chapter had glowing reports about our very own Ariel Rodriguez.   I had to find him and double check that they were talking about the same guy.  IYKYK ;)

Thursday night was the kickoff party on the open air pool deck of the Downtown Grand hotel and as usual, it did not disappoint.   El Presidente, Jon Morley, is one hell of an MC and as with every year there are twists & turns.  This year not only did Jon give out orange "community service" jackets to the chapter leaders but he also put together a little side game for those of us who don't have a lifetime membership (they used to be automatic after year 2 for Chapter Leaders, a program that ended right before I took over Tampa...).   Through a process of elimination games the field was whittled down to 4.  Me, CJ Zens (Pahrump), Josh Olsen (IEMGA) and some other dude, I never did find out who he was.   

Our final challenge was to traverse the carpetted area the length of the pool carrying a golf ball on a tee.  If you dropped it your assistant had to stop it where it landed, you had to go back to that spot and re-tee and then continue on.   I came in a close 2nd to CJ.   He's my f2f buddy so I couldn't be happier for him to have won.  

Friday marked day one of both the MGAWC playing for the belt and the Born Hairy tour with Tampa having 3 players in the Born Hairy & 4 in the MGAWC.     The Born Hairy crew of Stephen Smith, Jay Klee & Kenny Ailor boarded the busses early for round 1 at Sienna GC.   Stephen Smith finished the day strong in 2nd place!  Jay Klee finished day one in 14th place and Kenny Ailor, NOT LAST PLACE, finished the day in 46th place.   

The MGAWC field was all over the place with Hayden Lewis finishing day one in a strong 12th place.  Ariel Rodriguez landed in 27th place,  Chris Adams in 189th and Tom Wilkes in 223rd.   (There's such a thing as too much Fireball Tom).

Saturday was moving day and the finale all at once.   With yet another perfect day of weather ahead we pounded the bloody mary's, scarfed down awesome breakfast burritos and hit the 2nd 18 in stride.  

Stephen Smith did us proud by throwing down another solid round and securing a solo 2nd place win in the Born Hairy assuring him a spot in the 2022 MGAWC!

Jay Klee endured the Vegas experience and finished right on the button in 16th place also securing himself a guaranteed spot in 2022 MGAWC.   Notable mention, Kenny did not win a red key and moved up to finish in solo 45th place!     Congratulations guys on strong finishes.

The MGAWC side of the house had some big movement with Ariel posting up to move from 27th down to 14th!  Hayden lost a few spots but still took home a check by finishing tied for 16th.

Your chapter leader improved by 9 strokes from day one to finish down from 189th to 136th  Putting the Chapter Cup total at 562 which should put us in the top 10, our best showing yet!

The end of the day brought us the thing of our dreams (& Tom's nightmares),   A PLAYOFF!!!  Not only was it a playoff but one of Florida's own (our daugther chapter, Pinellas County) Barry Robinson tied with Orange County California's Paul Zambrano.  They picked caddies and rolled back out to hole 18 for the first ever shootout* at Revere in MGAWC history.   They don't have the soft fluffy sand we're used to down here and that proved to be Barry's downfall as his approach shot caught the lip of the greenside bunker and from well over 6' below the putting surface he gouged one out but not close enough.   Paul Zambrano's GIR gave him a 25' putt then just a 2' kneeknocker to secure W and he dropped it.  The 100 or so medios that were encircling the green rushed in to congratulate the newly crowned champ and cosole the runner up.   It was truly a sight to see.

DFW took the Chapter cup with a 3 man 2 day total of 526.   Hayden's father, Jake Lewis of our other daughter chapter, Spring Hill, took home the biggest meltdown in the world trophy.   Corey, "The Mountain" Smith of Tallahassee chapter was crowned the "Longest Man in the World".   What happened afterwards is a bit of a blur.  You'll have to follow on instagram to see more highlights and lowlights.   @tpamga