The Great (wet) Oregon vs. Oklahoma Ryder Cup

Friday, September 15th saw nine Ducks and nine Sooners team up for our own version of the "Ryder Cup" between Oregon and Oklahoma. Four teams and one "refreshment" team made the trek up to Tokatee Golf course to engage in this epic battle as the kick-off for a fun filled weekend.

The play over the 18 holes was based on a best ball competition, with (fortunately for the Oregon fans) a handicap system figured in. With the guile of our team leader, Jack Kirkpatrick (I'm not saying he inflated any handicaps at all and based on the scores we all turned in he obviously could have inflated them more) the Oregon team easily beat the Sooner linksters and did not have to worry about any referee's decisions on the final hole to capture this competition. Oh wait, that's another story for another place.

As we all teed off on the first hole, the promise of sunny weather was peaking through the trees and clouds. A variety of shots was seen, with only a bit of laughter, duck calls, and good-natured ribbing from the gallery watching every man swing away. Even with the threat of short man off the tee being forced to guzzle a beer on every hole (some people took this as a reward rather than the intended penalty) most players hit their balls somewhere beyond the women's tees and onto the semi-dry fairway.

Play went well, with lots of good shots, interesting putts and the assorted "where did that come from" shot as the four teams beat our way along the course. By the time we reached the 5th green, I did happen to notice that our "refreshment" cart was being forced to take on refills--- honestly I don't know how 10 guys went through 2 ½ cases in the span of 4 ½ holes? Could that explain some of the wild shots and comments starting to fill the dampening air? By the 6th hole, the weather started to change, for the first of about seven changes, (I have a hard time recalling putting on and taking off the rain gear so many times in 18 holes) but it is Oregon in the mountains isn't it? As we make the turn, most teams stop by the clubhouse for the needed health food diet available on golf courses, that being those $5 hotdogs (with chips of course) and more malted flavored beverages to make the next 2-3 holes.

The good thing about the back 9 though, was that as the rain started coming down harder, the temperature started dropping and there was no more need to add more ice to the cooler. By the 12th hole, I'm pretty sure the rain was coming sideways, and it seemed that regardless which direction you drove your cart it was still blowing into your face. Never have quite figured out how that works, but it sure was going on that day.

Possibly the funniest event left in that round of golf, was by the time we got to the 13th green, close to the hole we saw two salamanders trudging their way across the green obviously looking for some high ground themselves.

"What the hell is that?" asked one of the Sooners in my group. "Does Oregon also have miniature dinosaurs growing on their golf courses?"

By the 15th hole, this tournament had turned into a survival contest and trying to finish and make it back to the clubhouse to see if anyone could find any dry spot left on their body. I'm pretty sure nobody was successful, but as we finished up we all looked forward to the BBQ waiting for us at Woody's house back in Waterville.

Of course the loser of the Ryder Cup event had to pony up and buy all the beer (is Cur's –Sooner pronunciation- Lite Beer honestly considered beer?) at the BBQ and the next days tailgater. A great time was had by all the players, I'm still trying to figure out how the tailgater grew from nine contestants to 35 visitors at the tailgater, but other than the Mississippi St. fans I would be hard pressed to find more cordial visitors.

Oh yeah, Oregon won the match! Thanks again Jack for your expertise with that handicap system. We couldn't have done it without you!

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