MICHAEL CARMAN ON GOLF: Bidding a fond farewell

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News golf columnist

ONE UNSEASONABLY WARM summer evening a little more than six years ago, Peninsula Daily News Sports Editor Brad LaBrie called me with a chance at ending my nearly year-long unemployed, unhappy losing streak — was I still available to try out that night as a sports assistant?

I didn’t have training in journalism, formal or otherwise — but Brad, who died Saturday of complications from a stroke, didn’t seem to mind my greenness.

The sports assistant position had a reputation as a revolving door; the demands of less than full-time late evening and Saturday hours coupled with the pay offered overwhelmed the perks of being able to cover games while making jokes and debating the latest in sports news.

He offered me opportunities early on: A short profile on a downhill cyclist, smaller school football preview stories and the chance to cover the Port Angeles/Sequim football game less than two months after I was hired (that game was available because of a family commitment for now-former sports reporter Matt Schubert).

I didn’t come in the next day with a game story; more of a game slog mired in the details of every drive, but Brad patiently worked with me on it all afternoon, whittling it down until it resembled something worthy of publication.

He also let me take the show on the road to twice to cover area teams playing in the annual Crush in the Slush basketball tournament in Port Townsend.

With six local teams participating, those were long days and nights, but I had the chance to write deadline recaps of two epic Port Townsend boys basketball victories during its great seasons in 2007 and 2008, including one over a team featuring current Boston Celtic and former Gonzaga player Kelly Olynyk.

He didn’t have to do that. We could have just called the coaches and written the recaps and gone home.

Brad also offered me the chance to write this column almost four years ago to the day. Schubert pushed pretty hard if I remember right, but Brad made the final call, and I hope you agree he made a good choice.

Brad was kind if not a little cantankerous, generous with his opinions on all manner of subjects, and possessed an encyclopedic memory of nearly every NFL transaction/draft choice/player movement, recently released movies and the genre of popular horror fiction a la Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

And man, he could bring the hammer down on unsuspecting computer mice whenever the computer program du jour failed him at the least opportune moments.

Occasionally, I write a good golf column, of local interest and actually interesting. Many times, Brad would let me know with a simple, “Good column today, Mike.”

Thank you, Brad. Good life lived.

Cedars long drive

The title of “Longest Hitter on the Peninsula” is up for grabs when Cedars at Dungeness in Sequim hosts a Long Drive Challenge sponsored by 7 Cedars Casino on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Competitors will see if they have the skills to take on RE/MAX World Long Drive competitor, Cedars food and beverage manager Matt Eveland.

Eveland will compete in the first round of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships in Mesquite, Nev. Sept. 18-27.

There are four divisions: An open division, a senior division for ages 50 and older, a woman’s open division, and a junior division for ages 18 and younger.

Players will hit four balls in two rounds, each lasting 2 minutes and 45 seconds. The longest ball counts for your score.

The top four drivers will advance to a final round in which they will hit six balls in 2:45.

Drivers can’t exceed 50 inches in length, and tees must be 4 inches or shorter

Entry is $50 and the prize pool (for all except the junior division) is 100 percent of the prize pool plus $500.

Registration begins at 1 p.m. with a 2 p.m. start.

For complete rules and more info, phone Cedars at 360-683-6344.

Weinmann cards eagle

George Bush wrote in a with a report on a recent eagle carded by his friend Fred Weinmann.

Weinmann was playing with Bush and Bruce Bode, all three Port Townsend residents.

Weinmann hit a towering 6-iron from 155 yards on the par-4 12th hole at Discovery Bay Golf Course near Port Townsend that bounced once and rolled into the hole.

The eagle was the first of Fred’s golfing career.

McMenamin wins flight

Sequim High School freshman Alex McMenamin, 14, did well recently at the Pacific Northwest Girls Junior Amateur at the Links Golf Course in Post Falls, Idaho.

Alex was 3-0 in the match play portion of the event, winning her flight.

She earned the win with a birdie out of the sand on the par-5 18th hole.

McMenamin is an up-and-comer on the course and will likely compete to be the Sequim girls golf team’s top player this spring.

SkyRidge scramble

SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim will hold a three-person scramble event with a 9 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Each player will have to use three drives, and there will be gross and net divisions along with team KPs and team long putt challenges.

Cost is $90 per team, $30 per player, and includes range balls and lunch after play.

Carts are $15 per seat.

The first 22 teams to sign up are in, so phone 360-683-3673 and get in the game.

Cedars Big Cup tourney

The first Big Cup tournament was so popular last spring that Cedars at Dungeness has decided to start a fall “Go Big” version, this time set for Saturday, Oct. 3.

This event is a one-person scramble with all holes having 8-inch diameter cups.

The big theme continues to the lunch provided: Footlong hot dogs and 22-ounce beers, waters and sodas.

It’s open to all levels of ability, with Callaway and the usual gross and net divisions.

Cost is $50 and includes green fees, competition, range balls and lunch. Phone Cedars at 360-683-6344.

Port Townsend Golf Club events

Port Townsend Golf Club hosts the annual Port Townsend Elks Scholarship Golf Tournament, a two-person best ball event with a 9 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday.

There are awards for Elks members and nonmembers, plus individual and team awards for gross and net divisions.

This one also has a hole-in-one prize available.

Cost is $35 per player for members and $45 for nonmembers.

Phone Port Townsend Golf Club to sign up at 360-385-4547.

Make plans now for an entertaining evening of golf on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The eighth annual Port Townsend Rotary Driving in the Dark Golf Tournament features nine holes of late-afternoon golf, and nine holes played in the dark with glow-in-the-dark golf balls.

Play gets underway at 4:30 p.m.

Cost for this one is $75 per player, or $350 per five-person team.

Entry for a $100 putting contest is included in the fee.

There is a $10,000 cash hole-in-one prize at this tourney.

Entry also includes green fees, range balls, catered dinner, raffle and prizes, glow balls and a desert buffet.

Port Townsend assistant pro Gabriel Tonan says it’s “one of the most fun events of the year and the only five-person scramble at PTGC.”

Hole sponsorships are available.

For more info, phone Curtis Stacey at 360-302-0979.

Drive for the Cure set

SunLand Women’s Golf Association (SWGA) and SunLand Lady Niners are joining together to sponsor a Drive for the Cure Golf Tournament on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Proceeds from the event will pay for breast cancer detection services at Olympic Medical Center for women in need right here on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The event is open to all women, and will begin with a 9 a.m. shotgun start for those playing 18 holes, and a nine-hole game at 11 a.m.

Cost is $36 for 18 holes and lunch, $26 for nine holes and lunch, and $12 for lunch only.

In addition, a minimum donation of $20 is suggested for the OMC Foundation.

Magic Putts and mulligans will be on sale for $1 each.

A delightful Raggedy Ann doll will be raffled off to a lucky winner.

This annual tournament has a reputation for collecting major funds to fight breast cancer. All donations are spent to help area women.

An anonymous SunLand member has once again committed to donate $1 for every $3 raised in this event.

The deadline to sign up is noon on Monday, Sept. 23.

For more information, call SunLand Pro Shop at 360-683-6800 ext. 13, and ask to have Kathy Tiedeman or Judy Kelley return your call.

_______



Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or pdngolf@gmail.com.

Last modified: September 03. 2013 6:32PM
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