Somebody, anybody, stop the bleeding

Times’ reporters Wes Gilbertson and Emmanuel Moutsatsos participated in the Memorial Tournament held at Kitchen Creek on Saturday afternoon. The tournament was won by Kevin Webb, with more than 25 golfers taking home prizes from the round.
Gilbertson and Moutsatsos did not. Here is their tale:
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“That can’t be my ball,” Moutsatsos sighed, with a touch of desperation in his voice, as we spotted a tiny white object resting peacefully against the trunk of a tree on Kitchen Creek’s 14th hole.
It wasn’t. In fact, we never did find the end location of Moutsatsos’ approach shot—his fourth, not including penalty strokes. Retrieving yet another ball from his bag, he chipped—twice—and then took three putts before the ball dropped into the cup.
“Nine,” he pronounced after some careful addition.
And that was just the beginning.
< *c>• • •
Actually it wasn’t the beginning.
The bleeding started on the 12th hole, which was our foursome’s first hole of the day (Don Hammond and Ken Warren also were in our group), when I hooked my orbed friend out-of-bounds.
I finished with a nine on that hole—it’s a freakin’ par-five!
“You’re still away,” Gilbertson said after my initial putt from the fringe fell 10 feet short of the hole.
“You’re still away,” said Gilbertson again with a smile after my next putt rolled seven feet past the cup.
Gilbertson got a par—I despise Gilbertson.
< *c>• • •
While I certainly wasn’t expecting to get my name engraved on any trophies, I had set my sights for the one-day event slightly higher than just bettering Moutsatsos.
And while my persistent co-worker probably ruined any chance he had of claiming a prize about 15 minutes after we first teed off, it didn’t take me much longer.
A combination of shanked drives, lost balls, and missed putts added up in a hurry and by the time we reached the fourth hole (the start of our back nine), the blistering heat—and the fact we hadn’t spotted the beverage cart in what seemed like forever—dominated the conversation and not the game itself.
< *c>• • •
I’ll attest to that.
So we strode to the 11th tee (our last hole) knowing the only way we could collect any sort of a prize was to get “Closest to the Pin.”
We were focused. We were ready. We were (gulp) toast.
The 11th is a tricky little par-three that stretches to 199 yards, but there’s also one other problem and that’s the creek that I’m pretty sure I saw used by John the Baptist in one of those Biblical films for baptisms to cleanse people of their sins.
And after the hole, we probably could’ve used an exorcist.
Ken Warren was first. His shot landed 15 feet on the high side of the pin. Slight applause.
Don Hammond, God love him, hooked one into the trees and then uttered more profanities than were shouted in the infamous pre-anthem brawl scene from “Slapshot.”
Gilbertson and I chuckled—and not for the first time from Hammond’s colourful commentary—but he was able to get a five.
Then came my friend from Cochrane, Alta., who would demonstrate how the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede are raced with empty beer cans at an anniversary party we went to afterwards (congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Roy).
He stepped up.
Smack! was the sound the ball made after being struck by his seven-iron. But a slight problem—“Oh, another one in the creek,” Hammond noted.
Gilbertson stepped up again. Spank! was the noise heard this time as the ball landed 30 feet high of the cup, but at least it was on the green, and when we eventually crossed the bridge to get to the green, he discovered his ball an inch short of the creek.
He made a bogey.
Then me. I chose the seven iron from my bag of rented clubs (it should be noted I was the only golfer to have rented clubs as it was only my third time playing golf in two years) and that’s when things went from bad to worse.
Slap! went the ball. “Another one in the creek,” said Hammond.
“Brilliant observation,” I said to myself.
So I reached into my “bag of goodies,” as Gilbertson called it, and plucked another ball. I took an angry stab at my second shot. Thwak! At least it was over the creek, but it was also over the green.
I finished with a “snowman” (eight)—it’s a freakin’ par-three!
< *c>• • •
Having almost forgotten Saturday afternoon’s struggles, Moutsatsos and I both grimaced when Times publisher Jim Cumming inquired about our golfing excursion first thing Monday morning.
We gave him a brief overview. I got a 90, which is six strokes over my handicap, then sheepishly turned over our scorecard and waited for a response.
He mulled it over for a moment and then finally broke his silence. “You added it up wrong,” he pointed out.
Indeed, I had made a mistake, crediting Moutsatsos with a score of 115 when it actually took him 125 awkward swings to traverse the 18-hole course.
As golf rules state, any player who submits an incorrect score in tournament play is disqualified, which works out great for my Greek sidekick.
Looks like he didn’t place last after all.
< *c>• • •
Thanks, Gilbertson, that really means a lot to me.

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