This is Jim Niblick reporting on the day after the morning before.
Eager anticipation awaited the competitors arriving at Montrose Royal golf club. Many had travelled from all over the world. SimonS had flown in the day before to get acclimatised to the scorching sun and heat. Others had simply cadged a lift with mate (you know who you are AC) as he couldn't be ars*d driving himself.
The day dawned with glorious sunshine, no rain, little wind it seemed, especially after the lorne sausage, and high expectations. Everyone was there early to get a few bacon rolls down their throats, lashings of coffee and tea and the banter was flowing. AC was making his usual excuses, Dick in Shorts wasn't in shorts and the new faces were wondering what the hell they were doing here with a bunch or reprobates let out for the day.
The first tee beckoned and everyone was wondering what shock tactics Dick in Shorts would use to confuse the other players.....we didn't have to wait long as he pulled out a mahoosive WHITE driver.......he was obviously planning to dazzle us all into submission without the clothing colour scheme of previous years. (NB He did let slip that he had actually rejected his first choice of clothing as apparently the lace knickers kept riding up)
The first group, Ian, Dougie and Martin, (names changed to protect the innocent) all found grass with their drives which was nice and wouldn't last. Second group, (Jonathan, Joe, Dick and Caroline) were also well away. Last group, (Colin, Andy, Ken and Simon) brought up the rear.
The golf varied from absolute pants to inspiring. A typical links course with lumps and bumps, wind, deep faced bunkers, rabbit holes, thick rough, gorse...you name it and it was there.
I managed to follow the last group out because frankly I was playing with that group. Colin was swinging sweetly, AC was starting to find his range, SimonS was consistent and accurate. The closest the pin hole was the third and whilst it is a short hole it is quite intimidating. AC decided to pull a master stroke....he actually placed the ball on the dance floor...that man is a genius!! Why did no-one else think of doing that....I SAID WHY DID NO-ONE ELSE THINK OF THAT!! So with his new found confidence AC started to attack the course......usually with his wedge. His playing partners were trying to hold together their games at this point which was not a pretty sight. SimonS was first to start worrying AC and the errors started to creep into AC's game.
News coming in from the other groups using the very expensive electronic communications gear at our disposal (shouting to you and me) started to paint a picture that somewhere around the 36, 37 point mark would be thereabouts. The challenge was on in the last 5 holes. AC rose to that challenge. His driving was starting to hit the 250 yard carry mark.....indeed he scored a 2 at a par 4 with an excellent drive onto the green 15 feet from the pin. He then holed the putt - a 5 point hole. Another prize in the bag. Frankly, this was getting tedious and tiresome for the other players in the group but relief was to come in two places.
First AC went for a p on the 13th..automatic 1 stroke penalty for infringing rule 34, sub paragraph 6, section 8. This was indeed a new rule just thought up on the spot by our rules ref. Then the longest drive hole.......the 15th. In the background, quietly and unassuming, SimonS had been collecting points and was probably close to AC. Pressure was on to deliver, the crowd was hushed, the "quiet please" signs went up all around and AC stepped up to the plate. Concentration etched on his brow he pulled the trigger.