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2014-01-30

Three Good Old Boys fight to a draw

Charles Prokop

It's hard to follow one great round of golf with another. A mediocre, or even worse, performance is the expected follow-up to an exceptional round. It's so hard to keep shooting low scores that even a record setting low score for 18 holes won't guarantee a 72 hole tournament win.
If you shoot in the low 60s you've played a great round of golf. Six professional golfers have gone even lower and shot 59, but only half of them won the tournament. It seems that the pressure of following one terrific round with another makes repeat performances seem almost impossible.
Patrick Reed amazed everyone in the 2014 Humana Challenge by shooting 3 consecutive 63s. His performance set the record for the low score over the first 54 holes of a PGA tournament and propelled Reed to a 7-stroke lead. The difficulty of maintaining such great play nearly caught up with Reed on the final day. He managed to win, but only by 2 shots.
The Good Old Boys make consecutive great rounds extra tough. Imagine that a player has a very good day and manages to shoot a score that earns 6 points. The next time that Good Old Boy steps on the first tee, he has to play even better to make another 6 points because his target score has been adjusted to account for his improved play. For example, if an 86 earned him 6 points the first time, another 86 will only earn 3 points the next time. He can't just continue playing well to win again. He has to keep playing better and better.
Occasionally players manage to beat the odds and stay on top of a hot streak. The last Good Old Boys tournament was one of those times. Three players who have been attracting attention and collecting points deadlocked at the top of the field. The lowest scorer was Bill Martinot. Bill and his wife Gladys come down from Flin Flon, Manitoba every year to enjoy golf in the warm Texas sun. Martinot roared through the Flying L with a 3-birdie round of 76, good for six points and a share of the lead.
Jon Curry turned in another fine round with an 88, also good for 6 points. Not to be outdone, Boerne's Jerry Vallad managed a very rare repeat win. Vallad tied for the top spot in the prior week by earning 5 points, and he doubled down by making 6 points this week.
Medina resident Larry Kirk continued his string of good point totals with a 96 that earned 5 points, enough to take first place on most days. Dick Shafer of Bandera also scored well with a 93 good for 3 points.
Boerne's Maurice Theis was closest to the hole on number 7 and yours truly, Charlie Prokop of Pipe Creek, was closest on number 17. Tournament director Charlie Thomas of Center Point turned in a nice round of 79 and Flying L resident Galen Wagner shot 80. There were 36 players in the field.