After the bizarre happenings at the IAGA Open last weekend at Half Moon Bay, there is a unique way to describe experiences with our members.....ONLY IN IAGA
We have seen classic finishes, we have experienced rules infractions, we have experienced amazing rounds of golf, we have seen fantastic shots.......some have been expected and others have had us scratching our heads.
As it is with the butt fumble from Mark Sanchez of the Jets in the 2012 NFL season (if you don't know what that is, simply google "butt fumble", IAGA has it's own version of the butt fumble.....the Malik Muff........it will go down in IAGA history and it surely left all of us shaking our heads and mumbling.....ONLY IN IAGA.......
Let's set the scene. A sold out event. 56 golfers sitting in their carts. Sandeep Malik and Jimmy Singh in the same cart......Jimmy on drivers side. The marshalls begin to escort the group out to their holes to begin the shotgun. Sandeep and Jimmy are in the first group on the first tee. Leaders!!!!
Ring...ring.....Jimmy gets a phone call he must take. He asks Sandy to drive the cart to the tee and he will walk up while taking his call. Sandy in full excitement and focus on beginning his triumphant journey to his first MAJOR, gets to the first hole along with Vineet Sharma and Surendra Vaid (in the other cart). Sandy takes the lead and tees off first. He nails a drive 280 yards down the middle and long to start his round. As Vineet and Surendra prepare to tee off, Jimmy reaches the cart and asks......"WHERE IS MY DRIVER"??
Huh?? Why would he ask that?? Because where his driver usually is, there is a big hole in the bag. Somebody stole his driver. What will he do?? Who is the thief of the Rocketballzier wand?? As he searches high and low, he looks up towards the tee and the thief is right before his eyes........IT"S SANDEEP MALIK. Sandy....was SOOOOOOO focused on his round that he took out and HIT his fellow competitors DRIVER. WHAT??? HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE???
Especially when his own driver is BLACK and this one was white. His own grip is a JUMBO grip and this grip was a standard grip. HOW COULD HE NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE WHEN he picked out the driver and put it in his hand. It's like when you all take out your wands and put them in your hands.....they have that "comfortable" feel that allows you derive pleasure from the stroke. You would know your wand in the light or dark. So it is with your golf wand. EVERYONE knows the look and feel of their wand. The first thought when a foreign wand comes in touch with your hands would be ........oooooooooo..........this does not feel like my wand......who's wand is this??? There should be tons of clues.
Here is Sandy's comments......."I have only had this wand for a week and had not gotten used to it". Well Sandy, can you tell the difference between what Tiger looks like and Keegan Bradley? They look a little different. One is black....one is white.
Alas, the story gets more complicated as the assumption was if Sandy played with Jimmy's wand (not that way) for the rest of the round and Jimmy played with Sandy's wand the rest of the way, they should be ok. So they did. The pressure of forcing Jimmy to play with his wand was heavy on Sandy's shoulders. Jimmy was spraying Sandy's wand all over the course. He even his a 10 yard drive with it. Suffice it to say that Jimmy was done on the first tee playing with Sandy's JUMBO wand the whole way.
Sandy on the other hand felt even worse when he kept stroking Jimmy's wand looooooong and straight. He never yanked Jimmy's wand. He nailed it straight down the middle.........EVERY TIME!!!! This set him up with fantastic approach shots and Sandy shot lights out. Now since they had played eachother's wands all the way through, Sandy was in the game!!!. He finished the round with a BIRDIE, PAR, BIRDIE finish. The last birdie he knew he needed it given the IWANNAMAKER live scoreboard.
As he concluded the round.....Sandy had stroked Jimmy's wand towards his first MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!........or so we thought. In the clubhouse, as word spread of the Malik Muffle on the first tee, the buzz began....."he can't do that". That HAS to be a penalty. The clubhouse was full of rumble. The drama was starting to build. If there was a penalty, then Malik would lose the lead and there were four others waiting in a tie breaker scenario. What was the ruling? Did the rules cover this.
YES....the rules cover everything. The ruling was that at the time Malik hit Jimmy's wand on the first tee, his 14 clubs were intact in his bag, therefore, he played with a 15th club........PENALTY.....2 STROKES......Malik drops below the four way tie.......and OUT of contention. THE MALIK MUFF is locked in IAGA history as the most bizarre way to lose a championship.
THANKS SANDY FOR THE MEMORIES.......A SAD WAY TO MAKE IAGA HISTORY......BUT MEMORABLE!!!!
The beneficiary of the MALIK MUFF......RISHI DHALL....comes out of nowhere to grab the first place trophy and is crowned as the IAGA OPEN CHAMPION in the Maharaja Flight............
On the undercard, there was a drama in the TIGER flight as well as SABEER BHATIA and ASHOK VAID battled for the top spot and ended up in a tie of their own. The tie breaker favored SABEER BHATIA and he rolls to victory for the TIGER flight.
The dominant performance in a flight was clearly that of VIKAAS DIXIT in the Cobra flight who had his BEST IAGA round ever and ran away with the top spot in the COBRA Flight by 4 shots over SURINDER SINGH.
Not to be outdone by MALIK'S MUFF.....the Cobra flight had a moment of lapse by a senior member of the flight......RANJAN BHASIN brings us another 15th club ruling. However, he did not make a mistake of hitting someone else's clubs.......he just felt he needed 15 clubs for the entire round to try to get to victory. That's right, by the time Ranjan realized he had 15 clubs, it was hole #12. PENALTY.....PENALTY.....PENALTY.......what is the ruling. It turns out the ruling is a 2 stroke penalty for EVERY hole he used 15 clubs with a MAXIMUM of four strokes. So while he was not in contention and did not impact the results of the flight, RANJAN was assessed a four stroke penalty for his round.
ONLY IN IAGA................
Congrats to all the winners in the IAGA OPEN. All Golfer of the Year points were doubled for the IAGA Open so a top 5 finish helped members make major moves towards GOY.......which concludes at the SILVERADO event. So if you are in the running....be sure to play the next two events:
- Maharaja Winner..........Rishi Dhall
- Tiger Winner.........Sabeer Bhatia
- Cobra Winner.........Vikaas Dixit
- Long Drive Maharaja Winner...........MALIK MUFF
- Long Drive Tiger/Cobra Winner.......Ravi Pindiproli
- CTP......Inderjit Mundra
- Skins........Kulwant Sidhu, Ranjan Bhasin, Kamal Ahluwalia, Vineet Sharma, Ashok Vaid, MALI K MUFF
- Low Gross Maharaja.......Surendra Vaid
- GOLFER OF THE YEAR LEADERS MAHARAJA........Surendra Vaid (340)...Malik Muffle (320).....Sunil Mehta (300)
- GOLFER OF THE YEAR LEADERS TIGER/COBRA.....Vikaas Dixit (360).....Sabeer Bhatia (260)......Irfan Mehdi (220)
- OVERALL PACE OF PLAY was good. We did identify a couple of groups who caused a huge delay. REGARDLESS OF YOUR HANDICAP......there is NO EXCUSE for slow play. 36 handicappers finish in 5 hours.......10 handicappers can take 6 hours.........FOCUS ON YOURSELF........DON'T BE THE CAUSE OF SLOW PLAY.
REMINDER.......YOU MUST HAVE PLAYED IN 3 EVENTS PRIOR TO THE CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE ELIGIBLE. TWO EVENTS LEFT....
Get signed up for Coyote Creek on Saturday, August 17th........see you there.....and who knows if we will have a better story than the MALIK MUFF come out of the event!!!!........ONLY IN IAGA!!!!!