2nd (2007)

If You're Not Drinking, You're Cheating

Weatherwise, the 2nd October Classic was a typical fall day; cold and colorful.
Invited sportsmen that year, were Paul McCarthy, Alex Rideout, Mike Vienneau, Pat Ryan, and myself.
2007 was my year. It was the year I found the jacket, but lost my soul. I'm a horrible golfer by trade, but yet was still able engineer a win by simply pacing my alcohol intake (I had plans out of town that night and had to drive). In hindsight, it has been regarded in some circles as cheating (ok, well maybe only in our circle).  So much so, that in following years, that year's tournament motto became, "If you're not drinking, you're cheating" 
Paul and Ryan (they were the better golfers) took the early lead in the first few holes, while the rest of us struggled to gather any sort of momentum at all. However, once the equalizing effects of the booze started to show up by the 5th and 6th holes, Paul and Ryan got knocked right back down to our level.   
Alex ended up only claiming only one skin for himself by the time he finished his round (at this point, you would do well to mentally insert the jingle that signals a contestant has lost on "The Price is Right").  Mike had been in the running right up until 13 or 14th hole, and then unceremoniously dropped right out of contention. That left Paul, Ryan and myself to carry the fight thoughout the last 5 holes or so. For the entire round, I had been struggling in the back of the pack.  But as the tournament started creeping towards a conclusion, I had been able to poach one skin laden hole and grab for myself 3 skins (most likely, that was the first time in the history of writing, that the phrase "skin laden hole" has ever been used). Ryan tied it up with Paul by wining the 16th hole. That left them both with 9 skins apiece and myself with the 3 skins looking at 2 holes left.  Not good odds. I'd have to win the rest of skins if I harbored any intentions of winning the jacket (would have to be on a playoff hole no less). The 17th hole was halved and so the 3 skins carried over. This left the final hole worth 6 skins. I had struggled thoughout this thing, and now it all came down to the final hole.  
Ryan was off the tee first. He drove it very hard and very left. He became what is known in the industry, as a Shankopotamus.  Paul was up next. I watched him drive it far and center; cleaving the fairway neatly in half. My turn. I hit a lukewarm, almost bordering on tepid drive that struggled to reach 180 yards, and barely land on the fairway fringe. It was at this point, that I resigned myself to not getting the jacket. I was only able to console myself by remembering that at least I had WON a few skins this year, as opposed to the year before where I'd won a total sum of NONE. I went to for my second shot and brought it back to the end of the fairway. Ryan hit his and shanked it once again. Paul was up. All he had to do, was hit a short iron shot onto the dance floor, and he would more or less clinch the second October Classic. Until this point in the tournament, he had been nothing but clutch. If he wasn't winning, he was at least halving the holes and never coming in last. That combination of actions will always lead to winning in a normal stroke play game. Unfortunately, not in a skins game. He began to back swing. ..
And that's where Paul fucked it all up. 
He misfired and let me right back into the game. I was now on my third shot and looking at getting on the green, while Paul was now near near the driving range (adjacent to the 18th hole), and at the same time, nowhere near getting on the green with his thrice shot.
From that point, I chipped it unto the green, and waited for Paul to "two stroke" it unto the short grass. I was putting for par, while Paul and Pat were now putting for bogey. I ended up winning that hole, and forcing a three way putt-off for the brown jacket. The pressure was intense. A yearly contest came down to a simple putt off. It was the equivalent of a game 7 shoot-out at a Stanley Cup Final (well, kind of). I forget the details, but we ended up having 3 putt-offs in all. Pat clinched third place (some used golf balls), Paul landed runner-up (12 pack of Alpine), and I, found myself awarded the holy grail of beer golf, the brown jacket of the October Classic. 
Not sure if I'll ever even come close to  winning the October Classic again, but it won't matter in the least, because I had at least, won it once.  
Though I have to admit, if I hadn't been as sober as I was, I would have NEVER won it.  I have been trying to make up for it ever since. You'll be hard pressed to find me nowadays on a golf course without a drink in hand
I'm kidding of course. Mostly. 
Latest Octoberman being congratulated.
From left to right: Nicolas Labbe, Alex Rideout, Paul McCarthy, Michel Vienneau, Pat Ryan


Nicolas Labbe, the 2nd Octoberman!