The golf gods smiled on us again in 2012. After an early autumn downpour soaked players during the Circle’s Friday team competition, the sun appeared on Saturday and Sunday and made the ninth annual Circle of Friends Championship one to remember. The field was a bit smaller this year, but the competition was no less fierce as TK golfers once again waged battle over the Dye-abolical layout at Ruffled Feathers in Lemont, Illinois.

The individual competition was divided into three flights: A+, A, and B/C.  The B/C flight was won by a relative newbie, “Dr.” Michael Holmes. Holmes played like the rest of the B/C field on Day 1, carding a pedestrian 99. But he must have had a bowl of Wheaties and a bottle of 5-hour-Energy before Day 2. He put on his best A-flight impression, catching fire out of the gate to post a 38 on the front 9 and then keeping her steady over the back to finish with a phenomenal 83.  How good was Mike’s weekend? His combined score of 182 would have placed Mike second in the A flight!  The rest of the flight wasn’t even close. Pre-tournament B/C-flight favorite, Commissioner Billy Dexter (199) was a distant second and Ronnie Payne (net-205) came in third.

The A-flight was missing some usual suspects. No Big O. No DJ Quik. No Blade. So the battle was expected to come down to a handful of other perennial favorites: Thomas “Pretty Ricky” Harvey, Ron “Sand Bagga” Pullie, Steve “Smack Talk” Canty and Roger “ROC-it” Crockett.  As in past years, big egos and big sticks are no match for “The Ruffled.”  Those who come in talking too much smack and trying to smack their drivers off the tee, get humbled by this golf course. This year was no different. Most of the A-flighters couldn’t break 90 on Day 1 … except for ROC-it. He carded an 89 to grab the Day 1 lead. And that was after a mysterious 5-putt on the slick 17th green gave him a tripe bogey. But ROC-it regrouped and continued his strong play on Day 2 to total (180) for the weekend and claim a long-awaited A-flight victory. Pretty Ricky (187) came in second and Pullie took third (192).

The A+ flight was no surprise. The Circle forced Tommy “Long Ball” Blanchard to give strokes to the field, and it still was no contest. Tommy posted 79-79 for a 158 weekend total. Nobody really came close.

Oh, and by the way, ROC-it’s A-Flight win, combined with his participation in all of the season’s Circle events (including victory in the Circle PGA Championship) earned him the coveted Circle of Friends Cup … awarded to the most prolific golfer of the year! Congratulations ROC!

Finally, give it up for the team of Wallace Harris, Larry Kirkwood and Ronnie Payne took Friday’s team competition with their score of 76. The team competition was contested at Odyssey Country Club and benefited brother Reggie Dunlop’s Success 4 Youth Foundation. All proceeds from the entire weekend went to this worthy cause that provides scholarships for our kids.

Thanks to all that participated. We hope to see you soon … on the short grass!

PRIZES

Longest Drive – Day 1: ROC-It Crockett & Tommy Blanchard; Day 2: ROC-It

Closest to Pin – Day 1: Tommy Blanchard; Day 2: ROC-It Crockett

Longest Putt – Day 1: Frank Smith; Day 2: Tommy Blanchard,

Best Dressed – Steve Canty

Tracy Jackson Spirit Award – Frank “Red” Smith