Where else would the Circle play the tournament the PGA Tour calls “Golf’s Toughest Test”? The answer: Ruffled Feathers, of course. Ruffled is legendary golf architect Pete Dye’s only Chicagoland track, and a typically Dye-abolical one at that.On a spectacularly sunny day, major-record 19 golfers showed up to do battle on Ruffled’s supremely manicured grounds for the silver US Open cup. The Circle was delighted to welcome COF first-timers Cedric Welch and Kevin Ingram. Also Will Lucas, Gerald Beechum, Shaun Butler, Frank Smith, Rob Simpson, Will Suggs, Herb Lowe and Raullo Eanes joined us for the first time in 2011. Plus there were the usual contestants Joe “I Love Skins” Carter, “Pretty” Ricky Robinson, Ron “Brown Suga” Pullie, Larry “Capt. Kirk” Kirkwood, defending champion Lerone “Sid” Sidberry, Wallace “Little Big Man” Harris, Chuck “Custom Club” Henderson, Chairman Billy D and Roger “Roc-It” Crockett.Like last year, each player was assigned a “target” score. This time, the targets were objectively calculated by the official handicap system on the website myscorecard.com. We have established our own private club, Circle of Friends Golf, on myscorecard.com. Once you have an official myscorecard.com handicap, the site determines your target for any given golf course. The player’s tournament score then becomes plus/minus that target score. For example, if your target is 88 and you shoot 90, then you are 2-over for the tournament. The player with the lowest score relative to his target wins the trophy.

After much pre-tournament woofing between defending champ Sidberry and the winner of last year’s Circle Championship at Ruffled, Isaac Carter, the stage was set for a mano-a-mano duel between the two South Suburbanites. But an aching knee (that was the excuse, anyway) kept Carter from showing up to the first tee. Almost as if he needed his foil there to provide the necessary spark, Sidberry, struggled to get into a flow. A balky putter kept him from challenging for the lead. Meanwhile. Roc-It Crockett started strong, shooting 42 on the front and looking as if he would notch his second straight Major win. The only player staying close was Joe Taylor, who didn’t have his A-game but nevertheless managed to stay close. Then, like Dustin Johnson at last year’s US Open or Rory McIlroy at this year’s Master’s, Crockett’s game suddenly went sour. In a stunning loss of concentration he quintuple (that’s right QUINTUPLE) bogeyed the 17th hole and triple bogeyed the 18th hole to push his score to 94, eight over his target. Taylor closed in steady fashion to card a 91 (5-over) and snag the US Open Trophy. Congratulations to winner Joe Taylor!

Congratulations to the following COF US Open players and thanks to all who participated!


TROPHY Competition:

1. Joe Taylor +5

Score: 91

Target: 86


2. Will Lucas +6

Score: 104

Target: 98


T3. Gerald Beechum +7

Score: 93

Target: 86


SKINS Competition

A Flight (par or better) 6 skins @ $33/skin

Rick Robinson: 3 skins – par, birdie and EAGLE!

Gerald Beechum: 1 skin

Wallace Harris: 1 skin

Roger Crockett: 1 skin


B Flight (bogey or better) 6 skins @ $26/skin

Herb Lowe: 2 skins

Will Lucas: 1 skin

Frank Smith: 1 skin

Raullo Eanes: 1 skin

Shaun Butler: 1 skin