ANTHONY KIM STAYED OUT DRINKING until 4 a.m. last Saturday night. Or he didn’t. What’s not in dispute is the drubbing he gave Robert Allenby in their Sunday singles match at the Presidents Cup. It didn’t sit well with the Aussie, and his words ignited a mini controversy that resulted in carefully worded apologies and a press release from the PGA Tour.
The story had me wondering, “How does a golfer stay out all night and play great the next day?” And then I remembered Ray.
Ray was the No. 1 player on our golf team at Antelope Valley College in California. He was also the best player in the Central Conference, averaging 73 the year I played on the team.
Sometimes I played No. 3. Other times I played No. 2, which meant I got a good look at Ray’s game because the No. 1 and 2 players were in the same group in dual-team matches. I remember one home match in particular. Ray shot 68 in heavy wind. (The wind almost always blew on the California desert.) Ray was superb at the knockdown shot. I was dazzled.
The rest of us? We were ordinary to mediocre.
There was also an AK quality to Ray. He could stay out most of the night and still play his butt off. I don’t know how he did it. Me? I would be lucky to shoot 75 if my mom tucked me in and I got nine hours of sleep.
I haven’t seen Ray since those college days. But a few years ago I was back in Southern California and played a championship course not far from our old haunts. I noticed a framed scorecard hanging on the wall in the dining room. I walked over to take a closer look. 62, the course record. Nice round, Ray.
−The Armchair Golfer