League 2 had much to live up to alongside the astonishing level that was defining “the other league” running alongside. With the prospect of facing the powerhouses from said league, this week provided one last opportunity to fine tune the birdie making abilities before entering the critical part of the campaign.
Having already shown their ability with a brace of wins in the opening weeks, The Fists of Furyk were assured of their safe passage into the semi-finals but wouldn’t want to blot their copy book against The Arnie Palmies who were desperate for a positive result to see them progress.
Arnies, in their short existence, have developed the reputation as being the most nervous team in the sport – which is no mean feat given the brittle nature of Golfy McClubface and their ability to pretty much lose every 18th hole that they play. It was no great surprise, therefore, that they got off to a pedestrian start, parring the first two holes. What was a surprise, though, was that Furyk failed to take advantage of this lacklustre start.
Failing to live up to their billing and playing more like Billy Fury than the man who recently shot 58, Furyk were clinging on courtesy of another miraculous up and down on the 13th. The tide began to turn for them on 14 as they hit a rare good shot into gimme range that was unanswered and eased them into a narrow lead.
No in the ascendency, Furyk became cock-sure and started to puff their chests out. Whether they overstepped the mark or not remains a moot point, but they began to heckle and goad their opponents – often mid-swing – as they tried to secure the win by any means. The final straw for Arnie was a shoe being thrown at one of their players that sparked an angry confrontation and ensured a poisonous atmosphere with riot police segregating the teams for the remainder of the match.
It may have been the motivation they needed as Arnie levelled the match after a 40 foot tramliner on the 17th green. Reminiscent of Gary Neville at Anfield, one of the Palmies players ran the length of the simulator to kiss his badge in front of the Furyk faithful.
Incensed by the display, Furyk’s concentration went to pot as the best they could muster off the final tee was being stuck behind a rock. Further down the fairway and having overcome another barracking from their rivals, Palmies managed to calm their nerves to coax their 2nd shot onto the par 5 green and just 20 feet from the hole for an eagle. Unable to endanger the green, Furyk was forced to play the patient game and wedge on in order to convert their birdie.
With deafening whistles coming from behind the ropes Arnies may have rid themselves of the tag of “most nervous” s they calmly rolled in the eagle putt and duly offered up the “Patrick Reed” shhh celebration. It was ultimately a match halved, with both sides moving on to the semi-finals but only one of those will continue with their reputation intact.
Having endured a chastening 2nd week, Who Needs James Godwin had spent the seven day break looking for their former captain in order to plead with him to return to the side and give them the impetus to kick start their season. Sadly the search was so intense and far reaching that the side were unable to return from the Far East where they had taken Special Forces to hunt for their man. The absence of opposition meant that I Like Big Putts could settle back and watch the action unfold in the top match, with the possibility of making progress should Arnie Palmie fail to win.
In the end it would be a disappointing finale for Putts, but one which they may not remember as the craft IPA took grip. Next week will be a voyage of discovery for the teams from this league as they find out how good they are against the best from League 1. It’s sure to be interesting, but the odds seem stacked against them.