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SIOPen For the True Golfer

Mick "The Quick" Kavanagh

"It was a dark and stormy day." With apologies to Bulwer-Lytton, Stone Mountain, Georgia, did its best to match a foggy night setting for the Third Hugo Munsterberg SIOPen in conjunction with (some say, enhancement of) the 1999 Annual Conference of SIOP in Atlanta, Georgia. Eighty golfers, in 20 foursomes, playing a 4-person scramble format began the annual competition, with a shotgun start, at 1:00 p.m., on Thursday, April 29th. The Minnesota State University team of Robert Cunningham, Dan Sachau, Todd Bricker, and Jason Miller, whose picture appeared in the October 99 issue of TIP, were the winners of the coveted Hugo Cup with a net score of 58.

Although the 80 golfers starting the SIOPen surpassed the 60 who played in the 1998 event in Plano, Texas, the finishing numbers were 72. Apparently, two teams found the allure of the warmth and companionship of the 19th hole more attractive than the 52 degree, rain, and fog conditions on the course. Given my play that day, I wanted to head to the 19th early. Unfortunately, as a member of the team included one of the organizers of the event, Chuck "Chili Dip" Lance, this was rejected as not fitting the operational definition of golf. A hearty congrats for all who showed up to play, regardless of whether you finished or not.

The co-organizers Chuck Lance and Jose "Hosel" Cortina are to be thanked and congratulated for providing a well-organized event. The course selection was really wonderful, in spite of the fact that Stone Mountain was only visible for part of the round. It certainly provided a severe challenge which was increased by the course's length and wet conditions. The undulating greens provided a severe test for each team and provided the opportunity for stories of long, difficult putts made during the rehashing of the round in the 19th hole. Chuck and Hose have promised another great course for the SIOP meetings this year in New Orleans.

In spite of the weather, missed putts, water balls (yes, Mr. President, those shots count), and misdirected drives, all players agreed that it was the best way to begin the annual SIOP conference. Remember, the alternative was to be in downtown Atlanta in the same weather. The scramble format allows golfers of all abilities to enjoy a fine day of golf, hitting shots from where they have never been before. Chuck and Hose have plans to make this year more exciting, planning a voodoo ceremony to ward off any inclement weather. They invite all SIOP golfers, male and female, to come join us for a "good walk spoiled" (Mark Twain).

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