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Round four: BadGolf world roundup

Matt PaulsonBy Matt Paulson,
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Portmarnock Golf Club

So Sunday comes along. Hopefully, we've made it into position to strike for the win. If not, lights must be shot out. We have to go low. We have to envision our best round possible, and then go two shots lower. A win is just around the corner on Highway 61 or 60 or - dare I say - 59. So let's do it.

Let's head to Ireland, that place dedicated to beer and soccer hooligans, the former contributing greatly to the latter. But for a week at Portmarnock Golf Club, alcohol won't be contributing to anything outside of filling space in the extra storage room. After banning women from becoming members, Portmarnock suffered a weeklong ban on its drinking license, the latest in a concentrated push to gain women equal rights at golf courses.

In response to the decision, Niall Crowley, spokesperson for the Irish Republic's Equality Authority, said, "What we are seeing here is something which is of clear importance to women golfers." Crowley went on to say. "See, I'm sensitive. Wasn't that so sensitive of me?" and then begged shamelessly for the better part of fifteen minutes to get his phone number published.

While we're there. No, not Ireland, alcohol. To Canford School in Wimborne, Dorset, England where 17 students sneaked out to pursue a bit of a nightcap. However, this nightcap turned into the hospitalization of a 15-year-old girl, who was found by two sixth-form boys. They then took her into their block and threw her into the shower clothed before reporting to their headmaster. The girl was then sent to the school's medical center to be checked out.

Headmaster John Lever took action against the group of mostly 15-year-olds, only three of which were "particularly drunk," to send a message. However, Lever added that he was proud of his students general behavior. "Pupils at schools like ours work extremely hard and I am very proud of them," he said. But after a few Boddingtons at the local pub, Lever proceeded to challenge the headmaster of the school across the way to a junior varsity drinking contest.

Grazing Cow Back into the domestic arena we go. In Knoxville, Tenn., the Sertoma Center is planning a golf ball drop for charity at the local Fairway & Greens Golf Center. This drop, however, is less interesting than the one taking place about 30 miles east. Jefferson County High School Athletic Director Craig Kisabeth proposed the idea of doing a "Cow Drop Raffle" after witnessing its success elsewhere. Entering $20 in the Raffle purchases the ticketholder a square on the high school's football field, which will be marked off with string. Organizers will then choose a cow based on its regularity, Kisabeth said.

"That way we won't have to worry about waiting too long," he said. The cow will then walk the field and do its business. The winner's square will receive a yet undetermined steaming pile of money. No word yet on what will be done with the cow or its expulsions.

Changi Golf Course While we've entered the realm of animals, let's head to Singapore. A wild boar has captured the easily-amused imaginations of those at the Changi Golf Club. Three months ago, the boar made its presence known and since then, animal lovers have loitered the call box at Changi to make sure the boar is OK. However, the animal still remains on the loose. Despite dozens of the traps laid by the employees, the elusive animal manages to continuously evade capture. Drastic measures must be taken. Paging Carl Spackler.

Now on to Kuala Lumpur, where legislation looms over the head of one snappy reptile. Terry Hong Kee Siong, 42, was attempting to find his ball near the seventh hole at a Famosa Golf Resort on Jan. 22 when he slipped down a slope and stepped on what he thought was a piece of wood. Apparently, that piece of wood was actually a 5.5-meter-long crocodile that sunk into Hong's leg. Hong proceeded to hit the crocodile a few times until finally struggling free as it tried to drag him into the nearby pond. He was taken to the hospital and received 38 stitches in his knee.

Months later, after refusing to return to the golf course due to "mental anguish" suffered from the incident, Hong is suing the resort.

"What? I thought it was Vijay," the croc told reporters. "I can't stand that guy."

Finally, to end on a high note in Clyde, Ohio: Howard Wiedle actually built his own golf course 43 years ago and has been playing ever since. He turned his farmland into a golf course after growing tired of farming. Wiedle finished the front nine in 1961 and the back nine in 1965 and managed the course for 27 years before selling it in 1988. Now, he plays four to five rounds a week. But for all those years, not one scorecard ever displayed the double-circled "1." Well, now it does. Wiedle knocked his 7-wood into the hole for an eagle 1 on the 135-yard, par-3 10th at Sleepy Hollow Golf Course.

Oh, and one announcement: The Paul Mullett golf tournament is scheduled for June 5. Each tee box will have a large-screen TV showing Nascar highlights on a continuous loop and Barry "short in front and long in back" Melrose will be signing autographs in the clubhouse.

 
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