|The Tee Times||Complete Tournament Coverage Inside|
|September 18, 2000||Volume 6, Number 1|
Another Woodard on
•Yuko wins HROS
•Scores trending down
Under darkening skies the most remarkable comeback in miniature golf history was played out with Rick Woodard coming back from fifth place through three rounds to take top prize in the Sixth Annual Am-Am!! last weekend. Rick beat both his third cousin-in-law once-removed and his older brother by one stroke by posting the only sub-par round over the final eighteen holes.
This year's Highest Ranked Opposite Sex (HROS) award goes to Yuko who shot a very respectable 200 for the 72-hole event and just beat out last year's HROS, Ellen, by a single stroke.
It was a year of diehards, with 16 of the 20 participants having competed in this event before. Second place went to newcomer Blaine (not the same Blaine who played in the Second Annual Am-Am!!). Blaine's total score matched Rob's, forcing the first invocation in the history of the Am-Am!! of the tie-breaker rule (using individual round scores to break the tie) to award prizes.Fair Test, Marked Improvment
The Am-Am!! returned to Golden Tee in Castro Valley this year for the first two rounds, followed by the traditional final rounds at the now-hallowed Ardenwood courses. It was apparent to all that greenskeepers (or blueskeepers or whatever color the carpet was) hadn't had the best of years in course preparation. However, most participants felt that it was a fair test of their otherwise useless miniature golf skills.
In fact, the talent of all involved has improved markedly in the three years since the tournament last visited these venues. On average, scores improved approximately fifteen strokes, with equal improvement throughout the pack of players. This had forced the Official Am-Am!! Officials to adjust par, alter course sequence, and modify tee areas on some holes which may have thrown some players off of their game. (See adjacent, related story.)More Innovations
Each year, the Am-Am!! has new innovations, and this was a blockbuster year. Steve beta tested a prototype Am-Am!! Electronic Scoring System. For the rest of us, there were custom-made score cards which conveniently listed the Am-Am!! rules on the back for those who cared to examine them. (See adjacent, related story.) Toni demonstrated a clever suction-cup device that attaches to the handle of a putter for picking up and holding a golf ball. It looked particularly handy to those of us trying to juggle our Official Am-Am!! water bottles, scorecards, custom pencils, putters, and cameras.
All of the results and photographs of the Sixth Annual Am-Am!! tournament can be found at: http://www.amam.org/2000_amam.html.
SCANDAL ROCKS 6TH-ANNUAL AM-AM!!
"I swear I didn't touch the picture," claims Molin
HAYWARD—Official Am-Am!! Officials were shocked to discover photographic evidence strongly implicating a former Am-Am!! champion of cheating in the Sixth Annual Am-Am!! miniature golf tournament held last weekend.
"I just couldn't believe it," said an anonymous Am-Am!! spokesperson. "The picture clearly shows [the alleged violator] teeing off from the carpet instead of the tee mat."
"It's as though he was shooting from the women's tee," said an unidentified participant who was obviously confused since the Am-Am!! tournament does not use separate women's tees. The Am-Am!! rules state that a player may tee off with the ball anywhere on the tee mat. Ignorance of these rules was no excuse this year, as a complete listing of them was available on the back of every scorecard used in the tournament.
The photograph released by the Official Am-Am!! Officials today was snapped by a participant who uses the professional name "JT", according to a par-tee-er with close connections to the photographer. The fact that the participant uses a professional name nearly disqualified him from this amateur tournament.
"It's just like that Brady Bunch episode!" declared one Official Am-Am!! Official. "You know, the one where Greg takes pictures of the cheerleader and proves that the football player in the background was really in bounds."
Conspiracy theories are common at the Am-Am!! (especially regarding the "random" nature of the pairings of the foursomes for the first three rounds each year), but this scandal is spawning more concern than usual. Since the picture is originally in digital form, it's nearly impossible to detect if it was altered.
"I swear I didn't touch the picture," claims a Mr. Molin, a conspicuously absent Am-Am!! diehard who reportedly has close ties with special effects giant Industrial Light and Magic. "I haven't even seen it, but a fake would be easy to do. Especially with an image from a digital camera and no pesky negative."
Some players rushed to the defense of the surprised violator. "Maybe he teed off from the mat but made an embarrassingly bad hit, and the picture shows him lining up his second stroke." Others quickly dismissed this theory from a player identified as "Pollyanna McCarthy."
"Personally, I don't have a problem with it," said one past winner not currently under suspicion. "Anything to keep Rob from winning this thing again is fine with me."
"The truth will set me free!" stated the implicated former Am-Am!! champion when reached for comment. The name of the past champion is currently being withheld pending the investigation, and to avoid bringing undue ridicule and scorn on a possibly (but unlikely) innocent victim. The Official Am-Am!! Officials are still planning to interview other players from the suspect's various randomly-selected foursomes.
If the Officials decide that the rules were violated, it's unclear what recourse they could take. "He should at least get a prize," declared one frustrated player, referring to the Am-Am!! prizes of dubious desirability.