It was match play with handicaps and I was giving Ken twelve strokes. It was a match to remember--or perhaps forget. It was one of those matches where it was hard to tell who wanted to lose the most. It wasn't pretty.
Ken had the honours on the first tee and proceeded to hit the ball off the toe and right into the bay. Not to be outdone, I missed a two footer for par while Ken scrambled for six. He had a stroke, so it was a half.
On the next hole I won with a bogey. It was quickly turning into one of those matches where both guys are off their games and we were definitely pleased that there were no cameras rolling.
Using his strokes and my poor play to his advantage, Ken eventually ended up dormie with three to play. He admitted later that the way I was playing and with his strokes he was sure the match was in the bag. I must admit I had pretty much conceded defeat and just longed for an end to the misery. But Ken just kept me hanging on. I won suxteen and seventeen and we came to the par three eighteenth with Ken one up and receiving a stroke.
Ken duffed his tee shot and eventually made five to my three. Suddenly we were in extra holes. I made par to Ken's six after his second shot from behind a tree disappeared--presumably out of bounds, though neither of us saw it. I had somehow managed to win four straight holes, all with pars. In fact, as I look back I realize that, as bad as I was playing, I had somehow actually parred the last eight holes.
It was one of the craziest matches I've played. But then I remember losing a match in extra holes after being three up with four to play. It happens. Sometimes a big lead is hard to keep because you start protecting the lead instead of playing the golf that got you into the lead in the first place.
I guess Ken and I both learned something from our match. I learned that sometimes just making pars is good enough, and that you should never give up. Ken learned that when you get your man down, you should put him out of his misery. Don't give him any hope. We both also learned that it ain't over 'til it's over.