Tiger Who?

Large Professor Scores with Late Fireworks

He was in, he was out, and — ultimately — back in. We’re talking about Rancho Mirage homeboy and all-around man-about-town Jaime Las Palmas, whose presence was up in the air until just prior to tee-off. Las Palmas took in Llama Links for the first time with a blend of befuddlement, amazement, skepticism, and — foremost — confidence. His skills are documented and well honed by daily rounds at the club. Would those skills be on display on this day?

It was clear early on that the great equalizer that is Llama Links didn’t have a JLP walkover in mind. Indeed, when the last divot landed, the whole round was turned on its ear, with JLP posessing no skins to speak of and the spoils instead shared among the remaining dark-horse duo, Large Professor and MADDOG. Click here to view the table for the 2008 Llama Links Skins Series.

To his credit, JLP played admirably during his first round on the Llama, consistently racking up tidy pars — no mean feat due to Llama Links’, er, unique course conditions. But bird is the word that earns skins at Llama Links, and it was MADDOG, not JLP, that struck first — on the hardest hole on the course, no less.  

The third hole — “Pachinko” — features a sloping, postage-stamp green ringed with danger. Thick bramble shrouds the green right and back, the vaunted Pachinko tree looms on the left, and abundant condo windows beckon errant shots and repair checks. As a topper, the green’s elevated configuration spells trouble for any shots that come up short. 

MADDOG was unflappable, undaunted, and undeterred by these intimidating hazards as he stepped into the tee box with three skins riding. He steeled himself, then nutted his tee wedge, flying it within 12 inches of the hole, then tapped in to collect the first three skins.

Throughout the round, Large Professor consistently came up short and left (puzzling — he usually misses right??) and never threatened while Las Palmas and Maddog flirted with opportunities to skin on holes 4-8. Ultimately, no birds flew on those holes, carrying 6 over to 9.

Much to the chagrin of the visitors, Large Professor’s wedge came alive just at the right time, as he stroked it true and put his tee shot on the dance floor, leaving a white-knuckle 5 footer for the birdie while neither JLP or MADDOG got close enough to threaten. The Professor rattled home his one-putt to claim the 6 skins in what essentially amounts to highway robbery.

Pub Wisdom knows LP’s not proud and will take ’em where he can get ’em. Better luck next time.


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