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Archive for September, 2008

Scotland Bounces Back Thanks to Broadfoot’s “Limited Ability”

For a man on deadline, Roddy Forsyth spins quite the yarn — as usual — about Iceland 1-2 Scotland. The win released loads of pressure on the Scottish side and its boss George Burley, for whom the honeymoon is decidedly over. He’s had interesting personnel issues to deal with, but the team appears to be exhibiting some of the characteristics he’s striving for. Namely, more open, attacking football.

Rangers’ Kirk Broadfoot is laughing the loudest following the victory. After Burley classified the recent call-up as a player with “limited ability,” Broadfoot played solidly on defense (something Rangers observers will not be surprised to learn) but also neatly headed in a crisp cross from day-job archrival Barry Robson from Celtic — oh, the drama — to put the Scots up initially and send the Tartan Army into hysteria. This on the tails of the season’s first Old Firm match, in which Broadfoot featured prominently in Rangers’ drubbing of Celtic at Parkhead.

Scotland was up 2-0 for a fair stretch of this match and controlled most of it — and rightly so. It’s been blessed with a merciful group draw — all the more welcome after their tough grouping with Italy and France among others for Euro 08. Scotland better make the most of it while the makin’s good. It would be excruciating to sit through another, er,  Scot-free World Cup.

 The Scottish side must enter matches against the likes of Iceland the way France or Italy comes into Hampden Park, or any other pitch anywhere, really — with confidence, patience, and ruthless execution, pressing the competition from the start. They may lose, but they’re there to win. They believe they can win. They expect to win.

Now, enough said. Bring on the Norwegians. Damn… Next match isn’t until next month.

Enter Kid Gaslamp

Skinsters north and south are officially on notice: There is a new wedge on the scene, and it belongs to “Downtown” Kid Gaslamp. After months of speculation and buildup, the midrise maven finally played his first round on Llama Links.

Months ago, after a recon driveby, the Kid claimed he was ready to set the new course record. While any standing records are unofficial and will not be discussed here, it was moot on this day as the Kid and the Large Professor played not strokes but skins, those two-stroke skins that make Llama Links such a challenge. Gaslamp made a statement nonetheless — eventually.

No one threatened during the first three holes as the Kid got schooled on just how small the targets are and how, ah, tricky the greens are. Meanwhile, Large Professor was up to his usual mediocrity, hitting ’em alternately fat, thin, right, and short.

No. 4 — Ringer’s Folly — marked a change, however, as the Kid began to lock in on the pin. His pitch-in was right on line and dipped low into the cup and rattled the pin, only to almost bounce back out, victim to the Links’ distinctive and notorious hairy holes, overgrown and ominous. This caused the sunny San Diegan to proclaim that the Llama was definitely spitting.

The twosome arrived on the elevated tee box of No. 7 — Pin’s Head — with not a skin between them, at which point Gaslamp eerily asked “This is a scoring hole, isn’t it?” Large Professor had to admit that it is historically one of better holes. The Kid put it just short and right, on the apron, and approximately eight feet from the hole. Deciding to putt off the apron instead of chip — always a crucial decision on the Llama — fate smiled on him as his effort bounced and rolled to the edge of the cup and spilled in for the birdie.

Kid Gaslamp’s cool seven on 7 were the only skins claimed this day, and left him naturally wondering where the real competition was. The gauntlet is definitely down in front of Ringer T, MADDOG, LP, and especially the elusive Jaime Las Palmas, that don of the desert who allegedly spends his days honing his golf game and luring nubiles back to his box canyon grotto. A trip to the beach is in order for Jaime so the Series can have a full and proper crew teeing off to see where things actually stand. In the mean time, here are the updated standings in the Llama Links Skins Series.