The Hacker: Porky's revenge turns into a winter league of discontent

 

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It is rare that a hacker gets to be on the winning side against a category one player twice within a year but last Sunday I completed the double over Peter "Porky" Edmunds.

After conceding defeat from the depths of a bunker it was impossible to get out of, he shook my hand and said: "You are my nemesis." I've been called many things in golf but have never been compared to the Greek goddess of revenge whose name has come to mean retribution for past sins.

Porky, whose nickname comes from a liking for pork pies, plays a great game off five but he has come to regard me as a jinx, which – is much less due to my golf than a matter of circumstances proving brutally unkind to him.

We are not the only figures in this drama because his two defeats have come in foursomes golf in which you and your partner play alternate shots.

In the club's top foursomes tournament last summer Porky and his partner Matt were the clear favourites and were drawn against me and my partner, John Dodd, who were rank outsiders.

Some of Porky's rivals promised two bottles of champagne if we won – and we beat them in what was the upset of the season. Porky still gets ribbed about it so imagine his feelings when he was drawn to face me again in the winter league.

Because the league rules are that pairs should have a combined handicap of at least 20, low handicap players have to seek out a high handicapper as a partner and Porky selected Maurice Flynn which was sporting because Maurice is usually found in wooden spoon territory. My partner, Bob, and I are also familiar with that area because I have won it twice and Bob six times and, all things considered, our match was justifiably billed as Porky's revenge.

Our starting hole confirmed that. We play a shot-gun start and we were assigned to the 18th, a par three that runs up to the clubhouse.

Porky drove first and landed the ball five feet from the hole. Bob scuttled his tee shot to the right and the ball landed between an impenetrable row of leylandii and the car park fence.

As I trudged back to help find it, Porky swept past me in a hurry, gripped by an urgent need for the toilet. By the time he had gone into the clubhouse, upstairs to the toilet, washed his hands and returned to the course, we were still not on the green.

It wasn't a good start for us and by the fifth hole we were two down. But Bob and I managed not to collapse and, with the help of the 11 shots we were getting, we were one up after ten holes and three up with three to play.

Maurice wasn't having a good time and Porky's putting wasn't what it should be but they managed to win the next two holes assisted by some abject play by us.

But, armed with a shot, we were on the green for net three and Porky was under the lip of a greenside for three and after failing with a valiant attempt to get out he conceded the game.

News of our victory caused great excitement and Porky once more had to ride a gauntlet of guffaws.

If pairs are on a losing run it has been known for the weaker of them to be absent for a week or two and a substitute found. Maurice has announced he's going on a cruise in February and the rumour is that Porky's paying for it. I refuse to believe it.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

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