Bruno's Blog

Isleworth Collegiate Invitational PDF Print E-mail



Covering a golf event is not a bad way to spend a day, in fact I'm sure most people would trade

their everyday job to walk in beautiful surroundings and watch talented people play the fine

game of golf.Isleworth, the home to many tour pros (and was the home club to some guy named

Tiger for 15 years), is one of those places that you really look forward to visiting (especially this

time of year), whether it be the Tavistock Cup or the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational.This 54

hole event included the nations top 15 teams: Alabama, Arkansas, Augusta State, Central

Florida, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, LSU, New Mexico, North Florida, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech,

Vanderbilt and the #1 ranked California Bears.


The University of California came a long way to Orlando for the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational,

and left with a perfect 5-0 record in the fall, the cross country streak started at the Gopher

Invitational in Minnesota, then they tied for first in Atlanta at the Ping/Golfweek Preview, next

was the Pac12 Preview in Oregon, followed by the Bears home event, a 20 stroke rout at the

Alister Mackenzie Invitational.


The Cal Bears celebrate their perfect 5-0 fall record at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational.



The Bears trailed New Mexico by five strokes during the final round but they pulled out the

victory by two shots, being led by individual champion Michael Kim who finished at -4 (67-

72-73).The Bears finished the week at +4 =868, for sophomore Kim it was his first college


New Mexico's James Erkenbeck (72-70-71) and last years collegiate player of the

year, Alabama's Justin Thomas (73-70-70) finished 2nd one shot back.


Texas Sophomore Jordan Spieth finished 5th.


Photos from Isleworth:


Jordan Spieth stripes a shot into the 16th hole that rattles the stick during the first round.





The large fairway bunker that hugs the corner on the dogleg right 18th at Isleworth.





A closer view of the approach on the 18th





The tips at Isleworth are 7,544 yards, named after their famous member who won 14 majors

while living at Isleworth.




The 1st tee at Isleworth




The trophies on display behind the first tee.




For results and more info on the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational click the link below:



Autumn In Chicago & The Flying "L" PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

The stands behind the first Tee at Medinah on Sunday just before Bubba Watson and Luke Donald teed off.



Usually LinksNation trips are planned months in advance, occasionally spur of the

moment, but this particular journey to Chicago was talked about for 2 years.

Experiencing Chicago during the fall is an absolute must for anyone who likes the

change of seasons, as well as Golf, Baseball, Football or really anything to do

with the great outdoors.

The fourteenth at the Glen Club

Two years ago, I traveled with the same accomplices to Wisconsin, where we did

features on Erin Hills, Whistling Straits and then watched our Dolphins defeat the

Packers at Lambeau.For much of the past 25 years, many of the trips that

involved sporting events have been with these same two guys: my brother

in law Bruce Superman - yes, that's actually his name (and my wife's maiden

name) and accomplice #2, high school buddy Scott Eric Baker, who has joined me

on many golf excursions, both near and far.Let me describe these two characters

I often travel with.The Man of Steel is actually an analytical type who works

for Sirius/XM, is a complete NFL junky, and sports nut in general, a bit on the

compulsive side with bouts of anxiety, and although not a golfer, his integrity is

perhaps his best trait, and is as genuine a human being as they come . . . what

else would you expect from a guy named Superman (25 years ago when I out

kicked my coverage and landed his sister Shari as my wife, I was equally

fortunate to get another true brother in the deal).Mr.Baker has been the

constant friend in my life for the last 30 years, who has really has supported

me through most everything, everybody deserves someone like Scott in their

life.A fellow golfaholic who runs his own aviation parts company, he rarely passes

up an opportunity to tee it up.It was our trip to Wisconsin in 2010, that inspired

this sojourn . . . the lure of the Ryder Cup, and for me, Wrigley Field was high on

my to do list.


If you like Autumn weather, then the Midwest is a great place to be in late

Sept/early October.We stayed in the Midway Airport area, it wasn't our our first

choice but a few hookups fell through to stay in the city (but we won't mention

any names).The Holiday Inn Express certainly was not a condo in downtown, but

it was adequate (aside from one very important element, which I'll mention later)

. . . certainly better then the Meth lab I stayed in at the King of Prussia in Philly

last summer with PC.

After arriving and settling in, we headed to the new Comiskey, aka Cellular Field,

to see the White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays (I still call them the Devil

Rays, hate all this politically correct or religiously correct nonsense).Kudos to the

folks with the Sox, the New Comiskey (as I will always call it) has a great blend

of new technology and old school vintage ballpark.The (Devil) Rays won the game

3-2 on an Evan Longoria blast in the ninth, which all but ended any realistic

hopes the White Sox had of making the playoffs.Since the ballpark on the south

side is considered the "Mean Streets" of ChiTown, we booked it to the "L" and got

back to the lodging spot.

Notice the large hedge in deep center field, located there is an eatery and

statues of past Sox greats.

Day two was marred by some bizarre allergic reaction I STILL have from a recent

surgery, it thwarted any plans of going into the city for the day . . . but I always

longed for a day where I can go away and do absolutely nothing and not feel

guilty about it, so Friday was that day.My only regret was not going to eat at

the Billy Goat Tavern with Superman.

Day three (Saturday) was a LinksNation course review day.The venue was the

Fazio designed Glen Club, the full review will be in the Course review section in

November, but let me just say that the place is worthy of any golf trip to the

Chicago area.Located in the beautiful town of Glenview, west of the city.We

were paired up with two other golf nuts Robert and Lucas, who were in town from

Austin, Texas to see the Ryder Cup.The beauty of the landscape at the Glen Club

really enhanced the experience.The service, and food are also worth sticking

around for after the round.The club does a nice job of honoring those who have

contributed greatly to the Chicago golf scene (with plaques describing each

honorees accomplishments).I can't express enough how impressive Kemper

Sports is at managing golf course and resort facilities, just first class.Later that

evening we went to the nearby rival Holiday Inn to watch some west coast

college football and to fill Clark Kent's need for fuel, after all even a guy named

Superman must eat.

Robert, J.B, Baker and Lucas at the Glen Club

The sweet par 3 fourth at the Glen Club

Day four was the Ryder Cup, the event like no other in Golf, that all American golf

fans wait for every two years.This edition was at Medinah, the first ever Ryder

Cup in the Windy City.Just as all American sports fans should make it to Augusta

for the Masters, I would put the Ryder Cup as next on that list.The Masters could

actually teach the PGA a few things about running an event, the PGA is

extremely corporate and that seems to be the way all big events are headed,

they gouge the patron at every turn.Food and beverage at the Masters is the

most reasonably priced at any major sports event.The Green Jackets get beat up

for many things, but not for price gouging and excessive commercialism.

Once again, I digress.

First tee Sunday at Medinah, that's Bruce Superman on the right, aka: The Man

Of Steel.

If you don't like crowds, don't go to a Ryder Cup, it's oceans of people

everywhere . . . but that's what also makes the atmosphere and vibe so

strong.In fact, when the fans chanted "Central Time Zone" to Rory as he arrived

just minutes before his singles match, it felt like a Bears game . . . unlike any

other golf event there is on earth.

The drama was second to none on Sunday, I was standing beside the 17th green

as Phil nearly chipped in and ended the European momentum, but seconds later

Justin Rose dropped an unlikely 40 ft bomb that felt like a punch to the solar

plexus to all fans of the home squad, it was just too strong to fight off.The blue

& yellow side and the Ole chants felt Seve driven, and the Euro's took the Cup

back across the pond again, what a stunning comeback on the road. All I could

say as we made our way thru Medinah with 40k disappointed yanks, was wow.

Before the event I always said I just want to see the Cup get hoisted at the end,

no matter who wins, but that was pure folly . . . we left in a hurry like

everybody else, in a rush to get outta there . . . wish we would of stayed around

to watch the celebration.I wanted to experience my first Ryder Cup with the

masses, not in any sort of working capacity, this way, my feelings wouldn't be

inhibited or neutralized . . . there will be time down the road to be a spoiled

snobby scribe, this was my maiden voyage to this arena, best it be unjaded.


I wanted to watch afterward on TV what we had just experienced, like an

amazing victory of epic proportions, this was epic as well, just in a tragic sense.I

couldn't watch it at our Holiday Inn, they didn't carry the golf channel, are you

BLEEPING kidding me!!?? Everywhere around the world they're watching

commentary, interviews, highlights, the closing ceremony, and 20 miles from

Medinah we can't get any coverage at all.Don't get me wrong I love Chicago,

but that's a major fumble at the goal line for the people in charge of such things,

and don't even get me started on Chicago Pizza.My apologies, to those who like

deep dish (don't even try their version of thin pizza, total dreck), an inferior

brand of soft drink, and no Golf Channel, but I had to get that off my chest.I

offer up solutions for the next traveler to the Windy City: D'Agostino's

Pizza, Billy Goat Tavern (of SNL fame, Cheezborger, Cheezborger,

Cheezborger . . . No Pepsi - Coke!) highly recommended by B.Superman, and

any hotel chain that carries more than one sports channel.

One thing that ChiTown nailed perfectly (est.1914) was Wrigley Field, I'd wanted

to go to Sheffield and Waveland for as long as I could remember.I'm not a Cubs

fan (but my nephew Luke, who joined us for the game and is a Chicago transplant

is), but no matter who you root for, You can't hate the Cubs.Wrigley and

Lambeau have become my two favorite ball parks of all time (along with the old

Yankee Stadium).

Luke Garbarino looks out at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, home of his

Chicago Cubs.

We sat in the right field bleachers and when the night was over we collected 6

baseballs from BP and the game.Since we're Marlin fans we managed to sneak

over towards the third base side and sit in the Bartman seat (see 2003 NLCS) for

half an inning.

At the end of the game (Cubs lost 3-0) the elderly gentleman (photo above)

behind us held up a large flag with the "L" signifying a loss, it was the Cubs

100th loss of 2012, and the first time that two 100 loss teams were on the field

together (the Astros had previously lost their 100th a week or so earlier).As we

were exiting the bleachers, one of Cubs employees - Joe, asked us if it was our

first time here.We admitted it was, and he proceeded to explain why they hang

the "W" or in this case "L" atop the flagpole above the centerfield scoreboard . . .

that banner lets everyone know on the train passing by who won the game.

I thought, what a unique and cool thing.Then Joe said, you know what tonight is

dontcha? We shrugged no, he said, "guys, today is the 80th anniversary of Babe

Ruth calling his shot in the 1932 World Series here at Wrigley".Very Cool!We had

lost all three home sporting events on the trip, but as we walked out of the

stadium onto Sheffield Ave, I looked up at the "Flying L" waving atop the stadium

and thought, maybe Cubs fans are the most fortunate of all . . . after no series

titles in over a century, Wrigley teaches you that the outcome is less important

than the journey.As my close friend P.C back in West Palm Beach would say,

"Amen to that".




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