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Mar 24

Beatriz Recari

Beatriz Recari, bogey-free golf & deja-vu?

This week, it’s the Kia Classic’s turn to occupy our golfing thoughts, and has not in the least disappointed. I’ve been following the LPGA’s Spanish wave for a couple of years now (Recari, Azahura and Mozo), and have noticed that whatever else is going on by the fourth round, one of them is always nearby, making it interesting.

recari 2This week, it’s Beatriz Recari, who comes into the final round with three days of bogey-free golf behind her. That’s 54 holes of pars, birdies and eagles (no doubles, triples, or quads, either.) On 16 yesterday, she put some extra little pazazz into it by driving a 285 yard green, four feet from the pin, and sinking the four-footer for an eagle. Recari reminded us that  she had hit that shot in both the practice round and in the pro-am, and she seemed to have figured out the possible bounces from each section of the fairway, where to go, and where to avoid going.
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Now I have gone a  round or two without seeing a par, birdie or eagle, and consider myself somewhat of an expert on bogey, and double, triple, quad golf. And, most definitions of the term are as unappealing as they sound, plus my dubious ability to predict the bounce with any accuracy at all, much less hit a 285 yard drive with any precision regarding the pin.

Bogey originates, perhaps, with “bogeyman,” some sort of monstrous apparition waiting for us in the shadows. Yes, I know all about that – they can be bunkers, trees and thickets, or all manner of things. A boggart is described by Wiki as a “mischievous household spirit,” and it certainly does play mischievous with one’s score. I recall from all those aviator war movies, in which bogies were incoming , unidentified aircraft, all with ill intent. I knew what my uncle Rich meant when he pointed to the next hole as we walked down the fairway, and said “triple bogey at 6 o’clock.”

Bogie is also a Scottish (and in another version, Irish) ghost. That makes sense. I’m still haunted by a few almosts that became ghosts, even from childhood.

recariRegardless, the eagle on 16 vaulted Recariz into the lead, and the day ended with a two-stroke advantage over Karrie Webb. Paula Creamer and Lizette Salas lurk as well, and that’s reason enough for concern (have you noticed that Lizette has been  somewhere in there every week lately, too?) But, Recariz is also dealing with the fates, who were particularly kind to Stacy Lewis last week. Stacy was four back going into the last day at the Founders Cup, and here she is again, four back after a third round 69. And no, Travis Wilson hasn’t budged one inch.

If it’s a horserace, look for Stacy a little bit behind, at the front of the pack. She can fashion a 63 or 64 like nobody’s business on a moments’ notice, and she couldn’t be more competitive and confident , having come off an incredible couple of months.

So, why do they call it birdie, I wonder – because you hear them singing in your head when you beat par? Eagle, I can understand – you’re sitting on top of the world (or tree) looking down at the rest of it all. Double-eagle? That’s a Souza march, and a golf score for a small handful of people I’ll never play with. But for now, bogey-free seems to be the way to win golf tournaments. Happy fourth round, everybody.

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About the author

G.F. Skipworth

has spent every available moment playing golf or studying the greats since the 60s, in between world tours as a classical musician, Harvard studies in Government or as the author of a dozen novels. Nicklaus and Snead may be the statistical greats, but Skipworth is a life-long devotee of Gary Player, and considers meeting the South African at the Jeld-Wen to be an unforgettable milestone. His driving passion in golf these days is to raise viewer interest in the LPGA.