THE INTERNET, CA – Last year the MGA World Championship moved to The Revere Golf Club in Henderson Nevada. By all accounts, Revere and its 36 holes is a tougher test of mediocre golfers than previous host Boulder Creek Golf Club. The elevated tee boxes, the small –by our aiming abilities- landing zones and the mostly unplayable hazard areas made for quite a few big numbers last November. As happens every year though, a few medios fortuitously luck into playing their best golf of the year, perhaps of their lives, at the perfect time.
Take 2016 runner-up Scott Sanders for instance. In three previous World Championship appearances, Sanders had never cracked the top 20. While he’d had a kinda alright regular season in the SFMGA, finishing 7th on the Chapter Money List didn’t exactly mark his as a Player To Sorta Watch. In the regular season, he had picked up one win at the Douche Bag Invitational, but he certainly didn’t look like the sort of player who could avoid shitting the bed for and hold it together for 36 long and challenging holes. Yet somehow, hold it together he did.
Through bunker shots, deep rough, cart path bounces, wind gusts, unfair breaks, failed jokes to the cart girl, flyer lies (whatever those are) and surely a few lip outs, Sanders finished one single, tiny, minuscule stroke behind 2016 World Champion Nick Hinton.
Because of that single fateful shot, Sanders will soon be forgotten. Meanwhile World Champ Hinton will be forever remembered, just like Benoit, James, Armstrong, Giosso, Smith, Rodr.. uummmm Gonzales and McMorrow.
Nick “It’s A Coda” Hinton came to the MGAWC from the colorful Asheville chapter and had enjoyed a successful rookie season, taking a win in his first start and following that up with two second-place finishes. It should be noted however, that he shot 98, 96 and 95 in these tournaments. This put him briefly on the radar for MGAWC success until tech support got there and fixed the obviously malfunctioning radar.
But as it turns out, the radar was working fine and Hinton shot two amazing rounds to fulfill his Belt placement prophecy. After the round, El Presidente had two meals with Hinton and got to know the new Champ. He’s a certified chill mofo who was as surprised as anyone by his performance. Read on for an exclusive look into what if feels like to win your first World Championship.
So Nick, tell us… WTF? Where did and 86/88 come from?
NH: I am not entirely sure, especially since I shot a 96 on the practice round a day before!
How far into the first round was it before you started to get into your own head?
NH: Before I even teed off. There were so many people and the event was so much larger than I expected. It took me 30 min just to find my cart!
It had to be uncomfortable playing that well. Spending such a long time waiting for the meltdown hole, which incredibly in your case, never came. Did you even lose a ball? So help me, if you say no I will fly to Asheville to smack you right in the face.
NH: I don’t think I did lose a ball… I know some cheap flights I can send your way… Honestly, it was uncomfortable, I was waiting for the time to come where I could finally relax and get sh*t-faced because I 11 putted and was out of the running, but alas the ball kept staying in play. I blame Kent Williams, he was my playing partner the first day and he was rad.
Take us through your worst hole of the tournament. Did you think you’d thrown it all away?
NH: The 16th on the 2nd day. The whole tournament I had managed to keep my tee ball in play. I was starting to get nervous, because that couldn’t last. I knew, mostly because Matt Telles kept telling me the live score to fuck me up, that I had a chance. We get to the 16th and I decide I am going to try and play it safe and not hit driver off the tee, I chose the hybrid and pull it off the tee hard, the ball goes charging for the OB hits a rock and settles just inside the OB stakes. I hit a decent recovery shot, but miss the green, then chunk the pitch it goes 2 feet, somehow I manged to get the ball on the green and then 3 put for the triple bogey. I thought that was going to be the start of the meltdown with 2 holes left!
Have you ever won anything else like or been in a position of pressure like this before?
NH: I won a free french fries from McDonald’s playing that monopoly game that was pretty rad.
Was your wife super impressed when you brought that raggedy ass POS belt home?
NH: I texted my wife this picture. She thought that the check was for 1k she got so excited and told me that she can finally get behind my golfing. When she found out all I won was a big piece of poster board and a STD-riddled belt, she wasn’t quite as psyched.
What are your hopes for this regular season?
NH: I want the jugs!
Who doesn’t? I seem to remember you telling me that you had just gotten serious about golf last year and it seems like you progressed pretty quickly to, you know, World fucking Champion. Is your goal to DQ from the WC this year?
NH: Yes. I want the smallest award you guys give out…
Thank you for your time. Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
NH: See y’all in Vegas, Asheville is taking the cup this year, which will be really really difficult, especially if only 2 of us show up again… SF is going down! You can watch me gloat and rub it in all your faces on Instagram by checking out #MGABeltTour.