Forget the Open, it was the Turnberry-Bit-Challenge that everyone was talking about on Saturday. Taking to the 1st tee at 2.50pm, Ross Fisher and Mark Calcavecchia went head to head, here’s what happened. Playing for £1 a ‘bit’.
**Please note, all actions, movements, suggestions and quotes are purely fictional and did not happen. All golf shots and results of holes are correct and accurate**
1st Hole – Par 4 354 yards
Both players find the middle of the fairway. Calc hits his approach to the left side of the green. Fisher goes straight at the pin and gets a bit of luck when it holds on the right. Good ‘bit’ opportunity. Calc leaves it short, and rolls in for par from five feet. Fisher never threatens the cup. No bits. Both players look visibly nervous.
2nd Hole – Par 4 428 yards
Both players push it right off the tee, but Fisher’s lie looks decent while Calc is buried. Fisher on the green in two, Calc gets vicious kick left and can only chop through. He’s on the fringe, so has an opportunity for a ‘ferret’ bit. Lags it short though and takes another two for bogey. Fisher two putts for par. No bits.
3rd Hole – Par 4 489 yards
Fisher nuts it down the middle, and gives Calc a little wink. The ’89 Open winner takes out the big stick and lets it fly. He’s lucky as his ball nestles just short of a bunker, only for relief to turn to disappointment when his good lady wife informs him of the ‘sandy par’ bit rule. He lumps it short of the green and so has ‘double bittage’ for a ‘ferret birdie’. Fisher’s on the dance floor and has ten feet for his ‘bit birdie’. Calc two putts for par, that’s three holes and no bits for the big man. Fisher sinks for a ‘birdie bit’ and is £1 up.
4th Hole – Par 3 166 yards
Fisher’s honour and he’s right at the flag. Calc pushes it right, off the green again for an unlikely ‘ferret birdie’. Nice chip but Fisher’s money is safe on this hole. The Wentworth man gets his birdie read all wrong and there’s no bit there. But what’s this? Controversy as Fisher reminds Calc that this was the nominated ‘nearest-the-pin bit’ hole. John Paramore is conveniently on hand to confirm the news, and when Fisher sinks his par putt he high fives his caddie as his winnings double to £2…
5th Hole – Par 4 474 yards
Iron off the tee for Fisher and he’s dead centre. Calc flies past him though with the driver and gives out a massive ‘Yabba-Dabba-Doo’. Fisher fades his approach high and his ball nestles on the back of the green, sensing a ‘ferret birdie bit’ he acknowledges the crowd. Calc on the green and pars. Fisher lets the bit opportunity get the better of him and three putts for bogey. No bits.
6th Hole – Par 3 231 yards
Calc’s honour and he’s to the right off the green. Regulation two-putt, but no ‘bittage’. Fisher’s in the left-hand trap. It’s another ‘bitty’ chance. Lobs on and holes out from five feet. He’s now £3 up. Worrying times for Calcavecchia.
7th Hole – Par 5 538 yards
Both players miss the fairway. Fisher chops out, as does Calc. Both on in regulation and only par. No bits, and this was the nominated ‘double-bitty-hole’. Not what the crowd wanted to see…
8th Hole – Par 4 454 yards
Longest-drive-bit hole. Fisher nails it down the middle. “He’ll never pass that,” he whispers to his caddie. Visibly stirred, Calc rips it 20 feet past and throws the Englishman evils. Both make regulation pars from here, but at least the American has stopped the rot. Fisher £2 up.
9th Hole – Par 4 449 yards
Both fire to the right and have to contend with the clag. Calc catches a flyer and it runs through the back. He smells a ‘ferret bit’. Fisher is more conventional and lands 15 feet away. Calc three putts for bogey, Fisher two putts for par. No bits, and Fisher takes the nine-hole Turnberry Bit Challenge with winnings of £2, which he immediately says will go into a trust fund for his unborn child.
Sandy – making par or better from any bunker
Ferret – making par or better when holing from off the green
Birdie – on any hole
Eagle – worth two bits
Nearest the pin on par 3s – must two putt or bits are reversed
Longest drive – must finish on the fairway to count
Double bit hole – nominated before the round, any bits count double