A "hot" autumn follows a "cold" summer for Dragon Cup 2021
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A "hot" autumn follows a "cold" summer for Dragon Cup 2021

By Davis Lee & Lawrence Ma

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”, attributed to Mark Twain, could also be attributed to playing at Lake Merced Golf Club a good portion of the year.  Not this afternoon my Dragons, as short sleeves were abound in the sunny skies and light wind.  31 golfers were in for the treat of Lake Merced’s tree lined layout and best greens in the Bay Area.  Dragon Cup points leader Brittany Judoprasetijo exuded super chill vibes, while Darryl Lee in second place, had his usual tournament time intensity.

The shotgun format started with the most disappointing birdie Tom Yee has ever made in his life.  First nervous swing of the day, #3 hole, downhill par 3, 158 yards, Tom hits 6 feet below the hole, and we all yell the obligatory “Go in!”.  It tracks right at the hole and we are 99% sure the ball has wedged against the flag and Tom has his first ace.  10 minutes of high fives later, Tom pulls up and is disheartened to find that he should have clubbed up, because his ball is 3 millimeters short of the ace.  He gets $50 for a skin, but misses out on the $600 HIO pot.

Usually, it’s hard to lose a ball at Lake Merced, unless you hit it high up into the trees.  This tournament however, the rough was almost U.S. Open tough (okay, not that bad), but there were many lost balls just a few yards off the fairways.  This caused good rounds to have 1-2 really bad holes on the cards, and no one broke net par in either flight.

In the B flight, John Baker and Karen “Mother of Dragons” Fong were able to put up strong net 72’s, which were great scores on the day.  John takes 1st in B Flight in a cardoff, shooting 89/72.  Karen places 2nd with 93/72.  Anne Huang shoots 103/73 for 3rd place, taking an unfortunate 10 on the last hole due to lost ball.

The A Flight got beat up.  Mike Lum had the only stellar round, shooting gross 76, and nabbing low gross and 2nd place in the flight.  3rd place goes to Kyle Hagen, shooting an 88/79.  Keeping a Lee in the winner’s circle was Davis Lee1, shooting an unremarkable 84/75 on his home course.  This breaks Lee1’s streak of finishing at the bottom of the Lake Merced tourneys.

Earlier this very cold “winter” in the Bay Area, the Dragons did manage to get a little sun in July out at Green Valley Country Club, which hosted the Dragons for the first time.  As it should be, tournament host Chris Chong took first place in the A Flight, and Anne Huang won the B Flight. Critical to the Dragon Cup race, though, was Karen’s second place finish at Green Valley.

As a result, we find Dr. Fong trailing Brittany by just 5 points in the 2021 Dragon Cup, 415 to 420 points.  With the Green Hills tournament bumped into October due to an unexpected mid-summer punch job at the Millbrae club, Jon Chong (395 points), who of course is a member of GH, is another Dragon to watch. Darryl is also lurking, sitting fourth at 375 points.

It is going to be an epic finish to the 2021 Dragon Cup race, no doubt about it.  Can Brittany or Karen keep up the good play at Wente Vineyard (October 17) and Green Hills (October 24), and become the first woman to win the Dragon Cup?  Or will Uncle Jon, the 2015 Dragon Cup champ, catch them?