LIVERMORE, California — At last, the hills are alive with the sound of… range balls. The golf season has begun! The Dragons Opener ’18 was held last weekend at Poppy Ridge in Livermore, the Bay Area home of the NCGA and host to many qualifiers and championships. It’s always a good test of golf in any condition. With perfect spring weather conditions, it was setup for a great day of golf for the Dragons.

There was a buzz in the air, as 29 Dragon’s showed up for the Season Opener. The Board made recruiting a priority in the offseason, and their results were successful, as seven new members teed it up with us. The new smiles, new swings and new excuses on the range brought some excitement. Welcome to the fire, Rooks! Hope you can stand the heat!

The heat that we speak of, radiates from the 2017 Dragon Cup Champion, “Big” Mike Lum. With clutch season ending performances, he stole the Cup away from Tom Yee, in the season long points race. Will any of the rookies pose a threat to unseating Lum as the Champ? Would the OG vets get tired of him scooping and show him that enough is enough? How about the fierce Dragonettes? Or would any of the sophomores learn from their experiences and improve enough from last season?

2017 Rookie of the Year, John Park, is up to the challenge. The Korean Tiger lit the course up to the tune of 90 gross/net 65, destroying the B flight. His net 65 was six better than rookie Fan Li’s 100/71, who took 2nd place in the B flight. Po-Jen Lin 95/72 beat his palSong-Min Wang 93/72 in a card-off for 3rd place. With Wang placing 4th, Karen “Mother of Dragons” Fong was her usual steady self, shooting 91/73 for 5th place.

The A Flight was more of a dogfight, as three golfers shot net par. Steve Tsang’s 83/72 lost to Paul Loui’s fine 75/72 in a card-off, as they finished 4th and 3rd respectively. Davis Lee’s two birdies on the back nine allowed his 85/72 to snatch 2nd place in the A Flight. The only golfer to post red in the A Flight was Peter Lyu. His awesome round of 74/68 placed him atop the A Flight, and delivered him the Low Gross prize over Uncle Loui’s 75.

Lyu and Park’s games made a big statement that perhaps this will be their year to etch their name on the Dragon Cup. Uncle Loui and Peter have gotten off to a great start for the low gross scoring race of the Kirin Cup as well. But Big Mike is Big Mike, and possibly the only thing that could deny Peter and Uncle Loui is Big Mike himself. Coming into the tournament, he pulled a MadBum, injuring his wrist mountain biking. Good luck to his next patient / victim in the dentist’s chair!

The Club handed out the usual prizes for closest to the pin winners. For the skins game, as Auntie Angie Wong has stated, “Skins game is evil.” You might make a couple of birdies, hoping someone doesn’t cancel your birdie out, and then sometimes you win a big skin with a surprising par. Paul Loui did just that, winning a Gross skin with a Par on 16. He also won a skin by birding 17. Other Gross Skins winners, Terry Lim (2), Peter Lyu (2) — Eagle on 8! Mike Lum won 1 gross skin. Park’s day was capped with a lot of green, as he cashed on 3 net skins. Michael Gui and Fan Li grabbed 1 net skin a piece.

All told, it was an auspicious start to the 2018 season. The next few tournaments will be key in determining the contenders for the 2018 Dragon Cup. The next club tournament will be at Yocha DeHe Golf Club on Saturday, May 19, and it’s really become a fixture on the regular season schedule. Registration is closing in just a week, and do look for the call to the Buffet post tournament, another one of those Dragon things to do when at a casino.

MISC.

LPGA MEDIHEAL CHAMPIONSHIP at LAKE MERCED: To preview the Dragons’ June golf tournament, come on out to Lake Merced Golf Club this weekend, and watch the LPGA tour pros play this classic! Jessica Korda, Uncle Lawrence and Joe’s darling, is bombing her tee ball and leading at -9 over some little hussy from University of Scholastic Compromise. The tickets are discounted rather deeply compared to the Swinging Skirts version of this tour stop, and the access is easy either by BART or the shuttle that circulates from the Westlake Shopping Center on John Daly. For more info: http://www.medihealchamp.com/.... 2018 MEMBERS GIFT: The club’s 2018 gift was unfortunately delayed by a manufacturing issue with the vendor, but Adidas is working hard to correct the matter, and the new club shirt, which you’ll need for Weekender ’18 Santa Barbara, should be there at Yocha DeHe for you to pick up. Thanks for your patience!… WEEKENDER 2018 Santa Barbara: The sign-up for the Lake Merced Tournament and Weekender 2018 Santa Barbara will be opening soon!… sign up for all tournaments at: https://dragonsgolfclub.org/