Winds were way up on Saturday at the CJ Cup, and a golf course that I called “too easy” in this very space on Thursday all of a sudden looked like Royal Birkdale. The scores reflected it, and Justin Thomas seemed very pleased with a 2-under 70 that puts him in a tie for the lead with Scott Brown. I followed the JT/Leish/Cam Smith group for all 18 and just soaked up the sunny island vibes. I swear the foliage is coming through noticeably stronger each day, and it was a blast watching these guys battle the wind.
JT hit a 461 yard (cart path aided) tee ball on 12, then turned around hit a 7-iron from 128 on the next hole.Leishman also held his ground really well, and made five birdies on his way to a 71. He sits just one back heading into the final round on Sunday, but in my book, he’s already won.
Leishman. Legend. pic.twitter.com/8WbquMVujQ
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) October 20, 2017
Then today on the par-5 9th, he looked around for me before pulling off the head cover on the driver. Matty flashed the NLU towel in my direction, and Leish just launched one into the stratosphere as JT watched on in bemusement. It came up just short, but the guy is living the lifestyle to the absolute fullest, and is one of the easiest guys to root for on tour. All in.
Nine Bridges has dried out some, and now looks a lot more like a championship test. The players weren’t thrilled with the setup on Friday, as many felt the pins were in silly places specifically to protect par. Most seemed to think that Saturday was much more fair, especially considering the significant increase in wind speed. Scores were high, but that was dictated by the conditions, and that’s why par is relative. JT said afterward that he played better today (70) than he did on Thursday (63).
I’m well aware that golf is way down on the priority list for people back home right now, but if you care enough about golf to read this, you care to hear that this tournament is more than holding its own. The players seem to really enjoy it, the course, the facilities, the food, and the overall vibe. A lot of them are really tired, and the timing of the event on the calendar could of course be better, but I have no doubt that the CJ Cup has a promising future.
The Attack of the Killer Bidet
I touched on the culture of heated toilet seats and bidets in Part I, but had not yet indulged in the experience. But on the morning of Friday, October 20, the experience forced itself on me. And it will haunt me from this day until my last.
On this glorious and sunny day, we were lucky enough to get an early tee time at Blackstone. This place was incredibly nice. The golf course itself was immaculate, the property was spectacular, and the service was first class. The actual tagline of the place was “exclusive golf club.” Not only do they not try to hide behind their exclusivity, they advertise it. The clubhouse is like a five-star hotel with enormous ceilings, expensive furniture, and big glass windows looking out onto the course. And I desecrated it.
After changing into some cleats, I make my way into the fanciful restroom facilities like everyone does every morning. I do my thing, tuck my shirt back in, pull up the trousers, and just need to flush the toilet and get back to the breakfast table.
In previous restrooms I had used here in Korea, among all of the buttons for the extravagant array of bidet options, there was one big fancy button on the panel to flush it. The problem of course, is that all of the captions for the buttons are in Korean, and on this panel, I did not see a similar “flush” button like I had seen in the media center. I was flustered, and even busted out my Google Translate app and hovered it over the Korean text to try to get an idea of what I was potentially pressing. I couldn’t figure any of it out, so I hit a button that I felt was the most innocent looking and most closely resembled a main “flush” button.
It did not take long before I realized I had made a terrible mistake. Like Vince McMahon entering the ring, emerging from the back of the toilet seat was a nozzle that looked like this:
But to someone who was fully clothed standing in front of the toilet, here’s what it looked like:
The strength of the water resembled a super soaker. It drills me directly in crotch with enough force for me to instinctively jump back directly into the still closed stall door. I move to the side and just stand there shellshocked as the Korean Niagra Falls proceeds to shoot toilet water into the door, and begin to soak the floor of an extremely nice restroom. I start pressing buttons frantically trying to get it to stop, only to soon realize I’ve just dialed up more waterworks. The nozzle retracts into its cubby, only to immediately return to start round two. I had no choice but to put my hand directly over the spout and do my best to deflect the water right back into the toilet. It’s still going everywhere, spraying up into my face and all over the walls. This is a movie scene.
This continues a few more times until it finally stops, and I’m standing there in a sweat, soaked from the waist down, standing in a puddle of water. I’m praying there’s no attendant within earshot of what just happened. I collected my thoughts, and found what I was desperately searching for. The flusher. It was a traditional lever on the side of the toilet. It wasn’t even on the panel.
I couldn’t stomach the thought of leaving the stall in search of a towel, or trying to explain to an attendant what had just happened. So I just started mopping up the water with toilet paper. I can already tell that I have not done a good enough job describing exactly how much water there was on the floor. I pulled more and more toilet paper out, mopped, dropped it into the toilet, flushed it. Repeat. This took forever. I was gone so long, that when I finally joined the breakfast table, crotch still soaking wet, the group thought I had gone out to the course to take drone shots. No, no, I was too busy battling Old Faithful. Be safe out there.
Other Random Notes:
- Had a couple beers with several caddies and a few players in the lobby last night. This resort is absurd, and to give you an idea of what beer prices are like, the buffet costs something like $140 USD. Anyways, we go to get the tab, only to find out Jonas Blixt picked it up for the entire table. It was probably like $500? I know these guys make a ton of money, but I think he had one beer, and was absolutely under no obligation to cover us all, but got up and did it in secret anyways. Thought that was a really cool move. Then he joined us at the local KFC for dinner (where they also serve beer, which was hilarious). This whole trip has been an amazing opportunity to kick it with guys in the golf circle in a very non-stressful environment, and has made the trip that much more worthwhile.
- Be sure to check out the new podcast episode with Graeme McDowell. G-Mac was fantastic, open, and very honest about his recent struggles and his current mental state. Hope we see the NLU Podcast bump for him very shortly. Also, we should have a very fascinating guest for episode 103 coming on Monday.
- I’m heading to mainland Korea next week to check out a few courses (Whistling Rock, Haesley Nine Bridges, and South Cape). Golf in this country is most certainly very unique, and different than anywhere else I’ve played. The clubs seem to be very expensive and exclusive. Will most definitely report back on the experiences. Thanks for reading, hopefully check back in on Sunday.