June 13, 2008
PERU, IN — Marty Zabonik opened the 2008 Carl Spackler Open in disasterous fashion with a 15-over 87 worth just 24 points. He was in a tie with Joe Muscaro for 69th position and nothing looked promising. Only Mike Lewis, who played 8 holes on Thursday and Tim Davis played worse.
The opening round was, however, two-strokes better than his opening round at the Neuse back in June 2006. The North Carolina round did include two round-saving birdies.
The round was also one-stroke worse than his round at Thunder Hill Golf Club back on June 2, 2003. He matched the 87 strokes in a disasterous drunken round nearly 6-years prior at Bent Tree Golf Club in Sunbury, OH.
"It was as bad as I could play," said Zabonik of his opener. "Just five pars and one birdie is outright hacking."
Zabonik returned on Friday morning, but left with almost no progress. He carded another birdie and eight pars worth just 36 points.
It was do or die for Marty Zabonik. He had just two long-putts in 36 holes. He had just escaped the Al Czverik Outfit with two birdies, but was in 68th position and teed on Saturday morning with three more hackers in the second group. Would Zabonik come to play or wear the Carl Spackler Outfit.
Zabonik showed up on Saturday and played with fear. He somehow bogeyed the opening hole with outfit jitters. "This was my wake up call," says Zabonik. "Bogeying the first was the last draw." He calmed down quickly and birdied holes 2, 3, 7, 8, and 9. He finished the front nine with a 2-under 34 and 46 points.
"These are the numbers that are jacket worthy," says Greg Long, Chairman of the Captains Club. "This is playing out of your ass and earning the championship and playing 'Golden Jacket golf' by a landslide. This was the nine holes I have personally been waiting to see from a low handicapper for 5 years."
Zabonik shot even par on the back nine including a birdie putt at the 18th hole. He finished the final round with a 2-under 70 and 78 points. The round was by far the most points scored on Saturday and vaulted Marty Zabonik up the Leaderboard in record-setting fashion. He vaulted up the board an incredible 42 spots.
"Any questions?" Zabonik asked as he birdied the 18th hole and finished his 4th major championship. "The course is easy if you turn down the hurricane winds. It is all about getting your ball into position and attacking the pins."
Zabonik finished in a tie for 26th position at Rock Hollow. He finished 5th for most beer consumed. Most importantly, he explained in detail how you win the Carl Spackler Open as the lowest handicapper.