Thrilla in Manila II: But It’s Two White Guys on a Golf Course in Arkansas

Cornish v. Watkins - Thrilla in Manila

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“One of the greatest qualities in a friendship is two guys who compete against one another, almost to the death, yet cheer one another on every single minute.” ~ me

DATELINE: NOVEMBER 16, 2012 – MANILA, ARKANSAS

By Brent Musburger, Lewis Grizzard Clod Dinglehopper:

thrilla in manila

BACKGROUND: In an epic and ongoing rivalry, these two fierce competitors play most frequently as companions and team mates taking on all two-man scramble challenges across the globe Northeast Arkansas. The team is complemented by Cornish’s long drives and mid-iron skills, and Watkins’ trusty putter, dangerous anywhere inside 40 feet. Best pals since 1977, Cornish, a high school state medalist, took Watkins under his wing as golf coach mentor in 1983. In their occasional epic mono-e-mono battles over the last 30 years, the protoge’ has yet to beat a stubborn Cornish who refuses to admit it could one day happen, but knows in the back of his mind, it will. Today begins a new day, in a new competitive era, and it’s on like donkey kong.golfing partners

VENUE: The Pristigious Big Lake Country Club, Manila, Arkansas.

TEE TIME: 10 a.m. CST

FORECAST: From our sponsors at The Weather Channel – Sunny with a high of 60°, light northeasterly wind at 9 mph. Humidity 49%.

COURSE CONDITIONS: Lightning fast greens, tough pin placements on undulating greens and leaves everywhere (it’s Fall in Arkansas).

RULES AND SPECIAL ALLOWANCES FOR THE DAY: One mulligan off the first tee, and then one mulligan per nine on 18 holes.

steven watkins blog jonesboro arTHE PURSE: It’s complicated with all kinds of action and side action. Cornish is down a dozen golf balls and a steak dinner for four at  Texas de Brazil from a recent presidential election double-wager that hangs over his head like a thunder cloud. At “steak” today – double or nothing bet on the dozen golf balls PLUS: this is the first day of an ongoing 365-day wager specifying $500 to the winner of a bet where Watkins says he’ll beat Cornish straight up at least once in the next year. Side action on the side action – and if Watkins beats Cornish, said Cornish has agreed to write a guest blog post on this site with detailed color commentary about how it all went down.

VEGAS LINE: Cornish comes in as an 8-1 favorite, but the prognosticators are keeping a keen eye on the Watkins surge.

best friends

Our favorite picture together, taken earlier this year in Mountain View, Arkansas honoring two favorite movie characters from Lonesome Dove: Texas Rangers Capt. Augustus McRae and Capt. Woodrow F. Call.

KEYS TO VICTORY:

  1. CORNISH – Must concentrate on a full backswing and follow-through, head down, and he MUST guard against over confidence going into the match.
  2. WATKINS – With new momentum coming off his first golf lesson from someone who actually knows what they’re doing, he must bring his wrist through the ball for consistent distance and direction, settle down on his wedge shots, and ignore Cornish’s inevitable mind games.

FULL COVERAGE AND RESULTS: Check Saturday’s listings on CBS  Sports and ESPN this blog tomorrow.

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One thought on “Thrilla in Manila II: But It’s Two White Guys on a Golf Course in Arkansas

  1. Rudy…Rudy…Rudy Chicago line has Watkins down 10-1 because they have inside information. They say Watkins has to much on his mind right now but could show signs of excellence if he can st that aside right now. Chicago is betting on Watkins…

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