27. Sea Mist Resort
, 9:25 a.m.
Diliberto begins Day 3 by reading the roll of Myrtle Beach's recent minigolf dead: "Circus Golf, Noah's Ark Golf, Barefoot Ghostly Golf...." His speech is an ocean swell that rises and dips.
"Anyone up for Cane Patch Par 3?" asks Moskowitz. "It's got natural grass."
"Natural grass!" I protest. "Talk about defiling the game's traditions!"
Sea Mist sports the toughest holes in town. On the 7th we all take 5s. Ditto on number 17. On 18, a molehill encircled by cigarette butts and pigeon doo, I contract the yips. I watch the shaft of my club sway back and forth, back and forth. I try to swing, but the putter will not move.
"You've lost the connection between your aim and the hole," says Moskowitz. "The silliness of grinding for 2s has given way to settling for 3s. You try for 3s, but you think, Why not 4s? You know, we all know, and you retreat to the sanctuary of a 5."
Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.
28. Jungle Breeze
, 10:30 a.m.
It's a jungle out there, which means another sure victory for Moskowitz. I'm clutching at vines: I relinquish the game lead on 6, the tour lead on 7 and my hopes on 18. Five times the ball climbs a modified Skee-Ball ramp and hits the plywood backboard. Five times it rolls back to the tee. Jungle Boy offers some encouragement: "If you keep your Skee-Ball average under 2.65, you could still win this thing."
29. Ocean Adventure
, 11:59 a.m.
Sid Caesar once performed a comedy sketch about a jungle dweller who was so strong, he killed a Buick by punching it in the grille. And here is Diliberto, a onetime University of Pennsylvania defensive tackle, threatening to inflict serious damage on his putter. His shot in the rocks, his sanity on the ropes, he crashes around the 17th green howling like a ruptured sewer pipe.