Can You Beat Biggy?

Momentum Shift on the 27th Handcuffs Haddonfield Police Officer

By David Biggy | Jul 03, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy Best friends Jason Carden (left) and Kevin Grygon (right) gather with Biggy after taking the ‘Can You Beat Biggy?’ challenge at Mr. Tee’s Shark Island in Beach Haven on June 26.

Beach Haven — No doubt, Kevin Grygon sensed the momentum shift. The “Can You Beat Biggy?” miniature golf challenge was more of an ordeal last week than he had expected, despite the fact he and his best friend, Jason Carden, had been playing the monster 36-hole course at Mr. Tee’s Shark Island in Beach Haven for most their lives.

“I bit off a little more than I could chew,” Grygon conceded after the June 26 match. “I got through the first 19 just fine and then I couldn’t follow through on the back. Meanwhile, you’re throwing down holes-in-one and 2s everywhere and I’m shooting 4s and 5s. That just doesn’t work.”

Well, it worked for one of us. Hence the reason, heading into the 27th hole, the 35-year-old police officer from Haddonfield attempted to use some sort of reverse psychology on me, as we approached the short-putt hole with a very tight and steep embankment leading right and ending with a small space around the hole, resembling more of a horseshoe. It was a par 2 and we were even at 62 strokes.

“Hmmm, check this out,” Grygon said as he eyed the hole with his friend. “This is one of those holes where the wheels can come off, Biggy.”

Wait ... What? “Biggy?” Does he think my wheels are going to come off?

While I laughed out loud, I’m not really prone to being psyched out. And since I was shooting first, I had the chance to prove it. So, I lined up my shot on the right side of the tee-off area, fired a bank shot off the left rail of the fairway, and the ball did the rest – climbing and then descending the embankment along the back wall, before taking two bounces off the rails near the hole and dropping into it.

Oh, yes, I glanced back at Kevin with a smile and his face looked stone cold in the 85-degree heat. Behind those sunglasses, I imagined his eyes closed in horror, as if he could sense what was about to happen. He then stood up and proceeded to shoot a 3, falling behind by two strokes.

Through the front 19, Grygon had a decent lead – he was 5-under par and I was minus-1 – while Carden tried his best to overcome a rough start through the first eight holes and finished the front section 7-over par. I chipped into Grygon’s lead with a 2 on hole 22, after he botched it with a 5, but dropped back to two strokes off the lead on No. 23. I pulled even with another 2 on the 25th hole, while Kevin shot a 4.

But with nine holes to go, I had my first lead – I had been down by a stroke or more since the second hole, and after he scored his first hole-in-one on the 15th I was down by four for six holes – and that was the break I needed. Five more under-par holes, including holes-in-one on the last two led me to an 8-under-par 37 on the back section and a 9-under 81 for the course. Kevin finished with a 6-under 84, while Jay went even on the back and finished with a 7-over 97.

“I was really confident, shooting a lot of 2s on the front, and I definitely thought I could pull it off,” Grygon said. “If we played 18, I would have won. But then we started the back and I fell apart right off the bat.”

Despite being out of the competition early on, Carden enjoyed the chance to challenge somebody new.

“We like doing stuff like this,” said the 35-year-old industrial sheet metal worker. “Whether it’s horseshoes or ping pong, we see competition and say, ‘Let’s see if we can win.’ I didn’t have a great start, but this was a lot of fun for us.”

— David Biggy

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