Jennings Bad Behavior Nothing New As Accusations Surface of Previous, Vicious Attack On American Captain Scott Dow
Angel Golf Society Knew All About It – Gave Him Slap On The Wrist Because “It Was Only A Yank” and “He Missed All The Good Parts”
By: Datzit Indaruf; Flem Cup Correspondent
MYRTLE BEACH, Oct 27, 2001 – What had been a controversy limited to discussion of apparently bad manners by Team England Co-Captain Ian Jennings is, according to an undercover investigation, not the first or anywhere near the most serious offense committed against American golfers by the controversy-dogged English golfer.
Investigative reporter Iva Tufshot, on location in Renishaw, England, has filed a truly amazing report concerning an apparent attempt by Jennings to maim or seriously injure an American golfer. The Angel Golf Society, in charge of disciplining the action, then gave him a mere slap on the wrist because “It was only a Yank.”
The story unfolded at Jennings’ home club – Renishaw Park Golf Club. Renishaw Park is a devilish course with lightning fast greens brilliantly maintained by course superintendent and previous Flem Cup participant Mark Nelson. The club professional is also a previous Flem Cup player – John Oates. John won the Stableford championship during his trip across in 1999 (the only England player to have accomplished that) and all the Cup participants that year hold both Nelson and Oates in the highest regard possible – gentlemen and fine golfers.
In the summer of 2000, Jennings was playing a “friendly match” with none other than American Co-Captain Scott Dow. The match was proceeding uneventfully with erratic play on both their parts when the players approached the 16th tee. The 16th at Renishaw is a shortish par 5 that places a premium on the tee-shot with a shoot of trees guarding the tee, an elevated road about 180-190 yards out and bunkers guarding the far side of the road as the hole gently doglegs left with OB left.
Jennings teed off first and struck a positively dreadful shot dead right into the trees. Events, according to Dow, then seemed to unfold in slow motion as Jennings spun round (in a manner reminiscent of an Olympic discus thrower) and flung his driver (which may or may not have been non-conforming) straight at Captain Dow.
To this point, the story may seem like a mean-spirited allegation by an upcoming opponent and would have probably become a “he said, he said” issue had there not been – a witness. The witness, who was standing to Dow’s right and had to dive out of the way of the hurtling driver, was none other than highly respected Worksop Golf Course record holder Paul Nelson – the brother of the esteemed Mark Nelson and a man of unimpeachable integrity.
Only by releasing the club at precisely the right moment could the club have threatened Dow or Nelson. By sheer luck, the driver, hurtling forward at a fearsome speed, struck lengthwise across Dow’s pillow-like mid-section, bouncing off and falling harmlessly to the ground. The massive titanium head could just as easily staved in Captain Dow’s skull, crushed his larynx or eliminated any thought of future little Dows. Jennings response, as he surveyed the damage, was to walk over to Dow and ask: “Could you hand me that driver?”
Nelson was aghast and Dow was visibly shaken, both barely able to complete the round. Nelson was ceaselessly apologetic for Jennings incomprehensible behavior and did his best to make up for the abominable action. Both Nelson and Dow assumed appropriate disciplinary action would occur but Dow (ever the sportsman) insisted he did not want it to take the severe form of a censure or suspension from Renishaw Park. That evening, at the Angel, England Co-Captain Joe Brook was stunned and shaken at news of the offense, vowing, as head of the ‘Fines & Disciplinary’ committee of The Angel Golf Society (home to all or nearly all this year’s Team England Flem Cup players), that he would handle it.
Now, the question must be asked – what would have happened to Captain Jennings had he held the club an instant longer and taken out Renishaw’s favorite son – Paul Nelson? It does not take a great deal of effort to imagine a gallows in nearby Sherwood Forest being hastily built. But he didn’t – he released it an instant sooner and it took out American Flem Cup Captain Scott Dow. So what did the Angel Golf Society decide?
This investigation has discovered that the extent of Captain Jennings discipline was a £5 fine (about $8) and no censure or other disciplinary action. Our anonymous source stated that the reason the fine and discipline was so incredibly light was “it was only a Yank that was hit”. Stunningly, sources report there may have been no fine whatsoever except that “he [Jennings] missed all of the good spots.”
Asked why he never publicized the incident, Dow responded: “Well, I was hoping Ian would grow up and see the error of his ways. He’s such a fine golfer and gentleman off of the course, I just thought it was sad that this sort of thing can happen. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Ian but now that it is finally out, I must admit I’m relieved.” When asked if the incident had something to do with the fact that Dow has no Cup matches scheduled against Jennings, Dow said “I’ll leave that to the press and fans to speculate about.”
So it has become quite clear, only 3 days before the Cup tees off, that the American side had best be prepared for anything. Cover ups, bad etiquette, club throwing – what is the limit of the Team England side’s behavior and desire to win at all costs? The scandal has now spread to include not only Captain Jennings but indeed all of the Team England players who knew of this atrocity and chose to look away. The deafening silence coming from the east side of the Atlantic is looking more and more like an endorsement of the tactics and behavior of England’s ‘Bad Boy of Golf’ – Ian Jennings.
In an unrelated story, Myrtle Beach municipal authorities have announced they will have extra police and medical personnel working and on-call from Thursday evening through Tuesday afternoon, the exact duration of The Flem Cup.