Slim Whitman Invitational
2009 Champ - Lil Bruce
Distinguished Members of the HC Committee, my cart-partner in the final pairing, Big-G, my Chicago Bear buds E-Man and Jeff, Past Champions, Future Champions, and the entire Slim Brotherhood.

Let me say that Friday, June 19, 2009 will be etched in my memory-bank forever (or at least until that old- timers disease sets in) !! Let me reflect…

This years Slim began just about the same as the past 13 Slim Whitman Invitationals I have had the honor of attending…the four-hour drive from Chicago listening to the Hound say he was going to be as quiet as a wall flower this year, and Jeff saying this was going to be his year, and all of us hoping to squeeze an extra stroke out of the Committee at the Wednesday night meeting; a traditional stop for lunch @ Hooters, then out for a practice round where everyone seemed to be working on their handicap.

Thirteen years ago ( Year of the Limo) I was the first "recipient" of the Randy Rule- this year I win the Green Jacket..WOW

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That Friday morning as we were leaving the "Chicago Bears Suite" at the Grand Fireside Inn and Convention Center, I congratulated Jeff on making the final foursome and encouraged him to bring the trophy back to Chicago. The Hound was nursing his usual Slim hangover and dragging from his usual 4 hours of "Slim-Sleep".

Friday's pairings had me "sameech'd" between two Garys- Lab Boy and Big G. The good senator from Minnesota started out the day HOT-stringing together what seemed to be an insurmountable number of pars and boogers. At that point it seemed like "The Ghost of Jonesy Past" (my inaugural Slim partner, God rest his soul) overcame my spirit…drives were on a wire and putts were dropping!

However, after stepping off the green on the HOLE-FROM-HELL (#10) for the third and final time, I truly felt my run for the green jacket would be put on-hold for the 13th year and possibly a few more strokes from the all-knowing Committee! When my cart-partner Big G (Champ'98) saw me holding my head down after taking a 10, he kept me playing with un-relentless encouragement and enthusiasm (thanks Gary-as I always said, you epitomize a Slim Champ!)

I always thought the ultimate moment of winning the Slim would be holding the trophy and donning the green jacket…how wrong I was… Looking back the biggest joy for me was shaking hands and receiving the congratulatory wishes from all you Slim buddies!

Unfortunately this past year we have seen another Slimer, Big Bruce, added to the Slim Memorial at the 1st tee box. Greg Smith and Dick Kossack ( Dickie-Do and the Don't's) are battling serious illness. These sad events should remind us to be thankful for our health and to especially appreciate the SLIM WHITMAN INVITATIONAL for the camaraderie and close friendships that have been created over the years.

Looking forward to having a drink or 20 (in Stumps words) with you guys in 2010.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity!!
Lil Bruce
2009 Champ