After a night of partying, one of the wildest made-cut stories you’ll hear
It’s three minutes before this early shift begins, and Geno Bonnalie is ready. A few yards away, his boss is filming himself on his cellphone.
“He’s like, hey, guys, it’s me, Joel Dahmen,” Bonnalie tells it. “He’s like, I was just throwing up over there on the driving range, and I am still so wasted. And he’s like, I have to play in a professional golf tournament today. And he sent this to just like some of his best friends.
“And he’s like, I’m going to shoot 77. It’s going to be the greatest 77 of all time.”
Joel Dahmen, at the 2015 Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr. Pepper, finished tied for 10th. On the par-72 Highlands Springs Country Club, in Springfield, Mo., he totaled 270 strokes over four rounds. But that, you know, can be found through a simple Google search.
It’s the how we’re after. And this how may make your head pound. Dahmen’s did. Bonnalie’s, too. How did Dahmen shoot a Saturday 63 and a Sunday 69 and tie for 10th, after a Friday night and Saturday morning of IPAs, Fireball, Coors Light, no sleep and a Waffle House inhalation? Well, maybe there’s no explanation for that. But it makes for a hell of a story.
If you’ve scrolled through social media or watched PGA Tour events, you know that Dahmen, and his caddie, Bonnalie, are one of the most personable duos on Tour. So when Bonnalie was asked on the most recent episode of the Caddie Network’s Under the Strap podcast for his favorite story of their time on the road, he flashed back to Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, when Dahmen didn’t think he would make the cut at the Price Cutter.
On the podcast, hosted by longtime caddie John Rathouz, Bonnalie tells it best from here.
“So he went into the truck, which kind of does the scoring and the operations there, and he started drinking some beer, and I went out to watch guys finish because at the time, you know, I had 12 cents to my name, and I’m just praying we make this cut because maybe I’ll make an extra 80 dollars on the weekend,” Bonnalie said. “And so and so made par on the last, and we make the cut, and we’re like T-64 and we’re playing the weekend.
“And I go up and find Joel, and he’s like four IPAs deep, which Joel, he’s feeling good. He’s like, hey. I’m like, buddy, we made the cut. And he’s like, oh, that’s awesome. He’s like, let’s go get some beer. I’m like, we made the cut. He’s like, yeah, let’s go get some beer.”
That night, they did — Coors Lights, if you’re wondering — and played a par-3 in Springfield.
“So we go out, we find some random dudes on the course. We’re like, hey, can we play with you?” Bonnalie said on the podcast. “And they were terrible. But they had like a fifth of Fireball with them. And we brought some Coors Light so they were shooting Fireball and drinking Coors Light, and the next thing you know, it’s midnight and they shut the lights off, like the course is closed, and we just kept making laps around this — we became best friends with these guys. And we were too intoxicated to drive home, so one of their girlfriends came and got us and took us back to our hotel.
“But our tee time is like 7 o’clock in the morning, and we probably shut it down close to 2. So get back to the hotel, I set the alarm, and I’m like, you know, I’m fairly responsible — it might not sound like it — but I am.”
What happened five short hours later?
“I woke Joel up, and I’m like, hey, I’m going to run back to the golf course and get our car; you need to be ready to go when I get back; we’re running late. He’s like, mmm, mmm, mmm,” Bonnalie said on the podcast. “So I take off running, I come back to the hotel, he’s still sound asleep. I’m like buddy, we tee off in an hour. So I’m like shaking him, and I finally get him up, and I literally put him in the shower and turn the water on.
“He’s dying. So I get him in the car, he’s like, I got to eat some food. We may have went to Waffle House, like briefly. Crushed some Waffle House really fast. Get there, we get onto the range maybe 15 minutes before our tee time, and he’s trying to hit trick shots. He is wasted. He’s like, hey, guys, watch this.”
It was here, after Bonnalie made his way to the 1st tee, where Dahmen began filming for his friends. Then he hit.
“He makes a birdie,” Bonnalie said on the podcast. “But he’s like, he is celebrating. I mean, we’re in last place on Saturday morning. Literally last place that made the cut, and he starts celebrating on the first hole. He’s like, I made a birdie. I’m, oh, buddy, all right, let’s hang on. So we get to number two, he hits it in there to like 8 feet, rolls that in for birdie. … And number three, makes birdie. … By the time we get to number nine, he’s seven-under through nine, and I’m like, homeboy is near the lead of this tournament.
“Ends up shooting nine-under on the day, though. Shoots 63 with a bogey, and when we finish, we were in second place, but the leaders still hadn’t teed off when we were done. So fast-forward through the weekend, I think he finished 10th place. And essentially that kept our Web.com Tour card that year.”
At this point, Dahmen asked Bonnalie a question that you’re no doubt wondering about yourself.
“And I remember the next time he made the cut,” Bonnalie said on the podcast, “he’s like, should we go get blacked out again?”
“I’m like, no.”