Thursday, August 10, 2006

Disappointment

There is no other word that fits when talking about my results in the club championship this year.

As you know, I was on the outside looking in upon teeing up on Sunday, needing a really good round just to make the cut after opening with a 78.

I started off well enough, making solid pars on the first three holes. But then, in the story of the day, we hit the backlog...

Every par three saw huge waits of up to three groups, making it very difficult to maintain any rhythm. I can't complain because everyone had to go through it but the fact of the matter is that I just have never been able to deal effectively with the long waits.

I finally tee off on the 182 yard fourth and literally hosel it about 110 yards off the tee. I have to make about a five footer just to save bogey. I follow up with another bogey on the next hole and make a routine par on six before birdieing the par three seventh for the second consecutive day to get back to +1. An easy par on eight and a two-putt par on nine allow me to close the front nine in 37 shots.

Okay, let's keep it going!

The 10th is a short par five and I take full advantage, almost hitting the green in two, pitching to about four feet and knocking in the straight putt for birdie, getting me back to even on the day.

I hit a nice tee shot on 11 but hit an AWFUL pitching wedge from 120 yards, missing the green way right. But my short game continued to bail me out, as I almost pitched in, leaving an 18 incher for the easy par.

We hit the par three 12th and find three groups waiting. Ugh. I get to sit and stew on my nemesis hole for twenty minutes...this isn't going to be good...

Twenty-plus minutes later, I finally tee up and make a ridiculous anti-left swing and the ball soars right of the cart path, leaving a next to impossible pitch shot to a tight pin on a green that falls away from me. I try to pitch the ball into the bank but I'm unsuccessful, with the ball coming up short. I then semi-skull my chip shot about 12 feet past the hole but incredibly, I regain focus and make that bogey putt.

Whew. I'm still in this!

I hit a very nice tee shot on the tough 13th and make a good par so I reach the par three 14th at +1 and in good shape.

I hem and haw about clubs, finally settling on a five-iron on the 176 yard hole that's playing into a stiff breeze with a back pin placement. I make a swing that's anything but confident and SHANK THE BALL straight right toward Burgoyne Woods.

I can only laugh as I tee up a provisional and snap hook it left and long of the green.

My buddy Jay, who was carrying for me in the tournament, thought he saw the ball riccochet off the tree but unfortunately, four sets of eyes weren't enough to find my ball on this day. I couldn't get up and down with my second ball, giving me a crippling triple bogey six on the hole.

I played the rest of the round in a daze and was unable to capitalize on a short birdie putt on the 15th then inexplicably lost concentration on a wedge shot from 80 yards on the 16th (it was in a divot but it wasn't a hard shot) and made bogey there. I made a nice save for par on the 17th and narrowly missed a 15 footer for birdie on the 18th, giving me a 77 on the day.

I was the clubhouse leader at the time and had a bit of hope when one of the guys in the next group, who was ahead of me after one round, shot 81 to fall back of me. I'd need one more guy to shoot in the 80's to get me into Monday's final round or have the leader shoot a 74 or worse.

Neither happened, leaving me out of the competition. The cut came at 153, just like I thought it would. My 155 put me in 9th out of 23 guys who played in the flight.

I just want to thank my buddy Jay for carrying my bag this weekend. He did a great job once again. Sorry I couldn't come through for you! Maybe next year!

I find myself at a bit of a crossroad when it comes to my game. I put this blog together with the intention of using it to improve my game by getting my thoughts and ideas down in written form. However, my game has taken a pretty resounding step in the wrong direction...

I know I have a lot on my plate this year but I've come to the realization that my swing just isn't good enough as it stands if I'm to become a better player. I don't feel like I can control my golf ball on a consistent basis, especially off the tee and I'm pretty sure that means only one thing...

It's time to blow the whole swing up and start from scratch.

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