Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Langley Cup - Semifinals

I'm coming off a pretty busy weekend, both on and off the golf course.

On Saturday, I played with Bernie and Gary and shot a horrific 81. Almost nothing went right, as I drove the ball terribly and the short game was erratic, at best.

I went home to do some work around the house and ended up spending almost three and a half hours powerwashing my patio, cleaning the crevices and whatnot. Mud everywhere! Not fun but necessary, as our new patio furniture was set to arrive a couple days later.

On Sunday, I was scheduled to play my Langley Cup semifinal match against Joe B. If you recall, I played Joe in the quarterfinals of the same event last year and he beat me in twenty holes in an epic duel. He's also beaten me in the event a few years earlier so I've never won against the guy in match play.

Making matters worse, my 81-shooting ass still had to give him three shots, as I was still technically a zero going into the day.

I knew I was in for a rough day right off the bat. I hit a great tee ball on the par four first but my 9-iron from about 140 yards was pushed into the greenside bunker. Upon arriving at the ball, I noticed that I was sitting in a huge rake mark, the ball pretty much embedded. I almost killed Joe, as I skulled the ball over his head and through the green. I'd take three more shots to get down, making a wonderful double out of the gate to go one down.

We'd saw off the second hole with pars, then I'd even up the match on the third hole, making par to Joe's bogey. We both parred the fourth and fifth but Joe's par/net birdie on six allowed him to regain the lead.

After sawing off with pars on the 7th, I'm still down one on the par five eighth as I smoke my drive down the pipe. I have only 215 yards left to the green on the par five but my 5-iron is pushed ever so slighly and rolls into the bunker.

No big deal right?

Not today...

Again, the bunkers weren't raked and AGAIN, I find my ball plugged in a rake mark. I was MAD, let me tell you. After spewing a few expletives, I once again skulled a shot well over the green and onto the cart path. I stormed across to the other side and pitched onto about 12 feet but it wouldn't matter, as Joe made a routine two putt par for the net birdie to take yet another stroke hole.

Joe would make a big five footer on nine for par to saw me off there and take a 2up lead to the back nine.

His par/net birdie on the short par five tenth was good enough to win the hole once again, meaning he took advantage of all three stroke holes. He was three up now, with no more stroke holes left.

"Well, I've spotted you three, Joe", I said as I teed up on the short par four 11th.

"Let's see if I can give you a run!"

Joe was in for his par and I finally did something, rolling in about a six footer for my first birdie of the day to win the hole and get within two.

Keep in mind, after the ugly double on the first, I had parred every other hole to this point and was still three down. Now, with a birdie on 11, I was only +1 on the day and 2 down in the match.

We'd both par the short par three 12th, as it was playing only 123 yards on the day, down from the usual 200+ yards.

I'd make a terrible, anti-right swing on the tough 13th hole, leaving myself about 215 yards into the green. I'd hit a great rescue to the front of the green but with the pin tucked back left, I'd three-whack and lose the hole to Joe's par.

Three down with five to play.

Joe hit a bad tee shot on the par three 14th into the bunker and knowing how bad the bunkers were on this day, I knew I just had to make par to get a hole back. I hit my best iron of the day, landing five feet short of the pin and stopping right there. I'd inexplicably miss the putt but Joe made bogey, so I was back to two down.

The big opportunity I was looking for came on the par five 15th. I'd hit three excellent shots to get within seven feet for birdie but again, I'd miss the putt and make par, tying Joe on the hole. What a huge letdown.

I couldn't hole a twenty-plus footer for birdie on the 16th so I was dormie heading to the long par three 17th. Joe hit a beautiful 3-wood to the back of the green, 30 feet away. I knew I needed to make birdie and hit a spectacular shot and for some reason, chose a 6-iron (!). I hit 5-iron over the green the day before so I figured I'd need a six to hold the green.

Unfortunately, I didn't hit the ball flush and came up woefully short. Needing a chip-in, I give it a good run and come up about a foot and a half short. Joe concedes my par then runs his birdie effort about two and a half feet past.

I contemplate giving him the putt but decide to make him putt it out for the win.

I have my hat off and I'm ready to shake his hand as he inexplicably MISSES the short par putt.

I'm still in it! One down with one to play.

Alas, I hit another awful drive towards the trees on the left and have to punch the ball out just short of the green. Joe has some trouble too and has a 12 footer for par. Figuring I need to chip in, I run my shot well past the hole but my putt means nothing, as Joe calmly steps up and makes his par to win the match one up.

I played pretty poorly but still shot a 74, a pretty solid score. However, my chipping was rock solid all day and made up for the fact I only hit 8 greens in regulation.

Full marks to Joe for the win - he will be tough to beat if he keeps playing this well.

I want to win this event pretty badly but strangely enough, I wasn't really disappointed after the loss. Just not my year to win it, I guess. No big deal!

I had a quick drink and I was off. Within an hour, I was on the road to Muskoka, as I had an early morning tee off on Monday at the very exclusive Oviinbyrd in Footsbay, Ontario.

I'll have a writeup on Oviinbyrd before the end of the day tomorrow.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Score Golf Top 100 in Canada; Golf Magazine Top 100 Public in USA

Quiet weekend on the golf front for yours truly.

Played decently on Saturday in a group with my regular partners in crime, Harry and Toast, shooting 76. Deserved better, was pretty accurate off the tee again but just couldn't get key putts to drop. Toast shot a fine 73 and Harry was excellent as well, shooting 77.

Crazy enough, I skipped golf on Sunday in a planned move in order to get some painting done. Well, to be honest, I would rather have been playing golf but I had been putting off the painting all summer and pretty much owed it to my wife to get it done this weekend.

I value my life over the four hours spent on the golf course, lets put it that way. ;)

Moral of the story? Just ask Toast and Harry, as I preach those three little words every weekend at the golf course ;)

Regardless, the painting is done and did take the entire day (8:30am to 4:00pm) so it WAS necessary to skip the golf. At least it's out of the way and I can get back to my regular routine once again!

Lets move on...

I love lists, especially those that talk about golf courses. Two publications recently released their 'Best of' lists, with Golf Magazine releasing their top 100 public courses in the United States and Score Golf listing the top 100 courses overall in Canada.

According to Golf, the best public course in the US is Pacific Dunes in Oregon, taking over the crown from Pebble Beach. If you recall, Harry and I had preliminary discussions about taking our spring trip to the Bandon Dunes Resort but he didn't want to travel all the way out west when we only had five days to play with.

One day, I'll get out there. All three courses on the resort are rated extremely high, with Pacific Dunes at #1, Bandon Dunes at #6 and Bandon Trails listed at #15. Not too shabby.

I have played three courses that were listed on the 2006 rankings: Cog Hill (Dubsdread Course) was ranked #22, Princeville (Prince Course) was ranked #30 and Ginn Hammock Beach Resort (Ocean Course) was ranked 78th.

Unbelievably, Cog Hill DROPPED RIGHT OFF THE LIST! From 22nd to GONE! That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Almost like an oversight - the course certainly doesn't deserve to be ranked at 22nd but I definitely think it's a top-100 public track.

Princeville stayed right at the same spot, sticking at #30 while the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach moved up from 78th to 74th. Funny enough, Harry's preferred course at Hammock Beach, Tom Watson's Conservatory, isn't ranked.

On to Canada, as Score Golf posted their 2008 rankings on the top courses in the country.

The new #1 is the National, a club I haven't had the chance to play. In fact, I haven't played any courses in the top 15. That's pretty ugly. Well, I DID play St. George's (#3) when I was a teenager but I don't count that in my 'Courses I've Played' list, as I only count courses I've played since I took up golf again in 2000 - I don't really have much recollection of courses played prior to that year and didn't really appreciate architecture until I started playing again as an adult.

Taboo is the highest ranked course that I've played in Canada, dropping to 18th from its former spot at number 11. I like the course but think it's rated a bit high. Glen Abbey dropped from 13th to 19th while Bigwin Island dropped to 21st from 16th.

There are three courses I've played that made their debut on this list: Eagles Nest debuts at #23 in the country, probably a good slot for the Doug Carrick design. Another Carrick course, Muskoka Bay, comes in at #26. I *really* like Muskoka Bay and would personally rate it higher than Taboo.

Also, the Club at Bond Head's South Course makes its debut on the list near the bottom at #99.

In all, I've played only 17 of the top 100 in the country, with the other courses being Osprey Valley - Heathlands (36th), Brantford GCC (41st), Deerhurst Highlands (50th), Rosedale GCC (54th), Deer Ridge (57th), Wooden Sticks (61st), Angus Glen - South Course (69th), Heron Point (73rd), Osprey Valley - Hoot (77th), Lookout Point CC (86th) and Thornhill GCC (94th).

Interestingly enough, I have played three courses that dropped out of this year's rankings from 2006 - Cherry Hill was ranked 89th in '06, Niagara Parks - Whirlpool was ranked 91st and Lionhead - Legends was ranked 97th. They all dropped off the list.

I will be adding to this total soon, however. I have a tee time set up in eight days at the very exclusive Oviinbyrd GC in Muskoka, which debuted on the list this year at #29. I'm pretty excited about that, let me tell you!

I also plan on taking one of my old friends up on his offer of playing St. George's. I have some business meetings in Toronto in mid-September and will try to schedule a mid-week round with him there while I'm in the big city.

I'd like to strike one more off this list by the end of the year as well - hopefully I can get Harry and Cal to join me at a place like St. Thomas or something better...I wonder if I can call in a favour and get on a place like The National or Hamilton G&CC...hmmm.

Likely too much to ask but time will tell!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Milestone Reached: Niagara Cup Semis & Niagara Men's Tour

It was a busy weekend on the links.

A couple buddies of mine, Jay B and Ryan D, came out to enjoy some twilight golf at St. Catharines on Friday night. They are both former members at the club but don't get the opportunity to play much these days. We had a great time: the course was completely empty and we were able to get around in about three and a half hours, barely beating nightfall. I played decently, shooting a 76 but didn't make a birdie for the second round in a row.

I've kept scoring records for my last three years and this 36+ hole birdie drought qualifies as the longest in that period.

Still, I had a bit more confidence teeing it up on Saturday afternoon at St. Catharines, as we hosted Rolling Meadows GCC for the first leg of the semifinals of the Niagara Cup competition. I was facing Kevin D, a solid southpaw from Rolling Meadows in a singles match.

I started off by stiffing my approach shot on the first hole and knocking in my three footer for birdie to take the quick 1up lead. I'd par the 2nd hole but then I started to fall apart.

Hole 3: Double Bogey
Hole 4: Par
Hole 5: Double Bogey
Hole 6: Bogey

My opponent's start, you ask?

Hole 1: Bogey
Hole 2: Double Bogey
Hole 3: Double Bogey
Hole 4: Par
Hole 5: Triple Bogey
Hole 6: Par

So I'm four over par through six yet still lead 2up in the match. Unbelievable.

I would settle down and start making a bunch of pars, winning the last three holes on the backside to take a ridiculous 5up lead through the front nine.

I was still five up after 13 holes but then the bad weather rolled in. We took shelter at the halfway house for about an hour as the lightning and thunder rolled through St. Catharines.

Once we got back on the course, I quickly closed out my opponent with a par on the 14th hole to win the overall match 6&4, a pretty lopsided result considering how poorly I was playing (+6 after 14). I'd make a par on the last hole to win the back nine 1up and take all three points in my match.

St. Catharines as a team locked up a ridiculous 17 of the 18 available points in the first leg of the semis, with the second leg taking place the next day at Rolling Meadows.

That was an event I'd have to miss, as I had the fifth event on the Nevada Bob's Men's Tour taking place that afternoon as well at LochNess Links.

Now, having shot a 79 the day before and flaming out in the club championships a week earlier, I wasn't exactly the most confident guy in the world going into the day.

I get to the course around 1pm and it is just POURING out. Raining cats and dogs. My buddy Bernie had opened his trap the day before about the fact that the Tour had never had a rainout in its 8-year history and it was looking like he jinxed the event. Puddles were forming in the fairways and on the greens.

But this isn't the PGA, folks. The Niagara Men's Tour plays in EVERYTHING. So we were off.

I made solid contact, all things considered, off the first tee ending up in the right rough. From there, I hit 6-iron to the middle of the green, hit a poor putt that went five feet past the hole then made the comebacker for the par.

The rain really started to come down as we hit the 240 yard second hole. Hitting 2-iron hybrid, I hit a stinger that landed just short and stopped in its tracks on the wet turf. I had a little chip shot to the front pin and sunk it for the awesome birdie! Great start! One under through two!

I'd give it right back on the par five third. I'd hit a weak drive to the left and draw a poor lie in the rough. I'd advance the ball about 150 yards to leave myself about 130 yards into the green. With the rain just teaming down, I'd push my approach into the right rough then lip out the chip, rolling four feet past. Somehow, I'd miss that little putt for the bogey to drop me back to even.

The next hole is an animal. 450 yards, uphill, into a stiff wind with the rain coming down hard. I nailed my drive but still had 205 yards left. I'd hit another fine hybrid shot but still came up short. My chipping was on though: I'd knock my wedge to about two feet and tap that in for the great par.

I'd bogey the easy and short par three fifth after hitting long off the tee and not getting up and down. On the par five sixth, I'd drive down the left side but hit a horrible 5-iron layup shot into the right fairway bunker about 150 yards from the green.

The bunker, of course, was drenched and I ended up topping the ball out, barely missing the water. I was still about 50 yards away, hitting my fourth shot when I reached the turning point of my round.

With turf so wet, you worried about either skulling the shot or laying the sod over the ball, I hit a perfect little wedge that took two bounces and hit the flagstick, dropping stone cold stiff to a foot. SWEET! Tap in par after hacking around the hole.

It was a boost I needed.

With the rain still coming down in sheets, I made a great two-putt par on the tough par four 7th then did the almost impossible on the 245 yard par three 8th. I knocked in a 20 footer for yet another birdie.

I birdied both 240+ yard par threes on the front nine! NUTS!

I'd play the tough par five ninth hole perfectly but miss a 15 footer for birdie, settling for the par and a GREAT front nine score of even par 36.

We moved to the other side of the road for the 10th hole and like magic, the rain started to lighten up.

My swing felt great at this point. I used a hybrid off the 10th tee and nailed it to the 150 marker then almost HOLED my approach, landing about six inches short of the hole and stopping four feet away. I'd roll THAT in for yet another birdie and I was back to one under on the day!

It was a nervous walk to the 11th tee. It was here, for one of the first times ever, that I started to think about winning an event on Tour. One under HAD TO BE LEADING considering the weather.

However, the rain had completely stopped by this point and the sun was even trying to poke through the clouds. I ripped another hybrid off the tee at the 11th right down the pipe, again avoiding water on the right side. I had an easy 9-iron approach but the pin was tucked in the back right portion of the green, a tough placement. I hit a loose shot, coming up just short but then chipped to four feet and made the putt for another par.

I'd give a shot away on the par three 12th when I made the cardinal mistake of hitting left but made routine pars on both the 13th and 14th holes.

Disaster almost struck on the difficult par three 15th. I hit a nice, solid hybrid on the 215 yard hole that just went through the green. It was a tough chip shot to the pin though, with a huge slope that took the ball left to right and down a hill, so tough that I had to aim almost 90 degrees left to have the ball feed properly to the hole.

However, I didn't make good contact and barely moved the ball, just getting it onto the green and not reaching the bottom shelf. Damn!

I now had a 30 footer down the slope and while I hit a good putt, I still went seven feet by. Geez.

Staring double bogey in the face, I somehow mustered the courage to firmly hit my putt through the break, dead center into the cup to save the bogey.

Whew! Now one over on the day with three holes left.

The short par four 16th was next. I hit a great drive down the middle and had another of those testy 30 to 40 yard wedge shots left, with a bunker directly in front of the green. Again, I was so conscious about not laying the sod over the ball that I ended up skulling this shot through the green into the back bunker.

Trying not to show any anger, I splashed out nicely to about 10 feet but couldn't knock the putt home, making a very disappointing bogey on the easiest hole on the course.

Undaunted, I hit my best drive of the day down the pipe on the long, straightaway par four 17th but hit my 6-iron approach a bit fat, ending up on the front of a very large green, with the pin cut all the way in the back. I'd hit my birdie putt and leave it six feet short.....but make the par putt to stay at 2 over!

I figured I'd need a birdie on 18 to have any chance. It's a shortish par five with an elevated tee shot and water running all the way down the left side. It's not an easy drive, let me tell you.

That said, I continued my solid ball striking off the tee, striping it down the middle. However, I was well back, about 250 yards to the flag. With water looming, I decided to play it safe, hitting an 8-iron to 115 yards then hitting a gorgeous gap wedge to 12 feet.

"You got a run at it!", my playing partner Ken proclaimed.

It was a pretty easy putt, left center and up the hill. However, it broke off a bit more than I anticipated and I just missed on the amateur side. I'd tap in for the par and a total score of 74 (+2), quite a great number considering how tough the conditions were.

I was the clubhouse leader and over a couple beers, watched as group after group came in, with no one bettering the score. I've been in this position before, back in 2005 at the last event when someone in the final threesome came in to dash my hopes of winning my first title.

So, needless to say, I wasn't getting overly excited.

Which made me all the more dumbfounded when Bernie came over, hand extended and silly grin on his face, offering his congratulations.

I won the tournament!!! I WON THE TOURNAMENT!!!!!

My first ever win on Tour in five years of participation. In fact, as best as I recall, this is the first time I've EVER won a stroke play tournament. Yeah, I've won a couple match play titles but other than some junior club events back in my late teens and winning a local qualifier for the Ontario Junior Championship, I can't recall ever winning ANYTHING before.

This is easily the biggest event I've ever won in my life and I'm just ELATED! There I am below with my little crystal trophy after the win.

There was a nice writeup in the local paper about the event too. If interested, check it out right here. I assume it won't stay online for long, though.

Now, it's time to rest. In fact, I'm even taking next Sunday off from golf to do some painting before the baby arrives. Shock of shocks!

What a great year it's been!!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

An Unexpected Outcome

Not going to go into much detail here, as my game on Sunday doesn't warrant much exposition.

I have a couple excuses I could throw out but in the end, I just didn't have it on Sunday. I had nothing, in fact.

I had to make a 25 footer on the 1st hole just to save par then bogied the second hole to go +1. Relatively solid pars followed on the next three holes but a poor drive into the fairway bunker on the sixth resulted in another bogey.

No big deal right? Just +2 through six.

After a 25 minute wait on the par three 7th, I hit just a horrible shot that barely clears the creek. It then hits a rock and runs hard to the right along the waters edge...somehow staying out.

I have no shot at the flag, which is sitting front left, due to the fact that my ball is sitting up against the rock. My only play is to go to the back of the green and I have about a 70 foot putt for par. I leave it 20 feet short but somehow regain my composure enough to MAKE THAT for the ridiculous bogey.

I'm stupid enough to think I have to start pressing and after hitting a solid tee shot on the par five 8th, I have about 215 yards into the green but the ball just rolled into a shady-looking lie. Figuring I need to make something happen, I give it a go and fall short, landing in the creek short of the green. I'd pitch long, chip to three feet and miss the putt, making a crippling double.

I'd finish with a 41 on the front and I was just gassed. I had no fight in me on this day, something that is unusual for my grinding ass.

My buddy Jay, who has caddied for me in the past, showed up to watch me just as I hit my tee shot on the par three 12th into the water. I'd hit a good third shot to four feet and MISS that too. Another double.

My drive on 13 would go left but I'd have a clear shot at the flag. However, my luck on this day ensures that the lie is peutrid and I couldn't get the ball in the air, hitting a tree 20 yards in front of me and cruelly falling right down in it. I'd chip out and make another double.

Knowing I'd need to play at least one under just to make the cut, I try with everything I have to make a run for one but just miss on the par five 15th then am forced to get up and down on 16 just to save par. I'd then have a great chance on the 17th but leave my birdie putt on the lip just short. Ugh.

Needing birdie on 18, I hit another awful drive left into the trees and end up making yet another double bogey. I didn't think it was possible but I shot 83 and MISSED THE CUT.

Wow. This ranks up there with one of the more disappointing events I've ever played, especially considering how well I've played almost all season.

I did learn a few lessons though -

#1: Avoid working in my warehouse and lifting heavy crap in the days proceeding the tournament
#2: Stay in my normal routine...don't play nine holes the day before the club championships and especially, don't ever practice if you don't do it already!
#3: Don't drink three bottles of wine at dinner the night before your second round
#4: Don't try to cut up an orange before your round of golf on Sunday just in case you accidently cut your thumb open

Yeah, all that crap happened along with some medical concerns that popped up last week with my wife's pregnancy but it probably wouldn't have mattered. I just played like complete garbage on Sunday and suck ass at golf again. My driver especially let me down, big time. It was embarrassing how bad I hit it off the tee.

In more positive news, Toast finished in SECOND PLACE after shooting rounds of 74-77-74. Just awesome stuff. I caddied for him yesterday and he played great, controlled golf, hitting at least 14 greens in regulation and outplaying everyone but the eventual champion, Mike K, who shot a scintillating 213 (-3) over the three day event.

Congrats to the Toastman!

As for me, there's always next year...and 'A' Flight instead of Open!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Club Championship - Round One Recap

It was a story of two distinct nines in the opening round of the 2008 Club Championship at St. Catharines for me yesterday morning.

I was really solid to start. Perfect 4-iron off the short par four opener, followed by a wedge to 15 feet. I'd barely miss and tap in my par.

I'd leave my approach just short on the second and chip it six feet past the hole. However, I'd slip the putt in the side door to stay at level par.

Two good shots into the par four third left me with about an 18 footer, a putt I'd leave just short. I'd make another routine two-putt par on the par three fourth.

I got into a bit of trouble on the long par four fifth. I drove it well right over by some sprinkler boxes but I still had a relatively clear shot with a tree hindering my backswing. I ended up well short of the green but my 30 yard pitch shot nestled within a couple feet. Another par.

Routine two putt par on the sixth then I got up and down from right of the green on the par three 7th, almost chipping that in too.

I'd get into red figures on the par five 8th. I hit my best drive of the day here and had 218 yards into the green. My four-iron went just right of the greenside trap but I pitched the ball to five feet and made the putt to get to one under.

Two solid shots set me up with a 35 footer up the hill on nine but I got a bit frisky with my birdie effort, knocking it five feet past. I'd miss the comebacker, my first missed putt of the day to shoot an even par 36 on the front.

I hit the ball beautifully for the most part on the front but my game was just about to fall apart...at least my long game!

On the short par five tenth, I hit a weak hook into a tree and was lucky enough to be able to get a swing on it. I hit another poor shot, leaving me 150 yards into the green but knocked my 9-iron long. I would miss another six footer here for the ugly bogey.

I'd make two routine pars on 11 and 12 and that's when I decided to turn into Harry Houdini!

13th Hole: Pull drive left. Find it's right in a tree. Just chip it into fairway, 135 yards away. PW to 18 feet. Make the putt for par!

14th Hole: Sucker pin in back right portion of green. Go for it like an idiot and short side myself right. I do what I can and the ball settles about 20 feet away. Make that one too! Fist pump!

15th Hole: Another weak hook that hits a pine tree left of the fairway and drops right in it! Have to be careful manoeuvering myself into a hitting position, being sure not to break any branches. Advance the ball five yards so I can get a swing on it. Then hit a 5-iron to about 180 yards. From there, I hit a 6-iron to four feet! Knock that in for another par save!

Wow.

I knew I was dancing with the devil for almost the entire back nine and finally played a good hole on the par five 16th, barely missing a birdie putt.

But my escape routines were about to come up short. On the long par three 17th, I hit a horrible shot into the hazard right of the green. I'd find my ball and contemplated taking a drop due to the poor lie but ultimately decided to try to hack it out. It was a good decision, as I hit a soaring shot that ended up about 12 feet away! I'd miss the putt though and make bogey.

Then on 18, with out of bounds looming on the right, my playing partner hits a ball so far right I could only wince. I step up and make the ugliest, Charles Barkley-like anti-right swing you can imagine and snap hook the ball into a tree forty yards in front of me, with the ball ending up in a gulley on the adjacent first hole.

Wonderful.

I have practically no shot, with the ball sitting poorly on a downhill slope and can only advance the ball fifty yards. I still have about 200 yards into the green and hit a high 5-iron over the trees into the greenside bunker. With a decent crowd assembled at the green, I blast out and hit the flagstick, with the ball stopping an inch away. I get a few claps for that one and also when I tap in for a bogey they all surely thought was a par.

So in the end, I somehow prevail with a 75 (+3), a score that flatters me tremendously. I could easily have been about a 78 so I guess I'm satisfied with the number.

While I'm not out of it by any means, scores were quite low on the day. Mike K, a three-time former club champion shot a lovely 69 and has a three shot lead over young Joe T. There are four players sitting at 74, including friend of Now on the Tee, Mr. Toast himself. The
Golf + Poker blogger shot a scintillating 34 (-2) on the front nine.

So I have six guys in front of me starting the second round, which takes place in an hour or two. Our good pal Harry from Sports, Entertainment and Smack also played a solid round, shooting 77 (+5). Good stuff.

I have a feeling the cut will end up at 155, as they are taking the top 12 and ties.

I won't be thinking about the cut at all. I think I need a 72 at the worst today to get into contention for Monday's final round so I'll be looking for birdies. Talk to you later tonight or tomorrow!