Me, stalking a putt on the 9th hole. I’m pretty sure it was from about 70′. I don’t look too happy!
Other than the Drexel Morgan qualifier two Mondays ago (made the cut), I played in my first full field competitive PGA Section tournament yesterday. It did not go how I had envisioned it…
Long golf course, great shape (Laurel Creek CC in NJ). The greens were very quick and firm, as were the fairways. It was downright nippy at about 58 degrees on May 13. The wind was whipping a constant 10-15 mph with stronger gusts, and that made club selection more of a guess than anything. All things considered, the 124 players all had to deal with the conditions. Although, the morning draw did have the advantage of much calmer winds. Joe Kogelman shot 67 to win by four shots. Congratulations Joe, you deserve that win. Great playing.
I fought a hard draw all day, most of the times controlling it…but with a right to left wind and a hook, you’re going to lose that battle at some point. I was fortunate to hit a bunch of controlled knock down draws (ok, hooks…like 20 yard slings). It took 14 holes for my weakness to fully prevail. The big left miss on #15 into the hazard was a mistake. The HUGE block right to avoid the lake on the left of the 18th tee box….into the hazard was another one. Mix in some horrid putting and just plain bad course management, and you get a bad round.
What I have to do is take away something good. I hit some really good tee shots, shaped the way I saw in my mind. Several approach shots into tough headwinds penetrated and held their line to the appropriate distance from 175 yards away.
I have a two week stretch where I need to practice, play a little, and simplify. Yesterday was just too much “thinking”. Not enough “play”. And after all, golf is a game. I have a chance to compete against some really solid players. I’m lucky. I’m a grateful golfer (thanks Jim, I know I stole your line!).
I had three layers on….and thin trousers. My legs were cold, so was my head!