Posted by: randyhaaggolf | October 14, 2017

Firefighter BEATS Wedding Caterer in USGA Mid-Am finals

Some of the best golf ever played in the USGA Mid-Am was on display yesterday by Matt Parziale, punching his ticket into the 2018 US Open, Masters, USGA Amateur at Pebble Beach and a whole host of other exemptions including a 10 year exemption into the USGA Mid-Am.

Is this a life changing event for an amateur that probably spend $2,000-$3,000 to participate, and in the end received a medal for his efforts?

I would say HELL YES!!!!

I’ve been chasing this dream my whole life, with only 5 quarter final finishes in the USGA Mid-Am, and YES I would trade all 5 quarter final finishes for ONE W!!

This is what’s great about golf, you have two guys that have jobs, one a Firefighter and the other a wedding caterer, battling it out on a very challenging course, and the Firefighter shoots a cool 63 in the morning round. Of course YES, this is match play and concessions are made on some short putts, but 10 birdies over the 30 holes played.

My hat is off to Matt, and I am sure this will be something he will always be most proud of in his golfing life. His 2018 will be a Cinderella story.

But what happened to all the BIG GUNS in this years Mid-Am…..? It’s simple, they got beat. And in match play anything can happen over just 18 holes when its win or go home. To win 6 matches you need luck, skill, endurance, mental toughness and a strong will to win period.

This is not a game for the weak hearted, this game will rip your heart out, will kill you with disappointment and failure. BUT when its your turn, and you do win..OMG its nirvana to the 9’s.

I cannot image a much better feeling than perhaps watching your newborn come into this world. This game can make you or break you. But we always seem to come back thinking we could be the next guy in line to do what a Firefighter and wedding caterer did, which is play in the finals of a National championship, and make everyone that knows them proud as hell!!

MID AM FINAL

STAY TUNED

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | October 11, 2017

AMAZING MATCH AT USGA MID-AM

The PGA Tour has its tag line “These guys are good”. Well these Mid-Ams are good too!!!

I’m telling you first hand, this Crabapple course is LONG and hard, yet there is a match between Michael Muehr and Mark Harrell where through 16 holes neither player has made a bogey. Harrell is currently -7 in the match and dormie 2 against Michael Muehr who is -5 on the day, and will probably need to birdie the last two holes to get the match back to all square.

Michael Muehr is a quality guy, and played on the PGA tour many years back. He has an amazing story of battling a serious illness, defeated it and now enjoys playing as an amateur.

One of the players left will receive an invitation to the Master AND the US Open.

Stay tuned!!

Muehr/Harrell Match

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | October 10, 2017

USGA MID AM ENDS WITH A THUD

What’s hard about writing a golf blog is that after a day like yesterday, I want badly to take a long time off from golf. The fact is that yesterday was perhaps the worst competitive round I played in 2017.

I knew on the driving range I was in trouble as I couldn’t seem to get my full range of motion working. I was slinging shots left and right. The harsh truth is that when your younger you don’t have many days where you can’t get properly loose on the driving range. As I have aged, its always a VERY good indicator of how I will play based on my range of motion on the driving range in my warm up.

I don’t like writing about my putting woes, as they come and go, but yesterday started with 3 straight holes where I yipped (eyes open) a putt from inside 4 feet and started off bogey, bogey, bogey, par , bogey.

On a VERY tough course with very little cushion to make match play, I was pretty much doomed off the poor start I had.

I am not a big fan of writing about my defeats, but in the end I need to learn from them, and make adjustments if I intend to compete at this level. I think the honest truth is that competing against the defending champion, Stewart Hagestad  (who shot 64 on the tough Crabapple Course) has passed me by. I believe that entering a tournament you cannot win, is a mistake, unless its a professional major, where there is a competition for low amateur.

My best ball partner and good friend Jason Anthony just finished off 4 time USGA Mid AM champion Nathan Smith, and is the guy to beat in this tournament. Jason is playing GREAT golf, and has a lot of confidence right now.

Stay tuned for more coverage from the US Mid Am

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | October 9, 2017

US Mid Amateur

These are some photos I took of the beautiful Capital City Crabapple course, which is hosting the 37th US Mid-Amateur Championship.

Play was canceled due to a tropical storm that hit on Sunday, today we resume the second round of qualifying leading to 64 players advancing to match play at days end.

On Saturday I shot 2 over par 73 at Atlanta National leaving me in the hunt for one of these coveted 64 spots.

Real time scoring is available at http://www.USGA.Org

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | October 3, 2017

THE FUTURE OF SIDE SADDLE PUTTING IS IN GOOD HANDS

I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful 8 year old side saddle putter her name is Naomi.

She already has a VERY good side saddle stroke, and her dad is doing her a huge favor by starting her putting side saddle. Remember famous putting author Dave Pelz wrote that if he were to start a new golfer putting, it would be using the Side Saddle technique. I AGREE WITH HIM

Here are some clips from my lesson with Naomi, I think you all will agree that she already has a beautiful putting stroke, and she will make a lot of putts in the future.

Meet Naomi – she 8 years old

right leg forward left leg back

get behind your putt to make sure the putter is aimed at your intended line

Alignment

Naomi making putts

A quick stroke

Walk into your putt on the intended lineNaomi making a great stroke

If you want help with putting side saddle, just ask. I am here to help you!!

Tomorrow I leave for the USGA Mid Am, I’ll have  photos from Capital City Club in Atlanta.

STAY TUNED

 

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | September 30, 2017

THE STREAK CONTINUES

Competitive golf will test every aspect of your mettle, patience and psyche. Yesterdays stunning finish to the 56th annual Northern California Senior Amateur at Poppy Hills fit exactly into the theme of my past 4 events. I’ve held the lead in each, while surrendering each event in various different ways on the 17th and or 18th holes.

When your in the heat of battle, your pulse is up, your heart rate is up, your trying to stay calm and smooth, its very very difficult. Yesterday I held a 2 shot lead with 5 holes to go, on the 14th hole, Tony Padilla made a mistake that left him over the 14th green at Poppy Hills facing a bogey or double bogey. He heroically smashed in a 35 foot par putt from off the green to keep my lead at 2 after I missed a short birdie putt.

My mistake in this finish were the bogies I made on 15 and 16 holes, opening the door for Tony’s fantastic finish. On the 17th hole we both hit great tee shots on this VERY narrow par 4 hole. Tony was about 30 yards behind me, so I didn’t see his 2nd shot. I hit a solid shot myself to 10 feet below the hole and as I approached the green saw a ball 2 feet from the hole. Gary Vanier playing in our group did not walk to this ball, and at that moment I know I need to make my birdie putt to remain one ahead going to the 18th hole.

My birdie putt on 17 looked in, until it lipped out on the low side, bringing Tony and I even at -1 for the tournament heading to the 54th and last hole. The 18th hole at Poppy Hills (The old 9th hole as the 9’s have been reversed) is reachable easily in 2 as the tee was up. There was a strong wind in our face, and Tony hit an amazing tee shot over the right bunker with a draw leaving him 225 to the front of the green. My drive was not ideal, as I ended up in the left fairway bunker, and layed up with an 8 iron. Tony hit a decent shot onto the very front of the green, leaving him 70-80 feet from the pin. My second shot from 100 yards landed 2 inches short of flying into the hole, and pulled back to 7 feet for birdie.

What happened next I have never experienced before in my golfing career. Tony from 70 feet, downhill with many breaks in both directions, calmed rolled this monster putt into the cup, and sealed the victory, he belted out a very loud scream of joy, which I thought was appropriate for such an amazing putt. I gave him knuckles and was not surprised that he made the putt. Call it destiny, or whatever you want, but for some reason I felt he was going to do something amazing to capture the title, and he did. Like the NCGA article stated, I really like each of the guys that have leaped over me in the past four events. I tip my cap to them, and always keep an eye looking forward.

My BIG decision now is, do I fly to Atlanta and play in the USGA Mid Amateur, or do I stay at home and play in the Olympic Club Championship and the NCGA Mid Am four ball. Many think I am CRAZY for even considering NOT playing in a National Amateur event, but the truth is the guys that are 25 years old hit the ball longer and straighter than me, and walking 36 holes 3 days in a row is VERY challenging. SO the question is, do you play in the events you think you can win…? Or do you go and play in the National Championship and try to take down as many young guns as you can?

Either way I’ll have photos of whichever event I finally decide to play in, if you have an opinion I’d love to hear from you. I love this game, I love to compete, and I love the people associated in the great game of golf.

NCGA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

STAY TUNED

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