I fully intended to provide pictures of these two beautiful courses, but unfortunately I’ve had some technical difficulty with my photos. I hope to post the shots I took of Black Horse at a later date.
Coming off a 7 shot victory in the Oakland City last weekend my confidence was quite high entering this great event. These are two very tough courses that will penalize a slightly missed shot. Over the past 4 years both these courses have been completely renovated Bayonet & Black Horse. In the past the Black Horse course was considered perhaps the less difficult of the two, but now I’m not sure.
Day 1 was played at Black Horse under perfect conditions with a slight breeze and bursting blue skies. The view from Black Horse are stunning looking over the Monterey Bay and Pacific coastline. The difficulty of this course begins with narrow fairways and ends with the undulated greens. Since these greens are relatively new, they are still very firm, where shots hit from the rough will not hold. The grass just off the greens made it very difficult to get chip shots close. The grass is thick and wiry making chip shots really challenging, a chop shot is the only way to get the ball moving out of the stuff with enough energy. I hit a few chip shots half way to my target several times.
Bayonet today was very similar to Black Horse, hard greens with thick and tough grass surrounding the greens. Personally I think it played on my patience. As an example the 11th hole today was playing relatively short downwind with a back right pin. After a tee shot that ran through the fairway in a good lie in the rough I knew I needed to hit the shot on the front of the green to let it release to the back portion of the green. I hit the shot a little to far and watched it roll over the green into a nasty clumpy lie. After a chunked chop shot I was left with a 20 footer for par which I missed.
I certainly wasn’t alone as the scores where very high despite the great weather conditions. Cory McElyea this year’s runner up in the SF City didn’t seem to have the troubles the rest of us had. Cory shot great rounds of 72-70 for a 2 under par total of 142 and a 9 shot victory. Terry Foreman finished 2nd with rounds of 74-77=151
In the senior side of the event, Mike Harding shot a blistering 68 on Black Horse and coasted in with a 79 for a 147 total and a six shot victory over Rob Adolph.
Next week I’ll be covering the Santa Clara County held at the San Jose CC. This is another great course that has tremendous history behind it. Stay tuned!