I had a year to think how nervous I was last July while standing on the first tee at Sunningdale, and how poorly I performed off the 1st tee (two snap hooks). This year I was determined not to be overly nervous…..but that just wasn’t in the cards. I oscillated between the big rescue club and the 3 wood and ultimately decided safety first as a nasty deep bunker awaits those on the right and gorse and OB on the left.
The heart was pounding pretty good and I was able to hit a some what solid shot down the right side short of the bunker. Phew that was done and over with..the second shot didn’t come off quite as smoothly as I basically sculled a 9 iron on a low line drive into the deep front right bunker. I seriously needed to gather myself and after a few deep breaths was able to knock a bunker shot to 10 feet and escape with a very needed par start.
The second hole didn’t go quite so smoothly! I pulled my drive into the forbidden deep left fairway bunker which only allowed me to hack it out about 50 yards down the fairway. After a pulled wedge I was faced with an easy chip shot that I just stubbed. A 25 footer for bogey slipped by and a quick double bogey smacked me right in the face.
At times like this I’ve been known to give myself a slap in the cheek to stimulate some better thinking and get me fired up. What I would have NEVER guessed was it would be my last over par hole of the day…something at that time I would have given a thousand to one chance of happening. After another shaky par on three I found my groove and was able to relax a bit.
I hit a great iron into #4 resulting in a made 30 foot putt for birdie, followed by another good iron shot into #5 resulting in a par. The tee shot on 6 (the famous Hogan’s