I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined that I would ever make the cut in one of golf’s majors (although it is a Senior major). I knew it wouldn’t be as easy as perhaps it was going for 26 holes as I was in the thick of the tournament only 3 shots behind Corey Pavin at -4. But as I am accustomed to the many challenges that this great game throws at us, my battle had just begun.
After a poor 19 degree rescue off the tee my ball was left hanging on the right side of the bunker where I had no stance. My best shot possible produced a 65 yard recovery shot into the green resulting in the 1st hole over par other than the 2nd hole (which I double bogeyed on Thursday and bogeyed today). This was the beginning of some very poor decisions and even poorer shots. After a saving par putt on #10 and a missed 10 footer for birdie on 11 I hit a very bad hook off the impossible 12th hole (12 played as the toughest hole on the course). After a drop out of the gorse I made a great 15 foot putt to save bogey. #13 was another poor club selection resulting in a bogey and now the ship was taking in some serious water.
What I thought was a god drive on the par 5 14th hole rolled again into the bunker which was not a welcomed sight to me. Another poor club selection led to a poor shot where I left the ball in the bunker. Again I needed to get up and down from the far left side of the green to save a bogey. Even when I hit good shots on 15 resulted in another bogey followed by another at the tough par 3 16th hole. FINALLY I saved a par on 17 and felt I needed a par on 18 to ensure I’d make the cut. By now I had sand in my hair, I was frazzled and a bit frustrated at the poor shots I was hitting. The wind was blowing HARD and it seemed like a possible melt down waiting on 18. After a poor 3 wood off the tee I unintentionally laid up short of the burn and was actually quite pleased with my closing bogey 5 for a 41 back nine and a 77 on the day.
Upon returning my scorecard it became apparent that I had reached my second goal of making the cut. The amazing thing is the third goal came along with it as no other amateur made the cut leaving me as the sole amateur left in the field. This has all happened so fast and I now can see what an honor and privileged it is to be playing in the British Senior Open at Carnoustie, and to have made the cut for the weekend. Of course this will present a challenge for me getting to Eugene Oregon for Tuesday start to the Pacific Coast Amateur.
The course here is a great test of the game and will reward you as easily as it will punish you. Yes some bounces will go against you, but also for you as well. I had a chance to chat with both Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin this evening and I am very impressed at how genuinely nice and down to earth these guys are!
Having my dad here watching my every shot is also very meaningful to me. I must say I highly recommend the Carnoustie experience and I am looking forward to receiving the low amateur award on the 18th green on Sunday evening. It will be a moment I will always cherish.
But back to business at hand…for those of you following the live scoring I hope to produce a high of 4 on the second hole and I am excited to tee it up again on this tough and awesome track tomorrow at 10:00 am.