Another spectacular day at Spyglass Hill with little calm and beautiful conditions and the course set up to perfection!
Playing a close friend and your best ball partner is always going to evoke a unique emotion, as it did today playing my pal and past NCGA and State Amateur champion Darryl Donovan. After being two down early I was finally able to kick start my game after my final bogey of the match on the 8th hole. A 20 foot par saver on #9 was the catalyst for my match with Darryl.
I hit the par five 14th in two shots and made birdie to move me to one up in the match. After Darryl made long putts on 16 and 17 to stay one down in the match we arrived at the 18th hole which is a great finishing hole, especially if you need to win the hole. The tee shot is quite daunting with trouble on both sides making this a great match play hole. I stripped my drive down the middle and had wedge to the green to secure my par 4 and a win over Darryl. We both played quite well on the back nine after we both struggled on the front nine.
On the 14th hole I felt a spasm coming on so I spent the break lying on my back in the lunch room trying to calm the inflammation down. My afternoon match against the formidable Domingo Jojola started well with an opening birdie, but that was short lived as a spasm hit me on the 2 green. At this point I couldn’t bend over to mark my golf ball. After a bogey on #2 and #3 to fall 1 down, I asked our official if I could have a 5 minute medical break (which I knew was in the rules). I took five minutes on the 5th tee trying to stretch and calm my spasm hitting my lower back. I honestly didn’t think I could hit my shot on the 5th hole. My shot on #5 was a weak quail to the right that somehow I was able to get up and in for a winning par. The next hole was another struggle as I couldn’t hit my 6 iron 170 yards uphill. My shot came up short leading to a losing bogey 5 on this tough uphill par 4.
By now my emergency medicine that I carry in my bag was kicking in big time. The problem with this medicine is it makes you, well….kinda of high and loopy, but the good news is the pain from the spasm subsided and I was able to continue the match. Again after a bogey on #8 my card was clean of bogeys and had birdies on #1,#7,#11, #15 which put me 3 up and dormie with 3 holes to go in the match.
After a perfect tee shot on 16 and a great second shot 20 feet above the hole I figured I had the match under control, but true to the test Domingo rifled a rescue to 2 feet from the hole followed by another winning birdie on 17 to send the match to the tough 18th hole…once again!
A perfect tee shot and a wedge to 6 feet enabled me to hold off Domingo and reach the quarterfinals starting tomorrow at 7:15 against a new Olympian member Matthew Hansen. Despite the fact that I’m 33 years his senior, I’m sure we’ll have a great match!
This is the section of the tournament where fatigue plays a large roll in who advances. It is VERY challenging to walk Spyglass for 18 holes let alone 36 three days in a row. Anyone that doesn’t think golf is an athletic event I challenge them to walk Spyglass three days in a row and play 36 holes.
I wonder how the Panda (of the SF Giants) and Edgar and Jose would do walking 36 at the glass? I hate to mix or compare baseball with golf, but anyone that says golf is not a sport clearly hasn’t walked and played 36 holes before.
It wouldn’t be right not to mention my new and improved short game that I’ve worked on with Terry Rowles. He has helped me immensely and I greatly appreciate the short game work and the TPI exercises you’ve incorporated into my regimen.
Time to get some rest before going back out to battle at 7:15 tomorrow bright and early.
Thanks for following along and please stay tuned-
Click the link below for results