Bhavik Patel rolled his way to become the 100th State Am champion. Let me tell you this past US Amateur semi Finalist can putt under pressure which I RARELY ever seen done. He not only made one putt over 20 feet, he made three against me, along with three other putts over 10 feet vs. my zero putts made over 4 feet. His ball striking was not perfect but It didn’t need to be, we all were fatigued from the long week, so the guy that made the crucial putts won the event and that was Bhavik.
Like me, I’m sure Kevin wished he had even his B game, it’s brutally tough to play so well to get to the finals of such a major event and play less than average. But that’s what happens when you combine FATIGUE with PRESSURE….Bhavik has been there before in the biggest amateur events you can play in, and has performed under immense pressure. His putter was by far his biggest weapon, as it bailed him out time and time again. Bhavik is not a big guy, probably 5’8″ or 5’9″ max and 165 pounds I’m guessing, he takes a very compact swing and absolutely rips it. Personally I think he has great professional potential, especially if he can learn to control his driver swing as he mentioned in his interview. My hats off to him, he is a great champion and yet another name on the trophy that I think you’ll see and hear from in the professional ranks.
So that’s the end of the 2011 State Am at Olympic, so how do I properly assess my performance? Well here we go, lets break it down in a brutally honest assessment and then I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it before all the REALLY big events come at me fast including the British Senior Open in July which I’m exempt in.
Driving the ball- My R11 continues to be inconsistent with only 50% hit fairways -albeit these firm and tight fairways were difficult to keep a ball in (just wait for the open). I don’t have a lot of confidence with this driver and I need to either tweak it a bit or go to a different look. The driver sets up all my rounds, if I drive the ball well, I can go low, but sideways driver creates to much scrambling.
Iron play- for the most part my iron play was very solid, especially a number of very good 5 iron shots to the par three holes. One day I hit all 4 of the par three greens which is VERY hard to do at the OC Lake course, 3, 8 and 13 all play over 200 yards long to VERY narrow openings in the front of the greens.
My short game was a mixed bag, my chipping and slopping from grass was quite good, while my bunker play was horrendous, I got up and in once out of 8 tries, that is completely unacceptable and will not keep you in the hunt in any event.
My putting was awesome with the LONE exception of when I played Bhavik in the semi-final match. When I needed the putts most I couldn’t make them because I was feeling the effects of the fatigue which DOES affect your putting by not allowing you to stay stable and stroke through your putts with forward momentum. I was waiving at my putts and left all the important ones short.
So I’ve already discussed with my trainer Rebecca Robertson (who trains top flight althletes at the downtown Olympic Club) what we can do to get my legs in better shape and improve my cardio fitness so the back to back 36 hole days don’t do me in. When we get together next week after the US Senior Open Qualifier on Tuesday, she is going to get me going on some cross training, which I’m sure is going to kick my butt, but without it I don’t stand a chance in these marathon events. What are you all doing for your fitness? Are you stretching everyday, doing Pilates and cross training? If not, there is no better time than now to start…don’t wait or it will never happen.
When I get my new routine I will post it and see if anyone wants to suffer along with me….?
No practice round at Peach Tree Country Club tomorrow I just found out, so I’ll be going into Tuesday with a practice round. The last time I played the course was when I was 17 years old…a few years back.
Stay tuned and thanks for coming to the site!!