On another very cold and foggy day at the Glass, the course was again in pristine condition for the quarter-final and semi-final matches. The brackets as always were dominated with college players, with the exception of a 27 year old, Kevin Wentworth and a 52 year old. Kevin went down fighting in the morning quarter-final match to Michael Weaver on the final hole. My match with Cameron Rappleye went in my favor as Cameron didn’t play up to his usual standard and I didn’t give him a chance to get back in the match.
It seems everyday I struggled on the 4th and 5th holes and then didn’t make another bogey the rest of the round. Unfortunately those bogeys got me 4 down against Michael Weaver, a lead I was able to widdle down to 1 up going to the 18th hole. All I can tell you about my two semi-final defeats this summer in the Cal State AM and the Nor Cal Am is that the two guys that brought me down had there putters working big time. In match play the putting is the most important weapon you’ll have in a tight match. If you can roll em in, you’ll get a lead and keep it like Michael did against me. For a guy that is not that big in height, he can BOMB the ball. Playing most of these 20 yr olds, I would say I’m as long off the tee as the average guy, Michael was 10-20 yards longer than me. It was a huge advantage on #13 a 460 yard par 4 uphill and into a breeze, Michael bomber a drive and flew a 7 iron 5 feet from the hole. I killed a drive and had a solid 5 iron left into the green, big difference!!
The match really was won on #16 when Michael pulled hooked his 3 wood off the tee deep into the woods left. He pitched out back through the trees to about 120 yards from the green. From there he hit a poor approach about 20 feet from the hole. I had a 20 footer myself for birdie which I lagged down to gimmie range, Michael then calmly rolled in his par putt to maintain a 2 up lead. My birdie on 17 made it a one up advantage going to the 18th hole, but when Michael hit his approach to 2 feet the match and my tournament were over.
I was very impressed with Mr. Weavers game and believe he will win the event tomorrow. Three of the 4 four semi-finalists are US Amateur bound, so Michael will probably miss one of his practice rounds over the weekend. If Michael keeps putting the way he is, he’ll be dangerous in the US Amateur as well.
Off to Milwaukee tomorrow to start getting ready for the US Amateur which begins on Monday.
NCGA article below- stay tuned for news from the US Amateur