True to my word I wanted to post these pictures of the 2011 Shadow Hawk venue in Richmond Texas outside of Houston. I’m not sure why every USGA event has a thunderstorm following it, but every event I’ve played in this year has been severely affected by weather (all in the Midwest- Toledo Ohio, Milwaukee Wisconsin and Houston Texas) The rain delay had us coming back this morning to finish off 7 holes. With 7 holes left I had zero chance of making the cut which I expected to be 148 or 149.
Sometimes I really struggle to write this golf blog because it’s hard to articulate the frustration I feel when things go poorly on the links. Today was the first day that I actually felt normal and acclimated to the climate here in Houston. After a brutal butcher job after yesterdays rain delay of three hours I came back out to the 16th hole (my 7th hole on the day) after a perfect drive on this 460 yard par 4 hole I hit a seven iron in the left bunker into a nice uphill lie. After brutal chunk, I again chunked #2 attempt followed by a fatty on the green resulting in a triple bogey 7 killing any chance I had at making my 14th consecutive advancement into the top 64 for the match play portion of the event. To make matters worse I birdied the next two holes to give me hope, only to fire my tee shot into the lake on #1 (my 10th hole) to again throw an ugly seven on my card. Darkness set in making our day end after 11 ugly holes, with a 5:3wake up call looming Monday morning.
This morning on the range I could tell my body finally had some rotation and tempo, so I expected to play well over the last 7 holes. I actually hit every fairway and green coming in, with the only hiccup being a 3 putt from 15 feet on #6 followed by birdies on my last two holes #8 and #9. I’m not sure I have ever made 6 birdies in a round of golf and shot 75 (+3) but it’s easy math when you have two 7’s on your card a double and two bogeys. Under normal circumstances in a USGA event if I had an option to make 8 birdies in 36 holes I would sign up for that in a heart beat. But when you mix in a triple bogey two doubles and 9 ugly bogeys, it adds up to 153 and my first Mid AM cut in over 25 years. VERY DISAPPOINTING….BUT keeping perspective on life and the importance of family and relationships, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a week with my dad that just had open heart surgery three weeks ago. Being around this amazing man is inspirational and makes me realize how lucky that I have both my parents still alive and well in their 80’s.
Honestly I haven’t even looked at what made the cut or who won their first round match today, all of that is available at http://www.usga.org sorry I am not linking this to the site tonight as I’m wiped out from the three days in a row of waking up very early and I wanted to at least share my thoughts of the 2011 US Am at Shadow Hawk. This course I believe could produce a surprise winner, someone that is obscure and fairly unknown. This course is there for the taking really by anyone. I am not a big fan of either course we played, the Bermuda grass I don’t like, not do I like the look of the grass on the greens (despite how incredibly smooth they are) I guess if I was medalist I would be singing the praises (I doubt it) it’s just not like what I’m used to, and the three USGA events in the Midwest didn’t suit me or my game.
I laughed today when I was thinking about this blog and what I would write today. What most golfers ask each other is “what did you shoot” and if it’s shitty the person asking really doesn’t care to hear the details, the number of three putts, they just want to know the number. On the course nobody wants to hear you rant and rave about your game, how you got screwed by a bad break or any other emotional reaction you have. What people take note of is the guy that absolutely gets screwed on a hole and he shows ZERO emotion….that is my goal to be that person, to show ZERO emotion when things are not going well.
With my son on the bag, I am very disappointed with myself that I let a few F-bombs out as I made blunderous mistake after blunderous mistake. This game will test your metal and make you crazy with frustration and test your patience and guile. To be a true winner in this game you must learn to accept the good with the bad, and after playing so well for so long this defeat was hard to swallow. I am the first person to admit I’m nowhere near perfect, and certainly not on the course. The challenge is I have the burning competitive juices flowing, with an expectation of success and a certain level of play. When this goes bad it’s hard to handle, some are good at hiding their emotions, others not so good.
All I can reflect on now is how fortunate I’ve been this year to have qualified for three USGA events, and have played in 2 senior majors (British and US Senior Opens). I have played all over the world, met some incredible people and everyday I live the dream of doing something I truly love and enjoy. Today was encouraging and gives me hope for the upcoming Metedeconk National Invitational and the Crump Cup at Pine Valley next week.
My apology there won’t be further input from the 2011 US Mid Am, but don’t be surprised if there is a surprise winner of this event
STAY TUNED- COURSE SHOTS OF SHADOW HAWK BELOW