The rocky start only refers to me, and possibly the weather. My day started in horrific fashion slinging balls left and right on my favorite course in the world. When we tee off at 8:20 this morning we were notified that the afternoon shift of players teeing off between noon and 1:20 would need to finish at least 12 holes or the whole day would be washed out, I didn’t think twice about the weather and rooting for rain until I laid the sod over on an eight iron on #18 into the pond well in front of the green, leading to yet another double bogey (my third of the day). I am now sitting in a Starbucks enjoying their free WIFI looking outside at the improving weather, which means my +8 78 will count, and leave me needing a 70 or lower tomorrow to make the prestigious championship flight (top 16) in this amateur Invitational that is the best in the world by a LOT!!!
Just to put it in the proper prospective, let me give you the facts as to why this is the best amateur invitational in the world- #1 we get to play the number one ranked course in the world for 4 days including the possibility of playing 36 holes both Sat and Sun. The final match is contested in front of as many as 5,000 spectators that are allowed on the pristine Pine Valley grounds at noon on Sunday to witness the final matches. #2 we all stay on the grounds in the exceptional facilities, which leads to forging of great friendships and renewed ones#3 You can’t play Pine Valley another other time of the year in the conditions we play it, the course is UNBELIEVABLE and very hard to describe without being there to see it yourself. #4 the food, staff, and people of Pine Valley are amongst the best I’ve seen anywhere in the world period #5 you have the countries best mid amateurs and senior players competing in a format that is ideal, two rounds of stroke, followed by match play on the weekend. #6 Oh and did I mention the tee prizes- Crump Cup logo Titleist golf balls, cashmere Pine Valley sweater,FootJoy Golf shoes socks and glove (compliments of FootJoy). I may be leaving a thing or two out as I’m a little frazzled after my worst round of the year……
Tonight the players will congregate for a cookout, followed by the formal dinner on Friday where the top sixteen will sit at the head table and receive a Pine Valley flag to signify their seed into match play. I think you are starting to get an idea why this is such a great event. But the real truth is it doesn’t matter what the tee prizes are or really anything else, it’s the people that make this event what it is. Starting way back in the twenties when US Open champion Francis Ouimet who is commonly referred to as “the father of amateur golf”won the Crump Cup to start a string of winners displayed in the dining room that dates back to the twenties. This historic event is revered by the players and is the one can’t miss event on the calendar for many of us!
Looking outside I’m not seeing the rain and lightning forecast, so it looks like the ugly 78 is going to count, putting me in a very tough spot where a flawless round will be needed to advance into the championship flight for Sat start of the match play portion.
More scores, comments and pictures coming once I have a chance to come off the Pine Valley grounds and find my way to the WIFI here at Starbucks