I was sitting here, trying to think about what I would write on the good ole blog tonight. I am not sure any of this will be worth reading, but tonight I will take a different approach and talk about what mind-set I experienced in these recent events over the past few days.
On Sat about 90 players attempted to qualify for 15 spots (16 total as I was exempt) in the annual Presidents Cup which is out match play championship. I played in the qualifier as well to gain course conditions for Sundays match and to see if I could improve my match play seed from #2 to #1. The round got off to a good start with a two putt birdie on #1, a birdie on #4 followed by bogies on the tough #5 and #6 holes. The sixth hole played the hardest hole in the 2012 US OPEN and has been giving me problems lately. My round was going okay, but a three putt for par on #7 after driving the par four hole was a let down. After birdies on #9 and #10 I was in good shape at -2, till an ugly bogey on 13. After birdies on 16 and 17 I stood at -3 for the round on the 18th tee.
I have had some incredible history on the 18th hole, losing three Olympic Club Championships on the final 36th hole in the finals with bogeys, and a devastating blow up in the US AMATEUR in 2007 as I was even in my match coming to the home hole. I guess the tee shot doesn’t fit my eye well, as I get misaligned on the tee shot, and seem to make sub-conscious correction during my swing. I was thinking birdie for a 67 and make a statement. Instead I slung a rescue way left and lost in the thick bushes, followed by a shank into the right trees ending in a triple bogey and even round 71.
Now I am not complaining about the 71, but my rounds all seem to have disasters in them, not clean like the good ole days, and today was yet another example and disappointment. But before I get to the NCGA Masters 4 Ball, I will continue with the Olympic Club Championship. On Sunday I played my pal Matt Pingatore, and was victorious to move to next Saturdays quarter finals against my longtime friend and arch rival Gary Vanier. My history with Gary is memorable for me, as my sole SF City Title came against Gary in 1999 at age 40 when Gary had a 6-0 record in the City finals. It took 12 birdies that day over 35 holes to defeat Gary, and again he is enjoying a great year in tournament golf with many victories. I will need to have my A game against Gary, and I look forward to a great match with this very talented player!!
Over the past two days I enjoyed the company of my partner and friend Russell Humphrey, and we battles the two courses Black Horse on Monday, and Bayonete today. I made the mistake of driving in Monday traffic to get to the course by 9:50 after several accidents I realized I may miss my stating time, this did not help my start on the front as we together shot a dismal even par best ball, on a course from the short tees in perfect weather. After a -4 back nine we still stood at 4 shots back with many teams ahead of us.
Today was a new day, and after making birdie on 2,3,4,5,8 I had a 10 footer for birdie on #9 to get to -6 for the front nine, after I missed long, I then moved my body on the come backer from 3 feet and we walked off with a bogey. Being that we started 4 shots back in a best ball, we could not afford to make any bogeys, especially from 10 feet away for birdie.
The back nine started off better where I drained a 50 foot birdie putt, but then followed that up with three putts on 12 and 13 (on 13 I missed a 2 footer) and that was it, we sealed our fate with VERY inconsistent putting. I am not sure what the cure will be, but under pressure I find myself moving on the putts resulting in an automatic miss.
You can’t win them all, but you won’t win any of them if you do not putt well, especially if you do not putt well under pressure. While at Black Horse on Monday about 120 pros were playing for 4 spots into the Frys.com tour event, and from the back tees at Bayonete you’d need to have shot 68 or better. To put that in perspective we played the UP tees, and only two teams in the field tied the two low qualifiers with 67. It shows you just how tough it is to make a living as a tour player. Even after qualifying there is no certainty that these players will make the cut and get a check. VERY tough way to make a living!!!
Coming up next the final weekend of the Olympic Club Championship, the Stein Cup, NCGA/NCPGA Cup Matches and the Stocker Cup to finish up the year.