The days of knowing the “main contenders” in an event have changed dramatically. I have to admit that I have never heard of any of the 5 amateurs that made the cut in the Open championship, especially the couple that actually contended in the end. The pool of talented players is at an all time high, with no end in site.
I recently played in the NCGA stroke play, and had the distinct pleasure of playing with a very fine young college player that stood a stout 5’9″ and must have weighed about 145 lbs max. but what he didn’t lack POWER, and I mean serious power. His first tee shot on the par 5 tenth hole went about 330 yards, I think he had an easy 6 iron left to the green. But at the end of the day, its the short game that separates these young (and old) players. The great equalizer is the short game, as Jordan Spieth has demonstrated time and time again. Its nice to belt it 350 yards, but if you cannot chip and putt, good luck playing for the big bucks.
Since I reported last, I’ve played in the Monterey City at Old Del Monte, the NCGA Stroke Play at Poppy Hills, and the qualifier for the British Senior Open on Monday in London at Berkshire Golf Club. Sadly I am now in Ireland trying to forget about my near miss to get back into the British Senior Open. My game is certainly lacking many elements to compete at a level that I’m attempting to compete at. It starts with the mental side, and bleeds into the physical part of the game. Practice round performances don’t mean shit when the GUN goes off on the day when it matters, Why can only a few players in the world actually play better under extreme pressure? I am not sure Dustin Johnson or Sergio Garcia have that ability to close under that intense pressure.
Unfortunately in London they have whats called LEGAL sports betting, and yes LIVE betting and changing odds as each shot is hit. I got a little carried away and had wagers (all to win) on about 12 players, especially heavy on Spieth, and then in the playoff Louie was my heavy bet to make back what had been lost. What I overlooked was that 1,2 and 18 were going to wedge shot approaches, advantage Zach, and there you have a pressure putter that stood tall in his finest moment. Seeing him win the JUG, helped ease a bit the loss of many hundred pounds, and I’ll tell you those pounds feel like dollars, but are almost 2:1 to the dollar after all the fees and charges associated with getting them over here. Today in Dublin I couldn’t help stopping into another sports hut to bet on my least favorite Senior player, yes I took old Monty to take the trophy at Sunningdale. I’m sure my bet jinxed him badly, we’ll have to wait and see.
I’m traveling and playing in Ireland the next 10 days before the start of the Senior Amateur here at County Downs, I’ll be bringing you video coverage of the courses I am going to play, and my thoughts on these gems, suggestions where I think you might enjoy visiting in Ireland, as I plan to see most of the Island.