Under some amazing weather here in San Francisco, the City tournament moves into a fast moving El Nino windy downpour thats going to hit us this weekend. The Presidio course has a difficult time even when rain has been very sparse over the past several weeks, we still experienced muddy balls and wet thin lies in the fairways. The rough is WAY up, and still wet and juicy. Keep in mind this is a very short course, totaling approximately 6449 yards from the tips, and Lincoln even shorter at about 5146 from the tips. But yet the medalist score was 140 (even par 68 at Lincoln and 72 at Presidio). Trust me these scores are not a lack of skill, but very tough conditions.
I made every mistake possible in the Championship qualifier and missed the cut in the championship flight for only the third time since I was 20 years old, resulting in a date in the Senior Qualifier. Call me stubborn, but I seem to lack enthusiasm for Senior Golf. Professional Senior golf, now thats a different story. I have been fortunate to have played in 6 Senior Major professional events (4 British Opens and 2 US Opens). But until Sunday, I had not won one single senior match in Senior golf. My record was 0-2 (one loss in the USGA Senior Amateur and one loss in the NCGA Senior amateur), hey both guys played great, but if your heart is not into the event, then perhaps do not sign up to play!!
I once had a rule of entering events, if I felt like I had no chance of winning, then do not enter. Obviously I entered the qualifier for 35 US Opens. But then I realized that its not all about winning these events, but how hard can you work to advance into an event that perhaps you never knew how good you really are. YES you are probably not going to win the US Open in your lifetime, but neither has Sergio Garcia, or Phil Mickelson. So I’m here to tell you, don’t limit your dreams because you feel like you cannot win an event, go for it and you never know how good you really are!
Honestly I am not sure that my good friend Greg Puga (a caddy at Bel Aire) thought he could win the USGA Mid Amateur, and he DID, and he played as an amateur in the Masters. Of course like most great amateur success comes the “I am turning pro now” which 99% of the time does not work out, but in the end, they chased their dream. And I respect and appreciate those that go for it in life.
Despite winning over 170 amateur tournaments in my career and being Northern California Player of the Year six times, I personally never had illusions that I could make it playing professional golf. SO MANY times I have been asked, “Randy, oh my god man, you came in 27d place in the British Open, why aren’t you going pro? I would always chuckle inside, because I knew that the 27th place I finished was a massive over-acheivment in my life, it was a dream come true. But I also knew that my paycheck was going to be about $18,000 and I think I spent $15,000 on that trip. So realistically I knew that I had done something that I could always cherish and think about, and remember the crazy butterflies in my stomach on the first tee each day of the event.
I cannot imagine a happier life than to play a game I love for fun for many many years, meet the amazing people in golf, and have had a chance to play in these major championships. I was always a realist, I wasn’t as good ever as Tim Jackson (two time USGA Mid AM champion) I was good enough to make it to the quarter-finals of the USGA Mid Am five times, and always dreamed about one victory to get into the Masters, but all five times it was the same reason I didn’t win, I just wasn’t good enough, my short game was not good enough!!
When I did win a few major events, my putting and short game where at their very best, especially the two times I won the Crump Cup at Pine Valley (2000&2002) My god lets be realistic about this game, if you cannot putt the lights out of it, you aint gonna win the big one. How many majors would Sergio have won if his putting was average to slightly above average, I say many. But you cannot teach putting, you either have the touch or you do not!!! I would say the same about chipping, you either have the touch and feel, or you don’t. I think with proper technique you can get way better, but again under the most severe pressure will your feel be there? The best players in the world from 100 yards back, aren’t even on the PGA tour. Mo Norman didn’t make it…..why?
I am all over the place here tonight, but if you want to know if you can make it in golf, find someone to putt you $100 a hole on the practice green (make sure they are a multi millionaire and don’t care about losing a couple thousand) and see how you do?
In closing, I am extremely passionate about getting the San Francisco City back to its home Harding Park. I would like to set up a gift crowdfunding site where people anywhere in the world that care about golf can give a dollar, ten, twenty or a thousand dollars. My dream for the city is the talented kid with limited resources doesn’t have to pay over $600 in fees to make it to the finals of the event. My goal is that once you make match play in the “City” you don’t pay again. With the help of the crowd, we should be able to raise $100,000 for the oldest running golf championship in the world and move it back to Harding Park. I mean really, what a slap in the face, we play Harding for all those years when the drain was clogged (for over 20 years) where there was zero drainage, and then the PGA tour and others come in, save the day, and renovate Harding to its current pristine condition, and then sorry City Players we now need to charge you $140 for a green fee, on your course that you have supported for almost 100 years. Go play Presidio, but sorry we have bigger events to worry about. Maybe I am missing something here. But I say NO to this, and that we will fight until we get this event back to its home. Oh and keep in mind this blog will never be 100% grammatically correct, I don’t even apologize, as I am an amateur writer and most certainly an amateur golfer!!
Stay tuned on how exactly we are going to raise $100,000 for this historic event, and how you can help!!
Thanks for tuning in, City results can be found by clicking this link!