Journey starts with a THUD

Today is one of those days that I hope I soon will forget. It was an important day, as I feel I am still capable of winning the USGA Senior Amateur. Today at Big Canyon in Newport Beach, I had a very good chance at getting one of the five spots that will advance to Eugene Country Club in late August.

If my practice round was an indication of how I may do today, then I guess I liked my chances after shooting a 67 on Saturday in a friendly member money game. But the trend continues where I tend to get a sore spine and back after a full day of golf and practice.

My round today was not terrible, I knew that 72 would probably get one of the 5 spots, so in the back of my mind that was my goal. And of course with a few holes to go, I was right at that number. I had a 4 foot birdie putt on the 6th hole (my 15th hole of the day) to go -1. A miss there, followed by a great par save on the 7th hole left me in good shape for the final two holes, #8 and #9 since I started on #10.

I’m not into boring you with the details, but a horse putt for par from 3 feet on my 17th hole was my demise. I closed with a par on #9 for a 73. I knew that 73 might playoff, so I needed to run to Roger Dunn Golf shop to have my snapped wedge shaft replaces, as it turns out I used it on the first hole in the playoff against my two pals John McClure, and Casey Boyns.

Unfortunately I lost to both of them in the playoff which eliminated any chance I have to play in this years event. So what can I do to now have this pattern continue? I believe that I need to completely rest my back the day before an important event, and definitely not have a traditional Thai massage that is with extra hard pressure. My body was sore waking up, and it played a role in many of my poor shots I hit today.

Thank god for side saddle (FaceOn) putting or days like today would not be 73’s they’d be 80’s. I am stuck in this 73-75 range of scores, while in practice I have shot a few 67’s. I understand the difference between tournament golf and a casual money game, but something has to change, and SOON!!!

If I had to pick between qualifying for the USGA Senior Amateur and the British Senior Open at St Andrews, I am not sure which one I’d pick. But since the USGA Senior Am is OFF my schedule now, I need to focus on the qualifier for the Senior Open where I’ll play at a course called the Fairmont of St Andrews.

I’m sitting at LAX waiting for my delayed flight to London. I’ve tortured myself a bit my going through my round today, and as usual I made many mental errors, something I usually avoid. Now its off the the breezes of St Andrews, and because of the dry warm spell they have been having, I will 100% bring the cold summer rains back to the area.

I look forward to reporting to you what this Fairmont course is like, and what my strategy will be next Monday when 160 pros and amateur tee it up there for 6 spots in the Open. I’ll need to play my best, be rested and have my body working sufficiently to rotate and get a full crack on the ball.


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