Its been a tough and long 5 years living with the Yips. You cannot win BIG events with the Yips. The Yips have a way of escalating in and during big events, all self inflicted. So what is the cure, the answer to eliminating or at least getting them to subside long enough to compete.
I’ve tried different putters, different grips, putting with my eyes closed, partially closed, looking at a spot ahead of my line, looking at the hole. None of these have worked. I switched to faceOn putting in 1996 when my Yips were so bad I couldn’t make a 2 foot putt. Golf was not fun, and I was either going to leave the game I love, or find something that worked.
I found Sidesaddle putting, and for 15 glorious years some considered me to be the best putter they ever saw. I felt so confident that I could make any putt of any length. But the real winner for me was my distance control was crazy good. I rarely ever three putted any greens, even when out 60, 70, 80 and 90 feet away.
I mainly used a Jack Koski putter called so easy, it was very light and had a solid face. After it ran its course I found the STX side saddle putter to be ever more to my liking. But in 2014 on one certain putt, there was a BOMB that went off in my right hand, and to this date have not been able to find a cure for it.
Yes I can still win tournaments, but not the really big ones. I was able to get to the Final match in the Crump Cup two years ago, and just needed two putts on the 18th hole from 25 feet to win, and was unable to get that done.
More on this topic in my next post tomorrow, I am flying from El Salvador back to SFO from playing in the Costa Rica amateur.
Ending the point season and securing the Northern California Senior Player of the year award is really nice and a great honor. But honestly I feel that Mark Morgan had a better year. He again for the second year in a row beat me on the last hole (36th) of the NCGA Valley Amateur. He beat me in the NCGA Senior Amateur at Poppy Hills, and was a serious threat to win every event he played in, along with qualifying for the US Senior Open, his first professional major.
Ok, I’m not here to write about Mark, but he was more deserving than me, but just didn’t have the opportunity to play in enough events to get it done. In the end, we both had to play in the last point event of the year…….the TRACY CITY, on a course that is split by highway 5 heading to LA in the middle of nowhere. I won’t say anything negative about the course, it was just we both needed to play to have a chance at NCGA Senior Player of the Year.
The tournament did not go well for me, after being even par with three holes to go on day one, I went double bogey, bogey, and a 10 on the last hole. Mark standing on the 36th tee box had a one shot lead, and a par on the last hole would have secured him player of the year. He unfortunately made a double bogey. I was actually disappointed for him, and had rather he made par and won both the event and the title this year. He deserved it!
Finally a world ranking matters when you are a senior golfer, that means over 55 years of age. This past year the USGA starting exempting the top 15 ranked Senior amateurs off the WAGR. It was how I avoided the tough qualifier to get into this years event.
Despite needing ankle surgery scheduled for December 18th, I have three WAGR events before I go under the knife. This week is the California State Senior Amateur, followed my next week I will fly to Costa Rica for their Championship in San Jose which carries WAGR points. I’ll end the season with an event in Florida the Dixie Senior Amateur.
My current ranking is 7th in the Senior Amateur World, but that can change quickly as events fall off that you did well in. Its a 104 week window for your events to count. This is a motivator to play in events that now count in the WAGR ranking, meaning they must be at least 54 holes, no 36 hole events count. So all the 36 hole events I play in need to be re-thought.
I’ll be giving updates on my progress on the STATE SENIOR AMATEUR, as I am paired with Senior super-star Jeff Wilson. You can also follow live scoring Monday – Wednesday this week at http://www.ncga.or
Get healthy, quit eating crap, workout 5 days a week, and play the best golf of your life!!
I sound like some kind of add with that title. BUT I do not accept any money for anything I write about on this blog. I’ve been given some side saddle putters to review and that’s it.
Additionally I haven’t tried to expand my readership in hopes to monetize what I write here. I write to you what I 100% think, feel, and believe in right or wrong. And yes I can be VERY wrong sometimes!!
But I am not wrong about increasing your clubbed speed, because I have added 4 mph of additional speed and I just started using this technique. Go too http://www.superspeedgolf.com to learn more about this excellent method. Those I know that are using this, love it, and have had great success.
They have training video on the best way to utilize the different colored clubs to train with, so I do not need to provide you with training and videos. The also have some great golf warm up stretches that everyone should be incorporating into their pre-golf routine. The 3-10 mph increase in your clubbed speed equates to 10-30 additional yards, which can be a game changer. Don’t let the winter off season bring you clubhead speed down.
More later on the race for NCGA Senior Player of the year.
2019 is the first year that the USGA is using the WAGR to exempt the top 15 ranked senior in the world into the USGA Senior Amateur. Finally this ranking becomes relevant for senior golfers (over the age of 55).
I followed my ranking closely as the USGA Senior Amateur qualifier was in San Diego the day after I returned from Scotland to play in the Senior Amateur there. Once the entry deadline date is established, that is the date they look for the top 15 ranked players. I was jostling between 7th and 12th, with tournaments from 2 years prior falling off, with new events being added. So you really don’t ever know if your going up the list or down relative to the other guys and what’s going on with them.
I was holding my breath as the last day for entries came July 11th and was thrilled to see that I held on at #12 in the world and would not need to travel down to San Diego to play in a 80 man for 5 spot qualifier, especially with my bad ankle.
I had the craziest week in North Carolina at Old Chatham. I was thinking that my ankle was going to be my main issue, but on Thursday during my practice round I started to hiccup and at first I thought nothing about it, until they didn’t stop. I went back to the hotel and started doing research on all the best ways to stop the hiccups. I spent a sleepless night, and finally on Friday afternoon (after I decided not to play my last practice round) I went to the UNC emergency room. Instead of going to an Urgent care facility I thought a University hospital would be able to treat my hiccups better.
WOW I was wrong. There were 100 people in the waiting room when I arrived at 3pm. 5 times I was called in for various test, including chest X-ray, blood, EKG, etc OMG I was there until 10:00 PM waiting to be seen my a doctor. In the mean time I texted my buddy DOC McD in SF who is a rock star emergency room doc, and he responded right back saying “only you Randy, this could only happen to you” as well as he sent me the three possible drugs they would give me to hopefully stop the hiccups.
After another hour waiting on my ER bed, a doc shows up and seems to be confused as what to do about my chronic hiccups, and after another hour decides to give me one of the drugs that was on the list provided by my doc friend in SF.
I took the pills and waited to see if the hiccups would stop, they didn’t and I pushed my call button many times to see if someone would come to give me the next drug on the list. Nobody responded so I walked out into their bullpen to find the nurses and doctors all eating and talking. I was pissed!!
Finally the supervisor doctor came to speak to me, now its 1:00 AM and I tee off at 8:10 am the next morning in the first qualifying round. She said to go back and get some rest if I can, and hopefully the hiccups will subside for a while. I left at 1:20 am and finally on the drive back to my hotel the hiccups stopped.
I got a little rest, and was hopeful that the hiccups would stay away as my esophagus was so sore from the contractions I could barely stand it any longer. Unfortunately after playing 15 solid holes at even par, the hiccups returned with a vengeance on the 17th tee box. I was finishing on the 8th and 9th holes, both birdie holes. But with my hiccups hitting me hard every 5 seconds I had an additional challenge just beyond a tough golf course.
I ended up making bogey on the last two holes and finished with a 74. At lunch while trying to eat between the hiccups I got some advice from a fellow competitor the eat a large scoop on Peanut Butter, that it would coat my esophagus and perhaps stop the hiccups. In the mens locker room there was a huge plate of peanut butter and crackers, I took a huge scoop of peanut butter and headed to my car.
As I was driving out of the driveway the hiccups did stop, but not for long. back at my hotel they started up again making ever so more hopeless and exhausted and disappointed. I decided to go to a movie once they again stopped, hoping I would not disturb everyone in the theatre if they started up again, as they are VERY loud once going.
I cannot believe I am writing about this, but you’ll never know how horrible the chronic hiccups are unless you’ve had this happen to you. What I realized was that something I ate on Wednesday evening gave me bad acid reflux, and the cause of my hiccups was that acid reflux igniting my esophagus into a spasm. I was able to get a prescription for my acid reflux which in turn calmed my hiccups down.
After another 74 on Sunday I was the 23rd qualifier (64 qualify for match play out of the 156 players) I drew a match with an old nemesis Bob Kearny from Houston. Bob had years ago beaten me in back to back years in the quarter finals of the USGA Mid Amateur championship. Bob is a very good player and a VERY good putter.
I hate to report that during my match with Bob, the putting yips were at their all time peak performance. I missed 3 footer after 3 footer, and saw my ship sinking rapidly as Bob kept making every putt under 20 feet that he had. Championship golf is won with good putting first and foremost. After all the golf over the weekend and dealing with the hiccups it was too much for me to get re-focused and a quick exit from match play resulted.
But honestly I was unsure that I was even going to play in the event with my ankle in such bad shape. Not in a million years did I think that my main challenge was going to be the hiccups. I left quickly after my defeat to get back home to see about rehabbing my body.
The NCGA Senior at Poppy Hills was a similar disappointment as I held a one shot lead going into the final round, after rounds of 69,73. The ankle was holding up ok, but on the last day there was no way I could transfer my weight to my left side. All ugly arm swings, resulting in an ugly 78 and a T7th finish. My buddy Mike Rowley played solid and birdied the final hole to win the event. I was super happy for him, and if I couldn’t win, I was glad it was him.
Coming up- the battle for NCGA Senior Player of the year, it comes down to the final tournament of the year, the Tracy City
It’s been such a challenge try to compete at the highest level in senior amateur golf, or any golf for that matter with an injury. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write about it at all.
The trip back from the UK was uneventful other than having to haul a lot of luggage to the airport from my hotel at the airport, and then finding the right check in lane. The Edinburgh airport is not the easiest to navigate and when your limping its even more challenging.
I was super happy to be heading home, but knew that I was unable to rest as the next tournament was coming up on Monday, the NCGA Valley Amateur which would have huge points towards player of the year. Knowing I would be tired upon my arrival back to San Francisco on Saturday, the last thing I wanted to do was play a practice round on Sunday. I have never played Oakdale Country Club, and knew that it would be nice, but I heard a bit tricky.
So off to Oakdale in the Central Valley I went early Monday morning to play a course I had no idea how to play or to mentally prepare for. My body was a bit beaten up with the travels back to the States, but wanted to give this my best and try to maintain a lead in the Senior Player of the Year standings (sadly that’s what we play for as amateurs).
I’m going to fast forward and spare you the details of my two rounds there, but I will tell you that I came to the 36th hole again tied with Mark Morgan for the lead, with a 5 shot cushion over those is 3rd. The same event a year earlier Mark and I also stood tied on the 18th and final hole. Last year I had a six iron into the par 5 finishing hole at Winchester CC only to rope hook it up on the hill and make a nasty bogey.
I was determined not to let something like that happen again. Mark had been making all these BOMB putts all day from off the greens, I was hoping it was perhaps my turn. But in the end, I hit a memorable 9 iron to 5 feet, while Mark sucked his shot off the green and down 6 feet off the green. I felt pretty comfortable that I would prevail this time. That was until Mark again from 40 feet and off the green drained a long put under intense pressure to put the heat back on me. My delicate 5 footer had a foot of break, and I did not hit a good putt. And again Mark was victorious.
My ankle seemed to hold up okay with the brace I had on it, and I was grateful that we were able to take golf carts right out onto the fairway to our balls.
THE NEXT FEW TOURNAMENTS BECAME MORE PAINFUL
I had all the majors now coming up, the US SENIOR AMATEUR, THE NCGA SENIOR MATCH PLAY, THE NCGA SENIOR STROKE PLAY, and a chance to outlast Jeff Wilson and Mark Morgan for Senior NCGA Player of the Year.
I was going to give you the blow by blow in each of them, but have decided not to. My next event was the NCGA Match Play at Spyglass Hill (one of my all time favorite courses) I won three matches to get to the semi-finals and a match with my good friend Scott Anderson, however that morning my ankle was so bad I called Scott and informed him I couldn’t play and needed someone from the hotel to help me to my car.
Now it was time for an MRI and Xray, which I drove 3 hours back home and directly to my doctors office and then straight to an offsite MRI office to get this ankle looked at. I was not surprised when told I have a bone sticking into my Achilles that was creating the pain and inflammation. I asked the doctor is I would be able to play golf, up next was the USGA Senior Amateur in North Carolina. He said you can try, but its going to be a challenge.
Up next, the USGA SENIOR AMATEUR
My favorite trip of the year is always to the UK to compete in the Senior Open and Senior Amateur. If I don’t qualify for the Open, I always have a week before the start of the Amateur. And this year I needed to the week to figure out how I was going to walk three days in a row on very a very uneven surface at North Berwick.
My travel companion and I showed up in North Berwick in the early evening and decided to go check out the course and maybe play a few holes. I went to the starters house and introduced myself and inquired about playing a few holes. With a smile and wink, he proclaimed that he was leaving in 30 minutes, as well as the course Marshall. I took that as we could play a few holes after he left of course, which we did.
The beauty of playing golf in the UK in summertime is you can almost play till 10pm in June and July. We hit our rocks off number 1 at about 8:00 pm and quickly played about 14 holes in less than two hours. I wanted to stress test my ankle and see how it would feel the next day.
The hotel I stayed at overlooked the 16th and 3rd holes, with the bay in the background. The vista also included many Islands as well. MacDonald Marine is the place to stay in North Berwick if your there for a view and golf. The hotel staff was awesome as they kept putting my ankle wrap in their freezer to accommodate my icing schedule. Additionally I dragged with me across the pond a 10 pound bag of Dead Sea -Sea Salt for soaking in the tub. Additionally I had just purchased a Bemer (more on that later) for the electrical stimulus it provides for healing and health.
I HAD IT ALL GOING ON- Ice, heat, Bemer, and then I added a few visits to a acupuncture specialist that twice provided me with acupuncture and a tight wrap of my ankle. The goal was to play two rounds, make the cut (top 40) and play the third round and not lose ground in my world ranking (WAGR)
The WAGR used to not be relevant and only for ego purposes, but FINALLY like with the pro’s the WAGR ranking which can be sorted by age is now used for exempting senior players into the USGA Senior Amateur this year for the first time. The WAGR has been used for many year to exempt players into the USGA Amateur and Mid Amateur. The number one ranked player gets exempted into the US Open.
The trick to the ranking is that the Senior events have fewer points allocated as opposed to the regular amateur and Mid Am events. So if you care about your ranking you’ll try to play in events with high points allocated to the events based on how strong the field is. If you play in an event that has 20 players ranked in the top 1500, then the event will have significantly more points than an event with fewer ranked players.
So the Senior majors- USGA Senior Am, Senior Am will have the most players ranked in the top 1500, which means you’ll need to perform well in these to creep up the ranking. My goal for 2019 was to be in the top 15 world ranked seniors (over 55) to obtain one of the coveted exemptions into the USGA Senior Amateur. The cut off date for looking at the ranking list is always the entry closing. And I was thrilled when on July 10th I received an email from the USGA telling me I had earned a spot in this years event, therefore forgoing my scheduled qualifier which would have been the day after I returned from the UK in San Diego.
Now in North Berwick my focus was on being able to compete, while having to walk this very long walking course. I decided on one practice round on Monday, with rest scheduled for Tuesday before the event began on Wednesday. I also decided to hit the gym daily with a light weight workout followed by 20 laps in the pool. The challenge as you age is losing muscle mass, and at age 60 it begins to rapidly accelerate. My distance off the tee and with my irons is my advantage playing senior golf (but not against the kids and mid am players).
At North Berwick the course heads Straight south down the coastline for 8 consecutive holes, cuts back towards the water on the par 5 9th hole and then heads straight back north and back into the wind for the final 10 holes.
My attitude is always to look at whatever tee time I’m given as a positive, as you never know what the weather will be like when your tee time arrives. But when I arrived a week early on that Wednesday and saw that I had the second to last tee time at 3:28 followed by an 11:45 tee time the second day, I was less than pleased. The other top players had nice pairings with nice mid morning times, which felt to me a little disrespectful for a guy that was runner-up the prior year. I’m sure the R&A and pairing committee does not look at me as one of the top players, and therefore slotted me in with a late time. When I qualify for the Open, I am always sure I’ll either get the super early time or late one, which I fully embrace as a qualifier.
I’m pretty sure nobody that is involved assigning tee times in the Senior Amateur will ever read this and respond, but in my promise to keeping this real, I really wonder sometimes about the politics involved in some of the variable things in golf. In the end, the truth is I’m just thrilled to even be playing in a global championship, and every time I tee it up in an event like the Senior Amateur I never know when it will be my last. I cherish and take extra time to look round more, take some deeper breaths and enjoy every second.
I won’t even get into the fact that I don’t sleep well over in the UK. My jet lags lasts for weeks and I never can seem to sleep well at night. I find myself always wanting and needing a nap in the afternoons. But what the heck do you do with a 3:28pm tee time. I tried to sleep as late as possible, and woke at 11:00. After waking I did an 8 minute session with my Bemer, and then hit the pool for 10 laps to warm up my body. I thought perhaps a late breakfast around noon would be best, and supplement myself with snacks during the round. The R&A does a great job providing us with drinks and food on the course to stay hydrated and energized.
My strategy in assessing the course and what I needed to do was very simple. The front nine had 3 par 5 holes, all very reachable, and mostly downwind. The back had only one tougher par 5, and many challenging par 4 holes back into the breeze. This course certainly rewards the straight and long hitter, like most golf courses. But with severe fairways bunkers and very high and nasty rough just off the fairways, driving accuracy was at a premium, especially on the back nine holes.
I think I’ve provided enough build up to the start of the event, I was doing all my therapy to give my ankle a chance to survive walking the 54 holes over 3 days. Surprisingly the Senior Amateur is really the only event that requires you to walk the entire event. Which normally I like.
The first hole at North Berwick is this cool short par four that requires you to lay up well short on a flat area before the fairways goes down a small hill and into an area where you will most likely not like your thin lie. Everyday I hit 6 iron off the tee leaving me about 135 yards to the pin. Each day on number one I hit ok tee shots, but very poor second shots leaving very long birdie putts that had me hoping for two putts and an opening par. On all three days I had to make 5 – 8 foot putts to save my opening par.
On my opening round on day 1, I found myself in a nice groove on the front nine and made a solid birdie on the par 5 3rd hole, followed by another one on the par 3 fourth hole. All pars until I reached the downwind par 5 8th hole where it was a drive baby rescue to 5 feet for an eagle 3. Leaving me with only the par 5 9th hole to finish my front 9. Another good drive followed by a horrible rescue shot to the right left me a VERY tough third shot that somehow I managed to hit to 6 feet from the hole from a very bad side hill lie. After draining the 6 footer for a birdie and a -5 front nine, I tried not to look at the leader board but couldn’t help but notice my name near the top.
Like before in the Senior Open qualifier when I shot the low front nine of -2, here again I was off to a great start. But as before the ankle started to ache, and did not allow me to transfer my weight from my right back to my left, thus leaving to many arm swings with less power and accuracy.
My original goal was to make the cut and play on Friday, I was able to do that with front nines of -5 and -4 followed by back nines of +2 and +2. So I was -9 on the front and +4 on the back with no birdies.
The final round I was super pleased with my pairing with three time Senior Amateur champion Paul Simpson. If you looked at this 68 year old guy, you may think his best days are behind him, but I certainly didn’t think that, and knew that he would compete hard and probably have a chance to win the event. We started the round both at -5 with the lead at -8. That was certainly a lead that we could overcome, especially coming from behind and posting a low number with several holes left for the leaders.
Both Paul and I got off to good starts on the front. I shot -2 and Paul -3 to get us both in the hunt. I tried my best not to look at any leader boards at this stage as I wanted to just play golf. As Paul continued to play well, I began to struggle on the back nine with several bogies, followed by a few more. Paul had three very bad three putt greens and also played his way out of contention which I was sorry to see.
Now my goal was to finish in the top 20 (which gives you an automatic exemption into the event the next year) I struggled mightily coming down the last few holes and felt I needed to make a 3 foot putt on the last hole to stay inside the top 20. Joyfully I made the putt and finished t17.
My good pal Gene Elliott made a few bogies coming in and ended up tied with Southern California play Craig Davis. After 2 playoff holes Craig hit an amazing shot off a cement road to 10 feet on the 3rd playoff hole and made the putt to claim the championship. Gene Elliott had an amazing two weeks winning the low amateur honors in the Senior Open for the Silver medal, and followed it up with another silver medal in the Senior Amateur. Congrats to both of those great players.
Coming next- Chapter 3 – THE NCGA Match Play and the USGA Senior Amateur
When injuries start to creep into your golf game, nobody wants to hear about it, and likely nobody cares. We all suffer from the wear and tear of golf on our bodies.
Historically my issues have always been back related, then a couple of badly sprained fingers. I’ve had a few situations when I’ve had to dial the golf back, and even withdrew from a few events in the past.
In April while in Houston Texas preparing for an amateur event one evening my ankle began to hurt like hell. Didn’t sleep much, and thought something was seriously wrong with it. I was still able to play, and somehow probably have a world record for making a hole in one on the 17th hole, followed by a quadruple bogey nine on the 18th hole. Not real proud of that finish, and it certainly took the excitement out of the hole in one.
I thought all along this ankle pain would subside and that I’d roll into my summer events somewhat injury free. UNFORTUNATELY NOT THE CASE as I had to withdraw after one round of the NCGA Stroke Play championship after a 73 in the first round. I was unable to walk to the bathroom that morning let alone play golf. With my favorite trip of the year to the UK for the Senior Open and Senior Amateur I was getting worried about the ankle holding up in these events.
At age 60, you are in the countdown years of how many more of each of these events you’ll be competitive in. After my WD from the NCGA Stroke play, I drove 3 hours directly to the emergency room in the East Bay. Going to an emergency room is never going to reveal the problem, as you’ll not get an MRI unless its life threatening.
I withdraw on Saturday morning, with my flight to London set for Monday afternoon. Although I knew I would not be 100% I did not want to miss my favorite events of the year. That was the beginning of quite a shit show with British Airways. The good news for me was they had me in a business class seat that was also assigned to another passenger. They tried squeezing me into another business seat in the middle part of the plane. Of course I objected, and gave them my usual claustrophobic line. Usually works, but not always.
After they flight attendants huddled up, they offered me a full First Class seat, which I gladly accepted, however that was the end of the good experience with BA.
Upon our arrival in London, my travel buddy and I eagerly awaited our bags and clubs. Finally the bags came, but no clubs. Another traveler also was missing his clubs, so it seemed like BA decided to just leave all golf clubs behind. I think their little secret is, if the plane weighs too much, they off the heavy luggage (Golf Clubs) and never tell you the truth.
The fun began speaking with multiple baggage agents about where could our clubs be? How could they not know where they were? Still in SF? On the next flight that was 3 hours behind us? THEY HAD NO CLUE, and told us they could not call SFO to inquire either.
We tried to be super sweet and kind to the supervisor and asked if she could put a RUSH on getting our clubs to us, as we had a professional major golf event to prepare for. She said absolutely she would personally see to it that the clubs get delivered to our hotel in Southport, a good 4 hour drive away from Heathrow. She advised us to head on up, and the clubs would be there ASAP.
Off we went on the 4+ hour track to Southport, hoping to play a few holes at Hillside our qualifying course nearby. Upon arriving in Southport we were hopeful that BA would have an update on the status of our missing clubs. First you need to understand these airlines DO NOT WANT YOU TO CALL THEM, so they make you wait 30, 40 even 60 minutes on hold, before they tell you, you’ve called the wrong department and need to be transferred.
The next day we received an email that the clubs were found, and would be sent the NEXT DAY (Thursday) and we should have them in time for some afternoon golf. Of course that was WAY off as the clubs again seemed to disappear into their system. The next day we got word the clubs were finally being sent to MANCHESTER Airport at 7:00 am and would be sent over once they arrived. 12 hours later, and 4 days after we landed in Heathrow, we finally got our clubs. We had no practice or practice rounds over those waisted days, and certainly nobody at BA was looking after our lost baggage, and certainly nobody cared.
I guess the good news for me was that I was able to give my ankle some rest for a few days. The bad news was that now I needed to play practice rounds before the qualifier on Monday, when I had planned to rest over the weekend. Hillside is a very challenging golf course and a score over par will most likely advance into the Senior Open.
I came out strong on Monday, and headed to the 9th hole -1 on the front nine. A very poor second shot to the right put me in the right green side bunker. In my mind I was thinking, ok, even a bogey here and you’ll turn even par on the front. I know your never suppose to talk about your weaknesses in golf, but the honest truth is I am a poor bunker player, and this was not an easy shot. Upon striking the ball I thought I caught it a bit thin, but when I looked up, the ball was heading towards the hole, and then crashed in the cup for a birdie 3. I was quite amazed, surprised and pleased at this fortunate turn of events.
The bunker I found on the 10th hole was not so kind to me, after leaving one in the bunker, the next one I barely got out, and was left with a tough bogey chip. Somehow the golf gods were with me as the chip found the bottom for a head earned bogey. My thought was ok, I’m still 1 under and have the par five 11th coming up.
This is where the ankle decided no more torque please, and completely shut down on me. I battled hard, but this course has too much long nasty rough to allow errant shots to be played or even found. I was lucky to finish the back nine, limping heavily I signed my card with 34 on the front (The low from nine of the 120 qualifiers) followed by a whopping 46.
Life dealing with an injury like this was something I had not experienced before, and it was not fun driving off knowing that even if I had held on and shot a 40 on the back nine (74 qualified at Hillside) and qualified, I would not have been able to play the next 5 or 6 days in a row.
The only logical option was to drive North into Scotland to prepare for the Senior Amateur at North Berwick.
STAY TUNED FOR CHAPTER 2 IT ONLY GETS BETTER FROM HERE