First post of 2019 will be about a company that I’ve written positively about and want you all to listen to an interview with their CEO, Phillipe Deschamps.
I am VERY bullish on this companies device that I believe will help millions of people in the future. Not sure it will help with the putting yips, but who knows.
I have taken my longest layoff from golf ever, as I’ve played one round since December 7th, and now will begin to train daily for the start of the upcoming season. My first event will be the SF City Qualifier on March 5th.
I am not a huge believer in New Year resolutions, but more so on assessing the past and making modifications in my daily life. Last year was a tough and emotional year that led to some poor eating habits that I have now broken.
Seeing the flexible 48 year old Phil Mickelson should be an inspiration to anyone trying to play better golf. YES there are way you can hit the ball further, but it will take discipline and an assessment as to what areas of your body need the most attention. You can NEVER go wrong by strengthening your core, and there is new technology that shows better ways to exercise than before.
As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I am a huge believer in TPI training which is specific to golf and your body. I highly recommend you find the best local TPI certified instructor and get a session to start your new year off.
I’ll have more later on the new rules, sidesaddle putting and fitness in the coming days and weeks.
Jeff Wilson has certainly had an amateur career like no other amateur that I have ever known of. He’s been medalist in countless US Am’s, US Opens and Mid Am’s and now this years Senior Open, Senior Amateur and California State Senior Amateur.
He’s won every single Senior Amateur event he’s played in since turning 55 earlier this year. As he has said repeatedly after his victories, he’s put the time in, and has worked harder than ever on his game. He started off at a very high level, and has gained some distance off the tee, and is a real force now in Senior golf, as well as still being one of the countries best mid am’s.
I remember playing in the US Amateur at Chambers Bay in 2010 and seeing Jeff shoot a 61 at the second course to win medalist honors at age 48. His golf accomplishments are too long to cover here, but certainly you get the picture that this guy is not afraid to play well on the biggest stage in golf, and seems to play his best golf on this stage.
When it was announced that the California State Senior Amateur would be played at the Preserve this year, I knew it would be my best chance to end my career drought of never having won a California State title (I have 3 runner-up finishes). I didn’t know if Jeff would enter the event, but suspected he would. In years past when we would both compete in the Stocker Cup at the Preserve, that I would usually post better results than Jeff, and the course was especially to my liking.
I did envision that we would end up being paired together in the last round, and also with John Pate in 3rd place coming into the last round was no surprise. So the stage was set, with Jeff one shot ahead of me, and two ahead of John, it was game on. There is ALWAYS extra pressure when you are in the last group, have a chance to win, and are playing with the best senior amateur in the world. So YES the heartbeat was up on the opening tee shot, which historically has been a tough one for me at the Preserve. But not on this day, I somewhat calmly fired a 20 degree hybrid down the middle and followed it up with a solid 7 iron to the back of the green for an easy two putt par. Jeff on the other hand went let and long with his second shot, and had a tough 12 footer for par, that most in the lead would not have made, he did.
Again on the second hole I smoked an 8 iron to a back pin leaving it 15 short of the pin, while Jeff again went long and left. He was faced with a very difficult putt that he ran 15 past the hole and ended up with a bogey. My good start continued when I made the birdie putt to jump out one shot ahead of Jeff.
The third hole we both made routine pars, followed by a BIG mistake Jeff made on #4 after a perfect tee shot, leaving him 220 to the pin, he rope hooked a hybrid left of the big tree in the high grass. He then chipped back over the green, chipped long again, and ran his par putt 10 feet past the hole. Meanwhile I had a 10 foot straight uphill birdie putt that hit hit poorly and walked off with my first par on that hole, after making birdie on #4 the previous 2 days. Jeff calmly stroked his 10 foot bogey putt into the hole and off to #5 we went.
The Preserve has changed the grass they use in the Fairways making them very speedy, and faster than most courses greens. The uphill 5th hole plays anywhere from 380-330 yards depending on where the tee’s are placed. In the last round the tee was up, so a 3 metal was the proper club for me. I riffled a good one down the right center and watched the ball funnel right and into a fairway bunker that I have never been in before. Jeff followed me in the same bunker. I was left with a poor lie in the bunker to a steep uphill green with a huge false front. I clipped one of the best fairway bunker shots of my life, and knew it was going to be close to the pin. As we began walking up to the green a ball started rolling off the green and down 100 yards down the fairway. That was my ball that apparently had stopped on the green, and then somehow began rolling again. Meanwhile Jeff hit his shot long, and was faced with an impossible putt at the hole, which would have rolled off the green and down the hill. Jeff chose to putt sideways to about 35 feet, where he calmly rolled in his putt for a par while I missed my 10 foot par putt, and my lead was back at one shot.
On the sixth hole Jeff hit a very poor 7 iron that landed in a very bad lie in the right bunker. I blasted my 7 iron to the middle of the green and was left with a VERY fast 30 footer. Jeff blasted out to 18 feet, while my 30 foot birdie putt did a 360 lip out, that certainly looked like it was going in. As expected Jeff drained his 18 foot par putt.
The 7th hole would end up with my ball stopping 3 feet from the hole, while Jeff pulled his second shot to within 8 feet. I fully expected him to make this putt, but this time it rolled over the right edge and he’d settle for par. My 3 footer was not super easy as it had a little turn to it, and I could not afford to bang it. I gentle rolled it in the middle to get back my 2 shot advantage on Jeff going to the reachable par 5 8th hole.
Looking back on this pressure packed duel with Jeff, I knew that I needed to get as big a lead as possible before his A game arrived, which it most certainly did. But not on the 8th hole where he drove it in the fairway bunker, and played up in the next fairway bunker leaving him a very tough 100 yard shot that he hit to the back of the green leaving him a 60 foot birdie putt. Meanwhile I mashed a drive and hit a beautiful high towering 23 degree hybrid onto the green that released to the back of the green. I will admit I was not feeling super good about this uphill then downhill 70 footer. I yipped it long to the front of the green, and then yipped the 20 foot birdie putt to 2.5 feet past the hole, followed by another yip rolling it 3 feet past the hole. I 4 putted for a bogey, while Jeff two putted for a saving par, and cut the lead to one shot. On a hole that I thought I may gain 2 shots on Jeff, I lost one. This was a critical mistake that hurt me in the end.
The ninth hole was a disaster for me all three rounds. In each round I followed a perfect tee shot with a blocked short iron to the right, and in the last round I hit the 9 iron shot on the green still while both Jeff and John missed the green way right. Jeff chipped down to 10 feet, and watched as I yipped my first putt 12 feet short, yipped the next one 2 feet by and almost missed my bogey putt. As expected Jeff rolled in his 10 footer for par, and my lead was GONE.
Where did Jeff’s A game show up? It showed up on the 10th hole as he made a nice birdie putt to go one up on me, followed by a solid par on the 11th hole to go two up as I again 3 putted from the front of the green.
On the 12th hole my legendary caddie Kenny Howe said, lets play the next 7 holes 3 under par, and see what happens. So that was the plan, to have a goal to shoot for and stop worrying what Jeff was doing, I could not control that. So on the 12th hole I rolled in a nice 15 foot putt to cut the lead to 1. We both made very solid pars on 13 and 14. The toughest hole on the course is the 15th hole, we both hit great drives, and with the wind picking up it was time to hit a great golf shot. I had 186 yards to a back left pin, and decided to fire my 5 iron at the middle of the green, which I did. Jeff had probably a 7 iron that he hit a little left and on the green 30 feet away. We both had difficult putts. My uphill 60 footer almost went in, leaving me a stress free par 4 on this tough hole. I figured Jeff would need to hit a very good putt to leave himself inside 5 feet. Seeing his putt it looked like he may have hit it too hard, but when it arrived at the hole, it slammed in for a crazy good birdie to go back two shots up on me with three holes to go.
The 16th hole was playing 142 yards uphill into a breeze, Jeff hit first and hit a perfect 9 iron stopping 5 feet from the hole. I knew that I needed to match him to stay alive. My nine iron hit pin high and pulled back to 15 feet from the cup, where I drained this VERY important putt. Knowing that Jeff would probably make his putt, I was prepared to see what magic I could come up with on 17 and 18. Somehow Jeff missed his short putt, and the lead was back to 1 with 2 to go.
On the 17th hole you need to chase your 2nd shot down the hill and onto the green. My shot needed to be one foot further right and it would have rolled onto the green, instead somehow it stopped in the rough leaving me a very tricky 90 yard shot that I thought I hit perfect. It stopped quickly, and I was left with an impossible 50 foot putt uphill and then severely down. Meanwhile Jeff was in the right rough and hit a magical flop shot to 10 feet from the hole. My birdie putt rolled 12 feet past the hole, and quite obviously I knew that I needed to make this putt to have any chance going to the last and final hole. I rolled in the 12 footer, and thought perhaps Jeff would open the door for me, but that thought was quickly dispelled after he drained hi 10 footer for birdie, it was off to 18 two back.
We both hit great tee shots, but mine stayed in the fairway and his rolled into the rough. I had the perfect 9 iron 142 yards away, and never gave up or got down on myself. I executed a very good shot that to my eye looked very close. Jeff then out of a poor lie, hit a shot that squirted right and seemed to be heading down the false from of the green. Somehow his ball stopped in the collar of the green, if it had not, it would have rolled 40 yards down the fairway. But he was still left with a VERY tough 40 foot putt that went up over a ridge, and then down hill with about 6 feet of break. When he first hit the putt it looked ok, but not perfect. As It made its turn down the hill I could tell it was going to be good, it rolled past the hole, stopped for a second and then backed up into the hole for a closing birdie 3 and the championship. I had a 3 foot birdie putt that I made on the 18th hole which finished me in 2nd. This 2nd place finish would be my 8th runner-up finish in the past 13 months in major amateur events – NCGA Senior Amateur, NCGA Match Play, NCGA Senior 4 ball, USGA 4 Ball qualifier, NCGA 4 Ball, British Senior Amateur, NCGA Valley Amateur, Cal State Senior Am to add to the list.
Coming in second is nice, but when you have as many seconds as I have, they become disheartening, and very disappointing to be in contention so many times and only have one major win over this period of time (The 2018 SF Senior City title).
But I did it to myself, I made 16 birdies over 3 rounds that should have been enough to capture this title. But I followed those birdies up with 12 bogies and one double. Meanwhile Jeff had 9 birdies and an eagle with only 7 bogies on his card for three days.
I made 10 bogies with a 9 iron or less from the middle of the fairway over 54 holes. That is not going to get you a W. I had many yipped putts, and many great putts that went in. I experimented with CBD oil to see if it would calm my nerves down and allow me to putt better. I am not sure it did?
Perhaps I will never win a California State Championship, but I won’t give up trying. I’ll train harder this off season than I have ever trained before. I will take my weaknesses in my game and try to make them my strengths. I will do whatever I can to continue to compete at this game that I love for as long as possible.
My congratulations to Jeff Wilson, he is a great champion and a great person!!
I know, I know this is a golf blog, not a stock pickers blog. However if you listened to me and bought HSDT earlier, perhaps you got in at around $8 a share, then this is a very good day for you. BUT ITS JUST THE BEGINNING!!!
This is todays news release on HSDT, and if you still do not own HSDT, I highly recommend that you DO OWN IT, before the US FDA approves its amazing device.
I’ll be back later with what happened in my last two events, and its time to start training again for 2019. I’ll share what I have found to work best in fitness optimization.
I’m involved in each of these three, I try to create memories for life when I can, I try to live each day to the fullest, and I do sometimes act like an idiot.
But on Tuesday I got to create a memory, and I enjoyed every second of the experience, knowing that its only a matter of time when this will all come to an end. I will address acting like an idiot later in this post.
But what I will remember most about winning the NCGA Mid-Am Four Ball, is doing it with my dearest friend Jason Anthony. It won’t have anything to do with how I played or even how he played, just being out there competing with a guy you love to be with is a royal treat. Perhaps I would feel a little different if he shot 95, but honestly I doubt it, as long as he tries as hard as I do on every shot. I laugh when I hear guys say, yeah I shot 66 on my own ball. Well yeah you shot 66 because you were able to be aggressive and hit shots at pins and putt with aggressive speeds. You can NEVER brag about what you shot, and its rude as hell to your partner.
Yes, I always want to be the one that helps the team as much as possible, but playing with Jason I ALWAYS know that he is going to do great things on the golf course during a round of golf. In this event, he was the star on the from nine (yesterday he made 5 birdies through the first 10 holes) and then I made 4 birdies on the last 8 holes. It was a blast, and I could not be any happier than the way we played and enjoyed ourselves and the guys we were paired with.
On day one, we played with my idol, Casey Boyns and his son Christopher. I had not played with Christopher before, and I was VERY impressed with every part of his game. He truly has the Boyns DNA running through his body. There are very few people as warm and friendly as Casey Boyns, but don’t mistake that kindness and easy going nature for anything less than a killer competitor when it comes to the game of golf. His new Ping driver had him outdriving all of us on many of the holes, especially #10 where into the wind on the 436 hole he had a sand wedge into the green at the age of 62 (I think). If you are ever lucky enough to play with Casey, you will never forget the experience of what a true gentleman and phenomenal golfer and competitor he is.
And YES I did finally tie my Idols record 16 NCGA Major wins, however I have done it with WAY more best ball victories (8) vs his I think 3-4. Which means I only have 8 individual titles to his over 12. And he’s won 2 California State Am titles to my 0. Hard to compare players and records, I am just proud as hell to be mentioned with him, and to now be a Hall of Fame with this incredible guy, and friend!
So what’s next, perhaps a show-down with Jason on Sunday in the Olympic Club Championship 36 hole final. But well before that I will need to win a Sat morning quarterfinal match and Semi final Sat afternoon match against some VERY good players. I’ll keep you posted on how that unfolds. In the meantime I am resting my body and thinking about my swing in slow motion. I play best when my body sync is slow with power only arriving at the very bottom of my swing. I still yip many putts while making a few with my eyes closed. I am a bit of a mess there, and hope to fix whatever wire is loose…lol
I was recently asked about what happened in the 2015 Senior Amateur at the amazing Royal County Downs when I was DQ after I had played only 2 holes. Since I tell it the way it happened, I won’t sugar coat this short version of what EXACTLY happened. So here we go!!
I was in Ireland for 2 weeks prior to the event with a good friend of mine preparing for the Senior Am. I did 2 very idiotic things before the event. First off I contacted my friends at Carr Travel and they arranged some comped golf for me at some amazing courses. One in particular was Waterville where I was greeted by the secretary and head pro with a course guide and was told that a single player was waiting for me at the 1st tee. After 5 or 6 holes just playing a casual round of golf the gentleman I was playing with said, wow Randy you are already 4 under par. I thought to myself what an odd thing to say to me in a casual round with zero pressure. I was out playing while my girlfriend at the time was waiting for me in the Clubhouse so I was hoping the round would move swiftly as we had a three hour drive afterwards to Ballybunion Golf Club.
On the 7th hole, I hit a decent drive on this unreachable par 5, and waited fairly impatiently while the group ahead seemed to take forever to move along. Once they reached the green I hit my second shot without even shooting the yardage I had (idiotic move on my part) that opened pandoras box, as my ball whistled through the green and right between an older gentleman legs on the putting green. To my horror and disbelief the older gentleman got in his cart and drove directly back at me. This was an OH SHIT I’m screwed moment. This older Irish gentleman was even more pissed when he saw it was an American that almost prematurely ended his life. He ripped me a new one for what seemed like an hour. I sheepishly made my birdie and didn’t really feel like playing anymore golf. But I proceeded and knew there was ZERO chance his group was going to let us play through. I guess I was now 5 under on the round, and finished the nine holes with a birdie on #9 to shoot 6 under par.
The tenth hole is a long par four, but playing downwind making it very short. After a wedge to 3 feet I was now 7 under and ready for the par 5 11th hole also playing downwind. After a drive and 9 iron to 5 feet, I thought why not make eagle here and go to 9 under after 11 holes, something I have never done before. When the putt dropped so started the raindrops. Seeing a huge squall of rain coming and 3 groups waiting on the 12th tee (a long par three) I informed my playing partner I was going in. He was SHOCKED, Randy how the hell can you go in now when you most likely will break the course record. My reply was simple, with the bad weather coming, perhaps I will wait this rain out and come out later and finish my round.
I now had 1000 yards to walk back to the club house against a 30mph wind and driving rain. It was amazed that I was the only one on the course heading back to shelter. Upon my arrival, I parked my buggy in the over-hang at the clubhouse and went looking for my girlfriend. After some delicious Fish and Chips we decided to hit the road early and get to Ballybunion at a decent hour for dinner. We headed to the car and began the long journey north (I think it was north). After about 2 hours I couldn’t keep my eyes open so decided to pull over and took a delightful 45 minute nap in the backseat all stretched out.
We then proceeded to about 5 minutes from Ballybunion when I started thinking why was I able to take a nap in the back seat when I was having my clubs always travel there. That’s when I realized like an Idiot I left them on the buggy in the breezeway at Waterville. I wasn’t about to call there, and ask, hey is anyone driving this way? So off we went back three hours to Waterville, when I arrived there my clubs were abandoned in the breezeway at about 7pm sitting there. I didn’t want anyone to know about my bonehead move, so I quickly grabbed the clubs and off we went back three hours to Ballybunion.
If I’m playing for fun, I am never going out in 30+ mph winds with sideways driving rain, thats what we had for two days straight at Ballybunion. I have yet to hit one shot at this amazing looking course, and hope to one day return to this part of Ireland for more golf memories. We headed back to Dublin where I met up with my good pal, and decided to take a drive to a very good course an hour outside of Dublin (sorry no memory of the name) but has a great day of golf, and again in high winds I had an under par round, and was excited for the start in a few days of the Senior Open at Royal County Downs. When we reached Dublin on the way back from golf I noticed I needed gas, so in we went to a gas station that are a little different than here in the States. I noticed the price seemed a little strange to me while I was pumping the gas. After about filling half the tank, to my horror I realized that I was filling the tank with Diesel gas, not regular. OMG I thought for sure this was a $5000 mistake and that I ruined the car. I almost called Hertz to ask them what I should do, knowing they would hit me with a huge penalty and problem.
After consulting with many people at the gas station we decided to try and drive the car and see if we could dilute the Diesel gas and keep adding regular to the tank. OMG what a nightmare, PLEASE don’t ever do this, as I made so many idiotic mistakes on this trip. After a few days of driving the sputtering car, it finally smoothed out and I felt comfortable to take it on the freeway heading to Royal County Downs.
We arrived a day early before the official practice days, and tried to see if I could play a practice round, The answer was a resounding NO, and I needed to play with a member and all the times were filled. I had communicated with a friend that was a member and he requested to the Caddy Master that I get a good and experienced caddy. I stopped by the caddy master headquarters to say hello, and he gruffly said he didn’t have me on his list, and that I would have to wait and see what he could find for me. I showed him the confirming email between him and my member friend, and he just didn’t seem to care at all.
So on practice day one, I was assigned a caddy that had NEVER candied before, and actually had never been on a golf course before. It was laughable how I needed to tell him where to stand, when not to talk, how to carry the clubs, twice he dumped the clubs out of the bag as he could never quite get the hang of the proper way to carry the clubs. Nice enough kid, but not suited to be learning while a player is preparing for a global amateur major. After the torturous round was over, I again asked the caddy master if anyone else would be available. His response I will never forget, he basically scolded me, and asked me what was wrong with the kid he provided. I didn’t want to throw the kid under the bus, so I said it was just his inexperience and that I didn’t want him to be a distraction to my fellow playing partners.
The mistake I made was not just pulling my own Trolly, I would have had to pay him anyways, and decided perhaps he had learned the basics of caddying going into the start of the tournament. However the weather forecast was miserable, and possibly could be the worst weather day of THE YEAR!!
I woke up to a hard driving wind, but yet no rain falling. When I tee’d off the wind was blowing so hard I could hardly stand up, and made a disappointing par on the opening par 5 hole. By the second tee the rain had started and it was coming down hard and sideways. When we reached the second green it needed to be squeegeed off before we could putt. Somehow I ran a 30 foot putt in for a birdie and was quite pleased.
Soon after I putted though the horn blew, and the round was suspended. The forecast was horrible, and with standing water already on the greens and in the bunkers it looked like a wash out day. But it was still early, and we walked back in while the rain came down in sheets. When I returned to the clubhouse I pointed to my hotel room, which was only a few hundreds yards from the first tee. I gave him my room number, mobile number and said to let me know when and if there was an announcement about restarting the round.
I went to my room and started blow drying my rain gear that was soaked, after a half hour I wanted to check for an update and called the Pro shop at Royal County Downs, and a woman answered and said that the round would commence 2.5 hours after 12:15. It was a bit confusing, so I said ok, that means we will restart at 14:45 and she said YES. I wasn’t that alarmed by this strange answer because it was still raining outside, and perhaps they saw an opening on the weather radar.
So I waited in my room with my girlfriend and at about 12:50 my phone rang, and a gentleman identified himself as a member of the R&A to inform me that I had been disqualified from the Championship, and that all the players that were on the course were back in position and already playing. OMG to say I was pissed was an understatement. I told the R&A official that I had called the Pro shop and gotten bad information, he said yes, others did as well, and they still showed up to double check. I then went over to the course to find out that my caddy left right after we came off the course and went to a movie with friends.
Later that day I got another call from the Tournament director apologizing for what had happened and offered me a tee time on Saturday to play the course gratis on the R&A. This was Wednesday and I was already packing my bags to save myself the embarrassment of being the other players, my many friends that were wondering why I was DQ. So we quickly left, and I was still in shock after having flown 5000 miles and taken two weeks to prepare for the event at one of my favorite courses in the world.
But the Topper came the next day when my cell phone rang, and the caddie master was on the line asking me why I hadn’t yet paid my Caddy. Talk about biting ones tongue, I calmly told this caddy master that the caddy he assigned me completely disregarded everything I asked him to do, left the premises and didn’t return to the golf course. Came back the next day and complained as to why he didn’t get paid for the 2 holes he caddied. I then called the R&A and explained in more detail what happened with my caddy, and again they apologized for what had happened.
My thought the whole time was why didn’t they call me earlier before the restart, they had my room number and my mobile phone, they called me only when it was too late and I was disqualified. I asked them if Rory had been in his room about to miss a restart, would they have found him on time? Of course they would, and of course Rory has a team of people that make sure he needs to be at certain places at the right time. I’m not as good as Rory, and I do love playing in the R&A events.
I’m not sure the R&A learned anything from this experience, although they did write about it the next year when I was the 1st round leader at Fornby. I was determined to win at Fornby and make amends for my blunder at Royal County Downs. I don’t blame the R&A, or my numbskull caddy or even the caddy master. I blame myself, it was totally on me to make sure I was beck on time for the restart, despite any information I may have gotten from the pro shop.
A HUGE learning lesson, and at 59 I am still learning. I hope you all enjoyed the short version of my many blunders and idiotic mistakes I made on that trip. But in the end I am one of the luckiest people alive that get to chase my dream and passion of playing in events like the Senior Amateur where I was runner up a few months ago at Royal Porthcawl, against the best Senior amateurs in the world (minus Jeff Wilson he wasn’t in the field and he should be playing on the PGA Champions tour anyways).
SO the journey continues and many still shake their heads at some of the situations I get myself into. But I can assure you one thing, I do all of this chasing my dream because it allows me to meet and befriend some of the most incredible people on this planet. Golf is a community of great people with high integrity and purpose and passion. I have been blessed by this sport, and will be forever grateful for taking up this amazing game many years ago.
But now life has changed, my usual ritual has always been to be excited to come home to my loving mom that would be waiting to hear about my adventure in each tournament, and to see if I brought back a medal or trophy. Yesterday for the first time I had no one to share the story of winning the NCGA gold medal with. It didn’t diminish the experience it just made today a day of reflection on what is most important in our lives, which is the people that we love, an that love us.
As usual this is the unedited version of this very long post. If you are passionate about golf, and enjoy my version of what I experience, please share this with others.
Remember to always be patient, and think twice about making any important decisions in life or on the course!!!
There is no easy way to deal with the death of a family member, but in my being on the golf course has enabled me to better deal with just life in general.
Having not competed in many weeks, no practice, no gym work and a weakened spirit, I was not expecting much on Sunday in my 1st round match in the Olympic Club Championship. I was exempt from qualifying being the 2018 Olympic stroke play champion, keeping me out of the tough qualifier where about 70 very good players were vying for 14 match play spots.
As it usually works out, the one guy in the 9 for 5 playoff I did not want to play in the first round was John Jennison whom recently won the USGA Mid Am qualifier with a smooth 66 at PeachTree Country Club.
The only thing good about a long layoff is my body is not sore, the flip side of that is perhaps my body is out of sync. I wasn’t sure what to expect playing in perfect weather conditions on a VERY tough Olympic Lake course that had firm and speedy greens, with more than usual long rough. My match against John got off to a very eery similar start to when I played Derek Father when he hit the tree off the 1st tee and conceded the hole without me having to hit another shot. But with John I did need to play the hole and a par was good enough to go one up.
The second and sixth holes I won with a par and birdie to go 3 up, followed by a winning birdie on #7 by John. I regained my 3 up advantage on the 8th hole with a par, while losing it back on #9 with a bad bogey after only having a wedge left into the green. John made a solid birdie on #10, and it now was game on. On #11 John again made a great par after a rope hooked drive. On # 12 I was able to nail a birdie putt that got me back 2 up, followed by what may be one of the worst match play holes I’ve ever played. I hit a great six iron to a back right pin. John hit the right tree off the tee and had no shot at the pin. He left himself a 40 foot par putt. I was just on the back fringe, but decided to chip my shot to put some spin on it. The downhill shot was a lot faster than I anticipated and I knocked it 8 feet past the hole. John 2 putted for a bogey 4, leaving me a chance to go back 3 up with a par. My uphill par putt was hit with my eyes closed and I knocked it 2 feet past. Although I was kinda surprised that John didn’t give me the come backer. I took a little time on this 2 footer, and over it didn’t feel that comfortable. I pushed it and it lipped out to my utter disgust. But that is match play, crazy things happen.
I did bounce back nicely with a winning birdie on the tough 14th hole, and again on 15 had a makable birdie putt that was slick downhill. After two putts for a halve on the hole I went to the tough 16ht hole playing 609. After 3 perfect shots I was left with a straight 4 foot putt with no break for the win. And of course I had to add extra drama by missing this very easy putt. Before I hit the putt I did notice that John had already taken his hat off in anticipation of me making this very easy putt.
The 17th hole was filled with some drama as I hit a horrible 2nd shot going for the green in 2, and was left with a long bunker shot out of the left bunker to a middle left pin. By far the best shot of the day for me, my bunker shot almost went into the hole and rolled 3 feet away. After John missed his birdie putt the match was over. In the end I needed to play very solid golf under extreme pressure to beat a very good player.
The next day, today I was unsure how I would follow up this round at the OC with the first round today in the NCGA Mid Am four ball at Poppy Hills.
For how the day went, check out the link below.
STAY TUNED FOR FINAL RESULTS