To date I’ve never won dough in a state sanctioned tournament. I’ve taken 1st in many private tournaments and league tourneys. Won a club championship too, but it is a big goose egg in state tourneys. I haven’t played in that many, so it isn’t like I’m 0-100 or anything like that. But I’m 0-for-enough. The tourney I’ve played in the most, and enjoyed the most, is the Salt Lake Amateur. The one I want to play well in the most is this one. I’ve been one shot out of the money several times, after gagging one of the two days. It is very tough to play well in such a pressure situation for two straight rounds. Perhaps I’m putting too much pressure on myself, but I get extremely nervous. I figure those nerves are easier to control with more experience.
In round one I shot an “ok” round which kept me in the mix, with only nine players ahead of me. Round two found me fighting a few demons. The shaky big swings and erratic driver from the day before were gone. My driver was long and solid, but my short game really faltered. In fact, faltered would be a compliment. It was horrid. I had what I’d call the “chip yips.” The lies around the greens were so thick I couldn’t figure out how hard to hit the ball. One swing I fluffed it out short and another would catch it too strong and send it over the green. Next swing is a blade.
The next demon was my short irons. Normally deadly, I completely gagged on some wedges.
Two strange holes in a row
I had two “no putt” holes in a row. On #4 I missed the green right into deep rough. My first chip fluffed short. 2nd chip bladed over the green. 3rd chip went IN. Talk about whipped cream on a pile of shiznit…
On the next hole I missed the green long and decided to putt from some longer grass (since the chipping was so bad). I caught my first ever “flyer’s lie putt” and the ball went all the way off the front of the green. I then putted from about 7 feet off the fringe and made it. More whipped cream.
I was +3 on the par-5’s. That is NO good. One the same par-5 both days I hit 300+ yard drives and both of them ended up in a divot. What are the odds? Both end up as bogeys. Normally I birdie at least 1-2 of those par-5’s and par the other two. That would be a 7 shot swing, and put me right in contention.
Putting was awesome. Had I not putted so well I would have lost many more strokes.
Irons were solid in day two, highlighted by a 9-iron which stopped eight inches from the hole on #10 for my only birdie of the day. On day one, they were questionable.
Driving was erratic and nervous. Even going down to 3-wood to keep it in play didn’t help.
Short game… Well let me say this: I’m going to a pro. I’m going to revamp my short game entirely. The pressure of this big tournament exposed my biggest weaknesses and short game at the top of the list.
In the money
All that whining aside, and despite a bogey-double finish, I still ended up in the money. I’ve never made money in this tough tourney before, so at least I’ve broken the slump, gotten the monkey off my back, exercised the demon, cracked the egg, broken the ice… Did I mention that I broke through finally?
I have two pals who finished higher in the money, Arnie and Marius. They both tied for 8th.