Below are photos of the leader boards from the Richard C. Kramer Salt Lake City Amateur first round at Bonneville Golf Course for A flight and B flight. I’ll post champ flight later. Follow this link for 2012 Salt Lake City Amateur complete results.
Salt Lake City Amateur Round One – A Flight
Salt Lake City Amateur - A Flight - Round One Results - click to expand
Salt Lake City Amateur Round One – B Flight
Salt Lake City Amateur - B Flight - Round One Results - click to expand
I woke up about an hour before my alarm was set to go off. In fact, I’m still 10 minutes ahead of the alarm. I made sure I got to bed nice and early last night so I can be rested for round one of today’s Salt Lake City Amateur at one of my home courses, Bonneville. This is the biggest tournament of the year for me. This one is the one I want to perform well the most. I’m not lumping my club championship in though, a totally different deal. I’m sure I’ll post an update later stating how well I played and if I have time, write some highlights or even hole by hole. As has gone in years past, I’ll write more if I play well.
Last year I placed the highest I’ve ever placed at T10. I hope to top that this year.
I’ve been practicing my rear end off this past few weeks to get ready for this one. My scores though, have been pretty bad and haven’t shown any results except one round where I shot a -4 68. My recent scores haven’t been close, but parts of my game have felt great at different times. My driving and putting is fairly solid and the irons and short game have been the weakness. If I can hit a fair share of greens my good putting will take care of my scores. If I miss greens, I need to depend on my short game to save pars. The short game has been tough and they grow the rough out very thick in this tournament. I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on technique for dealing with chipping from thick lies, so we will see if I can execute those shots when the time comes…and it will.
This tournament is a gag fest. Many players flame out. The course is set up tough. They harden the greens and make them very fast. Being above any hole is death. The fairways are narrowed and the rough is grown in and very thick. In essence, they “U.S. Openize” the course. This is a two-day endurance test. I WILL make bogeys and maybe even a double or two. I’m going to stay relaxed and calm, regardless of those scores.
The key is to play conservative for most of the holes just trying to hit fairways and greens. I’ll be aiming for the fat part of most greens unless I have a complete green light special. There are a couple of holes I will play aggressively, like the 1st and 16th (par-5’s) which won’t penalize aggressive shots which aren’t perfect. Holes like #9, one of the toughest par-3’s in the state, require conservative play.
I had a good practice session last night in the ball striking department. I worked though the whole bag, figured out a few issues I’ve been dealing with. I started finding the center of the club face, which is good. I also worked on my fairway and hybrid play, which has been good off the ground but strangely not off of the tee. It seems that I can almost hit both better without a tee. At the end of the session I hit a bunch of lob wedges, 40-50-60-70-80-90-100 yards.
Two days ago I spent a couple of hours practicing chipping. I’ll do some more this morning before the round begins.
As Rickie Fowler says, “Its GO TIME.”
Yesterday Phil Mickelson (Lefty) shot a 79 at the Memorial. I watched his round and it was quite odd to see him so “off” his game. He was not even thinking about shots. He’d hit one and then walk up to the ball and hit it again. Even Bones his caddy would walk up, see him addressing the ball, and have to back off.
After the round was completed Lefty withdrew from the tournament citing mental fatigue. During the round Phil was paired with Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler and there were huge galleries following them. At one point Phil had to stop his swing because of cell phone noises from the crowd. Remember, the PGA Tour recently made cell phones legal to posses in the gallery so long as they are set to silent mode. When you get that many people together someone is bound to forget to silence the phone or worse yet, will try to sneak photos.
“I can’t focus. I have to start again, every frickin’ shot.” ~Phil Mickelson on the 8th hole yesterday after some cell phone noises caused him to back off his shot and start his pre-shot routine again.
Bubba Watson was not immune to the distractions either, firing a first round 75. Today Bubba missed the cut.
“It was really tough today, the worst I’ve ever seen. Ever since they made the rule to let cellphones in it has been terrible. It takes your mind off the game.” ~Bubba Watson
No mention of the distractions of obnoxious and idiotic gallery members yelling “you da man!” and “get in the hole” after every shot. Personally I think that one is worse.
Debate #1, which is all over the media and social networks, is whether or not the PGA Tour should have allowed cell phones. They obviously did it because if they didn’t they’d lose a ton in ticket sales.
Part B of this debate is whether or not the Tour is policing the cell phone rules well enough, and whether or not the rules are clear to the volunteers and staff at each venue. Venues seem to enforce the rules differently.
Debate #2 regards Mickelson’s withdrawal itself. Players can’t cite mental fatigue for withdrawing from a tournament during play, but can use just about any reason following a round of play.
And some are making light of the withdrawal as Phil’s reasons for being mentally fatigued included a trip to Europe for his wife Amy’s 40th birthday.
What are your takes on these subjects? Chime in.