Saturday, February 16, 2013

Championship Players Tour event - Lonetree 1/20/13

Have started playing again a little recently. One of the 3 pre-qualifier sites for the Waste Management Phoenix Open was at LoneTree so I decided I'd play in this event which was a few days earlier. Didn't play great but I did T6 and cashed. Here we go!

#1 is a 435 yard par 4 with houses and OB right and the range and OB left. I ALWAYS hit it left here, not OB left but always left. I decided in my practice round that I'd start hitting a cut on several of these holes. Plan in place, peg in the ground, and I hit it...left. Double crossed it up onto the big hill, it did come back down a bit but I've got forever in. Had to take 5 iron to the pin that's on the top right portion on a big slope. Hit that one left into the huge bank behind the left side of the green, bounced / spun back down onto the green leaving me literally 60+ feet, up at least 4 feet of elevation to a pin sitting on the highest knob of the green. So I take a full backswing and grunt to get this putt all the way up the hill and I'll be damned if it isn't tracking, looking good, real good in fact, what the...lipout. Wow, great putt, dipped in the hole and back out, tap in 4 after those first 2 shots is just fine with me.

I make a 3 putt bogey on the 191 yard 2nd, another 50+ feet and the first putt not nearly as good as on 1. I actually left the par putt short, what a great lag from 6 feet though (that's sarcasm, get used to it...). Hit driver up the right side on 3 and then goose my wedge again left, just past pin high, impossible angle to this pin sitting in the middle of a slope (greenskeepers wife having an affair on him or something?), but buried a 4 footer for par. Hit driver again (you'll catch a theme here, I don't often hit less than driver off the tee) on 4 into the center leaving me 76 yards in. I've been working on my wedge game for a while (more to come on that later) and am licking my chops for this. I hit it 78 yards, which isn't all bad except that it's straight downhill. One of the other guys hits his from 12 feet and actually left it short, so I gave myself a good talking to in order to ensure that I don't do something stupid like that. So anyway, tap in par from 6 inches short of the hole and we're on our way to 5...

Got greedy with the corner on 5, 555 yard par 5 (I think I just broke my five key...) and caught the fairway bunker. I take 5 iron (nope, still works) out of there but block it a bit, leaving me 110 yards for my 3rd out of the rough / hardpan. Somehow I manage to catch it a bit heavy out of there and spin it back into the fringe (yeah I said it, heavy and spun it back). 2 putt par but steaming a bit from that poor 3rd shot. 3 wood off the tee on 6 (trust me, there's no other play for me) into the center of the fairway, 86 yards, pin is up on the very top crown of the green, 5 yards long is DEAD down a 20 foot embankment, so I hit it 15 feet below the hole, just what I was hoping for. Just missed it coming up the hill. Now #7, my old friend... so the last time I played the pre-qualifier for the WM Phoenix Open here 2 years ago, I come to 7 at two under par, ahead of schedule and hitting it great. I put it in the fairway bunker, greenside bunker (twice), fringe and then added 3 putts for a crowd pleasing 8. I. Fucking. Hate. This. Hole. So we've adopted the new cut and we're going to ensure we stay well away from the lake and the fairway bunker here and we do, into the desert on the left side. I've got 176 into the breeze standing on gravel. I decide on 6 iron and hit it about as well as you can expect with your feet sliding on this stuff, right side of the green and a favorable bounce and we somehow get it to 12 feet. Take that. Alas it was not to be as the birdie putt yanks hard left at the end (dude seriously, who pissed in the greenskeepers Cheerios this morning) as it was perched on another ridiculous slope.

On to 8, 198 yard par 3 playing back into the breeze, I shoot it at 195. My friend Wog flags 5 iron that the wind never touches and one hops it over the back. That dude can stripe it and I'm old so I decide on a cut 4, plenty of club, let the wind spin it up and land it soft. I very nearly call the shot in the air and I'm thinking "oh be good", unfortunately my depth perception is 2 feet short, because that's how far it was from being good. Instead it hits the false front fringe area and goes back down literally 8 feet below the green in the collection area. I pinch a great LW to about 3 feet and bury the putt, phew, costly mistake avoided. Still one over but made a couple of good putts to keep me in it. 9 is 551 on the card but 580 something from the tournament tees and what a perfect time to swat a blocked tee shot up into the gravel on the right. Well apparently it was as it must have hit that and the path a few times as I ended up with 221 remaining to the back left pin. Sure would like to have that length every day. Lake all along the left and around the back side of the green, 213 to cover the bunker and a small breeze into our face (2nd shot in almost the same direction as 7 and 8). The fairway is elevated by about 30 feet or so, I hit a solid 3 iron right at the middle of the green to give me plenty of room either way and it just stayed rope straight, one hop stop about 30 feet away for eagle. Pretty big break and down the hill, pretty good 2 putt birdie from there and we're back to even par through 9 holes.

Ok that's enough for tonight, I'll post the back 9 tomorrow. Thanks for reading along. I'm trying to keep the cursing to a minimum for the most part, I was a bit over the top before. This round wasn't terrible, so not much to curse about. Wait until I post the results from the actual fucking qualifier. See, told you...

Follow me on Twitter for some reason or another. Apparently it's all the rage. @PaperHogan

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Holy Crap, look who's back...

Well it's been a loooong time. Still playing and playing a lot better. I pretty much gave up on the blog and have been going through the motions in golf, but this is a brand new year. I've had a little bit of success and I'm back full steam. I've opened up a Twitter account (@PaperHogan) and you can follow me via the link on the right hand side of the blog as well. Along with continuing to post detailed results of my competitive rounds and overall progress, I'll also be live tweeting rounds as they occur (not every shot of course). If nothing else, maybe I'll be able to read back on the posts and see just exactly what my tendencies are as I play.

My next 2 posts will cover my latest mini tour round on the Championship Players Tour ( where I tied for 6th and my pre-qualifier attempt for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, both held at LoneTree. Notice how I didn't talk about where I placed in the pre-qual? I wasn't last by a long shot, but I also didn't make it to the Monday qualifier by a long shot. My next mini tour event is tentatively the 24th of this month and I just picked up a new putter, so we'll have some time to get it worked into the bag. Which brings me to an equipment update:

  • Driver - Titleist 913 D3 8.5 degree (set to 9.25), Aldila RIP Alpha X 
  • 3 Wood - Taylor Made RBZ 15 degree, Aldila RIP Alpha X 
  • 2 Hybrid - Taylor Made R11 17 degree, Aldila RIP Alpha S 
  • 3-PW - Ping I20, Dynamic Gold X100 
  • Wedges - Titleist Vokey SM4, 54 and 60 degree, DG Wedge 
  • Putter - Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 

I'm waiting for the USGA to post qualifying site information for this years US Open as well. Going to be a fun year, let's go get some...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Melee at Staley this weekend!!!!

My friend Dan's father runs a golf course in Kansas City named Staley Farms. He and I are flying up there Friday to play a 36 hole Ryder Cup type of deal against him and the #1 local women's college player. Supposedly they have taken on all comers and are undefeated. We've played a lot of matches against the old man in years gone by, so this will be a good time again. We haven't played for years. She's playing the whites, his dad is playing the blue's and Dan and I are playing the blacks. 7,018 yards from the tips, so a pretty appealing yardage compared with where we've been practicing for this event. We've been playing a course named Southern Dunes here in AZ that is 7,600 yards from the tips, with a rating of 76.1. It's the toughest golf course I've ever played.

Been playing pretty well as of late, shot 77 at Southern Dunes last week, which is great considering the rating and the fact that I was on my 3rd string putter. The Spider is back from getting re-shafted and I've shot even and 1 under in the last 2 other rounds I've played. Hoping the putter turns it up a notch!

Dan's brother Jack will be out there hanging out for Father's Day so they setup a Twitter page and he will be providing updates all through the event. Check in this weekend 7/20 and 7/21 to follow along or just catch up if you get a chance. We'll be playing the competitive events at around 2PM CST Saturday and Sunday, practice rounds in the morning. - Sign up to follow the feed, we're trying to get to 50 people following the event, tell all your friends!!!

Too far gone to catch up

Still so far behind, I think I'm giving up recapping the final round from the Phoenix City and the San Tan tournament. I shot 76 the last round of the Phoenix City after making the turn at 2 under, not sure if I ran out of gas or what, shot 6 over on the back, just got on a bogey train and couldn't get off. Then the next weekend at the San Tan I went 74 - 79. I played fairly well the first day, nearly made eagle on #1, but then just fell into a rut, and then bogeyed my last hole to rub salt in the wound. The next day was pouring rain, cold and miserable. To make matters worse, they did a reverse horseshoe for tee times, so my lucky middle of the pack ass at 74 went off promptly at 7AM in 48 degrees and rain. No rain pants, by the time we turned to the back my pants were soaked, my shirt was soaked from the sleeves and back being exposed, and I had slipped twice on tee shots. I turned in 4 over, and shot the same number on the back. As an insult, Mother Nature brought out the sun as I tapped in for par on 18. Bitch.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Phoenix City - Round 3

Ok, so Round 3 and 4 was the following weekend. Round 3 is at Cave Creek in North Phoenix, about an hour from my house. I really like this golf course, played well here last year and got nothing out of it. Trust me, there's more of that coming.

I saw on the pairings sheet that I was playing with my man Joe who I'd played some Golf Channel Amateur events with, so I was excited to see him again. I haven't played any Golf Channel events since before the shoulder surgery, so it's been nearly 10 months since I'd seen him. We go off of #1, a 363 yard straightaway par 4, we all hit driver, the best angle is from the right as the stick is just over the bunker in front, so I hit a nice draw. Just a small flip wedge left, put it about 8 feet past the hole, and left the putt 4 feet short straight downhill, wow, great start. Center cut the par putt and left shaking my head. 2 is a reachable 510 yard par 5, that I block into the trees. So I punch a 5 iron out to about 90 yards and hit a nearly perfect half wedge that catches the ridge and spins back down, straightforward 2 putt from there. 3 is a 195 yard par 3, pin is up front, hit a solid 5 iron that didn't draw, just past middle right about 25 feet away, JUST missed that putt, thought for sure it was in. Hit what I thought was a bomb off of 4, 387 yard par 4, left me with 95 yards, and Joe and another guy were a full 20 yards ahead of me, ouch. Somehow I actually hooked the SW left of the green, shortsided to a pin on a green that slopes away, best I could muster was 20 Goddamn feet, leaving me a downhill right to left par putt that broke 4 feet. Oh, and I left it 3 inches short, dead in the jaws. 1 over.

The tee shot on the fifth doesn't setup good for me, I cold blocked it last year, and followed through consistently this year. I think I nearly landed in my divot from last year. Left me 155 to the hole, back into a freshening breeze now. I decide on 7 and immediately begged for it to get down, luckily I don't know what the hell I'm talking about as it lands dead in the heart of the green, 15 feet below the hole. Hit another great putt that somehow stayed out, straightforward par. 6 is a 532 yard par 5, HUGE fairway, very easy looking hole. Hit it pretty good off the tee, but pulled it and landed it in the left rough. Ball was nearly a foot below my feet, I hit hybrid from 235 and just smother hooked it. Overcompensation says what? So now I've got about 40 yards to a green sitting 10 feet below me, sloping away, over a bunker to a back left (short side) pin. Hit a great pitch but it just kept running, ended up 30 feet away. I felt really good about this putt, even though it breaks nearly 6 feet and I actually lipped it out, tap in par. What a great putt. 7 is a 197 yard par 3, nutted a 5 iron dead over the flag, about 12 feet above the hole. Hit a good putt but it never really had a chance of falling, easy 3 and we're off to the next hole.

Eight is a 437 yard par 4 that has a huge grass covered wash about 290 yards off the tee, OB left, big desert wasteland right. Absolutely bombed 3 wood down the left side after the guy who went before me rope hooked it OB. Pretty happy with the aggressive swing after that. I get to my ball and I'm dead on 150 yards to the hole, but with the ball in the rough and quite a bit above my feet. Well I didn't deserve that. Fat that piece of shit short left, but hit a great pitch to about 8 inches and made 4. Off to the 422 yard par 4 ninth, hit a good tee shot down the right side, still 160 yards out though, bummer. I can feel the breeze, I know it killed my tee shot, but I still pull 7 iron and hit a great shot for a front right pin. Problem is we're back left today, about 40 feet away, hit the first putt the perfect pace, but misread it bad and left it 3 feet right. Made the putt to make the turn at 1 over. I ate the most wonderful flavor of Clif bar ever, Chocolate Brownie, oh my.

Hit driver on the 341 yard 10th leaving me a flip wedge which I pulled a bit, left me pin high about 12 feet left. The putt was low all the way and never had a chance. Ah well. 11 is a 521 yard par 5, water reachable from the tee. I hit a so so 3 wood fully intending this to be a 3 shot hole. The other guys hit bombs and had nothing into the green, kicking myself now. I decide on a 6 iron to lay up to the top of the hill with and fucking blocked it into the trees. Wow, great strategy, now I'm really kicking myself. Luckily I had went back to 6 instead of 5 as I had just enough room to hit a knockdown 9 iron from 135, pulled it just a bit but was pin high in the fringe, about 12 feet away. Very nearly made the putt but walked away with an easy 5. 12 is a 370 yard dogleg right par 4, Hit a beautiful driver down the right side and have nothing left, except for the big huge tree overhanging the entire right side. Looks like the shot here is a big rope hook off the tee, dammit. I figure I'll hit a knockdown wedge to the center of the green, over the big ass bunker, just take my medicine. Typically knockdown shots are supposed to fly low, I however invented the high flying rattle the overhanging tree limbs knockdown that lands 30 yards short of the green. Disappointed and super excited, I hit the pitch to a tidy 30 feet. Yay concentration. I haven't made a putt all day, so I say to myself "well, it's time" and damned if I didn't make it. In my excitement about it, I ran to the left side of the green and gave my best Phil Mickelson winning the Masters leap of 4". Joe and his caddy can't help themselves and promptly tell me "dude, that was gay". True.

13, 171 yard par 3, pin back right, wind is strong now. I nutted a cut 6 iron, looked soooo good from the tee. We get up there and it was actually 25 feet short, I just made a bomb, let's make another. Gave it a run, went about 5 feet past the hole and missed the comebacker. 2 over. 14 is 392 yards, water left and right about 270 off the tee, I hit hybrid right down the center, left me 140 yards and a solid 9 iron to about 8 feet. Once again, the putt never had a chance and we walk off with a ho hum par. I blocked driver dead right on 15, 383 yard par 4, SMACK right into a tree. Now I have no idea where the ball is. We start walking and wouldn't you know it, I'm dead in the center of the fairway. Clean living boys. Still had 150 in, good 8 iron about 15 feet left, putt never had a chance, par. The last par 5, reachable at 518 yards, big tree on the left about 250 out. Last year I blocked it right into a flat waste area and then fatted it into the pond short, this year I blocked it farther right. The good news is I was on a 30 degree slope behind a palm tree, so no chance I'm able to go for it this year. Bad news is I have no idea how far right, left or deep I can hit it to lay up without hitting it into the pond beyond the fairway. I get as good of a yardage as I can and hit a solid 9 iron, dead into the heart of the fairway. I can't remember what I had left from there, but it was a horrible angle, pin cut right behind the bunker. I of course leave it short, but hit an amazing chip shot down the tier to about 4 feet and made the putt for par.

So we're 2 over, we have 2 holes left, let's get something going. 208 yard par 3 17th, I hit the worst 3 iron I've hit in years. Short right, pin is back right, my ball ends up on hardpan on a downslope with zero green to work with. How does that happen? The proper miss is long, and that's where we go, into the fringe, about 15 feet above the hole. Awesome, straight downhill and I leave it 2 feet short. Now it's straight downhill and it breaks outside the hole, and I fucking miss it, double. I hit my driver really hard on 18, right through the fairway into the trees. hit an unbelievable punch 5 iron that was one hop away from being stony, instead it stops on a downslope just short of the green in the rough. I really, really tried to make the chip and ran it 5 feet by. Let's cap off that double with a missed par putt and make bogey on the last hole shall we? Yes. Awesome.

2 over through 16 after some unlucky breaks and go 3 over on the last 2 holes for 77. God I love golf. Yes, that was sarcasm. Shoot me.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Phoenix City - Round 2

Man I'm getting behind. So round 1 at Encanto was a disaster, lots of rust. Round 2 is the following day, I go off just before 10, play with the same guys as the day before. I had to drop my wife off at the airport at 7:30, so it's to the Waffle House for breakfast. Just as a joke, I call my friend Sean Murphy and wake him up to try to get him out for breakfast. He's hung over, played poker until 4 AM, needless to say he's not overjoyed that I called. To add insult to injury, I then suggest that he gets his hungover ass out of bed to come caddy for me. That didn't go over well either, but to his credit, he didn't hang up on me. We talked for a bit then I went in and had the old standby, the All Star. Oh what a meal, the perfect breakfast for any growing golfer. So by then it's time to head out to Maryvale.

I'm on the range warming up and I can "feel" some guy just staring at me, so I turn around to ask just exactly what the fuck he might need from me, and what do you know, it's my man Sean Murphy. Are you kidding me? My man got out of bed and drug his hungover sleepy ass to come out to carry my bag, words can't describe the love I feel for that guy. I have a lot of friends, and he's literally the only one you could get to help out in a situation like that. Amazing. But he's not done yet...

Ok, so here we go. Par 5 first hole, hit a decent tee shot, left me 3 iron in, took a big high cut at the left side of the green, clears the front bunker and settles just in the fringe in the back left, pin is back right, 2 putt from 20 feet for an opening birdie. #2 is 212 yards, and I comment to Murphy that the entire group ahead of us was short. It's playing a bit downwind though, so we pull 4 iron, of course, short left. Pitch was a bit aggressive, about 4 feet past but we center cut it for par. Three is a dogleg right par 4, hit a decent cut driver but back into the wind. We're now just under 200 yards into a crossing breeze, pin is middle right. As I'm pulling my 4 iron I notice that my putter cover is gone. Murphy sees it in the fairway and he literally RUNS down the fairway and back to retrieve it. Hung over and running, haha, what a sight to behold. I was so impressed that I informed him I would carry my bag for the rest of the hole. Haha, what a friend I am. Anyway, hold a 4 iron into the wind, stops about 15 feet short, got it up the hill double breaking, it hit the back of the hole at about 50 mph for another birdie. 2 under after 3, that's a little better. Fourth is a 160 yard par 3 over water, hit a good high hook 7 iron to about 10 feet but leave it low and walk out with a routine par.

Fifth hole is a short par 4, blind tee shot, I always hit 3 wood here, and always nut it, and always hit the fairway. And what do you know, I actually did it again. Left me 92 yards and I hit it 104. God I'm deadly with a SW, what a pathetic attempt. 35 feet away and nearly holed it for birdie, ah well. Sixth hole is a dogleg right par 4, 270 to the water straight out. I hit 3 wood at the corner and hit it so good that I yelled for it to get down. It was fine, dead in the middle. Had 120 yards to the middle right flag, thinned a PW perfectly pin high, about 8 feet away. Missed it and was damned aggressive, hit it 5 feet by, but made it coming back. Seven is just over 400 yards, a bit of a dogleg left, hit a solid tee shot and left me 120 yards again. Ok, don't hit the wedge thin again, mission accomplished. Left myself about 40 feet short, nice execution jackass. 2 putt from there, getting pretty disappointed with these 30+ footers here. Eight is a straightaway par 4, 425 yards, good tee shot up the right side, never comes back. 9 iron from 135 and caught it just a bit heavy, left it in the front fringe, pin is front left, so about 20 feet right and short, very nearly holed that putt as well, thought for sure it was in.

Ok, chop lickin time. Nine and 10 are both reachable par 5's, let's go do some damage. Good tee shot on 9, I had 219 in and hit my hybrid but blocked it into the bunker pin high. Pathetically safe bunker shot to about 10 feet, but uphill and right to left for birdie, never had a chance, left it a full foot short. I swear I wanted to make it, really. So no real damage done, 2 birdies and 7 pars, and there's still some good holes to make some stuff happen. I actually pulled my tee shot on 10 into the left rough, but bombed it so I only had 220 in. Pin is in back on the top shelf and nothing in front of the green. We decide on a little chaser 3 iron to get it up on top of the hill, but I fatted it, about 5 yards short of the green and steam coming out of my ears. Pitch it to about 6 feet after a terrible first bounce that kicked it dead right and missed the putt. We should be at least 3, legitimately possibly 4 under here and nothing to show for it. So now I get aggressive. Oops. 11 is a 175 yard par 3, pin is front left, oh I'm going for it. Hit 6 iron way way way high in the face and leave it in the front bunker. So now I'm short sided AND sitting on the downslope of the bunker. I get cute with it because we HAVE to get up and down, hits the lip and kicks back in. Great. Hit it out from there to about 5 feet and miss the fucking putt, back to even. I hit the tee shot on the par 5 12th hole hard as we had a case of red ass going on now. 590 yard par 5 and I've actually got a chance this time, I've never hit this green, but I have 270 in with nothing in front, we can chase a 3 wood in here and get something back. Hell no, I cold block the 3 wood and hit a 40 foot tall tree, ball kicks straight down onto the hard pan. Brilliant. We get to the ball, I've got a shot. About 80 yards in, pin is middle left, wind coming at us from the left. I'm about to pull the trigger on a SW and Murphy stops me. "Uhhh, where are we going here?" He hasn't said a word to me strategy wise since #2, but I just made double, and now my man rightfully steps in to get my head out of my ass. I tell him I'm trying to hole the fucking thing, seems logical to me. He then points out the overhanging branches on that line and suggests we take the middle of the green and try to make a putt, good call. Hit it dead in the heart about 20 feet away pin high, and very very nearly holed it, just misread it. #13 is a shortish par 4, the green is ALWAYS farther away than it looks, surely I won't be short this time. Bombed driver down the right side, had 90 yards in from the rough, thought I stoned it, we get up there and it had zipped off the green into the fringe. From the rough. I'm totally happy with that. Fuck. Hit a pathetic chip shot that stops 4 feet short on the top of the tier, leaving me a nasty downhill left to right putt for par, center cut it, awesome. #14 is a dogleg left around the only lake on the course, par 4, 280 to the end of the fairway at the corner, I always hit 3 wood. Killed it and went through the fairway, holy shit did I need that shot on 12. 126 yards left, let's hit PW again. Oh yeah, that's right, DON'T thin it! 15 feet past the hole though, no damage, almost holed that putt, was not to be.

#15 is pretty straight, goes back around the lake the opposite way. I pulled my tee shot and hear it hit a tree, but no splash. Well, it has to be dry, but if not, we see where it might have gone. We get up to the tree and can't find my ball until one of the other guys goes farther up on a whim. My ball was 40 yards ahead of where we thought, it had to hit a tree and kick forward hard, over the lake, only left me 75 yards. Amazing, don't know how it happened, I'll take it. At the last instant I had a vision of the thick grass killing the momentum so I gave it a little more flick, 40 feet past. One of the guys in our group left it short so Murphy and I walk around the green on the right and get to my putt from the side, look it over and go. Ran it 6 feet by the hole. Oh shit. As I'm walking to my ball, I notice just how far downhill this putt was, completely missed that, what a stupid I am. I'm so busy kicking myself that I miss the par putt. Murphy grabs my putter before I throw it and calms me down on the way to the next tee by telling me "you better fucking birdie 2 of the next 3 holes". That was the only thing that could have gotten through to me at that time, perfectly said.

Hit a good tee shot on 16, long par 4, dogleg left. I still have 180 yards up the hill, hit a 5 iron at the right side and we'll take a hook if we can get it as there's a nasty bunker between us and the middle left hole. No hook, 30 feet for birdie, how the hell that putt stayed out as well I won't know. Best putt I hit all day, tap in 4. 17 is playing 210 yards, back into the breeze, I hit hybrid perfect and one hopped it on about 8 feet short of the hole, great shot. One of the guys in our group was outside of me on the same line, hitting his putt for bogey (big block into the lake off the tee, big block, huge) and he ran it 10 feet by. Guess where mine ended up? 3 inches short dead in the heart. Murphy about choked me.

Last chance, 420'ish yard par 4 18th, back into breeze still. I unintentionally hit a wind cheating tee shot dead into the heart of the fairway. So this is it, we're concentrating extra hard here, we're looking at the trees, flags, leaves, everything. Murphy thinks it's going to blow it left, I'm thinking he's crazy and it's dead into us. I pick a line at a particular palm tree, he tells me 8 feet right of that. I think he's nuts, he's sure he's right. What a moron, I'm taking my line, he hardly even plays. I pure 6 iron from 160 and immediately start begging for it to stop hooking. He calmly says "I told you". Shut the fuck up. Sticks in the left fringe 15 feet short of hole high. The fringe looks real smooth here, I decide to putt it and leave it 3 inches short dead in the heart. Sound familiar? Murphy about choked me. Again.

So 1 over 73 after being 2 under through 3. The back to back par 5's really deflated me, but there's definite potential here. I didn't really put it into to much trouble except for the 6 iron on 11 and the 3 wood on 12 (I think a direct result of the double on 11). Good stuff to build on. More to come as soon as I get off my behind and finish this up!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Phoenix City Amateur 2009 - Round 1

Round 1 of the even is played at Encanto, arguably the worst course in the rotation. Par 70 and one of those city courses that is showing it's age. Didn't like it last year, definitely don't like it this year. Here we go!

My man Rob Brauer looped it for me this day, very much appreciated. My first tournament back, so it's nice to have someone along with me to keep me from getting too frustrated. First hole is a dogleg left reachable par 5, hit a horrendous weak heeled cut into the left rough, in an open spot between some palm trees. I was going to hit hybrid but Rob talked me into a 5 iron which I pured to 73 yards. Hit a nifty little one hop, zip pitch to about 6 inches for an opening birdie. I pulled 3 wood on the 322 yard 2nd, left me 80 yards over the greenside bunker, thinned it like a bitch and put it deep over the green under a tree. Fantastic pitch to about 5 feet but missed the putt and made bogey. 195 yard 3rd, a hair downwind and hit a terrible 5 iron into the bunker, poor bunker shot to about 15 feet and missed that putt for 2 bogeys in a row. Driver down the right side on 4, still left me 160 yards, pin cut over the bunker. I hit a good 7 iron dead into the heart of the green, should have been fine, instead it hits the back edge and hops nearly up onto the 5th tee, yikes. About 15 yards farther in the air than we were counting on, bad hop on the pitch left me about 6 feet for par, which I pulled, 3 bogeys in a row. Yay.

Fatted a 4 iron to nearly pin high on the 195 yard fifth hole, chipped it to about 2 feet and made the putt for my first par of the day. Perfect driver on 6, left me 117 yards, GW is at home so I hit a soft PW, chunked and pulled pin high left, aggressive chip shot past the hole, miss the putt, bogey. 9 iron on the 132 yard 7th, but it got hung up in the wind, left me about 30 feet, great putt that nearly went in but made par. Hit a good tee shot on 8, 569 yard par 5, solid 3 wood about 60 yards short of the green, time for a nice tight little pitch. Yeah, ahem. 35 feet past the hole, like a surgeon! Cozied the birdie putt to a foot and made par. Hit a good tee shot up the right side of 9, OB left, OB right. I said "the hell with it" and just swung hard. Ended up in the right rough in some casual water, got an iffy lie from the drop and fatted 7 iron to the fringe, pin in front. Rob and I surveyed it and he confirmed it will bounce right on the first hop, had him remove the stick and promptly dunked it, just made the putting surface. Wow. Solid 2 putt bogey from there for a front nine 39, 4 over.

10 is a 304 yard par 4, pin just over the bunker so I hit it down the left side, nearly pin high, about 30 yards left of the green. Hit another wonderful pitch to the center of the green, a mere 25 feet away. Rob says "ok, good shot, center of the green, let's go make the putt". "Fuck you Rob" I replied, there wasn't an ounce of sincerity in that comment. Smartass. Oh yeah, 2 putt par. Time to make something happen, 161 yard par 3 eleventh, pin is back left, we pull a full 7. Ummm, I nearly got "el hosel" dead right, clanked off the fence that lines OB and settled it in between 2 palm trees. Couldn't have asked for a better lie. Pitch to about 15 feet and missed the putt, bogey. 541 yard par five 12th hole, hit a good tee shot up the right side, Rob calls for the 3 wood at the left side of the green, if it fades then awesome. Oh it faded, and hopped and skipped and rode the cart path around nearly pin high. Took a drop into a shitty lie, came out soft and short, too aggressive with the chip shot about 6 feet by and missed it and made another bogey.

Hit a beautiful cut driver off of 13, playing for a hook of course. Actually had an open shot, 9 iron out of the rough and stabbed it, ended up short of pin high left, chipped that to about an inch and finally made another par. 14 is a great hole, 219 yard par 3, playing a bit back into the wind, and I hit a gorgeous cut hybrid, Rob yells "I love it!" as it's in the air. Ballooned a bit and landed short of the green, oh man did that look good for a minute. Pitched to about 4 feet with the lob wedge, Rob and I decided on a read and it never broke. Bogey. Hit what I thought was a very solid tee shot on 15, of course on of the guys in my group hit it FIFTY yards past me. 4 iron to the front left corner about 20 feet away and made an uneventful up and down par. Another good tee shot on 16, solid 6 iron to about 20 feet below the hole. Knew I had this read right, and I was rewarded with a 3 foot par putt remaining. Nice read jackass. Solid tee shot on 17, left me a bit more than a comfortable 8 iron, but when in doubt, hit it hard. Dunked it into the left bunker, short sided, out to 8 feet and missed the putt. 18 is a dogleg left par 4 with OB right, hit a smoked driver over the trees and around the corner to 88 yards. Then put my SW over the back left corner of the green. Up and down for par, which kept me from shooting everyone in sight. Another 39 for a 78 on a par 70 city course, who's the man now? Not me. God I hate this golf course...