In years past, I’ve looked forward to this post. This is not one of those years. In addition to playing poorly overall in 2014, I probably played fewer rounds this year than any other year since turning pro (with the other exception being 2011, the last year I played Worlds). I don’t know what it is about Worlds years – they kill my game. Actually, it was largely my improv troupe (who had events on 3 of my tournaments) as well as playing Worlds itself took away MUCH of my “me” time, so I dropped an extra tourney so I could be with the family. In any event, I felt like I hardly played this year, and with my surgery coming up next year, I imagine it will get worse before it gets better.
Anyway, let’s get right to the nuts and bolts.
1) Play in at least 8 events this year including Worlds and King of the Lake.
I only got in 6. D’oh!
2) Come in the top half at Worlds.
Hahahahaha! Oh, that’s rich. I ended up coming in tied for 125 (out of 144). At least I didn’t come in the bottom 10%. I was probably only slated (by rating) to come in around 115th, but that’s still seriously disappointing as I tend to be a pretty good “big tourney” player. I did not get to check out the courses early or even practice at sea level, and that was the problem right there. You do that and 5 of your 6 rounds are going to be below your rating. Not too much to be done about it.
3) Cash at King of the Lake.
This one I did do, and was quite proud of it. Despite never throwing a round rated over 990, I managed to cash at an A-Tier by just playing solid golf. It did require me deucing my last 4 holes in my final round to sneak in by two strokes, but I did cash. If my surgery is somehow after this tourney next year, I’ll love trying it again.
4) Either win another C tier or place top 3 in a B-Tier.
No such luck. I only cashed twice, 4th place in a C tier and the 15th at the A-Tier. My only achievement here (and believe me, it’s a stretch) is that I won 4 of the 6 doubles I played, and came 1 stroke out of cash the other two). Wait a minute, I only played 6 dubs this year? Jeez.
5) Beat Jere Eshelman in a single PDGA round.
Nope again. My best round at Worlds was two worse than what he shot, and at King of the Lake (my BEST tourney of the year, mind you), my rounds fell short by 5 strokes, 4 strokes, 7 strokes, 1 stroke (with TWO MISSED PUTTS on my last four holes!), 3 strokes. The hunt continues.
6) Keep my lifetime streak of never DNFing a tournament alive.
7) At least 4 1000-rated rounds
I had to look at the stats again to verify. Not only did I not have ONE thousand-rated round, I didn’t even hit 990. That’s shocking to me. Since 2005 I’ve had at least one thousand-rated round a year (with 2 in 2006, 3 in 2009, and two last year). This year, nothing above 989. Oh, now that’s extremely sad.
8) At least 1 round over 1010
Ummm, see above. And get me another tissue.
9) No rounds below 940
Oh, the news just doesn’t get better. Maybe this would have been a salvageable year if I had at least managed to stuff all my 22 rounds between a 940 and 990 rating (which would have averaged around 965, which is essentially where my rating has been for a few years). But no. An astounding SIX of my 22 rounds were below 940, though only one was below 930. There’s nothing I can really blame here other than a weird trend of having trouble sleeping before tournaments. Some events were in cold weather, some weren’t. Some were unfamiliar courses, others were at my favorite courses. Hibernation sounds good right now.
10) Have an official rating of 980 at some point in 2014 (or at end of the year).
I’ve already used the “bust out laughing” gag to answer a question, so I’ll just be frank here. Hi, I’m Frank. And Derek sucked this year. His rating ended at 963 and in fact he never busted out of the 960s (in either direction) all year.
11) 2 aces, including one during a PDGA event (or winning at least a $100 ace pot in dubs).
No, but I did get one tourney ace, and it was on one of the toughest holes at Zephyr Cove to even birdie, never mind ace. Hole 16 in the long (it’s a blind shot through a couple of large rocks and there’s a steep drop-off behind the basket). We heard some chains and I ran up and it was literally propped up against the chains. The greatest part? Two rounds later I very nearly did it again with the same disc. It didn’t make $100 in pay-the-ace dollars, but it was probably my most impressive ace of my life (though not the longest).
12) NO OBs during either of the PDGA events at my home course.
I only played one event at the Ranch (due to the installation of a 2nd pretty kick-ass course in Reno), and only one round there. I think it was clean, but when I had made this goal up, I envisioned at least 4 rounds there.
13) Earn more money from tourneys and dubs than I paid in entry fees in them.
Super no. I cashed in two events and most of my dubs, and even with the ace pot I probably barely covered the gas and food for the year. If I were to take away Worlds, I probably still only got back about 50% of my entry fees, and that’s only 5 tournaments.
So, to sum up, a thoroughly depressing year in terms of what I achieved. I’d try to break it down further, but at this point I think I’ll look forward to next year, where I *hope* to get in two or three tourneys before my surgery lays me out for the year. Hopefully next year will be more upbeat, but this is the most down I’ve felt since 2008/2011, my two other noticeably bad years. Maybe I’m like the anti-Giants (who only win World Series every other year); every third year I just stink.