Now well out of it, and riding the DFL train all the way to Suckville, I headed out just to save face. I was starting again on the difficult Darkside course (where my personal best was a 59, and I had just tumbled off a 75). Ash, who had really started to enjoy playing, decided to follow the women’s group to watch them play and see the differences. I thought that was great. (She incidentally learned quite a bit and enjoyed waching the women more than watching me projectile vomit all over a course, apparently)
I started the third round with the exact same beginning: 4-3-4 (on not particularly impossible holes) I almost cried. Then over the next three holes where I went 4-5-7, I ended up going 3-2-3, and within six holes, I was already 11 strokes better. Nothing flashy. In fact, my upping/putting cost me a total of at least 5 strokes that round. I came in with a respectable (if not amazing) 57. That’s an 18-STROKE-SWING! That must be a record. So far, though, I still hadn’t hit a putt outside of the circle. I’ve never done that in a tournament. And my ups with a putter were abysmal (I TRULY need to learn how to do that)
Anyone with a basic grasp of physics can tell you that won’t go in
After a quick lunch of PB&J (energy food for the impoverished), I met up with Ashley for the last leg of this Putridathon. We kept to our very staunch tradition of not taking any decent photos of the two of us. Case in point:
She’s cute, though she looks uncannily like her sister here
The final round was back at the Sunnyside, where last year I salvaged one decent round with a 54. Could I duplicate it? Not with a 5 on my first hole, including a missed 8-FOOT-PUTT! My whole card struggled. Here are some of the DFL troopers. Here’s Chase… putting in weeds… from thirty feet away… above a ridge… on arguably the easiest hole at the entire Grange.
I also threed
Mike hitting a gap. Not a regularity on this weekend.
I also threed this very deucable hole
When all was said and done, I came in with a total of 250. That’s 56 strokes worse than the winner, and 18 worse than last year, which wasn’t particularly good then. I did not throw a single TIKI ace this year (in 10+ rounds), despite hitting plenty of metal. I didn’t drink and party at the Grange. So did I enjoy The Virginia Open?
You bet. If I have my druthers, I won’t ever miss this tournament. The people are great, the courses are fantastic (even when they kick your ass), and it’s just a great time.
Seeing Ashley was really particularly great. We both are living our lives as if we’re not dating someone in another part of the country – meaning we both aren’t sitting there pining and moping. But when we’re together, it makes us realize how hard (stupid?) this situation really is. I don’t regret doing it the way we are – it makes weekends like this seem otherworldly. I only wish they were otherworldly more frequently. Only five weeks until the next visit.
What happened to my game? I don’t know. I could blame my career and how much is on my mind. I could blame the girl in my life. I could blame the fact that I just don’t have the blind dedication to it that many others do. I could blame the fact that I have not thrown a single practice putt in over a year. But I won’t. I don’t know why I’m not playing well. And judging by how little I’m going to play, I won’t get any better any time soon. But I’ll still play, and hopefully get a little lucky here and there.
And now, the walking away.
(I didn’t deuce this easy hole either round)