Starting the day, I was 10 strokes of the lead, but only 5 off 2nd, which seemed far more attainable, especially since I knew the two courses better than anyone ahead of me.
Round 3: Tahoe Vista
I have played this course a couple of times during doubles and knew it pretty well. I started off by missing hole one (everyone did) and having a drop-in birdie on hole two. Hole three and four I also had birdie putts, making the one on 4 (I’d never birdied that before). I misthrew hole five (as I always do) and bogeyed, but followed up with another drop in deuce on 6. I’m being this detailed for a reason – my driving was great and I was getting the must-deuce holes! I never do that! Hole 9 changed everything. It’s a tough flick S shot. I throw literally the best forehand of my life. It skips up by the basket, close to the parking lot OB behind. I get up to find out it’s leaning over the edge. If the concrete had been poured straight down, I would have been in bounds (my disc was hanging over the lip). However, the concrete then bowed out about an inch and a half, and I wasn’t over that. So a poor concrete-pouring job cost me a stroke, maybe two (I missed the putt for my circle 3 – remember that for later).
Derek (the leader by a ton) starts saying: “C’mon guys, we gotta step it up!” I’m sitting there thinking, “Ummm, this is me stepping it up. I’m playing really well.” I proceed to birdie 10, had a putt on 11, parked 12 for a bird, and only took a bogey or two here and there. Hole 17, a HUGE downhill hole with a natural tree backstop – I throw a crap drive but throw my up straight into the backstop. My disc somehow manages (parallel to the ground) to get caught between a 2′ truck and a 2″ branch, over 8′. Another very painful OB stroke (the comebacker was a 6′ putt). I finish with a par 4 on 18. That puts me at -1 on the round, though I was -3 without those two painful OB strokes. Anyway, despite beating everyone in my group but Derek (who only shot -2), I lose ground. Two guys on other cards shoot -7 and -6 and leap up to lead card. Good, I don’t like being lead card.
Round 4: Truckee
This is gonna be simpler. I start out 4 4 on tough holes, but still not good. I then go 3 2 3 2. So I’m even with many many birdie holes left. There is some SICK wind, and everyone is having trouble. I proceed to par the next 11 holes (ugh). I finish the round with a 15′ birdie and come back with a -1 (my 2nd card shot even, +1 and +2, so I knew unless someone shot lights out on the 3rd card, the worst I could do was 5th place (in the cash baby!)
A guy from the lead card Tom (who shot the -7 in the morning) comes up to me and says, “You shot -1? You and I are tied for 3rd.” WHUUUA!? -1 on Truckee is NOT good, how did I advance? Well, two guys on the lead card shot +4s (like I said, BIG winds). At this point, I didn’t care if I won a little disc trophy that said “3rd place” so I went into the playoff just trying to not embarrass myself.
Hole 1 is a must-deuce. I yanked my drive and ricocheted off a fence for a 30′ windy putt. Tom gacked his too and flew well past the hole (but I think hit a tree to slow him as well). He had a 30′ putt. I went first and canned it (longest put of the day, sadly). He then hit his. 2nd hole – another must-deuce. I put it within 15′. He shows me up and puts it within 10′. Both make it. 3rd hole (where I started with a 4 during the round). I hit the early guardians and he didn’t. So I had to make a 300′ upshot with a tree right in my face. I throw a low shot with my Sidewinder, hoping for a skip, and I hit a rock, stopped me 60′ short. I miss that and he wins.
I later find out that the ‘silly trophies” are these absolutely beautiful hand-carved dragon statues. Oh, I wish I knew that before that playoff. Anyway, I split 3rd place cash and walk home with $220, my best tourney by a long shot.