See my ramblings from yesterday, which I forgot to link.
After a night of surprisingly good sleep (thank goodness for earplugs!), I took my ibuprofin (a Masters-division tradition) and headed out to the course. I warmed up for a while and, while I wan’t really getting huge shots, I was feeling pretty good. Here we go.
The first few holes are ones you want to get one or two of them, but I started with three pars (no real danger but only one look at a birdie, which I airballed). Hole four found my first birdie with a 25′ putt. And hole 5 was where my round was defined.
It’s a very tough par three with a long anhyzer fairway and an OB river. Well, I tried to get all the way there and ended up shanking it, nearly hitting 6s tee. It’s a NIGHTMARE over there. I was about 160′ away with nothing but a tiny forehand gap 60′ in front of me. I pured the gap and found myself about 50′ away (it was a pretty spectacular out). BAM, made the putt.
And that can sum up my round. Disappointing driving, scrambling like a mofo, and a great putt. I threw in my next upshot for a 60+ foot birdie and I was off to the races. Until hole 8 where I threw my drive OB and took a bogey.
Followed up with a par on a tough hole and a 40′ putt for birdie on hole 10, which I banged. Then, as was the case most of the round, bogeys were followed by birdies and birdies were followed by bogeys. I SHANKED my forehand drive on 11 and took a somewhat-impressive bogey from where I ended up. Then hole 12 saw me banging another 40′ birdie.
So, to sum up, halfway through the 27-hole layout, I carded 4 birdies but 2 bogeys. That took us to the temp 9 holes, which are fair holes but pretty difficult. In that stretch I had 4 birdies and 2 bogeys, but my drives were starting to come around. One of my bogeys was a bad upshot and the other was a tough-luck OB stroke. So with only the last four “normal” holes left, I was -4, hoping to get to -5.
I had a very impressive par on 15 (bad drive, great scramble and putt). 16 saw an easy par. 17 was really my one regret. It was a decent drive, leaving myself about an 80′ hyzer upshot. Which I throw 30′ short and then miss the putt. NO BUENO. I finished the round with a bad drive, good scramble, good putt (sound familiar?)
That puts me at -3. My goal was to shoot under par each round. I obviously would have liked a -4 or -5, but this was totally acceptable. Using last year’s rounds as a barometer, it was a 970 rated round, and it felt like that. Solid if unspectacular golf. I was 6 strokes off Robert Bainbridge, one of the two or three favorites to win my division. I’ll take that.
But man, that putter saved my butt today. I hit 3-4 outside the circle and only missed one or two inside the circle. My upshots and scrambles were on point, which made up for a somewhat disappointing day off the tee.
I won’t know where I am until later, but I imagine that round kept me around the 4th card, or just ahead of the cash line. Now time to rest the back and do as little as possible until going to bed tonight.
UPDATE: With all the scores in I’m in a tie for 10th place! Mind you, three people are tied for 1st at -9, but I’m only two strokes off of 5th place (and only 1 stroke ahead of the cash line – there’s a lot of clumping, is what I’m saying.)