Shot 81 (39-43, 68.9/125) this morning on dawn patrol, which normally would be a score to make me reasonably happy. Today though, was a, 'someone give me the Heimlich' ending. After teeing off before sunrise and recording 7 straight pars (missed 3 birdie putts inside of 15'...) I made a couple of bogeys to finish the front side, missing 10'-15' putts to save par in each case.
The back 9 wasn't as good, but even so I was +5 teeing off on #16 needing only a bogey-bogey finish to break 80 for the first time since the mid-90's when I worked at a golf shop and played a couple times a week. Sadly, my tee shot on 17 found a deep bunker down the right. I hit a very good out to a perfect position short left of the green in the fairway, but then bladed my pitch shot over the green. With an uphill lie to a real quick downhill slope on the green, I landed what a thought would be a good shot on the fringe short of the hole only to have it take off down the slope and end up 25' below the hole. Two putts later I'm in with a 6. Now I need a par on the last to shoot 79. 18 was only playing 310 yards, so I played 'smart' and took my hybrid off the tee. And damn near missed the ball. Right off the toe, 45 degrees to the right, it ended up 215 yards out from the green, but I was blocked out by some trees. I used the same hybrid and hit a solid shot, but clipped a limb on the last tree and ended up some 40 yards short of the green. Okay, now I need an up and down for 79. No such luck as I completely chunked my pitch shot. The next pitch found the green, but left me with 15' downhill on fast greens. My putt slid by on the high side and I had to tap in for my second consecutive 6 and my 81.
I guess I'm going to have to chalk this up to the pressure I put on myself to break 80. And as such, I'm going to have to say that getting myself into contention to break 80 going down the stretch a few times will eventually lead to me handling that pressure better. At least that's my hope, because I sure don't want to choke like that on a regular basis!