There are lots of adjectives I could use to describe the experience - for the most part it was enjoyable, at times frustrating & disappointing, and it was definitely always challenging - but I think the best descriptor would be eye opening. Eye opening in the sense of how tough it really is at my level to maintain focus and play good consistent golf for 3 days.
I'll keep my summary brief. I started out of the gate a bit slowly on Day 1, but went red hot on the back to shoot a 1-over 37 and give myself at 79 for the Day. At my index, that translated to a net 70, which put me tied for lead after Day 1. I gotta admit, it was kind of cool to see myself on the leaderboard and know that I'd be playing from the last group in our flight. Playing from the lead may seem like an easy thing when watching Tiger on TV, but it is anything but. I promptly went out on Day 2 and couldn't do a single thing right. When I hit a great drive and left myself a 100 yard wedge out, I would miss the green. When I made a good save from the trees to get myself an easy up and down opportunity, I'd run the chip 15 feet past. When I finally managed to string 2 tough pars together and give myself a glimmer of hope, I promptly double bogeyed the next hole with a series of boneheaded shots. And of course I couldn't hole a midrange putt to save my life.
At the end of the day, I was a beaten and thoroughly bruised man with a 90 beside my name (net 81). 90! I've played this course upwards of 30 times over the past year and I can't remember shooting a score higher than 87, let alone a 90. But that's what tournament golf can do to a man apparently.
Having essentially shot myself out of the tournament (I went from tied for the lead to 7 back), Day 3 was all about playing for pride and finding a way to grind out a good round. I thought I acquitted myself decently. I played worlds better than the day prior and even though the score wasn't anything to write home about, I wasn't unhappy with my 84, which easily could have been an 81/82 if any of my numerous lipouts had gone my way.
With a 3 Day total of Net 226, 10 strokes above my cumulative index, I finished squarely in the middle of the pack, tied for 7th place out 17. No glory and no money to show for my efforts, just the experienced gained and recollection of what could have been if I hadn't blown it on Saturday.
I will say that it was interesting to see how the final scores shook out. In a net tournament, I would expect one or two competitors to "go low" and put up some really great net scores. Even in this group of guys, many of whom have far more competitive experience under their belts than I did, nobody shot under their index (granted, it was played to the low index, which had something to do with that, I'm sure). The winning score was net 217 (1 over par). 2nd place was 219. The total amount of strokes over par was 170, or an average of 11.3 per competitor, and that doesn't include the 2 guys who withdrew or were disqualified.
My takeaway is simple. Tournament golf is hard, but multi-day tournaments are really, really hard. All in all though, I had a lot of fun, met some great people, and hope to be able to participate in future years.