The first match was yesterday, and we all felt good about our games. So we pulled up to The Preserve at Jordan Lake with high hopes. After a good range session and a solid 15 minutes of putting, we began. It was shotgun start, and the seed you played determined the hole you started on. Because I played No. 4 on our team, I’d start on the fourth hole. We played the white tees, scorecard below:
Actually a pretty solid start, although I did three-putt the fourth green. After a par on the next, I missed a short par putt on the sixth after a good chip. The seventh was a fun hole. An ultra short par 4, you could try and drive the green if you wanted to (probably a 250 carry from the whites) but you had to hit it perfect and carry it all the way. If you chose to lay up, as most people should, a solid mid-long iron to the center of the fairway leaves a wedge over a creek.
Nobody in my foursome tried that, and we all hit solid irons (I chose a 7) to varying points in the fairway. I had just over 100 yards in, so I chose a wedge. But, as I’ve been doing lately, I chunked it . So badly, in fact, that it stayed in play. Knocked a wedge over the green from there, duffed a chip and had to make a long putt to save six.
The eighth was another interesting hole. You can see it’s a long par 4 for pretty much everyone. I didn’t quite get all of my driver and had almost exactly 200 in. Chunked that, and then hit another poor wedge that led to the six you see on the card. Two ho-hum bogeys later, I stepped up to another longish par 4, the second hole. Trying to muscle up on it a bit, I pulled it left and lost the ball. I made a five with my second ball.
On our last hole, the third, the tees were up, and it played around 130 instead of the 168 it says on the card. I hit 9I and jit it right at the pin. But I caught it slightly a on the heel, and it came up about two feet short and rolled down a little slope. Still no problem getting up and down I thought. Trying to putt it, the ball hit something that was apparently right in front of my ball and it bounced a bit but still finished on the green, about 15 feet out. As you can see, I two putted from there.
I didn’t note the total, but that adds up to 48. I thought my chances of All Conference were shot. But when we got back to the clubhouse and I saw the other scores, I realized that this course played pretty difficult for everyone. In fact, only two people broke 40, the medalist coming in at 36. Both players who broke 40 were on the same team, and they had a 168 total. Second place ended up with 175. We were third, coming in at 180. We had a 40, a 44 and two 48s. Definitely not our best work.
That night, we got an announcement that two teams would go to regionals. Given that we’re only five strokes behind second place, we still have a pretty solid chance (five strokes isn’t that difficult to make up, with four out of the team’s five scores being posted).
I believe that I still have a shot at All Conference, needing to place in the top 12, but I can’t have any more 48s. Everyone gets to throw out one of their nine hole scores, and the rest are totaled to determine the top twelve.
I also received some more good news from the coach: that the course we played yesterday would be the toughest we’ll play this season, with the exception of regionals, which is always played on a difficult course, and from a longer yardage (normal matches are usually between 2800 and 3100 for nine holes, between 5700 and 6100 for eighteen, and regionals are around 6400-6500).
Overall, I believe wedged killed me the most, costing two strokes at least. I was pretty good with irons and off the tee, having only missed one fairway out of seven. I putted pretty well with the exception of one hole, so it could’ve been worse. Looking forward to the next match!