Sorry for posting so late as regionals was over a week ago, but I’ve finally got a good time block to write this! Regionals was last Monday, and it was a fun day of golf! Talking in the hotel room the night before, we came to the conclusion that to have a chance to advance to states, I’d have to shoot around 80. Given the way I was hitting the ball in our two rounds the previous two days, that wasn’t out of the picture. It would be difficult, yes, but not out of reach.
However, on the front nine I shot myself out of that possibility. I went +7 through five holes, meaning I had to par out. Not good, but I went +3 on the last four holes on the side to shoot 46 on what we considered to be the easier nine holes. My goal now: to break 90. I needed 43, definitely reasonable. I started with a bogey on possibly the toughest hole on the side, but then as we prepared to tee off on the eleventh, the weather horn went off.
As we waited, I caught up with my teammates and learned that they shot 39, 40 and 45. Knowing we needed around a 320 total to advance, we were just about out of it. All the more reason to go for it on the last eight holes.
When we resumed play again, I laced my tee shot down the middle, then hit a 9I to about 20 feet and two putted with ease. Then I hit my tee shot OB on the 12th, but still walked off with a double. Nothing interesting happened on the next four holes, but I went +2 in that stretch, meaning I stood on the tee of the par-3 17th needing just two bogeys for 89. The good news: the last hole was a par 5. It wasn’t long, either, at only 517 yards. But I had to get through 17 first.
With a 6I in hand, I hit my tee shot into the right bunker. I was still feeling good, because I’d been in four other bunkers and had little to no trouble in any of em. But on this one, I caught almost all ball and nailed it twenty yards over the green. Now I had to get up and down for bogey. I didn’t, but I nearly chipped in for par. Double bogey, and now I needed par on the short but difficult par 5 18th for 89. In the distance, I saw a gallery of about 30 people by the green, consisting of my teammates and the other people who’d finished before me (not that many, because I was only the fourth group).
For the first time all day, nerves got the better of me and I pulled my tee shot into the trees. But I had caught it so purely that I was still even with the other two guys in my group, who had also hit solid tee shots. I only had about 250 in, with two options: attempt to carry the water on the left (probably a 200-yard carry), with a great birdie opportunity and par almost a certainty if I made it but double almost certain if I missed, or a layup to the right to around 120 out where birdie is much less a possibility, but double is almost off the table.
After taking a while to think about it, weighing the odds, I chose to lay up with a 6I to the right. Caught it a little heavy, but still had around 135 to the green. I chose a 9I and hit it just about as solid as I could have. I didn’t see exactly where I ended up, but I heard clapping, so I knew it was good. Walking up to the green, I was right: just off the green with about 20 feet left for birdie. My last test was to just two putt for par. I lagged up to within a foot, and my last shot of the 2021 golf season was a tap in par putt for 89.
We then moved to the scoreboard to enter in our scores, and I saw that my teammates had shot 78, 89 and 91. A 347 total, far from what we needed to make it. But Brycen, who had shot the 78, was still in contention to make it as an individual. We went to get some lunch, awaiting the final scores. By the time the last group made it to the final tee, he was in third place (top four individuals advance), so unless two of the last three beat him, he was in. Ten minutes later, it was official: our number one player on the team made it to the state competition. We all wanted him to make it badly, so we were all happy for him!
In fact, since I wrote this so late, the state competition was actually yesterday. He played at Longleaf in Pinehurst, and I was able to keep track of him through the app we used for regionals. He started well: only one over through six holes. But he started to struggle a bit on the last twelve holes, and finished with 83. Not great for him, but he’s still thrilled to have made it that far. A good ending to our golf season!
I will probably make one more entry to this blog later this week, which will outline what I imagine will happen next season, but unless something else crops up, this is the last entry where I’ll go into detail about competition rounds. But of course, if you have any questions for me feel free to ask. Hope y’all enjoyed this blog!
Edited by dagolfer18