Hey guys! Sorry to leave y’all in the dark about the last portion of the golf season, but here I am to catch y’all up!
April 19: This was the last non conference match of the season. Honestly I don’t remember much about this one, but I shot a 44 and went +6 in my last four holes.
April 25: The conference tournament at Hillandale was on April 25. It was hot on this day, so I went easy on my warm up session and sat in the coach’s cart the last 10 minutes or so until my tee time.
I started with a rough bogey, but then birdied the second hole and parred the next three. I was on the bogey train for a while and made the turn with a 40, but I righted the ship again with back to back pars on 12 and 13. I was six over with only five holes to play.
I had to scramble for bogey on the easy par-5 14th and then bogeyed 15. Now pars on the last three holes would give me 79. I was fully aware of the match as well, and as a result I pulled my tee shot on 16 into the road and made triple. I scrambled for bogey again on the par-3 17th before once again righting the ship with a par on 18 to finish. 40-43 for 83 at the conference tournament.
I easily made regionals and also made All Conference with a couple of shots to spare. All in all it was a good day, and we went out to dinner that night to celebrate a good season!
May 2: Regionals!! There’s a lot to say about regionals. This was after a long day on the 30th (tournament in the morning and then prom that night).
The day before was our practice round at No. 6 and I took this round to really get to know the course. It’s was a relaxing way to spend the day, not too hot, and by the end of it I was feeling good about the next day. My goal? To just go out there and enjoy it whether I shot 79 or 99. I’d made it this far so I was just happy to be in Pinehurst.
We just relaxed at the Mid Pines hotel the rest of the day and had dinner at The Deuce while watching groups come in on No. 2.
Then the next day came, and I was ready. Didn’t do too much talking at breakfast because I was thinking about my strategy for the day. I went to the course and had a good warm up session, then went to the tee of the par-5 tenth which is where I would begin. No nerves whatsoever.
We got there quite a bit early, and of the eight people that went ahead of me (two threesomes and the other two in my group), six of them hit it OB off the tee. Needless to say, I was now very nervous and took a few deep breaths before I hit. And…pulled OB. I hit the next one in play and walked on. I thought I was fine but after a few more lousy shots I had to settle for a quad to start the day.
But after that I settled in. I doubled 11 and bogeyed 12, then on 13 faced a tucked pin against the water hazard on the left. I had already decided in the practice round that I would play right no matter where the pin was. I stuck to that, missed right and then got up and down for par.
Then I hit a great shot from a wayward drive on 14 and parred easily and parred 15 and 16 as well. Then I bogeyed 17 and made a great save for double on 18 after another flared drive went OB off the tee. I made the turn in 46 and, despite the first hole, was playing very solid golf under the pressure of regionals. I knew at this point making states was out the window (I would’ve had to shoot 34 on the back), so I walked back to the first tee ready to enjoy my last nine holes of high school golf.
Like the previous day, I bogeyed the first hole and doubled the par-5 second. I went bogey-par-bogey on holes 3-5, and I knew, walking to the par-5 sixth, that if I bogeyed in I would shoot 91. But I struggled on that one, hit into a water hazard and was lucky to find it, and made triple.
Or so I thought.
As I went to tee my ball up on the seventh hole, I realized that something was very wrong. Before, I was playing a Titleist ProV1 with our school’s logo on it. The ball I had teed up was a TopFlite with no such markings. And since I had no other balls in either pocket, I knew what I had done.
I was about two seconds from taking the club back, but once I realized that I had played the wrong ball on the last hole I stopped what I was doing, called my coach over and walked him through what had happened.
It’s difficult to explain exactly what we did next, but by the time I was able to tee off on the next hole I was in a daze. I couldn’t think straight, and the fact that I had just played the wrong ball rattled me. I went triple-double on 7 and 8, then finally regained my composure on the last hole and made a solid bogey to finish.
The next step was to find the rules official, and after we talked with him I was given the wrong ball penalty. After it was all said and done, I had shot 97 at regionals.
Not the way I wanted my high school golf career to finish for sure, but I knew I had done the right thing on 7. My parents, my coaches and the rules official all said the same thing after: that they were proud that I had done what they thought few others in the field that day would’ve done. I did it not only because I knew it’s what I should’ve done, but also because if I had done nothing, it would’ve bothered me for who knows how long.
In the car ride on the way home, I tried to recover from a long couple of days and slept well that night. When the guys at work asked me about regionals and I told them what happened, all but one of them said I was stupid and something like “I would’ve just played on and not said anything”. That bothered me, but not near as much as I knew it would have if I had done the opposite.
So there you have it, the end of my high school golf career! If you have any questions about what happened, don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂
So what’s next? I’m leaving for Methodist on Friday, and I’m planning to wait a week or two, see how much I can play or practice, and start another blog. Not sure what exactly it will cover or how often I’ll post, but I will cover all that in the first post of my new blog.