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State Am Qualifier


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Next Tuesday, I will be playing in my first official tournament as an individual, one of the Utah State Am qualifiers.  I am the worst player in the field of 84, so no grand delusions of securing a qualifying spot in the actual state am tournament.  I am pretty excited nonetheless.  Hopefully the two I'm paired up with are easy going and it's an enjoyable experience.

The course is Rose Park GC, and the set up will be 6,803 yds 70.0/113 (a tad easier than the 71.0/116 it usually plays).  The course is best known as Tony Finau's old stomping grounds as a kid.  My best score at this course is a 78, and I've broken 80 at it several times, which is my goal for this tournament.

http://ghintpp.com/uga/TPPOnlineScoring/Default.aspx?ID=437

I'm debating using GameGolf to share the round, but we'll see (depends how I'm feeling that day).

Of course, I appreciate any advice from those with a bit of tournament experience.  And any well wishes to boost my confidence haha.

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84 people for how many spots? and what does it generally take to qualify? 

Edited by Shooting29
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12 minutes ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

Next Tuesday, I will be playing in my first official tournament as an individual, one of the Utah State Am qualifiers.  I am the worst player in the field of 84, so no grand delusions of securing a qualifying spot in the actual state am tournament.  I am pretty excited nonetheless.  Hopefully the two I'm paired up with are easy going and it's an enjoyable experience.

The course is Rose Park GC, and the set up will be 6,803 yds 70.0/113 (a tad easier than the 71.0/116 it usually plays).  The course is best known as Tony Finau's old stomping grounds as a kid.  My best score at this course is a 78, and I've broken 80 at it several times, which is my goal for this tournament.

http://ghintpp.com/uga/TPPOnlineScoring/Default.aspx?ID=437

I'm debating using GameGolf to share the round, but we'll see (depends how I'm feeling that day).

Of course, I appreciate any advice from those with a bit of tournament experience.  And any well wishes to boost my confidence haha.

Good luck!  You sound exactly like me!  I played in a couple of these in the last few years and each time was likely the worst player in the field as well.  I had a goal of solid play, no crazy dumb mistakes and hopefully break 80 each time.  I haven't broken 80 any of the times, but I achieved the other goals.

Let us know how it goes!  (You can share it in the tst member tournament thread that many of us use as well. :)

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Well, my standard advice is brush up on the common Rules situations one might face such as water hazards and lateral water hazards, relief from obstructions, etc...  Be sure to review the "conditions of competition."  When a shot is hit out of sight, don't hesitate to hit a provisional.  Most of all, enjoy the experience. 

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1 hour ago, Shooting29 said:

84 people for how many spots? and what does it generally take to qualify? 

There are 10 qualifiers with 84 spots in each.  I believe top 20 move on (not 100% on that) but it depends on how many people are in each qualifier, in regard to how many people move on from each.  Low participation in one event would result in more qualifying spots in a full event.

In one of the qualifiers that has been completed, only 16 players participated with only 5 people moving on (qualifying scores from of +2 to -2).  Another, 43 participating and it looks like 13 will move on (with qualifying score of +10 to -1).  Those tournaments were both in less populated areas of the state.

The top 20 guys in the qualifier I'm playing in, range from about a 2 to +3 index.

1 hour ago, Golfingdad said:

Good luck!  You sound exactly like me!  I played in a couple of these in the last few years and each time was likely the worst player in the field as well.  I had a goal of solid play, no crazy dumb mistakes and hopefully break 80 each time.  I haven't broken 80 any of the times, but I achieved the other goals.

Let us know how it goes!  (You can share it in the tst member tournament thread that many of us use as well. :)

Thanks for sharing your experience.  Not making dumb mistakes is definitely on my priority list haha.  Good thing is I'm very familiar with this course, and know where to play conservative.

1 hour ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Well, my standard advice is brush up on the common Rules situations one might face such as water hazards and lateral water hazards, relief from obstructions, etc...  Be sure to review the "conditions of competition."  When a shot is hit out of sight, don't hesitate to hit a provisional.  Most of all, enjoy the experience. 

Thank you, appreciate the advice.  I have been watching the rules videos on the USGA website over the past month.  I've read the rules book a few times over the past year as well (I read it whenever I fly... helps either pass the time, or put me to sleep haha).  I downloaded the USGA rules app as well, so I have them handy on the course.

I'm curious, what has been you're experience with the most broken or misunderstood rules in tournaments you've played in?

53 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Good luck!

Keep us informed along the way and share your results here!

 

Yea, I saw that thread... but I wanted my first time to be special haha.  Will def post there for future tournaments.  Thank you for the good luck!

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11 minutes ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

There are 10 qualifiers with 84 spots in each.  I believe top 20 move on (not 100% on that) but it depends on how many people are in each qualifier, in regard to how many people move on from each.  Low participation in one event would result in more qualifying spots in a full event.

In one of the qualifiers that has been completed, only 16 players participated with only 5 people moving on (qualifying scores from of +2 to -2).  Another, 43 participating and it looks like 13 will move on (with qualifying score of +10 to -1).  Those tournaments were both in less populated areas of the state.

The top 20 guys in the qualifier I'm playing in, range from about a 2 to +3 index.

 

ok, I would expect a similar score needed at your site as the 43 person site. probably in the +8 range. 

That type of qualifier, first thing I'm going to do is eliminate any possibility of a big number. One hole can't win it for you but it sure can lose it. An example would be #2 on my home course. It's a 420 yard par 4 that's got OB left and trees right. I have made more than one 8 on that hole through the years. Hook one out then flare your 3rd in the trees chip out 4, miss the green 5, chip on 6 two putt 8. In a qualifier I play it as a par 5, hit 7i twice pitch on and two putt.

Two, you don't take agressive lines. Par is your friend. If you try to make pars, some birdies will fall but if you press too hard and try to make birdies you will make bogies or worse. This type of qualifier isn't a shootout where there's only one or two spots and a couple guys get hot and you need a 65 to get in. 

Keep the ball in play. Lost balls are a momentum killer. The range that morning isn't the place to practice. Use that time to get loose and figure out who you brought to the dance. Normally play a little draw and you are hitting a little cut? Better dance with that girl, trying to fix it is nothing bit trouble. 

On the practice green you want to concentrate on speed. Take one ball and putt around the horn. This should give you 6-7 putts of varying length and help you adjust to speed. Now putt that in reverse. Remember you're aiming for the center of greens so your lag putting needs to be on point. 

Your heart will be pounding on the first tee especially if there's a little crowd and the starter announces your name. Tee your ball up, close your eyes and take a couple deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. then go through your normal preshot routine. 

Your first one is nerve racking, but try and have fun. Don't count on the guys your playing with being easy going talkers. Prepare for minimal to no small talk. I don't think people are purposely rude they just get in their own world. 

Lastly, take it one shot at a time. Don't dwell on a bad shot because you will hit them. Don't dwell on a bogey train, just concentrate on the shot at hand and making a good swing.

Good luck. 

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7 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

...I'm curious, what has been you're experience with the most broken or misunderstood rules in tournaments you've played in?

Two are fairly common.  One is determining the point where a ball last crossed the hazard line and then proceeding from there.  Many get confused with "line of flight" versus lining up the "point last crossed" with the hole and going back on a line.  Many also want to use 2 club lengths, which is reserved for lateral water hazards.

The other is "unplayable" options.  Most default to 2 club lengths when going back on a line with the hole often offers much better relief (or just replaying from the prior spot).

I have probably played in 150+ tournaments and I can count on one hand the number of times we have had a "double hit", wrong ball, obstruction in a hazard, etc... As long as one is confident with the basics, it is hard to get into too much trouble.

If something does happen, just slow down, take a breath and think through the situation.  It is easy to rush and get something wrong when a bit of extra stress is introduced.  If the other guys in the group are knowledgeable about the Rules, it can help.  Just don't let someone who thinks he knows it all drag you down.

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Good luck! Doing a qualifier like this one is something that I want to do in the near future, so I'm curious to see how you fare in one. That advice by @Shooting29 is really good. You can't go wrong playing at the center of greens, away from trouble, and making a bunch of pars.

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Playing a practice round at the course tomorrow.  I'm going to play it to the yardages listed for the tournament set up (as best I can, obviously not sure where the pins will be) and use my game plan for Tuesday.  Will be using GameGolf, so I'll try to figure out how to post a link.

 

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The practice round started OK, wasn't hitting the ball very solid, but was making my way around the course well enough.  I was +1 through 7, but started rushing things, made a bad decision that snowballed and wound up with a double on 8.  I never recovered from there, and things just stayed rough the rest of the round.  I'm usually able to put a bad hole behind me and move one, but could not today.  Maybe it was because I woke up a little late and didn't have time for breakfast... who knows.

Anyway, here is today's round (assuming the GG link works).  The greens were pretty hard, and the rough deeper than normal, but nothing crazy.

https://www.gamegolf.com/player/tefunk/round/1640733

I'm not too worried, just plan to get some good sleep, stay hydrated and make sure to have breakfast on Tuesday.

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Hey man, you never know. You crack 80 and anything can happen. I qualified for a state am with a 77 once. Bogeys don't really hurt you. Doubles or more do. Try to limit those and you're sure to be competitive. 

My main piece of advice is don't talk yourself into believing you're not supposed to be there. If they're taking 15 or more, you're in it even at a 9 index. Don't worry about proving anything to your playing parters. They're not putting the ball in the hole for you. Play your game however you normally play it. 

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10 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

Thanks Gents!  Going to be a rainy & windy day tomorrow, but I'm ready to go.  Will keep you all posted on the results.

That favors you if you take it into account without overly thinking about it. Give it the right amount of attention and no more.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

That favors you if you take it into account without overly thinking about it. Give it the right amount of attention and no more.

This exactly!

Cruddy conditions can really bunch up the field, and take even better players out of their comfort zone.  Be one of those that can handle the adverse conditions, and you can finish much better relative to the field than you otherwise might.

 

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