My day did not start as expected. I bogeyed the first hole and doubled the third hole. After 5, I was 4 over and struggling to make a good swing. It seemed that no matter what I did, I could not find my normal smooth swing that I relied on over the years.
As I closed the front nine with a double bogey, I was a bit deflated as I walked to the 10th tee. Finishing the front with a 43, I was wondering if my current strategy of being patient was worth keeping for the back nine. After I bogeyed the 10th hole, I decided to change my focus and try to hit the ball closer to the hole on my approach shots! I know this sounds silly, but I no matter how hard I tried, I was short on most of my approach shots all week.
Suddenly, I birdied the 13th hole and the train was back on its tracks. I jockeyed back and for on the back nine and was 10 over standing on the 17the tee. It was toughest 16 holes of golf I played in a long, long time. But, now was not the time to give up! Our team was still vying for the Pennant and bragging rights for a year.
The 17th hole was a 150 yard par 3 with a strong wind blowing directly in our face. Additionally, the tee box was 40 feet lower in elevation than the green. Normally, I would hit an 8 iron from 150 yards, but given the wind and elevation change, I hit a 6-iron. I hit a laser that looked like it was going in from the moment it left my club. My ball flew right beside pin and stopped 6 feet directly behind the hole. After making the putt, I was now 9 over.
Teeing up first on the 18th tee, I hit the ball straight down the middle to 135 yards from the green. The 18th green is elevated and is 100 feet above the fairway. It is an extremely difficult closing hole. Normally, I would hit a 9-iron, but chose an 8 for my final approach shot of the tournament. My contact was pure and my line was dead on. As the ball flew towards the pin, all I could think was, “be enough”! As the ball came down, I lost sight of it over the ridge of the green. After struggling to climb the hill to the green, I notice my ball stopped 8 feet from the pin! As I stepped up with confidence, I putted it true for another birdie. My third on the back nine.
After all the smoke cleared, I shot another 79! My third straight. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get me in the top 5, but I was very happy with my final result. I finished in 7th place. Petawawa Golf Course was a very tough track because of the very slow greens and the windy conditions. There is a slight possibility I can attend nationals, but two of the top 6 players have to withdraw because of work or other reasons.
Another aspect of the tournament was the team play. The top 5 scores from each team are counted each day. This aspect of the event is where the Pennant is won. The Pennant is a covenant trophy that military organizations proudly display in their trophy case for all visitors to see. This year, my team won by 5 strokes! After three days of competition, my team won by just 5 strokes. After calculation 15 rounds of golf, Trenton shot 1201 and Petawawa shot 1206! The funny thing about our win this year is that none of the Trenton players made the top 5!
Thanks to my team mates for a great tournament and wish you all the best for the rest of the season.
This years Ontario Regional Golf tournament was outstanding. I had a great time and look forward to next year.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!