Day Three of the Ontario Golf Regionals for the Military started of just great. For the third day in a row, it was a hot day with beautiful sunshine. Atypical for late September, we hit 29° C with very little wind. It was a bit hot for playing golf, but who is going to complain about a perfect day. As I stood on the first tee, I was mentally ready to play solid golf. So off we went!
All day I hit my irons very well. They were the strongest part of my game and as such, I had 11 opportunities for birdie. Some were a bit further than I had hoped, but at least 6 were well within ‘make-able’ range. Except for two iron shots (one I will explain later) that cost me 3 strokes, I was very happy with my iron play.
My woods were average. Except for one drive (which cost me 2 strokes) I was okay with my woods. As I look back at my round, I realized that I was trying to hit the ball too hard. This error in judgement did not really hurt me, but definitely did not help my score. I feel into the trap of trying to hit the ball as far as my opponents and that is just not my game.
Were I struggled the most was with my putter. I am usually a very confident putter and I tried to transfer this attitude to my final round as I made a push for second. Confidence with a putter can ebb and flow during a round; a quick start makes the hole look twice the size; a poor start and it is the size of a quarter. As I stared my round, the hole looked like a soccer ball! I felt great. Unfortunately, after 3 lip outs in the first 5 holes, my target began to shrink. I only 3-putted once (which was great considering), but I could not get the ball to drop. After 11 chances for birdie, I walked off with a total of zero birdies. That was the most frustrating part of my day. I had plenty of opportunities, but nothing dropped. As a result, I finished with 2 doubles, 5 bogeys, and 11 pars for a not so smooth 79.
I finished 6th with a total score of 236. This averaged out to 78.6 strokes a day; it was slightly above my goal of averaging under 78 over three days, but it was close. I can say that over the three days, my putting was the weakest part of my game. My stroke was the same, but my ability to read the Petawawa greens was suspect at best. This is happens sometimes when I play different courses and I am grateful for playing for 4 days of fun golf.
My group on the last day consisted of Mark, who won the tournament, Tim who finished 3rd, Eric who finished 2nd and me. Tim I played with the day before and as per the second day, he is a fine young man with a bright future in golf. Mark and I are old friends. He is great to play with and likes to keep things light. As always, playing a round with Mark is great fun.
My last playing partner was Eric. He was on my team and playing with him in the last group, on the last day, was a treat. He played extremely well! He rose the occasion by shooting a solid 74. He has a complete game and showed it by successfully responding to everything the course threw at him. He made very few mistakes and when he did, his recovery shots were perfect. Eric earned his second place finish and I am glad he is on our team.
Day Three is in the books and the tournament did not end as I had hoped. However, I had a fantastic time play golf with some new and old friends. One of the benefits of playing in this yearly event is the people. It is fun to meet up with old friends and catch up; and equally beneficial is meeting new golfers who earned their way to Regionals for the first time. Regardless of where we finished, we were all winners!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.