Our match was schedule for Oh Dark Thirty. Actually, we teed off at 0645 hrs and the morning was gorgeous. The temperature was perfect, there was lots of dew (which never bothers me), and there was no wind. I could not have asked for a better day to play my second match. I was matched against Craig Wallace and unfortunately for him he was matched up against a bulldozer that would not stop. It was my best round of the year and my front nine crushed Craig because I could not miss and he had a tough day.
My opponent, Craig, has a very smooth swing. It was obvious that he had game, but due to life challenges, he was not playing as much as he wants or needs to keep his game sharp. He is not a long ball hitter because of changes over the past few years, but his short game could be spectacular. All his chips are at the pin, but just too long or short. He had two extremely lucky bounces that lead to a half and win. The win was on the 10th hole when hit a rock 30 yards short of the green and it bounced up just behind the pin in the first collar. With ten feet way, he made a smooth up and down for par and won the hole. The bounce was amazing, but unfortunately the match was almost over by that time. I feel for Craig because he came up against my best game.
My front nine was the best of the year. I hit every fairway, every green in regulation and two putted every green but one. The one green I one putted was for birdie and I finished one under for the front nine. It was the best I struck the ball all year. It seemed that every approach shot was a perfect distance for the club I needed to hit. It was like the stars aligned and everything was perfect.
I started the back nine slowly with two bogies in the first three holes. I made two poor swings and they cost me, but not so bad that it destroyed my round. After the 12th hole, I dropped back into my normal play and hit most greens and made some very good up and down plays. I started to pull the ball a bit and this was the source of my woes in the last six holes. It was not bad, but a let down from the front.
I finished the round with six straight pars and half of those was a grind. I did not do anything spectacular, nor did I do anything really damaging. It was a normal round. Ultimately, I finished my match with a score of 73. I realize that this was a match play event, but the way things unfolded it was like a stroke play round. My front nine gives me hope for the rest of the year and I hope that I can put two of these rounds together and shoot under par.
I am a grateful golfer! See you are on the links!