A couple of days ago I was invited by my friend Mark to play in the first annual Mattawa/Osprey Home and Away Match. It was a straight forward event where two teams of 12 play a two person scramble (six matches) where each twosome has a chance to win two points; One point for the front and one point for the back nine. After the first leg of the event at the Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort, Mattawa holds a two point lead over my team of Osprey Links. Since it is the first year, the idea was to keep thinks simple and full of fun!
I was teamed up with Mark and we took on Gary and Gerry. With fantastic weather, the course in great shape and the promise of a great meal, I had great expectations for the a fantastic round. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Mark and I started off very strong as we birdied 5 of the first 9 holes. We hit the ball straight, but our approach shots on the front nine were the key to our success. We seemed to firing on all cylinders. We took a 4 up lead after the first, thus securing the one point for the front nine.
Gary and Gerry, however, were not about to give up easily. They headed up and we cooled down a bit during the back nine. Their experience definitely paid off as they dominated with approach shots and reading the greens. It seemed that whenever one player made a challenging shot, the other stepped up making the right shot at the right time. We traded leads and Mark and I found ourselves one up with three holes to go. Then I did something I have not done in 25 years that cost us the 7th hole.
It was a long par 5 and I hit a high draw over the trees on the dog leg left tee shot. I thought was perfect and Gary watch the ball bounce off a mound and suggested that it was not as a good a shot as I thought. Well, we found my ball on the mound and I proceeded to hit a great shot to just 15 yards of the green. As we prepared to hit our third shot, I had my ball in my hand waiting for Mark to hit. When I looked at my ball, I realized that I hit the wrong ball!!!
Hitting the wrong ball in match play results in an immediate loss of the hole. The faux pas on my part cost Mark and I the hole and it squared up the back nine with two holes to go. We both parred the last two holes to split the back nine gaining 1/2 point. I still cannot believe that I hit the wrong ball. My disbelief still resonates with me and I am not really sure how it happened. Of course, it is completely my fault for not checking when we first arrived and I can guarantee that this mistake will never happen again (at least for another 25 years 😉 )
After our match, we had a fantastic sit down roast beef meal put on my Mike and Brenda at the Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort. If you talked to any of the players, everyone to a person was anticipating a delicious meal; we were not disappointed. Mike and Brenda always put on a fantastic spread and if you are in the area, it is worth stopping for a meal.
The next leg of our competition is next Tuesday at Osprey Links. I am looking forward to teeing it up with Mark and playing against new competitors. So far the first annual Mattawa/Osprey Competition is a resounding success and I do not see that changing when we tee it up at my home course.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the Links!