As I have in the past, I organized a match play tournament at my home course of Mattawa Golf and Ski Club. It is a very small event and the players that joined were looking for something new to do. Yesterday, I was fortunate to play my first match against Gary. He is a 77 year old man who just loves to play golf. Now before you roll your eyes, Gary is a stick and I had to play a strong round to get my first Match Play win of 2022.
After two holes, Gary was up two. After two doubles by yours truly, he was off and running. Gary played from the red tees which usually meant that he had a 40 yard advantage on every tee shot. I was hitting the ball well, but Gary was either beside me or ahead. He hit the ball down the middle on 12 of 14 fairways and was in great position of all his approach shots. He hit about half the greens in regulation and putted very well. Overall, Gary was sneaky long, accurate, and could putt; it was a tough match and he put pressure on my game from the opening tee shot.
After my two opening doubles, I actually played very well. During the final 16 holes, I shot one under (3 birdies and 2 bogeys). As per normal, my driver was working very well but to my surprise it was not the best club in my bag. I was hitting my wedges well and putting strong. But the best club in my bag yesterday was my 3 wood. Yup, my 3 wood. I hit it 7 times and crushed it 6 times. This surprise definitely added to my win. Fortunately, I was able to play well and close out Gary 3 and 2.
If you are wondering, I shot a 3 over 77 and Gary shot a 4 over 78 (only one stroke over his age)!
During our round, I actually paid attention to how Gary navigated the course. I noticed that on certain holes he landed short with the intention of the ball bouncing up onto the green. During the first nine holes I played the approach shots my way by trying to land the ball on every green with limited success. During the second nine, I followed Gary’s lead with much better success. The difference between the two nines was four strokes. I have to thank Gary for the golf lesson.
I am fortunate to be moving on to the semi finals of the Match Play. I will be contacting Shawn on Friday to set up the next match.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!