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Confessions of a Guy Who Came up Short in Qualifying

Saturday July 15th, 2017 - 8:08 AM…HGCC first tee box

 I feel good…man I feel really good.  Good night’s sleep, up early, stretched…on the range at 6:30AM…just getting loose with the 56 degree wedge and I feel ok…chasing a banana with a half bottle of Bulleit Rye on the rocks (not proud of that but hey, gotta calm the nerves)…I leave for the putting green, iphone earbuds in, music is good, sipping the swing oil and feeling like this can really happen…

 Hole #1 – meech hands me 22 degree hybrid and tells me to hit the middle of the fairway…mission accomplished…a pedestrian wedge and 2-putt later and I walk to second tee with a par…(EVEN)

 Hole #2 – I launch driver deep left into #9 fairway…somehow I have a look and hit a spot on 7 iron back into play just off the green…first putt isn’t bad but just dies at the end and doesn’t reach…I shove the par putt right and card a bogey (+1 after 2)

 Hole #3 – Unload a driver but again tug it left and it clips a tree and drops…trying not to get frustrated…bang a 7iron into the dogleg and then finally get into my round, nutting a 22 degree hybrid 200+ to the front of the green…another 3 putts and I’m +2…

 #4 & #5 – complete dogshit and make double bogey on both (+6)

 #6 – hammer a drive into the fairway…BFD is back!!!...6iron is hit well but just left of target and lands just short and to the left…56 deg wedge is a little pulley and I’m 10 feet for par and lip out…(+7)

 #7 – yank my drive under the tree, bad punch out, better punch out, chunked approach, 2-putt double B and now I’m simply gasping for breath and begging for a drink at the halfway house…(+8)

 #8 – yank a 6-iron, tree knocks it down…recovery to the green and a 3-jack again leaves me with a double B on a par 3 and bleeding  at +10

 Halfway house – shot of stoli O with douggie and a titos pink

 #9 – spray a 19 degree hybrid around the dogleg and down the hill…doubt is starting to creep in…we play it safe and punch a 7-iron back in play, take a great bounce and leaves me not far off green…great wedge and a rare one-putt and BFD closes front with a desperately needed par…(+10, 46 on front)

 #10 – pull my tee shot on the par 3 to a revolutionary spot on the golf course, even for me…pretty solid recovery and a 2-putt and I escape with a bogey 4 (+11)

 #11 – can’t make a par putt…(+12)

 #12 – 290yd booming drive and chunk my approach shot…again can’t make a par put…(+13)

 #13 – spray my tee shot on the par 5 to the right…play a great hybrid off #14 fringe down #14 fairway…play up and over to #13 apron…approach shot is once again dog sh*t and two putts later…bogus again (+14)

 #14 – yank yet another drive left, this time off the maintenance fence…two club lengths of relief for an immovable impediment and I’m looking at an easy 7-iron punch to the front of the green…except for the first time all day I lose concentration, take my eye of the ball mid swing, and duff it 2 feet…Player B hits the next shot perfectly to the green but I can’t get up and down and further the damage is done with the wasted stroke, a putt that dies at the cup and a costly double bogus (+16)…

 #15 – my nemsis – signature hole – long par 5 that turns to the right with a two-tiered green and the pin in a screw you spot…I’ve gotta make something happen…deep breath and I easy into my backswing and….HOLY SH*T…I finally find #BFD long…I crush this ball down the left side of the fairway all the way to the big old tree on the left…meech talks me into going for it…I guess I needed to to try to make something happen…I step into a 19 degree hybrid and flush it but I block it right…my heart sinks…until meech tells me I’m fine and came to rest at the bottom of the hill left of #11 tee…ball is sitting down and I’m not firm enuff in my commitment…a little too chunky and I land in the greenside trap…now I’m freaking…this is the beginning of the end…UNTIL…I manage to slither a 60 degree wedge outta the wet sand and onto the green without it sliding down to the bottom…meech tells me its two cups out to the right and firm from 12 feet and FINALLY I roll a putt in that matters and I make a much needed par…(+16)

 #16 – I’m in crisis mode – I safety swing a 6-iron down the middle, manage a gap wedge to the middle of the green and will a 2-putt in for consecutive pars (+16)…

 #17 – par 3 – just hit the green.  If I par out I’m sub 90 and still have a chance on Sunday…meech is worried about the wind and says 8-iron…I flush the thing…it soars into the air…its dead at the pin but something doesn’t feel right…meech is yelling “go in the hole”…but something doesn’t feel right…it lands right over the pin…just shy of 18 tee box…down in some snaggly grass…I want to scream…best golf swing of the day and I just get a bad break…maybe the wind died up there…maybe 9-iron was the call…but when my attempt to scrape it out w/out the ball rolling off the sloped green downhill back into the front rough…it’s a heart-breaking double bogus as I stumble to 18 tee…(+18)

 #18 – final hole – I’ve officially lost my cool for the first time…the disappointment is welling up…and instead of taking some time to cool off I walk right to the tee box, throw a tee in the ground and try to drive 18 green…and since I swing like a maniac for the first time today my back foot slips, my body angles right in the follow thru and my lone push right drive of the day comes at the worst possible time…meech says it catches a tree, but it came in hot and we find it in the middle of the driving range…OB…the nightmare continues…I’m able to scrap my provision drive on the green and 2-putt for a 6…but the reality that 87/88 was within the grasp and the fact that it slipped away so quickly is the bitterest of pills (+20, 46 out, 92 total)

 There are 15 spots and at the end of play I sit at #17…it’s not out of the question, but I gotta go low tomorrow…

 Sunday July 16th, 2017 - 8:28 AM…HGCC first tee box

 Compared to normal I feel pretty calm…until JR Finley comes up to me and Joey Liana (two guys in my 8:30 qualifying 4-some) and says: “you guys wanna make this interesting?...”  Next thing I know and I’m elbow deep in a 100/100/200 match with a 5 hdcp and 10hdcp…gulp

 First Hole – this is where the story takes it’s tragic turn…ripped from the headlines of “You Just Can’t Make This Sh*t Up”…I attempt to replicate my same play from yesterday and steer a 4-hybrid into the fairway…instead, I pull it left sharply and instead of missing the tree left and sailing safely into 18 fairway or missing it right and landing somewhere in the left rough, I hit the tree dead in the trunk with the force of an Aaron Judge home run…it promptly ricochets backwards and left like a rocket and hides in the thick rough behind the 18th hole green…”AYFKM” you say???...no, sadly I kid you not…my heart was in my throat…I puked in my mouth…meech turned white as a ghost…”barefoot it’s down”, he says…ugh…so I hack with everything I have and gut out a pitching wedge into 18 fairway (a pretty impressive recovery), which leaves me an opening to take a shot at 1 green…215 out into the breeze and I flush a 4-hybrid right at the flag…in my mind I’m seeing a par putt from inside 10 feet until I see that the only thing that could have gone wrong does…it lands on the downslope and takes a terrible hard bounce to the right and rolls under the pine tree next to the greenside trap…I manage to scrape a punch shot from under the tree and over the trap to the middle of the green but can’t jar the bogey putt…opening hole 6…my wind sails are deflated…(+2)

 #2 – if you thought it couldn’t get worse, it does…I walk to 2 tee rattled…I’m stressed…I’m pressing…I’m trying to hit it 300yds down the middle past the fairway traps…damn you I made 5 hear yesterday I’m gonna make a par…until in my backswing my foot slips again and I come down so steep that my driver head goes under the ball and my tee shot goes straight up in the air…rat farts…two consecutive 30 hdcp tee shots from bfd under pressure…not good…I’ll spare you the misery of the rest of the whole, but when the ball finally dropped in the cup it was a snowman 8…(+6)

 #3 – I’m out of breath and defeated from the second hole…I labor to a pedestrian bogus on a par 5 where I needed a par (+7)

 #4 – more bad golf…double bogus (+9)

 #5 – gut check…meech and I have a conversation on the walk to 5 tee that it’s time to turn it around or pack it in…not only won’t I qualify, but the 2 indo matches are gonna cost me a lot of $$$ to boot…DRIVER/6-iron/2-putt…shit, that was easy…par…(+9)..BFD answers the gut check

 #6 – driver into 12 fairway (this yank it left is getting old)…sweet cut 3-hybrid around the trees to just off the green…but can’t get up and down…another costly bogus on the #1 HDCP hole at HGCC…(+10)

 #7 – just shoot me…I can’t even put into words, funny or otherwise, how badly I played this hole…triple bogus and now my head is down…(+13)

 #8 – Stop traffic…I hit a green in regulation…PAR?  Can it be?...(+13)….HALFWAY HOUSE!!!!!! Otherwise known as the Nick DeMartini Wellness Center…

 HALFWAY HOUSE…shot of stoli O…2 pinks…and steak & cheese & eggs in a Styrofoam cup…popped another Xanax to take the edge off

 #9 – 2 ok shots and then can’t get up and down…front 9 mercifully ends with a final bogus…(+14, front score of 50 – I wouldn’t qualify for the C flight w/that display of crap)

 #10 – I drive the apron and my first putt is so bad the embarrassment pushes my par putt wide…bogus (+15)

 #11 – smoke my drive, take my backswing on a gut check pitching wedge and…”golf shot”…2-putt par (+15)

 #12 – mickey mouse shows up again and I card a 5 on the easiest f@#$%#ing hole on the golf course…(+16)

 #13 – mickey mouse follows me onto #4 green after my tee shot…(I hate Disney, btw)…scrape a bogey…(+17)

 #14 – golden opportunity for par and the putt just stops yet again at the lip…(+18)

 #15 – here we go again…one of the best recovery shots of the weekend and I’m on the green in 4 w/a 8-footer for par…and I 3-putt…that pretty much sums up my weekend (+20)

 #16 – BFD impersonates a championship flight golfer and makes the lone birdie of the weekend…worth $500 as I’ve closed out my indo matchers somehow in a mad scramble…(+19)

 #17 – I just can’t hit this green…you gotta hit this green if you want to win…(+20)

 #18 – Meech tells me I’m still in it…I don’t believe him…but I gotta believe…I push my drive in the right rough…can’t get enough on my wedge to get it on green…putt an 8-iron to 15 feet…and then…”let me in!!!!”…YES…par in front of the gallery on the terrace to close out 2 really sh*tty rounds.  Despite the respectable 42 on the back, its another 92…and that’s not good enough to qualify

 Assessment:

 I came in at #16 when there were only 15 spots…take away the debacle Sunday morning and I make it.  Just goes to show you how one bad swing can ruin a weekend…now I know how Rory felt at the back 9 at Augusta…

 



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