This was my 2nd time playing in the FSGA Mid-Am qualifier, having
qualified last year with a 74 (+2) at Shingle Creek. Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes
is a very nice golf course. If I have one gripe against it it's that it's a
private club. One can get a tee time on TeeTimesUSA.com, but it's a $92 green
fee. So what happened is that there were about 10 golfers playing in the
qualifier who were members of the club and have a lot more experience playing
there than the rest of the field.
The course came a long way since my
Saturday practice round. I tend to believe that September is the most difficult
time for Central Florida course due to the daily rainfalls never giving courses
time to recuperate from all of the precipitation. On the practice round Saturday
it was still fairly soft and a lot of shots were plugging, but we didn't have a
problem with that today and I thought the course and the greens were in
excellent condition for this time of year.
I played in a 2-some with
another golfer and we started on #10. My driving was much improved since the
state amateur qualifier and I shot 69 (-3) in a practice round. However, I was a
little shaky with the putter.
#10: This was a bit of a toe-hook
that went up against the lip of the fairway bunker. I then hit a SW to just get
it into the fairway, but I hit it too far and went into the rough. I then hit a
LW to about 20 feet. I just missed the first putt, but missed a 2-foot
comebacker and 3-putter for double bogey (+2)
#11: This was a bit
of a pull with the driver into the woods. I had 2 avenues that I could take, one
that would be a pitch shot that would leave me with a 150 yard approach shot.
The other would be a tougher shot thru some trees, but would be me to about 90
yards. I took the latter route and hit a nice shot that wound up 88-yards away.
I then hit a LW to 10-feet and made the birdie putt, even though I pushed the
putt a tad (+1)
#12: I could not see this one fly, but the
yardage said 171 and I felt like I hit it well and it came up short. The weather
was 'only' 69-degrees and from there I could gauge that the lower temperature
along with the humidity was causing the ball to fly a little shorter.
Thankfully, I walked up to the flag and I noticed that the ball was
going to bank hard off right side of the green. So I played the pitch well to
the right and wound up to about 3-feet and canned the par save (+1)
#13: Another crappy swing with the driver and I hit a low
pull draw into the rough. This was important because the hole played about 450
yards, thus it was likely the drive was going to end up in the Danger Zone.
It did and I hit a 5-iron pretty well, but a bit of a closed face caused
the ball to draw and miss left. A decent chip with a LW to 5-feet and this was a
putt I had at inside left edge as the % of slope on the putt was almost
perfectly flat and sometimes those are the most difficult to read. However, I
hit the putt perfectly and drained the par save (+1)
Worst swing with the driver, yet and hooked it into the woods. Pitched out, but
again; too hard and into the rough. Caught a SW fat and missed the green short.
I then nuked a SW on a pitch shot about 15-feet bye and 2-putted for double
#15: finally hit a nice driver. I pushed it a
little, but it carried the trees and found the fairway. I then crushed a 3-wood
from a downhill lie over a tree and it...hit the lip of the bunker and stayed
there. If it goes about 1-foot further, I'm up near the green. I then hit it as
hard as I could and got it out.
Then pitched to 10-feet and just missed
the par save and made bogey. A real heartbreaking 2-stroke swing (+4)
#16: Blasted a driver down the middle. Then a 9-iron to
10-feet. Just missed the birdie putt because I pushed it, but missed the
2-footer coming back and made bogey. Real lousy job there (+5)
Poor swing with an 8-iron and missed the green right. Weak chip to 15-feet and
hit a great putt that hung on the edge and made bogey (+6)
#18: At this point I was just like 'screw it' and trying to
make birdies, so I took driver out on a hole that I would usually hit 3-wood off
the tee. I hit this one well, but pushed it into the woods. Hit out to 90 yards.
Then a LW to 15-feet. First putt was on line, but 3-feet short. Made the bogey
#1: I think my ball position was a problem off the
tee as I noticed after this tee shot that my ball position was too far back. And
I wound up hitting an ugly steer push into the woods. Chipped out, but again,
too far and into the rough.
Of course, I wasn't paying attention too
much as the palmetto was scraping against my leg. Now I had no shot as I was in
the long rough and on a sidehill lie. I hit that shot out there to 50 yards to
the flag. Hit a SW to 10-feet, but made this bogey save (+8)
#2: Another ugly swing and pulled it into the bunker, short
siding myself. Hit a nice bunker blast to 6-feet and made the par save (+8)
#3: Best drive of the day ripped down the middle. I choked up
on my gap wedge and hit a nice shot to 10-feet. Putt never broke as much as I
thought and made par (+8)
#4: Another good driver down the
right side. Had a semi-difficult lie, but hit a 3-wood pretty well to about
50-yards to the pin. They had a very difficult pin position and I thought I hit
a good LW, but could not get it to stop and wound up with a 20-foot putt. I had
this breaking at 21 inches to the right and drained the birdie (+7)
#5: Smoked a driver down the middle. Little weird shot
because the lie was slightly downhill and it was difficult to gauge the wind
which had just picked up. I hit a 9-iron that felt a little high on the face and
it went to 30 feet. I was near the low anchor and had the read, but I pulled it
and 2-putted for par (+7)
#6: Flushed a 4-iron to 20-feet.
Hit a good putt, but too hard. Missed a 3-footer coming back and made bogey (+8)
#7: Hit this drive well, but pushed it a bit and went into
the right rough. Hit it out with a 7-iron. Had a 9-iron with an uphill lie into
the wind. I think it went so high that it came down with frost on it. I then
drained a 25-footer to make birdie (+7)
#8: Smashed a driver
down the middle. Choked up on a 8-iron and flushed it to a few inches and kicked
in for birdie (+6)
Pushed a driver a tad into the right rough. It was not an easy shot with the
lie, but I hit it over the flag, just too far and all the way to the back of the
green. Slick, downhill putt from 35-feet that I hit to 5-feet short, but made
the par save (+6)
THOUGHTS: Obviously disappointing, but I
did make a nice comeback. My last 2 rounds of competitive golf have been my
highest scores of the year, so it was nice comeback here and avoid that from
That being said, my nerves really got the best of me on the
first 9 holes and if those cannot be controlled, I'll continue to run into the
same issues. I think it requires a lot better mental preperation starting with
more mental focus in practice and casual rounds of golf. Furthermore, I think I
need to take my blood pressure medication before the round instead of taking it
at 10 am when I usually take them.
I think putting wise I have some
issues going from my typical slow greens to the faster greens I play in these
tournaments, but still it's some nerves issues. I hit a lot of good putts and
make a lot of good putts, but then miss too many easy putts.