My brain is jumbled with golf thoughts this week. I think I'm finally recovered from our great golf scramble last Friday. It was a terrific day! Well, except for the fact that we didn't win...again. My team battled hard and we ended up tied for first place (-15) but the scorecard playoff didn't go our way (which reminds me, next year, sudden death playoff!). But the sun was out, I got to spend the afternoon with some of my favorite golf pals (who can really hit the ball and Jason's putter was hot!), I heard lots of cheers and laughter, and we were able to help out our golf course and our high school sports teams. I call that a success!
But the weekend turned around seeing Steve Stricker win the John Deere on Sunday - YAY Steve! I didn't watch the tournament, but was very excited to see him post a 61 on Saturday, especially since he was on the fantasy team. I'm sure it was a long day, and I'm wondering now how he is feeling heading into the British Open - energized or exhausted? I REALLY want to pick him for the Majors pool we have, but I'm still undecided.
Seeing the very end of the US Women's Open on reminded me of my week at Interlachen Country Club last year. What a great (and expensive) week for me! I missed watching Annika this year, but it was fun to root for Jean Reynolds. The LPGA is in flux right now and I'm curious to see what will happen now that Carolyn Bivens has stepped down.
I've also been thinking about the British Open - I got our pool sent out and am contemplating my own picks for the week. I've read a couple of interviews with Greg Norman and I'm curious to see if he will be able to contend again this year. I'm looking forward to some couch time this weekend!
After a couple days off from golf, I made it back on the course last night...it was an absolutely beautiful evening and I'm glad I was able to get out there after work. I started out birdie, birdie (getting another hole on the birdie card!) - if I get a good start my brain starts thinking about breaking par (I can't stop it!), so I immediately got frustrated when we ran into some slow players. This can be a real test for me, but I hit 2 good shots to get pin high about 40 yards out on the par-5. I've been struggling with my chipping a bit (hitting them too hard), but I stayed down and gave myself a 10 footer for birdie...which I blew by about 5 feet, and missed the comebacker. UGH. The slower group let us play through on 4 and of course I went into speedy swing and pulled my drive. With a tree in the way I had to punch out...and that led to another bogey. Back to even just like that.
I hit a decent drive on 5 and thought I had hit a good wedge but it ended up in the trap in front of the green (my weakness!) Keeping down on sand shots is a challenge for me, but this time I hit it well and right where I wanted it to and it just stuck (my sand shots never stick!). I then see that a sprinkler was leaking and I stuck in a little puddle. I still had a chance to save par, but my putt slowly rolled past the hole and then kept rolling another 7 feet (clearly I'm not adjusting to the hard dry greens). Missed the bogey and I went from 2-under after 2 to 2-over after 5. Not good!
Number 6 is another birdie hole I need, so even though I was feeling pretty crummy about my round, I was still motivated to give myself a birdie try. The dry conditions finally worked in my favor and my drive ended up about 50 yards from the green. But now I'm on some hard ground with very little grass and I'm trying to channel Scott Robbins and try to force myself to not decel but to hit down on the ball. I did, but a little too hard and I left myself a 20ft downhill slider putt. The green wants you play more break than there is, so I blocked out the hole all together and just looked to a spot about 6ft away and hit it...and darn it if it didn't go in! My front nine birdies are done...woo hoo! I was back to +1 for the round so my goal to try to break par was still in reach.
Two pars on 7 & 8 brought me to one of the tougher driving holes for me, but if I can get one in the fairway I could give myself a chance for birdie. My drive went left, but it was still okay...I got aggressive with the approach shot and ended up with another 20 footer for birdie, and once again I hit it too hard and left myself about 8 feet for par, which of course I missed to end up +2. I was happy with the birdies I had, but I really let a good chance get away.
My golf pal had to go, and with the course looking pretty open I headed to the back side and just hit two balls and enjoyed no wind and 70 degrees for another hour (dreamy!). The evenings are a great time to practice. The funny thing was, as I was finishing playing 18 holes I noticed the group that let us through on 4 was just finishing 9 - now THAT would have been a long nine holes (thank you for letting us through!)! I'm sure I'll contemplate my missed opporutnities in this round, but I'll be more grateful that I was able to be on the golf course on such a beautiful day.
Rain is falling in Minnesota tonight (much needed!) and I think I'll do a little fantasy research before bed. I hope everyone enjoys the British Open!
Filed under: Greg Norman, scramble, practice, Steve Stricker, British Open