...Continued from SCGA TOCC: I love competing
On the last hole of the day (hole #2 for us), I was just off the green in 2 and just wanted to chip it up close to tap in for par. My chip was long and I ended up about 25 feet from the hole with a tricky looking double breaker. My strategy the rest of the day had been to take an extra stroke to get on the green if necessary, then weasel up close (perhaps you call that a lag) and go for the two-putt. (Essentially, I was playing for bogey golf on the more challenging or longer holes.) I looked at this tricky, long putt and decided I really wanted to just make it to finish the day right. If you’d have seen the position of my ball on this green, you’d know there was no justification for the sense of confidence that overcame me. I knew I could make it. I wanted that par. I got it. I didn’t know yet how much I needed it.
We put our clubs away, changed our shoes, turned in our scorecards and headed into the luncheon. Our foursome, "gallery" and one other guy they knew sat at the same table. He commented that he really expected to come here and win. I told him that he wasn’t alone in that feeling since he was playing against a group of people who were all champions of some club. I thought we all came to win. As we ate, we kept looking up at the board and scores were coming in and being officially posted. There were to be prizes for the top five finishers. They had the lowest five net scores in red and the rest in black as people finished their rounds and turned in their cards and the officials filled in the blank boxes on the board. Maybe most golfers out there have experienced this process, but it was my first time.
My score (68) was in red on the board. I was so excited that I was a contender for a prize. There was another 68, two 69s and one 64. There were to be “card-offs” for second and third prize but not for first, so if no other low scores came in, I was assured at least some prize. My excitement grew as my table-mates explained all this to me and started prematurely congratulating me. Then, someone noticed that the 64 was gone! We all searched for it on the board and discovered that in its place was a big “DQ.” I didn’t need anyone to tell me that didn’t mean Dairy Queen. (I found out later that the guy had submitted his net score from which the officials deducted his handicap to get the 64.) Holy crap. There were only two blank spaces left to fill in with scores and I’m tied for first! Both blanks were filled with marks in the 70’s.
My mouth became very dry and I kept gulping swallows of nothing. I went to get another beer. Odd that I wasn’t nervous before the round nor when I thought I was placing in the top five but upon discovering I had won the whole thing (with a co-champion) I was a temporary wreck. Maybe, like my thought about why I wasn’t nervous at the start, it was because I didn’t shoot a record round and was just shocked that it was enough to win and somehow felt undeserving because of that. I regained my nerves before they called me up but I couldn’t stop smiling and occasionally giggling and I tried to resist clapping my hands in giddiness. They took pictures of us with the trophy for the magazine and the room cleared out fast except for the winners’ tables. We hung around for a few minutes and exchanged e-mails for photos and that was it. I drove back to my parents’ house alone, made a few excited phone calls and took a nap. I guess I did my celebrating the night before.
Champion of Champions - Isn't it pretty?!?
Upon reflection, it wasn’t just that awesome putt on my 18th hole that did the trick. Number 16 is a semi-blind, long par 3 with
Back to the daily grind
... like I did on Wednesday. (Why do people live like this?) I was in snowy Chicago from Wednesday through Friday, digging my rental car out from under the previous nights' dump on Friday morning. Saturday morning, I was back home and on the course wearing shorts for my club's annual "Turkey Shoot." More on that later.
Not over yetIt has been a whirlwind getting to this point and the wins have come fast and furious. We are fortunate to not really have an “off season” in