Can’t win them all

The magic is gone.  The spell is broken.  Coggshall finally got back at me.

I’d like to say I’ve taken a few days to get this post up because it’s taken me that long to recover and process what happened, but really it’s just that I’ve been straight out in DDGC prep mode all week.

So, I finally had a not-so-good day at Coggshall Park, but I can’t blame anyone but myself.  It was a combination of a couple physical errors, a couple mental errors, and maybe a touch of bad luck (but let’s face it, I was due for that).

First round started a bit rough with a bogey on the first hole (hole 2). I countered with a birdie on hole 4 and then fell into the familiar comfort zone of knowing that the birdies were there and all I had to do was play smart.  And that’s what I did for a while.  Birdie deuces on holes 8, 10, 11, and 12 really got me rolling, enough that back to back bad drives and resulting bogeys on 14 and 15 didn’t really faze me.  I managed to park 16 for another deuce and then card a clean 3 on the par 4 hole 17.

Then came disaster.  My drive on 18 turned a bit too much and ended up in the rough about 60 feet short.  No big deal, just an easy pitch out for par…except for that tiny little branch I should have seen and avoided but didn’t which left me 25 feet away instead of under the basket. Even that’s not a big deal because 25 feet is more than make-able…until it isn’t.  Chained it out weak-side then watched the disc get up and roll 40 feet down hill behind the basket into a new OB area.  Yay.  Pitched up from there and dropped in for a six.

Finished with a deuce on hole 1 but the damage was done.  53 was still good enough for lead card, just two throws out of the lead, but what could have been…

I found out what could have been in round 2, and what round 1 could have been was worse than it was.

I basically killed any chance of winning the tournament on hole 1 of the second round with another missed putt from ~25 feet that rolled 40 feet to the OB road.  Starting off the round with a double bogey 5 on a hole everyone else on the card birdied is not a recipe for success. I followed up with another bogey on hole 3 before a birdie on hole 4 stopped the bleeding temporarily.

What chance I had of catching the leader was gone, but a respectable “in the money” finish was still well within my grasp…until hole 6.  Recall that the last time I played a tournament here (last August), I managed to card a pair of birdie twos on this hole, which I’d never done before and would never count on doing again.

In this round, the hole karma-slapped me for that unusually good day.  My drive was a bit off line, caught a tree and caromed waaaaaay right, practically into the previous hole’s fairway.  I was buried in wet mountain laurel with little choice but to try to  throw back to the fairway.  Instead, I hit another tree and landed back in some laurel and directly behind a large maple.  I had no room for a backhand or a forehand, so I resorted to the overhand.  Smack. Another tree, another crap lie.  Anger then took over a bit and I threw another overhand in the general direction of the hole (it was still blind over a hill at this point).  Best shot of the hole thus far since now I could see the basket about 60 feet away, but it still took me three more to hole out for a wonderful 7.

Despite the horrible first third of the round, I actually started to relax because all the pressure was off.  The new goal was just to not finish the round in the 60s, and a string of pars with deuces on holes 8, 10 and 13 helped that cause.  Then I took a bogey five on hole 17 and, thanks to some bad mental math, made me think even that goal wasn’t going to be attainable.

So with that incorrect thought in my head, I decided to get a little crazy on 18, site of the first round disaster, and try a route I’d never attempted before.  Of course, it worked perfectly, putting me 10 feet away for an easy two, which gave me a 59 for the round. Surprise!

On a positive note, I had a front row seat to a great 18-hole battle for the win.  It came down to the last hole and a 50 foot birdie putt to win by one.  So it was a fun round with fun people in spite of the way I played.  Hard to be miserable when I did have a good time all day.

As alluded to earlier, I’m now in DDGC prep mode for the next three weeks.  Lots of digging, building, cutting, trimming, mowing, marking, and other work in my immediate future.  All to have the course looking its very best for the weekend of June 4.  Can’t wait.