After a few weeks off to play TD at the DDGC, I was back in the tournament game this weekend with a trip south to play the David Stidham Memorial tournament at Buffumville Dam. This is one that I’ve played each of the last three years and one I hope to continue to play in the future.
It’s also an anniversary of sorts as the Stidham Memorial two years ago was the first tournament I played after picking up Westside as a disc sponsor and turning my entire bag over to Westside, Latitude 64, and Dynamic Discs. Shameless shill time…that tournament was also my first time playing the new(ish) monster 18-hole layout in under 60 throws, and I’ve yet, in about ten rounds since, to shoot worse than 60 on it while throwing Trilogy plastic…shameless shill time over. 🙂
The day started off nicely enough, both weather-wise and game-wise, with three birdies in my first seven holes before I came up to the dreaded hole 9: roughly 325 feet to carry OB riprap and lake, then another 350+ to a peninsula green. It’s a victory for me just to get my drive in-bounds and I usually bank on taking a 5. Wise decision since that’s exactly what I took when my drive was turned over by a fresh gust of wind, bounced off the rip-rap and into the lake.
Did a bit of scrambling on the next few holes before the rains came. If I’m being honest, I had a couple lapses in concentration before I made any mistakes that I could remotely blame on the rain so I can’t really make excuses. Suffice to say that I was glad to get back to the parking lot because the last few holes were not my best. Finished soaking wet and with a 59 which placed me in a six-way tie right in the middle of the pack.
It kept raining all through lunch, which made for some fine contortionist fun trying to get out of my wet clothes and into dry ones while sitting in the front seat of my car. I made a fortuitous decision before I left home to throw an extra empty golf bag into the car, so in addition to dry clothes, dry shoes and an umbrella, I pared down the disc lineup a bit and went with a lighter and drier bag for round 2.
The rain slowed down to almost nothing about three holes (16-17-18) into round 2, which was a relief as I got to put away the umbrella and take off the rain jacket just in time to go into the front nine of the course. Four birdies in the next eight holes made the carbon copy 5 on hole 9 much more palatable, and also allowed me to quickly regain momentum with more birdies on holes 10, 12, and 13. Two pars to finish left me with a satisfactory 55 that moved me out of the logjam of 59s and into 7th place, solidly above the cash line.
On the whole, it was a good day. For the most part, I think the time off for the DDGC did a lot of good for my mechanics, which were noticeably out of whack by the end of my last event. There is something to be said for putting the discs down and concentrating on something else for a little bit to erase bad tendencies before they become habit. On the other hand, I also think mentally I wasn’t as sharp as I could be, particularly as the rounds ground to a halt either due to the rain or just the general slow play of a full tournament. That might also be attributable to the down time.
It will be another month before I play another tournament between family obligations, holidays and work. On the plus side, unlike the last down period, this one will come with a lot more time to get some practice in. That next event, Crane Hill, will kick of a really busy July and what is shaping to be a pretty busy August as well.