Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hole in One

I played my second practice round in two days today. I played Southern Pines GC yesterday, and played at Pine Needles today. It was your typical practice round day until I reached the par 3, 13th. It was at 197 yards and downhill a good bit and I ripped an 8 iron pretty much right at the pin. My eyes aren't great, and the green was a bit shiny, so I never saw it land, but the guys in my group started saying, "I don't see it...do you see it? Quick grab me the laser!" One of the guys grabbed the laser and looking said, "Yeah, I'm about 99% sure that's in the cup." Sure enough, when we walked up there and peered in the cup, it was resting at the bottom. A hole-in-one... in the practice round. What a waste. haha. It'd be nice to make it in the tourney, but I guess I can't be too picky when it comes to holes-in-ones. Coincidentally, my only Double Eagle to date also came in a practice round. That was for an FCWT junior event out at Yankee Trace in Dayton, OH.

Today's hole-out now brings me to a grand total of 2... 3 if you count a mulligan, which I don't. I was playing with my roommate Kenny McKee at Lincoln Park in Milwaukee and we were on number 8. Mind you, not too many of the yardages are correct out there. I fired an 8-iron there that flew the green and went halfway up into the trees. For fun, I threw down another ball and fired a 9-iron... up and down the stick. With the ball in mid-air I yelled after it, "Oh God... Don't go in the hole!" It proceeded to one-hop into the cup, an "Ace," but really just a very elaborate par.

My only other hole in one came in the CR Miller Junior Matchplay event at Edgewood CC. I was playing Ryan Castanet in a match, and we both hit really good looking shots to this uphill par 3, I think 14. We get up to the green and there's one ball 6 inches from the cup. It was his. Sorry, you just lost the hole. He would go on to get the last laugh that day though, as he beat me 3&1.

I'm feeling really good about things going into the first round tomorrow of this week's eGolf event. I had some awesome practice after today's round and I'm teeing off at 10:40 at Southern Pines tomorrow. Can't Wait!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hitting the road again

Finished packing the car and I'm all set for my next voyage down to North Carolina. I'll be playing at Pinehurst this week, and then Charlotte the following week at the Palisades, where I won a college event.

It's been a good week of practice after my failed US Open qualifier. I fired a 67 two days after that qualifier while playing with Mike Larkin out at Treesdale. I was even 7-under thru 12, but made a pair of bogies coming in. I feel really good about how I'm striking it, and my putter feels good too. I'll be sure to hit plenty of shots from around the greens out of the bermuda grass in the next two days to try to get re-acclamated with it. But I once again feel ready for some competitive golf.

I've got about an 8 hour drive tomorrow and I'll be hitting the round a little after 6AM. I'll be hoping to get a late-afternoon practice round in when I get there. The tournament begins on Wednesday, and we'll be playing at Pine Needles and Southern Pines CC. Results will be on the eGolf Tour website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wet Day

Really a roller coaster of a day out at Quicksilver, as I wound up with a worthless 77, but there's plenty more to the story than that...

I had one par on the front, along with 2 doubles, 2 bogies, 3 birdies, and an eagle 2 on the par 4 ninth, where i hit driver in front of the green and one-hopped a flop shot into the cup. One-over 37, but still right in it.

Slow play and rain highlighted the day as Quicksilver quickly began to look like a spillway for the Ohio River. The rain was light on the front nine, but really picked up intensity on 12. I bogied 11, but got it back with some good shots on 13. 1-over with 5 to play, which included 2 reachable par-5s. Good position. The rain came down even harder, my umbrella even came out, which I rarely use. It has to come down hard for me to open that up. Surprisingly, the greens managed to stay firm most of the day, as the fairways overflowed with water.

I bogied 14, a par 3 and headed to the par 5 15th. I hit a great drive, but it wound up a couple feet into the rough and had a truly atrocious, wet lie. I hacked a rescue to 100 yards, where the water was almost up to my ankles. I called a rules official over to take a drop. After about 5 drops and constant searching for a non-casual water spot, he finally said, "I think that's as good as we're going to get." As good as we're going to get? If that's the case shouldn't we be under delay if there's no spots that aren't casual water??? Just saying. Regardless, I got it onto the green, but 3-putted. The next two holes also saw me in the fairway and hitting shots fat as water sprayed up from contact. It was aggravating to say the least. Any other tournament/event would have gone under delay an hour prior. But that's the problem with US Open Locals, they need to get it in, as some people can't come back the next day, and they may not have the course available. So you've got to get it in, even if the course is unplayable.

I bit my tongue after the round, didn't say anything about it to the WPGA guys and went and had lunch at Applebees. A couple glasses of Mountain Dew never hurt to ease the pain either. Sorry for venting...
Next up is the eGolf event starting the 25th in Southern Pines. I still like where my game is at, and look forward to playing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

US Open Local qualifying tomorrow

I'm playing at Quicksilver tomorrow for the Local qualifying for the US Open. I'm definitely ready. I played out there yesterday with former high school teammate Mitch Mercer, who is leading the way tomorrow with the 8:30 time. We both made a promising number of birdies which was good, considering the course was practically underwater and playing long. Although we both lost a few balls due to plugging, which could be a serious problem tomorrow, especially since it's supposed to rain all day. I've played there numerous times and I know where to hit it on the greens which have some serious slope to them. I'll be teeing it off at 10:30, near the end of the pack. Hopefully the greens won't get too bumpy from footprints, but they might.

I shot 30 on the Grove course out at Treesdale on Saturday, and shot a couple under on both balls today, after they airrated the greens...again. I'm really hitting it well and I'm definitely ready for tomorrow. My parents will both be out there forecaddying, to help make sure I don't lose any balls due to the plugging, while Joe Zinsky will be on the bag.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tenative Schedule thru August

Events with an * are events I'm not officially in yet...

May 17 - US Open Local qualifying at Quicksilver GC in Midway, PA

May 25-28 - eGolf Tour event in Southern Pines, NC

June 1-4 - eGolf Tour event at the Palisades CC in Charlotte, NC

June 10 - The Old Elvis Cup at Sewickley Heights CC

June 15-18 - eGolf Tour event in Salisbury, NC

June 22-25 - eGolf Tour event in Stanley, NC

June 27-29 - The Frank Fuhrer Invitational at the Pittsburgh Field Club

July 5-6 - West Penn Open, the Club at Nevillewood

July 13-16 - eGolf Tour in Kannapolis, NC

July 20-23 - eGolf Tour at Woodside Plantation, SC

August 3-6 - eGolf Tour in Greenwood, SC

August 8-10 - Pennsylvania Open at Moselem Springs

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Poor Finish

Friday was a roller coaster of a round, although the scorecard would suggest otherwise. I made 2 birdies and 2 bogies on the day, but it was a very interesting round in breezy conditions. I hit the first 10 greens in a row, but was 1 over par. The problem was that I didn't hit it very good, but was consistently missing it straight. So although I was hitting greens, I really only had a couple good birdie looks. The one conversion being on a well struck 8-iron on the par 3, third hole, coming to rest 9 inches from the cup. Then, my green streak was snapped when I hit it in a bunker on the difficult par 3 11th, and had a tricky up and down. But an awesome bunker shot to two feet kept me going. I would go on to miss 6 greens in a row, converting a 30 yard pitch, a 15 yard flop shot, an easy pitch from in front of a green, a super difficult shot from the back of a bunker to a short-sided pin, and finally a 60 foot putt from the fringe. Got all six! A two putt birdie on 17 got me back to even. I treaded water on a day when I had far from my best game. I stood T-5 going into the final round, just 4 shots off the leader.

The final day saw me hit it really well on the front nine. I hit one really poor shot into two and was dead in a bunker and short-sided. NO chance. Blasted out to 25 feet and 2 putted. A number of good shots with too much spin got some ridges and fell off a couple greens. A number of really good putts lipped out or slipped past. And some misplayed wedge shots led me to an extremely disappointing 77. It was a relatively easy day, and shooting 77 was alot like driving 55 mph during the Indy 500... you're going to get lapped. I dropped back to the middle of the field, but all-in-all it was a positive week. I got back into contention in a tournament, and I'm feeling good about the game. It might have been a little pressure that caused the swing to unravel slightly during the final round, but I'm soooo close to breaking out. Heck, I almost broke out this week!

I'll be home for 2 weeks now. Week One is an off week, where I will be getting some good practice in with Joe B, and continuing to groove my swing so that no amount of pressure will cause any revertigo to bad habits. Week Two has me playing a US Open Local qualifier at Quicksilver GC on Tuesday May 17. Joseph Zinsky will be on the bag. One of the last times he carried the bag, we successfully qualified for the US Junior Amateur... so I'm expecting good things.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mike Van Sickle Golf

Finally playing it! After a somewhat disappointing 73 in Monday qualifying down in Athens, I drove up to Greensboro for the eGolf event and played 36 holes worth of practice rounds on Tuesday with Peter Malnati. We both played well and had a couple good matches, and he commented on my attitude about my game being much different from last year. He seemed to think I was back, and my scores this week are backing up that realization as well.

I fired a 3-under 68 the first day in cool, blustery conditions. Scoring wasn't exactly stellar that first round and I was actually T-15 by the time everyone finished. Day 2 would go even better, as I played Willow Creek, the main course being used, and managed my game superbly. I missed a three footer for par on the 2nd hole, and that would wind up being my only bogey. 6 birdies on top of that would lead to a 5-under 67 in round two and put me at 8-under overall... which gave me the morning lead. After the afternoon waves finished I had dropped to T-4, but I'm right in the mix, only 2 shots off the lead.

My swing continues to feel good, and I've been solid with the putter, despite that missed putt on two. I might have hit a career low today... drivers that is. I hit only 4 drivers all day long, and actually hit 3-iron off of the first 4 non-par 3's. I can't think of a time I hit that few number of drivers in a round. Maybe that one time I only took my 6 iron to the course, but besides that...
For the second day in a row, I birdied my first hole of the day, while making birdies on my final two holes of the day.
I'll be teeing it tomorrow morning in the 2nd to last group at 9:50AM

Results from the Tournament: Click Here