Monday, August 29, 2011

One Shot Short

Today was the Mylan Classic Monday qualifier at Green Oaks in the Pittsburgh area. It's a par 70, 6400 yard course, who's greens consistently run at about 14. The pins today were in some really difficult spots, and scores showed. I played fantastic for 12 holes, and my only hiccups were a pair of 5 foot birdie putts that I didn't make. Both were downhill sliders that can be very touchy when the greens are that fast. I was 4-under and cruising. I hit a pretty good drive on my 13th hole of the day, just off the left edge of the fairway of a 480 yard par 4. When I got up there, my ball proved to be 6 inches out of bounds. I was shocked. The problem is that there is a little creek that sticks out of the treeline about 20 feet. The treeline is OB, and instead of marking the creek as a hazard, they just mark that as OB as well. My ball wasn't anywhere near the treeline, and yet I was out of bounds. Devastating. I'd played solidly up to this point, 4 birdies, no bogies, and I was about to make double after a half-decent drive. I made some good swings coming in, besides my 7-iron on 17, which was awful. It's a 200 yard par-3 and I short sided myself for the first time all day and made bogey. I finished with a 1-under par 69, falling one shot short of a playoff at 68. The frustrating thing is if my ball just stops a foot shorter at 13 I have an easy par and a decent birdie opportunity in front of me, and I'm still on pace for a 4-under 66, while 67 wound up being the low for the day.

Overall a frustrating experience, but a sign of good things to come. I'm playing great and was in total control for almost my entire round today. It's a crime that I won't be playing this week in the Mylan Classic because I know that I would be competitive there. And it would have been an awesome experience to play in front of a hometown crowd, but for the 2nd straight year it is not to be. Anyhow, I'm playing some great golf and had to play a quirky little course that jumped up and got me on one swing. That happens, but I'm really on pace to be playing my A-game by Q-School time.

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