Friday, January 6, 2012

The Coveted Blind Squirrel

And I got one!  That's what the closest to the pin contest on all par-3's during the Desert Marlin are called, but more importantly, they're worth a grand for the wallet.  I hit a great, high, soft 6-iron on the par-3 5th hole, after just eagling number 4, a 580 yard par-5.  It turned towards the pin and stuck pretty much right where it hit, a difficult task with how firm the greens were.  When we got up there it looked like it might have a chance, and fortunately, the previous leader was only 8'11'' and my ball was at 8'2".  A good shot to the tucked middle-left pin.

Anyhow, we played with John Adams, a former Tour pro who played at ASU back in the day.  My dad and I played solidly for 14 holes, but just didn't get very many putts too fall.  There is a good deal of Valley effect that you have to factor into the putts, and many times I had myself getting the general read of the putt correct, but not the exact read, which led to some lipouts and burned edges.  We were -4 thru 14 and then unraveled a bit on the last 4 to total a -1, 71.  I tossed a couple drives in the desert while pops made a couple bogies from the middle of the fairway.  There was a good possibility that my Eagle 3 on number 4 might get a skin, which would be about another grand, but unfortunately it didn't hold up, but two of the easier par-5 eagles did.  Oh well.

Our partners in the practice round, Ricky Barnes and brother Andy were the eventual champions at -25, a scant 17 shots ahead of us.  Phil Mickelson and brother Tim were surprisingly not in contention.  All in all it was a really fun week, and more importantly it was a good opportunity to test my game early in the year, and it's clear that I've made a lot of progress.  I'm looking forward to more competition this year!  And the way my game is headed I'm hopeful of Monday-ing into some early Nationwide events.

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