I've been down south for almost 2 weeks now and I've had some bad play, some great play, and a fair share of disappointment. My trip started with an eGolf event in Greensboro where my practice round went amazingly well. I was extremely confident going into the tournament and unfortunately, things just didn't translate into the event. My driver was not friendly, and all-in-all, I hit it poorly for the week. Disappointing considering where I thought I was with my game. Of course, after missing the cut, I went to Greensboro CC to have a little match with Chad Warmbein, a fellow Pittsburgh native who was also playing the eGolf event that week. In fact, he came over to stay a couple nights with John Stratton who graciously hosted me again this year. Great guy! But out at GCC, the DAY after shooting a difficult 79, I fired an easy 68 and just hit it great…and GCC was easily twice as hard as Forest Oaks, the course used for the eGolf tour event. Dumbfounding, but a positive as I looked forward to the Monday qualifier for the Nationwide Tour event at Kinderlou Forest, a course I know well and have shown I can dominate.
The Monday was played at Doublegate CC, or as Peter Malnati humorously, and accurately calls it, "DoubleDogLeg CC." Because every single par 4 or 5, besides number 5, is a tree-lined dogleg. It was a tremendously windy day and scores were going to be high. But gosh, I was playing solid. My lone bogey on the front 9 came on a 30-foot downhill, downwind putt that just wouldn't stop. I turned at 2-under and continued to play solidly, in fact I had a great up and down on 15 to get to 5-under par. Unfortunately, bogies at 16 & 18 would cost me dearly as 68 would be the score to safely earn a spot into the week's Nationwide event. But I still had one last shot with my 69. There was a 10 person playoff for the last spot, which meant one thing, I needed to go make a birdie to have a chance. I hit a perfect hybrid, but followed it up with a crummy 100-yd wedge to 30-feet and I missed the putt, although I gave it a good effort. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous during that playoff, but it was a good opportunity and a great experience. Again, I found myself disappointed about not getting in, but upbeat and positive about where my game is right now.
I'm sticking around the Atlanta area for a few days while I get ready for the Nationwide qualifier in Athens, GA on Monday. Hopefully I can save one more shot there and get into one of these events. I just need a chance, because I'm playing well!