Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Ritz Carlton Membership Club - Golf Channel Tour event and more

Getting work done means spending time. This leaves me with making decisions about how to set my priorities in terms of spending time for tasks, work and sport. That left me off my blog more then I liked. However, I consistently work on improving my time management. That said. I was playing a Golf Channel Tour event at The Ritz Carlton Members Club in Sarasota , FL. I was prepared ( you probably read my practice round report from the week before). Got lots of practice done and had my clubs under control. I was motivated and determined. One goal in mind. Shoot 70s, get some skins and play a good round of golf.
That is exactly what happened. I was able to navigate this long and tough course very nicely. Putting drives in fairways, hitting greens in regulation and putting very well. Greens had a measured speed of 12.3, which is almost tour like and very difficult if you are not used to that. I warmed up and adjusted fast to the greens. Had a nice group of people with me and simply played according to my plan, using the yardage guide and my measuring devise.
My game plan was easy.
1. Get the ball in play. Not so much looking for distance, but for accuracy.
2. Hitting greens in regulation, making sure I stay  below the pin. When in doubt, go for the middle of the green.
3. Stay out of sand traps.
4, Play the par 5s as 3 shot holes and make birdies
5. Just move the ball forward from anywhere.

All of it I was able to do. My drives were not the longest, but I only missed 2 fairways. I hit plenty of greens in regulation, which gave me opportunity for birdies.
I was in absolutely no sand trap. Played the par 5s one under par and moved the ball forward in any situation.
Played 3 nice birdies of which one held up as a skin. A long par 4 which made me good money after a tremendous approach shot and a great putt. Missed a few birdies, but made good pars. I actually was at times 1 under par on the back. But on 15 I felt that I was getting a little tired. Heat index was 105 and no wind. So on the par 3 hole 16 I had to put it on the green and just par it, but pulled it left into the trees towards a hazard. When I got there I found my ball and was excited that it was in the rough. I had a tiny opening through 2 trees and 60 yards to the pin. I went for it and landed short of the green but was excited to be there. I got out of it with a bogey and it felt like a birdie from there.
My playing partners were in disbelieve. 17 and 18 are two tough par 4s to finish it up . 420 yards and 410 yards both dog leg right with water , traps and plenty of trouble to destroy any good round. Tired as I was I changed my game plan and figured if I can bring the home in bogey or better I will be in the money. I made sure that my drive on 17 stayed away from the water, which left me with a 215 approach. I put I on the green but had a very long putt with 3 breaks. Gave myself a chance for a 10 foot par putt, but missed it. 18 I had a good drive and had 176 to the pin. I went for the pin which did not work out and I rolled back into a collection area right of the green into the deep rough. I took a swing at it and got it within 12 feet but missed the par again. However, I came home with a 78. In my current state of playing and considering the situations and the golf course, that was a good score and it got me 2nd place. 1 skin held up and I made some money. I am excited. Looks like the hard work pays off. New clubs, a lesson with my coach and things look good. Fact is, that I know I can shoot 69 there as well, just need to keep at it. So I will take it as a good step forward and keep working on my game and my mental strength. That I got a little tired at the end of the round I need work on. More water, some more food and protein. I will manage. The 3 strokes at the end cost me the win and that is not a good thing. On the other hand , I learned that I can handle being tired and bring it home. Now in WA I am preparing for 3 tournaments. Different air and different temperatures here. But I am excited to play here because this is where my journey started and I will play some courses I played many years ago. I will report soon again. Things are looking up and our year end goal is getting closer and more  clearer by the day.

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