Saturday, October 5, 2013

Venice Open 2013 - First Round Recap

So the first round is done and over and it was a mixed one. There is no range on the course. That made it very hard to get warmed up and get muscles lose. I am sure if I would have know the area, I could have gone, I found out later, there is a range 2 miles away.
The goal was clear. Shot in the 70s and target the Championship flight and 1st flight.
Had a rough start right away. Shooting 2 bogeys. On 1 I had a bad chip and had to two putt. On 2 my drive found the fairway trap right by the edge and I had to hit a short shot into the fairway. Could not get it close again, but was happy with a bogey. From here on, I was cruising along. Had two more bogeys and the rest all pars. Considering the fact I had 1 3 putt on a par 3, 2 shots behind trees and one mud divot. I was not unhappy to come in with a 40. The back 9 started with two bogeys and a par right away , but then I moved on nicely , just getting the ball in play and trying to give myself some opportunities. However, I was not able to keep the ball straight and dealt again , with trees, chip outs, another bunker. But I made a great birdie on 15. Again under a tree with my drive, I got it close to the green and chipped it in for a nice birdie.  1 over on the back 9 I came to 16. Found the rough yet again and after a not so good chip, had to take a bogey. So back to 2 over par. There came 17. The par 4 which you can hit over the pond, kind of a blind shot, and get it close or even on for the longer hitters. I laid it up again. Perfect utility which  left me 165. But again, mud divot. This is not a shot you practice. So I decided to go for a punch towards the green , just to get it close and trust my chipping. Did not work. It got away to the right after I was not able to hang on to the club. Found the water to the right by a few feet. While going there I was not to concerned, until I found the entry spot. I had a tight drop area, all sand with a couple trees in front of me and the bunker right there as well. Not pretty.  Was an OK drop. But I did not make solid contact  and got lucky that was stopped by some rough in front of the green.  Chipped it within 6 feet. But I missed my double bogey putt. Wow. There we go. Triple bogey on 17 put me at 5 over and the tough 18 still coming up.
18 at Lake Venice is an app 200 par 3 with water all along the right sight and in front. A bunker on the right side of the green to keep you from playing a lay up. To the right there is some brushes and then 2 cart path and the 9 green.
Intimidating for sure. However,
I was determined to get it on there.
Had my 5 iron in my hand for the 187 shot but felt some wind all of a sudden. Checked the trees and saw nothing, but I changed to my 3 hybrid anyway. Good decision. I went a little to much left, but made it on the fringe. Getting there I saw a 35 down hill putt looking at me. But I had no doubt in my mind, I will get it close. So I did and left myself 4 1/2 foot for par. I had to step back 2 times, but then made the putt.

In all. I found 2 traps, had to chip out behind 2 trees, approach the green 2 times from under a tree and play a fade around trees two times on par fifes to get a shot at the green with my third.

Not sure if that covers it all.

Considering the wet conditions and the fairways as they were, 81 was a pretty good score.

I am in about 18th place. So I did not make the Championship Flight. But I know most people playing in it and they all , without exception , have one thing in common. They are 30 to 40 yards longer of the tee and much longer with their woods in the fairway. That leads to plenty of shots with shorter irons, which are much easier to control when approaching the green.

Which brings me back to the same old story. I need a longer drive. More speed and more power. But , that is what we are working on. Meanwhile I am very happy on how I handle the course with all the challenges.

On a good note. I made it in the first flight and am either leading it or tied for second. Which gives me a real shot at the win of this flight.

2 times I came from the second position at the Sarasota Championship to win the flight. So I feel comfortable in this position. As I feel comfortable in any other as well.

Another great point is, that my tee off is at 10 10 am. An advantage when you play well and I now know that there is a driving range. Meaning, I can actually warm up and get my muscles lose and get some feel. This should help to have a smoother start.

A review about the Venice Open I will write on Monday. So far, all is good, friendly and we got a nice shirt.

Just found this article and it confirms what I felt and found and wrote as well. Many mud balls , which are much easier to control with wedges, which you hit more often when you have longer drives.

http://golf.heraldtribune.com/2013/10/05/visacki-walters-1-2-in-city-of-venice-championship/

I play with Phil and Mike at least once a week. Great players. But the only real difference is the tee off. Mike is 30 to 50 yards longer on each drive and wood shot. Phil is about 20 to 40 yards longer. Around the green they have no advantage and on the green they do not either.

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