Last weekend was stroke play qualifying. It's not really qualifying since everybody is guaranteed to advance (no cut). Base on your score you are further divided into one of six flights. Then you play match play (head to head) in a tournament format much like March Madness (round of 32, round of 16, etc). I played like shit last weekend in qualifying. Here are my excuses,
- I've only played Lincoln Park twice in my life
- I had just worked 60 hours that week and my back was killing me from sitting 12 hours/day
- I just suck, plain and simple
I had an 11 on hole 17, that's how bad I played. I'd be seeded in the uber-hacker's flight for the hacker's division.
Today was the round of 32. I'd be playing against Bob, who I knew from the qualifying round (same group). Although my score from the qualifying round did not reflect it (see excuses), I was pretty confident I was a better golfer than Bob. But talk and speculation is cheap, time to play golf.
Felt a lot better for today's match. Work was busy but my back was feeling much better from using a standing desk all week. I also was able to practice a little yesterday. Incredible weather for golf. Sunny but not too hot. Not too windy either.
My strategy for the day was to only hit 4-iron off the tee. Lincoln park is so short driver doesn't really make sense; you end up with awkward 45 car pitches on an sidehill/uphill lie. Relax and confident, I would win 6 straight holes to start the match. I lost holes 7 and 8 but wasn't too bothered because Bob played them well (conceded pars on both).
Hole 9 was the turning point in the match for Bob. He hooks his tee shot, is forced to layup, then flies the hole 30 feet. Meanwhile, I'm on in 2, albeit 30 feet short, below the hole. Terrible putt left me w/ a good 10 feet left. The nerves are kicking in? Then Bob drains his downhill 30 footer! My lead is cut to 3 after 9 holes thanks to an untimely 3-putt. Instead of going 4-up, I'm only 3-up and Bob has the momentum.
Next thing you know, I'm only 1-up after losing the 17th with another 3 putt! I could have ended it there but I think the adrenaline got to me and I flew my 1st putt 8 feet by. Bob would end up hitting it OB left on the 18th, conceding the match.
I have to give it up to Bob; he's much more of a grinder than me. He clawed his way back from a big hole and made things interesting until the end.
Match play is definitely more fun than stroke play. Stroke play, I'd be disappointed with all the 3 putts, all the bad shots. Match play, end of the day, you win, doesn't matter how pretty of how ugly. Of course, if I had lost, it would have been pretty devastating to lose after being 6-up.
The fun continues in 2 weeks.