Sunday, April 26, 2015

Major Tournament Review - 4/25/2015 & 4/26/2015 - Stonebridge Golf Club (Monroe, NC)

This past weekend, we completed our first 'major' of the season (The Stonebridge Masters)... a 2 day tournament at a course I'd never been to before.  I'm not going to do a hole-by-hole breakdown because recapping 36 holes is a lot.  Instead, I'm going to post my day-by-day scorecards in the table below, followed by some highlights and lowlights from each day.

Day 1573553755458 (7)65568 (6)58 (6)556 (51)101 (96)
Day 25535555544245659 (8)345344 (43)86 (85)

Round 1 Game Golf Link - Stonebridge Golf Club

Round 1 Scorecard

Day 1 was played in a steady, soaking rain.  Even with rain gloves, the club slipped in my hands a few times, but it didn't really cost me much.  My worst holes were at the beginning of my round (I started on the 15th tee).  

Round 1 Highlights

  - There weren't too many 'highlights' for me on Day 1.  I had some lucky breaks here and there, but nothing really stood out except for my tee shot on the 6th hole.  I hit an 8 iron that played a perfect little fade and settled 3 feet from the cup.  This 'highlight' turned into a 'lowlight' quickly, though.  As I was standing over the putt, the rain was pouring off the bill of my cap directly onto the ball.  I blasted the ball through the break, 4 feet by.  My 3 foot birdie attempt turned into a 4 foot par attempt, which I managed to make.  

Round 1 Lowlights

  - My first hole, the 15th, is a fairly straight forward par 3.  I topped my tee shot with a 6 iron and it rolled into the left rough.  From there, I shanked my 56 degree wedge about 70 degrees to the right and into a pond.  I dropped and then shanked another into the greenside trap.  It took 2 swings to get it out of there and then I two-putted for a snowman on my opening hole.  Luckily, because of club rules, it was 'only' a triple bogey.

  - My third hole, the 17th, was set up in a not-so-fun way.  It was playing 196 to the pin with a carry of about 185 over water.  My hybrid didn't clear the water... so I dropped and hit an 8 iron over the green.  I didn't know it, but the pond ran around that side of the green too, so I had to drop from there and I hit a poor pitch and then a poor chip.  2 putts later and I'd carded ANOTHER snowman on a par 3, which was, again, dropped to a triple bogey.

  - Heading back around the turn after the front side, I got to the 10th and put my tee shot into the pond that runs along the right side of the hole.  My 4 iron after my drop did the same thing.  I then put my 4 iron into the fairway... wedged onto the green and took 2 putts for my third 8 of the day... this one netted down to a 7.  

Round 1 Recap

Through the first round, I wasn't feeling all that great.  The leader had posted an 88, so I was a full 8 shots back.  The weather was supposed to be better on the second day, but I was wiped out from dealing with the rain on the first day.  I managed to lose 7 balls that round, so when I got home on Saturday night, I spent some time with my wife and kids... and then went to bed thinking about what my goals would be for the next day.  

Round 1 Stats

  • Score - 101 (Club Adjusted to 96)
  • Penalty Strokes - 6
  • Putts - 36
  • Fairways - 4 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 4 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 1 of 6
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 1

Day 2 was much better, in terms of weather and my game.  It started out overcast, cloudy and chilly, but by about our 7th hole... the sun peeked through and the rest of the day was beautiful.  Just like on Day 1, I started on the 15th tee.  

Round 2 Highlights

  - I hit a poor 5 iron with my first swing and left myself about 30 yards short.  From there, I hit a good pitch to about 2 feet and made my par.  It was nice to get out of the gates with an up and down as opposed to how I had started the day before.  I continued that on the next hole with another up and down from about 20 yards away and right of the green.  

  - After a par-par start, I made a double on the 17th (see lowlights below).  I got both strokes back on the next hole, however!  After a solid drive put me in the right-center side of the fairway, it left me about 205 to the pin and about 215 to the center of the green.  The pin was tucked on the front-right corner of the green, just behind a pond.  I hit a perfect fade with my 18 degree hybrid that hit the front of the green, scooted about 10 feet forward and settled 9 feet from the hole.  It left me with an uphill, slightly left-to-right putt that never left the perfect line and dropped for an eagle!  

       -- Unfortunately, someone else (a Champ Flight player) made an eagle on that hole, so I didn't win a Super Skin... but I did win the B, C, D Flights Skin of $85 for that hole, which just about paid for half of the tournament, so... that was nice.

  - One of my goals for the last several years (view it here) has been to FINALLY have a round with fewer than 30 putts.  The lowest I've had since I started keeping stats in 2004 has been 31 putts, which has happened a few times.  This round... things just clicked for me.  I made several big putts for par and/or bogey, including a stretch between my first hole (#15) and my ninth hole (#5).  That stretch of 9 holes, I played in 39 strokes (+3) which, I cannot confirm, but I'm PRETTY sure is the best for a 9 hole stretch for me.  

Round 2 Lowlights

  - On the 3rd tee for me (#17), the tee was well forward from where it was the previous day.  It was a perfect 6 iron distance for me, but I hit one thin that skipped across the water and ended up about 3 feet short of skipping ALL the way across.  I hit another from the tee and put it about 30 feet from the pin, needing 2 putts from there for a double bogey to erase a par-par start.

  - On my 16th hole of the day (#12), the drive played right into the wind.  My ball got way up in the air and I barely eclipsed 200 yards for the drive.  That left me about 175 to the middle of the green.  I didn't really feel comfortable over the ball, but I still took the swing and I flared it WAY out to the right and short.  It landed in a hazard that crossed the green and, coupled with a poor pitch after my drop, led to a double bogey.

  - On my final hole (#14), I was thinking about trying to crush a drive over the hill and trying to leave myself in position to get as close to the green as possible with my second shot.  Unfortunately, I yanked my tee shot AND my provisional well left.  I was set to just take a triple-bogey max, but we managed to find my provisional in some thick weeds in the woods.  It took me 2 swings to chunk it out into the fairway.  A poor swing from there left me about 140 to the hole but I killed an 8 iron over the green.  I chipped on and sank the putt for a 9, which was adjusted to a triple bogey anyway.  

Round 2 Recap

Clearly, beginning the day, I felt like I had no shot.  I started the day 8 back, and I went in with the goal of putting myself in the Top 6 by the end of the day.  I was 4 strokes behind the guys tied for 5th, so I figured a round somewhere around 88 would give me a shot to sneak in.  What I didn't know is that the lead group faltered pretty badly on Day 2.  Looking back now, standing on my final tee, if I'd made par... I would have won outright.  A bogey would have put me in a three-way playoff.  I obviously didn't know that, and I played that final hole like an idiot... but it's a lesson for the future.  

Overall, I finished in a four-way tie for 3rd place, posting a 2 day total of 181.  The winner and runner-up tied with a 2 day total of 179 (with the runner-up shooting 100 - 79 over the 2 days).  I believe, based on what I was told, on the 1st playoff hole, it was won with a par to a bogey.  I did finish 'out of the money' this time because of my double bogey on the 12th hole (handicap #2)... so I missed the money by a single place.

I can't complain, though.  I had no illusions of placing after my poor start.

Round 2 Stats

  • Score - 86 (Club Adjusted to 85)
  • Penalty Strokes - 3
  • Putts - 29
  • Fairways - 7 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 3 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 6 of 12
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 0

Tournament Stats

  • Score - 187 (Club Adjusted to 181)
  • Penalty Strokes - 9
  • Putts - 65
  • Fairways - 11 of 28
  • Greens in Regulation - 7 of 36
  • Up and Downs - 7 of 18
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 1

We're now heading away on a 9 night vacation beginning Thursday.  My next tournament round is scheduled for May 16th, so I'll have just less than a week from the time I return to prepare myself for that one.

Until then...

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