Saturday, August 20, 2016

Charlotte Area Golfweek Amateur Tournament - 8/20/2016 - The Palisades Country Club (Charlotte, NC)

Scorecard Link - 8/20/2016

Game Golf Link - 8/20/2016 

We're down to only a handful of tournaments remaining on the 2016 schedule, so it's becoming crunch-time as we head towards the National Championship in October.  The C Flight leader was just about out of touch for me to catch, but... I was still hoping to go in and make a run at catching him.  To do that... I would need to have another strong showing, but at a course that is much, much more difficult than where we played last week.  This week, we headed to The Palisades Country Club on the south side of Charlotte, just over the border from South Carolina.  I got to play there twice last season and really enjoyed the course, but didn't play overly well during either visit to that course.  

Things didn't end up as well as I'd hoped.  I played some decent golf for a good portion of the round, but there were a few holes where I just made poor decisions, poor swings or both... and they added strokes to my total.  In the end, I posted a 93 which was good for 7th place.  The problem is that the C Flight leader ended up winning the tournament and made it impossible for me to catch him unless he doesn't play in the final 2 events of the season.  

It's frustrating, but... it now allows me to focus on playing good golf and finishing as high in the standings as possible.  I'm already locked in for Hilton Head, so now it's just a matter of maintaining the momentum I've built and making sure I put up as good a showing as possible when the time comes in October.

As always, the details of my round are below.  

Hole #15 - Par 5 - 483 Yards

I caught a break as I got to start on a pretty simple hole.  There was a hazard to the right of the fairway, but... with how wide the hole was... it shouldn't have been a problem.  I hit what I thought was a really good drive, but it didn't go very far and it hopped just off of the fairway into the first cut of rough.  From there, I caught my 4 iron ever-so-heavy but it still put me in good position, leaving me about 126 yards to the hole, up the hill.  My 9 iron was thin and finished over the green in a really poor spot.  It took me 2 shots to get on the green from there and then I tapped in from just about 2 feet for a bogey to start.

Hole #16 - Par 4 - 368 Yards

This hole was a case of not having much course knowledge.  I wasn't really sure how far it was to reach the pond at the end of the fairway, so I played chicken and hit a 4 iron from the tee.  Although it was a good shot, it still left me 160+ to the hole.  In my mind, all I wanted to do was clear the hazard and finish on dry land... but, that didn't go as planned.  My 7 iron was thin and I ended up short and in the water.  My drop left me in some pretty thick rough, so from 100 yards, I hit a 50 degree wedge that found the green.  I couldn't make the bogey putt from 16 feet, so I tapped in for a double.  

Hole #17 - Par 4 - 360 Yards

Going into the round, I had no intentions of hitting driver on this hole.  There hole tilts from right-to-left and there is a ton of trouble left... but, I knew a 4 iron was going to leave me a long way to go up a hill, so... when I got to the tee and realized that it was pushed back a bit, I pulled my driver.  I proceeded to blow 2 shots dead right and into the woods.  Luckily, we managed to find my original shot, but it was a LONG way back and in the rough.  I smacked a 4 iron up into the fairway and then hit a lob wedge a little deep onto the green.  2 putts from 24 feet left me with a bogey.

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 422 Yards

This hole is a monster.  Trouble left... out of bounds right... and IF you find the fairway, you still have a long shot with a carry over a hazard to the green.  It's safest to play it as a par 5 and if it you make a crazy up & down for par... great!  My tee shot drew right towards the fairway trap on the left but stayed short.  I hacked a 9 iron back into the fairway, leaving myself about 90 yards to the flag.  I hit what I thought was a perfect sand wedge, but it landed shy of the green and rolled down the hill.  I hit an okay chip from there to about 6 feet, and then tugged the bogey putt just a bit, forcing myself to take a double.  An ugly bogey - double - bogey - double start.

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 362 Yards

Again, I had zero intention of hitting driver here, but it appeared longer than it probably was.  I went with driver and pulled it left.  It hit a tree branch and dropped down.  My provision was dead center... but we found my first in an ugly spot in the woods.  It took me 3 shots to get it from there into the fairway.  From that point, I hit a good 5 iron onto the green and took 2 putts from 23 feet for a triple.  I was now beginning to get discouraged.

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 408 Yards

This was a hole where I thought I killed my drive, but it still left me miles to go.  I hit the fairway, but my drive only went 228 yards, leaving me about 185 to the flag.  My 4 iron was dead on line but came up short and in the greenside bunker.  I blasted out from there to about 22 feet and then nearly hole that for par, but it finished on the lip.  I tapped in for a bogey.

Hole #3 - Par 5 - 492 Yards

I hit a pretty good drive on this hole and left it in the center of the fairway.  I didn't feel that there was any way I was getting to the green, so I hit a 4 iron up as far as I could.  It finished just off the right side of the fairway.  A lob wedge from there looked great but finished on the front fringe.  I elected to putt from there and got it to about 4 feet.  I was able to make that for my first par of the day!

Hole #4 - Par 3 - 144 Yards

My 8 iron from this tee started out exactly on the flag but drifted off to the right just a touch.  I was left with an 18 foot birdie attempt.  I played too much break and never gave it a shot, but settled for an easy 2 foot putt for a second consecutive par.  

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 290 Yards

I was feeling pretty good at this point.  I had played the previous few holes pretty well and was coming to my favorite hole on the course.  It's a wide open hole and the only trouble is a bunker in the middle of the fairway at about 210 yards from the tee.  If you avoid that bunker, it should be a simple hole.  My drive went way right and was found nestled next to a small tree.  I was able to advance it out of there and into the rough, but then I just made a mess of it from there.  A fat wedge was followed by a sh-nk... and then I putted from the fringe to 9 feet.  I couldn't stop the bleeding and settled for a triple bogey on what is quite possibly the easiest hole on the course.

Hole #6 - Par 5 - 496 Yards

I hit a bullet of a drive here, but because of the wet fairway, it didn't go anywhere.  I couldn't get to the green because of the trouble short, so I hit a 6 iron into a good position and that left me a simple little wedge shot.  My lob wedge was at the flag but finished just shy.  I had a difficult pitch from there but got it to 6 feet.  Unfortunately, I couldn't save my par and had to settle for a bogey.

Hole #7 - Par 4 - 346 Yards

When I stood on this tee, I made a comment about disliking this hole.  I then hit a 4 iron into a great position in the fairway.  I was left with about 150 yards, up the hill... and then I hit an ugly, fat 7 iron that finished in the hazard.  I made a mess of it from there, resulting in a third triple bogey on the front side.  

Hole #8 - Par 3 - 146 Yards

I hit a choked-down 7 iron from the tee here as the pin was way back.  I found the right side of the green, but I was 33 feet away.  I proceeded to blast my first putt 8 feet past the hole and then was unable to make that coming back for par, settling for a three-putt bogey.

Hole #9 - Par 4 - 357 Yards

Oddly, I played this hole very similarly to how I played it last year.  My drive was up the left side but caught an overhanging branch, kicking it into the woods.  I couldn't advance it very far, but I got the ball out and into the fairway.  I had about 160 to go, so I played a low, cutting 6 iron that finished just behind the hole.  I couldn't make the 16 footer for par, but finished the front side with a bogey.

** NOTE - After making 3 triples on the front side, I really didn't expect much of a score.  I knew that I played pretty well except for those holes, but I was still upset with myself.  When we added things up, I sat at a 49 for that side.  Knowing I had opened the first 4 holes in +6, I wasn't expecting to be able to do much heading in.  Still... I was optimistic about possibly making a birdie or two and finishing inside the top 4.  

Hole #10 - Par 3 - 143 Yards

This hole was playing much shorter... in the neighborhood of 120 yards, and downhill.  My pitching wedge was pin high but pulled a little left.  I pitched on to about 12 feet from there, but couldn't make the par putt.  From 2 feet, I made the bogey putt.  Not the start to the last few holes I was hoping for, but... at least it wasn't a triple bogey.

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 316 Yards

I hit another very solid drive here which left me about 85 yards, up the hill to the hole.  I hit a pretty good sand wedge from there but pulled it a little, leaving me 23 feet from the hole.  A frustrating three-putt from there led to another bogey.

Hole #12 - Par 5 - 470 Yards

My drive on this hole was beautiful.  It caught the slope in the fairway and fed down the hill a bit more, leaving me about 190 to the flag.  I debated between a 4 iron and my hybrid, but I elected the 4 iron from that position.  It was nearly perfect and I watched as the ball cleared the hazard short of the green, landed on the front edge and rolled into the middle of the green.  I was left with 30 feet for my eagle try, but I didn't get close.  I left myself a testy 5 footer for birdie, but I was able to sink it, giving me hope for a skin.

Hole #13 - Par 3 - 161 Yards

I thought I was going to be dead on the flag but my ball actually carried all the way to the back of the green.  I was left with an impossible putt and I never got close.  My initial putt fan from there 7 feet beyond the hole and I couldn't make that for par, settling for ANOTHER three-putt bogey.

Hole #14 - Par 4 - 414 Yards

I was on my final hole, and to be honest... I really was kind of done at that point.  I had very little hope of finishing in the money, but I wanted to finish strong.  I hit one of my better drives of the day, finishing in the center of the fairway.  I had about 153 yards to the flag and I caught my 7 iron a little heavy, leaving it short... but it ran onto the green.  From 36 feet, I JUST about sunk the putt for birdie, but it dropped off the right at the last second.  I tapped in for a par to close out my round.

I ended up posting a 44 on the back side.  With the horrible start I had to my round, I wasn't at all upset about this.  In fact, when we added it up and I saw I had posted a 93 (and I was the best score in my group)... I had a tiny sliver of hope that others had struggled as well.  When we got in... it wasn't to be.  The winner posted an 84 and then the money spots were a pair of 88's and an 89.  

Round Stats
  • Score - 93
  • Penalty Strokes - 2
  • Putts - 36
  • Fairways - 8 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 6 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 1 of 6
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 1
There are now 4 weeks until the next tournament on our schedule.  This means that I've got to find a way to keep my game moving in the right direction.  I hope to play once or twice per week, but... with work getting busy, I'm not sure if I'll find the time each week to do that, so... I'll have to see what I can do.

Until next time...


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