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I don't think I had been playing but less than 2 months and my first tourney was the AK State Championships in '09. I was one stroke out of 7th (anger stroke), but finished 9th out of 13 in INT.
2years last month I've been playing and I finished 2nd in open this weekend :D
I had been playing for a few months. It was in Pulaski County, Ky. in '87. I can't remember who it was but me and him were fighting for last place. I think I won last place by 1 stroke.
15 years ago, after about a year of playing.....drove 200 miles (events were few & far between in 1996). They mixed divisions---1 Pro, 1 Advanced, 1 Intermediate (by another name, but it was the lowest division)---on each card, which was intimidating. Didn't cash, but won ace pool and 2 CTPs.
I Had been playing for about five months 2007 Got a two stroke penalty for teeing off the wrong tee pad (TD never mentioned a second long tee pad on hole #1- the locals were about the only ones that were aware of that second tee pad-Bottom line is its the responsibility of the player to know who, what where & why, even if the TD makes a mistake )
Ended up tied for first, choked in the playoff. A-tier 2nd place Int. @ 45 yrs of age.
My first tourny was part of the Tour Del Sol in Debary Florida. I played Rec as I was advised to do.
I placed first. I had a 52 and then a 56 for a 108 out of 108. I scored PAR. I really had a swollen head after that.
Then my very first PDGA sanctioned event was the Orlando Open at Bill Frederick Park (aka Turkey Lake).
I played Rec. There were 28 Rec Players that weekend. I tied for 18th place. My total was 252, and the winner had only 218. I lost by 34 points, ouch. My head returned to normal size and I learned to be humble.
Then I played the Barnett Championship as "Advance Masters". I know jumping from Rec to Advance Masters, what was I thinking. I was thinking that I would have an easier time competing against people my age versus against people who younger and stronger then I was.
Well I ended up with 263, second to last place. The winner finished with a 224. That was a 39 point deficit.......
So now I decided to play Intermediate and stay there. Until I can come close to winning, I'll stay there. I did like the feeling of playing people my own age, but I did not like getting my ass kicked.
So to answer your post question. My very first PDGA sanctioned event was an eye opener, and humbling.