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I always wanted to throw a 1000 rated round in a sanctioned tournament. At my age with my rating it did not seem likely. In seven days I've now thrown two of them.

At the Pennsylvania State Championships I played Am Master and we had a very close match for 60 holes. After 54 holes I was in second, 2 back. At the beginning of the fourth round I started to make a move. I birdied three of the first four holes before getting a bogey. The other leader and I went back and forth for a couple of holes and then I went on a tear at the end, getting birdies on eight of the last ten holes. Other than a hole-in-one that I was actually going for, I did not really benefit or suffer from any low probability occurrences. The hole-in-one was not a bad drive either. I threw a putter off the tee at a basket on a slow green. I would have made the birdie come back if it had missed. So 1011 apparently is what I get if I execute to my ability off the tee almost every hole, and have one low probability occurrence go in my favor and none against.

At the Austin Collision Kelsey informed me that it was no longer sporting for me to play Am Master. In the morning I threw a -1, or 945ish rated round. I was in the middle of the pack in advanced a couple of throws back from last prizes. In the afternoon I started off with four straight birdies on holes I've birdied before. Two of them were 20 foot putts. One was a jumper outside the circle. One was a big stretching frisbee-style anhyzer toss through a gap in the schule. I was going to dink it up to the base of the basket and then thought, "That's stupid. Dink it up chain high and give it a chance." I got par-birdie-par on three holes I'd normally go par-birdie-par on. Then i got a very low probability throw in the woods. On the luck thread I mentioned that I meant to miss the first 12 trees. I often accomplish that. Missing the next 58 is beyond my skill level. But the hole is only 285 if you miss the trees. I made a 20 foot come back putt for birdie. The next three holes are birdie holes and I got two of the three. Then comes a hole where a three is a good score and i made a jumper for 4. I birdied the remaining two birdie holes and got pars on the remaining two bogie holes. For this round I had about five low probability occurrences break my way and only one go against me. So I played a 984 round and got a net 44 bonus points of low probability outcomes in my favor.

I think a few things are shifting the occurrence of low probability outcomes in my favor. I've lost a lot of weight. At the end of the round I'm still fresh. I'm down 30 pounds from 18 months ago. It brings good luck if you are in shape for a competition involving moderate physical exertion. and it is easier to get a little zip on a jump putt without the 30 pound handicap. Very recently I've been working on balance. I know when my Chinese bladder syndrome flares up I suck at the game. Chinese bladder syndrome causes balance problems. So it makes sense that doing balance exercises would also bring some good luck. And i've been practicing putting and playing a lot of rounds. This always brings good luck.

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Comment by Bruce Brakel on May 28, 2008 at 4:44pm
Woj, youth is everything. When your IGF crashes sometime after 30, you gain weight by breathing as you drive by a McDonalds. When you've got basically zero IGF in your late 40s and beyond, weight loss is pretty hard.

But suffering works. I need to suffer some more. I've been eating recently and going sideways at 220.
Comment by David Barish on May 28, 2008 at 11:07am
I guess when you are older suffering is a pretty good way to look at it. My wife and I were discussing Bruce's apparently glib retort. We have taken it to heart. If its "suffering" to look past a pastry, amen. For me its looking past the pastry. I do just fine with the workouts. Its not suffering, its fun for me. For my wife, its the workout. She is a naturally healthy eater but it was suffering when I pushed her just past her comfort zone on the bike this past weekend. I am not arguing with success. If Brakel jettisoned 30+ lbs by suffering, he is doing something right. As they say, "no pain, no gain...er...loss."
Comment by Chris Wojciechowski on May 27, 2008 at 9:38pm
I wouldn't call losing weight suffering... eating correctly, doing some cardio and some circuit training with weights brought me from 185 to 165 this winter. I know I'm younger, but simply being smart and active really makes a difference no matter your age.
Comment by Bruce Brakel on May 22, 2008 at 11:34am
Barrish, losing weight is simple. Suffer every day. Why should you be the only person on the planet not suffering?
Comment by David Barish on May 21, 2008 at 9:51am
I have gained about 30 lbs in the past three years. I want to give them back. I don't need them. Nice shooting Bruce. I guess its easier to shoot well when you are not working behind the table.
Comment by Eric McConnell on May 12, 2008 at 10:25am
Awesome 2nd round Bruce !
Comment by Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun on May 11, 2008 at 5:48pm
Congrats, Bruce. 1,000+ is terrific.

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