So far so good... I guess I am rounding into form at the right time. I was kind of worried that Thrills at the Mills (1022/985) would be a one time thing, just hot for one tournament and thats it. But good play at the doubles event last weekend and now this weekend are real confidence builders. Today I managed to pull off the win at the 11th Annual Ottawa Park Open here in Toledo. In April at the Spring Hyzer I placed well there for the first time since my days in Intermediate (read: December 2005). Today I managed to win advanced despite a three stroke deficit after one round.
The first round I came out slow, double bogeyed the second hole, and really wasn't feeling it all round. I slowly fought my way back to par about 12 holes in. Got myself under and then it was a battle to stay under with a bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie stretch of golf to close out the round. Came in at 62 (21 holes, 1 under par) which was rated at 961. The rating was better than I'd expected, but it makes some sense because the two extra holes both were placed in far more difficult locations than they usually are.
Going into the second round I was tied for third with a few other guys and on a card with the leaders (Nate Detzer and Mike Tipping, both at 59) and one guy I was tied with (Tim Gacioch). Before the round I puffed on a Swisher Sweet just to get some measure of relaxation. Anybody that knows me knows I'm not a smoker, but the first round I was a bundle of nerves. It seemed to help. Despite spitting off dead center chains on my first two holes, I was five down after nine. Nate was keeping pace though and made me a little nervous. However on holes 18, 19, and 1 he missed putts off of the front of the basket and I birdied 19, 1, 2 to pull ahead of him for good. I managed to reach eight under after hole 2, but bogeyed the first extra hole, an island hole. Just a yipped 15 footer.
Mike and Nate both made a late charge with some birdies on the last few holes, as I parred out but luckily I'd managed to build some measure of a cushion and came in with a 56 (-7) for the round. It was rated out at 1013 and tied Ziggy Bierekoven's first round for the hot round on the course for the day. Totaled out at eight under and won by a stroke over Mike and Nate.
Altogether a fitting way to finish off my career as an Amateur locally. One more tournament left before I leave the division for good. Amateur Nationals here I come.