The title of the blog post says it all. I managed to pull off a $50 cash at the Freedom Flight, last cash spot. Unfortunately the way I went about it was kind of crummy. I played a horrible first round, but came around at the end of the second round to pull it off.
First round started off alright with a 30 foot putt to save par on the 490 foot hole 2. I slipped on the pad on the next hole, throwing out of bounds. Had to hit another 30 footer to save bogey. Two holes later had to hit another 30 footer to save bogey. And then came the frustration: on hole 6 I missed a 15 foot putt for birdie. That pretty much wound up being the way things would go throughout the round. I spent the entire round canning great putts between 20-30 feet, and had a few great birds on holes 11 and C (450 and 440 feet)... but I kept offsetting those with missed putts in the 15 foot range. In all I missed 4 15 footers, all of them either straight into the front of the basket or catching the top of the front of the basket and doing the touch-chains-bounce-backward thing.
I came into the second round in next to last in the field of 7. On the bright side 3rd place was only two strokes ahead of me, and 1st place was only four strokes ahead of me. So I went into round two, from the short tees, ready to try to compete. Anything can happen on the shorts at ONU, filled with deucable holes. Unfortunately, despite curing my 15 footer woes (I was releasing low, afraid of the wind carrying my putts) I didn't start off very solid. With five holes left I was sitting only four under par. After taking par on a pair of sub-200 foot wooded holes I looked over the card and said to Holly Williams "I'm going to bird out, thats what I need to cash."
I don't get it, I've been saying this for a few weeks... every once in a while I can get into this mindset where I can't miss. I said it to Rauch after the first round on the Hambrick last week. I walked up to a 40 foot putt and told myself I wasn't going to miss a putt, and just stepped up and banged it. And it frustrated me that I can't seem to do that all the time. Every once in a while I can slip into it and every throw is perfect.
Hole D - 200 foot wooded hole, basically a spray and pray. I punch my aviar on a dead straight line and it slides up against the base of the basket for a bird.
Hole 16 - 225 foot hole, one small tree in the way, I step up into the strong headwind with a zone and put it out on a dead straight line. It drops in two feet right of the pin.
Hole 17 - 275 hole with plenty of trees, wide open anhyzer route to the green or a narrow dead straight route you have to hit perfect to get to the basket. I go the dead straight route and again I'm against the pin.
Hole 18 - 275 foot hole with plenty of trees, best route is sky-hyzer over them all. I missed the route and was knocked down. I was sitting about 55 out with a 12-15 foot incline up to the basket. Walked up top, checked the wind... decent headwind... went back to my lie and flipped up a line drive hoping the wind wouldn't lift it too much. Right side chains and in.
Hole 1 - 250 foot hole, wide open with a deep gully immediately behind the basket. Stepped up with a firebird and screwed up the drive a bit winding up 32 feet out left of the pin. Stepped up to the putt with a firm left to right crosswind and zipped one into the chains for the bird.
The thing is, not once on any of those holes did I feel like I wouldn't take a bird. I *knew* it was going to happen. Each of the long-ish putts... each time off the pad... I don't know. Two weeks until my next tournament. I need to find out how to get into this mindset for an entire round. If I can do that things will get very interesting.
I dunno, whatever. That bird run gave me last cash, 3rd place. 2 strokes behind Jason Anderson and 3 strokes behind Scott Burnett. Fun fact of the event: Dave O'Shea, who can't throw more than 350 smashed me from the longs which has maybe six holes under 400 feet at most. I'm not as good a putter or short game player as he is and I smashed him from the shorts which had only one hole over 400. Fun stuff, you can't make this stuff up.
Thanks to all the guys down at ONU for the great event, having painted 10 meter circles is very helpful and anybody that wants to check out a cool course check it out in Ada, Ohio. It is a lot of fun, and some of the campus grounds crew will probably stop to chat about the place with you.