Overview: It was a really windy day today! Ken McDonald is usually a fairly easy golf course, but the greens were firm and the wind blew 20 to 30 miles per hour from the northeast. Also, the temperature was in the high 50’s.
I hit 8 out of 14 fairways mainly hitting low bullets with my driver. Also, I hit 14 out of 18 greens with really solid ball striking today and had no 3-putts with a total of 27 putts. The winning score was 67 and the top 6 qualified for the Monday qualifier. I finished T-11th with my 2 under par, 70 so I will not be moving on this year, but I will do it next year!
#1 the wind was blowing hard from right to left with water to the right of the fairway and out of bounds to the left. I ripped a low driver that never got higher than about 30 feet in the air that rolled all the way to 40 yards from the flag. From there I pitched to 9 feet and 2-putted for par.
#7 I pulled my drive into the trees on the left. My ball ended up beside a tree trunk giving me no swing right handed. I turned my 3-iron backward and hit a left-handed running punch shot under the trees through the right side of the greenside bunker onto the fringe about 20 feet from the flag. From there I got up and down for par with my putter.
#14 with the wind blowing in and right to left, I hit driver down the middle of the fairway. Then I hit a low gap wedge to 4 feet and made the putt for birdie.
#15 into the wind, my driver went up the right side of the fairway and hit a tree and settled in the rough 260 yards from the flag. I ripped a high 3-wood into the wind, over water and pine trees onto the fringe and made a 20 footer for eagle.
#17 into the wind, I pulled my drive into the dirt left of the fairway. I hit a perfect 60 degree wedge from 55 yards to 3 feet and made the putt for birdie.
Positives: My ballstriking reminded me of rounds where I shot 62 or 63…I just didn’t get the putter going till the end of the round when I found my old putting stance/feel. On my full swing, I could really feel my spine angle staying tall and the clubface opening and closing while I swung. I am very excited and thankful to God that I am able to play at such a high level again so soon after shoulder surgery. The 3-wood I hit on number 15 into the wind from 260 to set up eagle was one of the best clutch shots I ever remember hitting. I was jumping around giving a few fist pumps after that shot 🙂
Areas to improve: I will practice my set-up position with my driver more. Today I had to battle a tendency to play the ball too far forward in my stance and standing a little too far away from the ball. Other than that, I will keep doing what I’ve been doing with my balance of practice, playing and teaching. Last month I practiced 2 hours a day for 21 days and this month I have been getting out on the course more to play. My next tournament will be February and I feel a win coming!