I started in a very steady rain today and was determined to play patiently and put together a solid round. My first two shots of the day followed the game plan perfectly. I hit a nice controlled fade off of the first tee into the fairway and feathered an eight iron about 15 feet left of a pin cut on the right edge of the green. Three putts later... I was finished with first hole. I was not overly disturbed by my start, but it seemed to set the tone for the day. When I would string together a few good shots, I could never make anything happen, and it seemed that I could never really recover from the bad ones. A lost ball off the 17th tee cost me two shots, but I was never very close anyway.
I was very proud of my finish today, though. After hitting a ball out of play on the 17th, I re-teed and made a birdie with my second ball (which means a bogey with the stroke and distance penalty), and then hit two great shots to birdie the difficult par-four 18th.
I'm very disappointed that my U.S. Open dream for this year has ended after just 18 holes of qualifying. I fully anticipated playing well today, and am quite surprised with the struggle that the day turned out to be. I still feel like my game is right where I want it to be. I have a lot of confidence standing over almost every shot I hit right now, and that is a great feeling! I need to find that lovin' feeling with the putter, but I still know that it's close.
I play again in just under two weeks at a Tarheel Tour event in South Carolina. I am going to be playing the best golf of my life when I tee it up for that!
By the way, that Tarheel event is in a town called Greenwood, South Carolina. I'm not even sure where that is, but does anyone happen to have a housing connection in that area?