Saturday, March 12, 2011

Disappointed but Encouraged after Round 1

My ball-striking was almost very good today in the first round of the El Jadida Classic. With the exception of a couple of brain-slips with the driver, I hit the ball quite well. My iron play was very solid today, but I failed to capitalize on any of the medium-range birdie opportunities I gave myself, and my short game really let me down the few times I did find any trouble. In the end, I made four birdies and four bogeys to shoot 72 in my opening round. The course was very score-able today, so I am disappointed that I didn't chip and putt the ball well enough to shoot the good score that my ball-striking deserved. I know that my short game is solid, though, and I'm confident that I will put it all together tomorrow!

One thing that I am pleased with about my round today is my par-5 play. I hit a bad drive on the opening hole, which is a par 5, but played a couple of smart shots after my tee shot and narrowly missed a putt for birdie. On the par-5 8th hole, I hit two very good shots with a driver and a hybrid just over the back edge of the green and neatly two-putted for birdie. I hit a decent drive and a great lay-up shot on the watery par-5 11th before sticking a wedge shot within a couple feet of the hole. Finally, on the 18th, I hit a great drive and a smart three wood shot just right of the green before butchering a little pitch shot and having to settle for par. Despite a poor drive on the first hole, I was in position to birdie each of the par fives today. I need to execute much better around the greens and take advantage of my opportunities, but I am pleased with my strategy and mindset on the par fives.

I am not happy with my score today, but I know that I am moving quickly in the correct direction. My game felt good today, and I feel like I really have a chance to shoot low numbers the way that I am playing. My score today will not leave me in very good position on the leaderboard, but I still feel that I will be competing for a win before this tournament is over. I'm going to spend some time this afternoon working on my short game, and I hope to be firing on all cylinders when I tee it up for round 2 tomorrow. Come back here for another report soon!

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