Thursday, February 14, 2013

First Tournament Round of the Year

I was greeted by a familiar feeling on Thursday morning around 8:00-ish. Though it was familiar, I hadn't felt it in nearly three full months. It was that excited, jittery feeling that accompanies the beginning of nearly every tournament round I've ever played. The combination of three years of professional golf experience and five very good weeks of preparation in January and February had me feeling calm and confident until about thirty minutes before my tee time. The calm vanished, but the confidence remains.

I was actually a bit nervy on the course for much of my opening nine holes, and my game certainly wasn't sharp. I hit 8 of my first nine greens in regulation, but my lone birdie in that stretch came from a remarkable pitch-in from a dreadful position on the one green I missed. I had a three-putt bogey during that stretch as well. I opened my second nine with three consecutive birdies after hitting some solid iron-shot approaches and holing three nice medium-range birdie putts. A three-putt from long range on the fourth (my 13th) hole thwarted my momentum, but I still felt good heading to the tee of the par-5 fifth hole. I hit a nice tee shot and then proceeded to hit a very (and I mean VERY) poor second shot into the middle a pond fronting the putting surface. Because of how far off my second shot was, I had to drop in nearly the spot from which I had just hit and ended up making a double-bogey 7 on what should have been an easy par-5. I can just chalk that up as a very lousy shot, though. I didn't make a mental mistake, and I was fairly committed to the plan I had chosen. I'll execute better next time! I played my final four holes in one-under-par to post an opening round 71 (-1).

I'm not disappointed with how my game felt in round one. I was a bit shaky on the greens at time and I hit the aforementioned absolutely horrible shot, but all-in-all, I feel good about things. I'm excited to do it again (and better!) in round 2. Come back for a second-round report Friday evening. Thank you for following me.

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