Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Runner Up in MD Mid-Am

As I wrote last week I was pretty optimistic going into Monday and Tuesday's MD Mid-Am. This year the event was at Chestnut Ridge CC. This was good since it was literally in my back yard.

I started on 10 Monday morning with a solid par on the big par 4 of ~465. Then I stuffed a 5 iron from 185 on 11 and made birdie 2. I made a sloppy bogey on 12 but followed that up with birdies on 14 and 15. A 3 putt on 17 where I tried to jam a birdie putt in and blew it 8 feet by and another bogey on 18 put me back to even par with a wild ride on my nine.

I turned and knocked it on in 2 at the par 5 1st and 2 putted for birdie. Then hit 8 iron to 18 feet on the 170ish par 3 2nd and made that. My second 3 putt on 5 pulled me back to -1 (this was a brain dead 3 putt). I then missed shortish birdie putts on 6 & 7 but finally made one on 8 from about 6 feet and then parred 9 for a total of 68 (-2). It looked like this would be at or near the lead when lo and behold a 64 came in 20 minutes behind me. He actually bogeyed the last hole or would have been 63. Really good round. After the afternoon session rolled in there were only 4 scores in the 60s and I was in 2nd, 4 shots back of Terry Burke, the leader. He would be hard to catch as he has won this event 2x before and won the MD AM before as well. Very accomplished player and was unlikely to back up.

On Tuesday I was really ready to go and felt like I needed to shoot at least 68 again to have a shot. Round started well when I made a miracle up and down for birdie at the par 5 1st. Unfortunately I hit a hideous 7 iron on 2 in the water. Wasn't sure about the wind and just never committed to the shot. Managed to get it up and down for bogey. Bogeyed the short par 4 5th for the second str8 day when I laid the sod over my second shot. Had a severe downhill slope and never got comfortable and hit the dreaded "whoa fat" shot. I missed very makeable birdies on 6, 7 and 8 and then bogeyed the difficult ninth. Terry was kind of playing conservative but my poor play and lack of birdies was putting no pressure on him at all. His lead was still 4. After I bogeyed 11 and he birdied 14, I was 6 behind with 4 to play. Not going to happen. He bogeyed 15 and I managed to birdie 16 and 17 to narrow the lead to 3 shots but that was it.

I did play well but I would have liked to have put a bit more pressure on him on the front on Tuesday. The bogeys on 2 and 5 coupled with the missed birdie chances on 4,6,7 and 8 were just too much. I really needed to be -1 or -2 on the front and unfortunately that didn't happen.

Here is the link to the leaderboard:

And here is the summary report with a picture of yours truly at the bottom:

So runner up isn't the end of the world. I was invited to play in the Baltimore-Washington Team matches which is a fun invitational event. But it is the same weekend as the BCC club championship so I opted to play in that instead.

I am playing pretty solid now and the USGA Mid Am Qualifier is 3 weeks away. Hope I can keep it going and get to go to Kiawah.

BTW My daughter won the 8 and under 3 hole club championship though in full disclosure I must confess she was the only entrant in the girls division. But she actually did pretty well and hit some good shots.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August Update

I consciously decided to not touch my clubs for a week or so and actually didn't touch them for nearly 10 days. This is pretty unusual for me but was a nice break and am able to recharge for the remaining part of the summer and fall tournament schedule. I actually went to see my teaching pro last weekend and we noticed that some of my fundamentals had gotten sloppy (setup, footwork, etc.) Worked on it with him for an hour or so and am definitely hitting it better. Next week is the MD Mid-Am so we shall see if the work pays off. I have finished top 10 in this event the last 4 times I have played it including 2 top 5's. So this should be an event that I have a chance.

I also have finally started to get more serious about fitness, diet, etc. I turn 40 next week and look around at the competitors I play against in tournaments and they are all athletic, strong kids. If I really want to compete with them I have to get in better shape and get stronger. When I talked to my instructor about it he responded "Name the top ten players in the world". So I say, Tiger, Mickelson, Harrington, Ogilvy, Furyk, Casey, Stricker, etc. One common denominator is all those guys are pretty fit strong guys (people give Phil shit about his man boobs but even he is in much better shape than he was 5 or 6 years ago). Even on the Champions Tour the studs are Funk, Langer, Roberts, etc. and those guys are workout warriors. Other than a handful of guys like Daly and Calc there just aren't many out of shape guys anymore. So I am pushing pretty hard to eat better and work out a bit harder and smarter. Lost a few already and feel stronger as well.

My 6 year old plays in her first golf tournament this Saturday at our country club and she is pretty excited. She only started taking lessons this year but she seems to enjoy it so that will be neat to watch her play. It is a 3 hole tournament for her age group so I am sure that should be a trip.

Poker is still going well. I have cashed out over $4k in the last month just playing SNG. I cleared the mid year bonus that Full Tilt was offering and then got another $500 bonus from them as part of their "Biggest Bonus Ever" promotion. I am a little less than half way through clearing that at this point. I wil continue to grind out these SNG as they seem to be the easiest and fastest ways to earn $$ without the wild swings associated with tournaments or the constant pressure of online cash games where you can lose your whole stack in one hand. I may go to The Borgata in September for their Borgata Poker Open but I am not sure. It runs in mid-September and I have a bunch of stuff going on around then that may keep from going. They are having a PLO and Omaha Hi-Lo event as part of the series so I would love to play those.

Will update next week after Md Mid with hopefully something good.