Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) Intersectional try-outs have been going on at my club (Metcalfe) for the past two weeks and besides a play-off to determine the last spot and first alternate the team looks complete.
The try-out format was a Stableford (1 point for bogey, 2 for par, 3 for birdie and 5 for eagle), with a players best 2 of 3 rounds counting. I am pleased to say that I was the finished first in qualifying with 58 points.
My first round was Monday May 28, the day after the Flagstick Shootout, and after playing for 4 straight days (Thursday – Sunday), including 2 tournament rounds the last thing I wanted to do was play golf. On top of that I had to take some time off work and rush out to the course to make my 3:30pm tee time. Upon arriving at the course I was informed that we would be playing from the white tees and not the back tees. While this may seem as an advantage, I never play from the white tees and I find playing from the whites brings a lot more trouble into play than playing the back tees. My biggest concern was not knowing my distances off the tee, but that didn’t seem an issue on #1 as I made it to the corner off the tee and hit a 6 iron to 3 feet. I made my putt and started my day with 3 points. I needed those 3 points as I doubled #2 after hitting my tee shot into a hazard (that is not reachable from the back tees). I ended up in more trouble off the tee on #3, but managed a bogey. I made a pars on 4, 5, and 6, before 3 putting for bogey on 7, hitting another tee shot into trouble on 8 (for a double) and made a bogey on 9. I finished the front 9 mentally and physically exhausted with 12 points.
The back started with a par on 10, but a double on 11. I ended up in trouble off the tee on 12, but managed a bogey. I followed that up with 3 straight pars, before making an unlucky bogey on 16. I hit a decent tee shot, leaving me with about 170 yards to the green, but in pretty thick rough. With a front pin placement I hit a 5 iron knowing it would be short, but confident I could get up and down for par. Instead, the ball landed short of the green, took a huge hop and rolled to the back of the green. I was left with a 50 footer, straight downhill, which I 3 putted. I played 17 well, hitting the green and 2 putting. I was a little wild off the tee on 18, was on the right hand side, right of the trees and cart path. While I knew I could hit a safe 7 iron to the 100 yard marker I also knew I could hit a high 3 wood, over the pond and trees and hopefully right up to the green. I hit a great 3 wood, but pushed it slightly, it would be close to the green, but could have been in the right hand trees. Upon getting up to the green I saw I was a mere 10 feet off the green, with an up and down for birdie. I chunked my chip to 15 feet and 2 putted for par. I finished the back 9 with 14 points, giving me 26 on the day. I wasn’t very happy with my play, but was pleased to get out with as many points as I did. I knew I would have to pick up my game for round 2, which would be on the weekend. (Scorecard here)
I didn’t touch a golf club for the rest of the week and was feeling pretty much recovered when Friday morning I woke up with a cold. By Friday evening I had a fever and was in bed by 7pm. To say the least I wasn’t looking forward to my 7:30am tee time Saturday morning.
To add insult to injury I woke up Saturday morning, feeling like crap, to rain. I wasn’t worried about getting wet, I had played golf in the rain, heavy rain even, many times. What I was worried about was catching a chill. Being sick, I knew if I got cold it would pretty much be the end of my day on the course. So, I bundled up and headed over to the course.
The good news was that the rain (for the first 15 holes at least) never got to more than a drizzle and it wasn’t too cold out. The bad news was I had no energy and didn’t feel like I could really make a complete swing with my achy body. My day started with a lackluster tee shot and an approach shot that I thought I pured, but was 20 yards short. Next was a shot that could have defined my day, a hossle rocket into the right hand rough. Instead of of early collapse, I hit my chip to 5 feet and made a good putt for a bogey. I made a good up and down for par on 2, made a 2 putt par on 3, made another up and down on 4 and then I chipped in for birdie on the par 3 5th. Through 5 holes I was even, and had only hit 1 green in regulation. I made a bogey on 6, parred 7 and 8 and finished out my front 9 with a bogey on 9 where I failed to get up and down. A 2 over 37 and 16 points on the front 9 was about as good as it gets for me, sick or not.
The back 9 got started with a disappointing bogey, but I followed it up with 3 straight pars. While I putted extremely well all day I missed a 10 foot birdie putt on 13 that I should have made. I made a bogey on 14 as a result of an approach shot that was a full club less than required, but followed that up with a chip in birdie in 15. The birdie on 15 was a pleasant surprise considering the path I took to get it. The 15th is a par 5 that requires a 220 yard or so tee shot, which brings you to the corner of a 90 degree right hand turn. My tee shot came up about 10 yards short, meaning I had to hit a 100 yard shot over the trees to get around the corner to the 100 yard mark on the fairway. My wedge clipped the top of a tree and came down just beside the cart path, in between the path and trees about 140 yards from the green. From there my 8 iron went pin high, but in the left rough. I was lucky that the pin was on the left hand side of the green and my ball was only sitting about 30 feet from the pin. It was a rather easy chip that I knew I could get close, but never considered draining it, which I did. I went onto 16 1 over for the back 9, 3 over for the day and sitting with 27 points on the day. Up until this point the rain had been no more than a drizzle, but on the 16th fairway the heavens opened and down came the rain. I made a routine par on 16 and in the heavy rain hit my tee shot on the par 3 17th into a green side bunker. On the walk to the ball I was quite considered with having to hit a bunker shot out of a soupy bunker, but once at my ball I had a greater problem to deal with. My ball had come to rest on the left side lip of the bunker, meaning I would have to stand out of the bunker, well above my ball. After a few moments of consideration I choose to hit a shot I had hit maybe one other time in my life. I was going to putt the ball out of the bunker with a hybrid. I was confident the lip was small enough that I could get the ball out, but I was not confident on how hard I needed to hit the ball. I hit a great shot, a bit on the light side, and my ball came to rest about 12 feet from the hole. Unfortunately I missed the putt, but I left the hole happy with a bogey. The rain only got harder on the 18th hole, but I managed to make a routine par. I finished with a 4 over 76 and 32 points (scorecard here).
With 58 points through 2 rounds I was confident it would be enough to get me on the team. Considering my health I cancelled my 3rd qualifying round, which was scheduled for Monday afternoon.
The Metcalfe team will play at home this year in Division I. We will face Hammond (2011 3rd place), Twin Rivers (2011 Division H 4th place), and Cedar Glenn (2011 Division J 1st place).