Last night I made my Slammer Tour debut at Club de Golf Outaouais. Only a week ago Outaouais had handed my my ass on a platter (check out this brutal scorecard), which prompted me to take not touch a golf club for 4 days. I did get in a decent practice session on Saturday and 9 holes and a practice session on Sunday.
Not wanting to take a vacation day (or half day) from work I put in my 8 hours starting at 6am yesterday before heading out to the course for my 3:15 tee time.
We played the East and South 9’s, whereas last week I had played the West and East 9’s, so I was happy to get a look at the South 9, which, along with the West 9 will co-host the Canadian Amateur in a couple weeks.
Slammer Tour is very similar to the Intersectional matches in that you play match play against the other members of the group. They have a season long leader board and each event you “Challenge” someone ranked ahead of you. If you beat them you move into their ranking and they move down, its a ladder format. By default you also challenge everyone in your group who is ranked lower than the individual you challenge. For my first event I challenged an individual who at the time of my registration was ranked somewhere down the list, I am not exactly sure. However, when the new rankings came out on Monday, he was ranked 7th. So, my first event had me going up against a top 10 guy and by default the two other guys in my group (one ranked 27th and the other ranked 51).
In addition to the matches the Slammer Tour also runs closest to the pin (called doggies) and Skins at each event.
My day started pretty decent, as I nailed a drive down the middle of the fairway on the par 5 1st. I am not use to hitting driver right out of the gate as number 1 at Metcalfe (home course) only requires a 200 yard hybrid shot off the 1st tee, so I was happy to get the play without issue. I hit a crappy wedge on 1, but managed an up and down for par.
I then started playing like I did last week, never getting into trouble, but missing greens and failing to get up and down. I made 3 straight bogeys on 2, 3 and 4. I did manage to make up and downs on 5 and 6 for par, before 3 more bogeys in a row, including a 3 putt on the par 3 9th, the only green I hit on the front 9. An interesting thing about the Slammer Tour is every 3 putt you make costs you 50 cents, which is donated to Make a Wish – Eastern Ontario Branch. Considering I hit exactly 1 green in regulation I wasn’t overly frustrated by a 42 front 9 (although I was quite frustrated that I couldn’t hit a green in regulation). While I was playing ok, one individual in my group went out in even par 36 (I was 6 down after 9). My other two matches had me 2 down and 2 up (I was 2 up in the challenge I had made).
We moved from the East Course to the South Course, where the rough was thicker and the greens were quicker. I seemed to find my game a bit on the back 9, even through 4 after a birdie on the 4th (13th). Unfortunately my decent play on the back would not be enough to extend one of my matches and I fell on the 12th hole 8 & 6. On the bright side, following my birdie I had clawed back to even in one match and was 5 up in the other. I followed up my birdie with back to back bogeys and a par. Through 16 I was 8 over for the day (2 over on the back 9), had lost one match, won one match and was all even in the 3rd. The 17th was a 150 yard par 3 and the wind was just blowing right in our face, a 1 to 2 club wind no doubt. Add to that it was 8pm and the sun was right in our eyes, no chance of seeing your ball off the tee. All this lead to me taking a 4 iron for a 150 yard shot, failing to commit to it and pushing it into a green side bunker. I would get out and 2 put for bogey, but my competitor would make par and take a 1 up lead into 18. I played 18 almost as well as I could, tee shot down the middle, PW just short of the green, but a front pin placement meant it was a fairly straight forward up and down, chipped to 2 feet and made my putt. My competitor over shot the fairway into the trees and the managed to hit the shot of the day, a low punch under the trees that rolled up onto the green to 10 feet. He easily 2 putted for par and the win.
I finished my day at 81n (scorecard), which isn’t great, but isn’t awful. I was however, disappointed in a 1 – 2 record in match play. On the bright side, the win over the individual I challenged should move me into the top 10 on the Slammer Tour leader board.
One of the main reasons I chose to play some Slammer Tour events now is because I am hoping to qualify for the Executive Golf Kingston Intersectional Team and they use the Slammer Tour results are qualifiers. Like the qualifier for the Metcalfe Golf team they use Stableford scoring. At Outaouais I collected 27 points. Not great, but not horrible.
There is a full recap of the event on the Slammer Tour website here: http://www.slammertour.com/slammertour-event-summary.php?event_id=2027#matchplay
My next event was suppose to be CedarHill on Sunday, but it looks to be full. This puts a few kinks in my plans as I need a second event for Intersectional points and don’t have much availability in August, so this might all be up in the air, we shall see.
EDIT: Someone dropped out of the field for Sunday at Cedarhill, so I am in!
See you at the turn,