The weather was the story at 2014 OVGA Intersectionals.
After a 2nd place finish for the third year in a row in Division I at 2013 OVGA Intersectionals, the Metcalfe Men’s Intersectional Team was looking to make a move, and seemingly 2014 was the year to do it. First off, one of the teams we were playing, Emerald Links, dropped out the week prior, so we only had to beat two other teams. Secondly, we had beaten Cedar Glen in both 2012 and 2013 Intersectionals and even though we were playing on their home course I was confident. Lastly, the last club we were playing was Algonquin Golf Club, a course I knew nothing about (their website looks nice), so figured there was a 50/50 chance we could take them.
I had never played Cedar Glen until the day before the event, and I am glad I took the time to head out as the course has a few holes that could get you into trouble if you play them blind and the greens are some of the more undulating ones I have ever played on, not many flat putts. The round was a little confidence builder for me, shooting 76 on the par 70 course.
I woke up Sunday morning to the pouring rain. I don’t mind playing in the rain, but this was not just rain, this was bouncing off the road down pour rain. The good news was the the rain let up a little bit by the time I got to the course, the bad news was that the outlook for the day was rather bleak with a second band of heavy rain expected to pass through the area a couple of hours later.
For the first time in my 6 years of playing on the Metcalfe Intersectional team I had moved down in my playing position. After playing #1 in 2013 I would be playing #2 in 2014, which meant I was the second last group off, playing the second lowest handicaps from each club. I don’t know what the handicaps of my competitors were, but I knew that I would have to play aggressive early on in an attempt to jump ahead in my matches in case the weather washed out the day.
My strategy worked right out of the gate with a birdie on 1 (we started on 10), a short par 4 with a sharp dog leg left. It requires a mid to long iron off the tee to about 10 yards. I hit a great wedge into 15 feet and made the putt. Up 1 in each match. Rain had stopped.
The 11th was a straight away mid length par 4 with some trouble on the left hand side. I positioned myself down the right hand side and had a 130 yards into the green. My wedge landed about 5 feet from the pin, but on the up slope, it spun back about 30 feet. I missed my putt by no more than a foot. 2 Up on Cedar Glen, 1 Up on Algonquin.
The 12th, a short par 3. I hit a wedge to a back pin, once again hit up slope and it spun back to center of the green. I had about 25 feet for birdie, and made no mistake dropping it to go -2 on the day. 3 Up on Cedar Glen, 2 Up on Algonquin. It was now almost sunny out.
The 13th is another medium length par 4 with no real trouble. I hit a rather poor drive, but was still only left with 130 yards or so into the green. I hit another good wedge about 10 feet above the hole, but leaving myself with a downhill putt. I gave myself a scare leaving my birdie putt 3 feet short, but sunk a tricky downhill 3 footer for par. 3 Up on Cedar Glen, 2 Up on Algonquin.
The 14th is a par 5 dog leg with water down the entire left hand side. A very nice golf hole the requires 3 solid shots. My drive was a little off line, but a hybrid out of the rough got me up to 100 yards. My wedge was way off, but to the green. I had about 40 feet uphill to the hole, a putt a hit 3 feet past, but made another tester coming back down the hill. 3 Up on Cedar Glen, 2 Up on Algonquin.
The 15th was a mid length par 3 over water. I came up just short of the green with an 8 iron, but was able to putt up to the middle pin and make my par. The competitor from Algonquin just missed a 50 footer for birdie and the player from Cedar Glen actually made a 20 footer downhill for birdie, getting one back on me. 2 Up on Cedar Glen, 2 Up on Algonquin. Wind was picking up.
The 16th is a long, very long, par 4 playing 450 yards. We got lucky in that the wind had picked up and was helping on 16. My drive was one of the best of the day, leaving me with only 150 into the green. I hit my worst iron shot of the day, pushing an 8 iron 10 yards right of the green. I managed to get up and down, no damage done. The player from Algonquin got into a bit of trouble and made bogey. 2 Up on Cedar Glen, 3 Up on Algonquin.
The 17th was a mid length, straight away par 4. Even though the card says it plays 422, it actually only plays about 390. I hit another good drive, but a poor wedge that came up short of the green. I completely mis read my putt from the fringe, leaving my with a sid hill 10 footer that I didn’t make. First bogey of the day. 1 Up on Cedar Glen, 2 Up on Algonquin. Really windy now, looking like rain again.
The 18th was a par 5, decent length, but playing directly into the wind. I hit driver, 5 wood and a full 9 iron that landed 3 feet from the pin, but kicked left, down a slope and off the green. By the time I got to my drive, the rain had started again, but wasn’t too bad. By the time I got to my second shot it was raining steady and wind was nuts. By the time I got green side it was pouring rain. I had about 15 feet to the pin from a steep up sloped fringe and my putter grip hit my jacket on my first putt, it only went about 7 feet. In the mean time, the player from Cedar Glen has played himself out of the hole, but the competitor from Algonquin makes a pitch from 40 yards that lands 2 feet above the hole, and he makes that for his par. I now have 7 feet up hill in the pouring rain for par and I miss it. 2 Up on Cedar Glen, 1 Up on Algonquin.
As we come off the 18th green it is pouring rain, we we duck into the club house to get dry and grab a drink/snack. As we are dreading heading back onto the course they tell us that they are going into a rain delay for an hour. As players come back to the club house from various positions on the course the rain doesn’t let up and even gets harder at times. We can see from the club house that the course is not holding up to all the rain. After the hour rain delay they make the decision call the day, all matches over. Time to add up the results.
It became clear very early in the results reporting that this was not our day. Cedar Glen was playing well on their home course, Algonquin was legit (I knew 50/50 chance of that) and we, as a team, didn’t perform. In the end I was the only player on our team to win both my matches and we finished 3rd.
We will head back to Cedar Glen in 2015, while Algonquin moves up and Emerald Links (who didn’t play) moves down.
Sorry for the long post, just be lucky we only played 9 holes.
See you at the turn,