After some disappointing play at the 36 hole Slammer Tour event at Black Bear Ridge, I wasn’t overly comfortable with my game coming into the Flagstick Open. Based on my handicap of 5.4 I was placed in C Flight for the event, an event I finished 2nd in last summer after blowing a 6 stroke lead after round 1. I knew I could play well on the course (eQuinelle), but it was a matter of playing with confidence, especially on the greens.
I had heard the night before the greens were rolling quick, like a 12 on the stimpmeter quick, and they didn’t disappoint in round 1. After 3 putting 1, 2 and 4 I knew my day was going to be a grind and grind I did. With only 2 pars on the front 9 I made the turn at 44. I missed a short par putt on 10 and hit a ball OB on 11, I was 10 over through 11 holes and things were looking bleak. I hit greens on 12, 13 and 14 and made pars, things were looking up. I made tough up and downs on 15 and 16, before 2 putt pars on 17 and 18. I was in the club house with an 82, and happy it was only an 82. I was sure my score would leave me far behind the leader heading into day 2.
To my surprise I was only 4 back after round 1. I was mid pack in flight C, a low round might just be enough. I started well with pars on the first 3. I faltered on 4 after a poor second shot and made bogey. Routine pars on 5 and 6, but the dreaded 3 putt reared its head on 7 and I made bogey. I followed that with a dart on the par 3 8th, but couldn’t convert the put (a sign of things to come). I got a bit unlucky on 9 and made bogey, making the turn at 3 over 39. At this point I figured I likely moved up a couple of spots, but really wasn’t doing much to catch the leader. I parred 10, birdied 11 (ok things are getting interesting), but bogeyed 12 and 13 (missed a 5 footer for par on 13). A birdie on 14 and I was even for the back 9, 3 over for the day. I hit a great approach on 15, missed my putt, made par. 16, a tough par 3, I was long and got very lucky with a flop shot that just caught the rough slowing it down enough to settle inside 5 feet, made my par. I was 3 over with 2 to play. I hit my approach to 5 feet on 17, missed my putt. I hit my approach to 5 feet on 18, missed my putt. Just like that I shoot 75, with 3 missed make-able birdies and a missed 5 footer for par on the back 9. As the scores come in I climb the leaderboard until I am the club house leader with only the final group (3 some) on the course. If the leader shoots 79 we are heading to a playoff, if he shoots over 79, I win. He shot 76. Another runner up for me in the Flagstick Open.
I promptly traded in my prize to GolfTown and picked up a new putter grip (going to try the superstroke) and new putter (Nike Method Core 5i). I know where my game requires work.
As always the folks at Flagstick Golf Magazine put on a great event and the staff the at eQuinelle had the course in perfect condition. We are really spoiled in the region to have the BMG Cup Series.
See you at the turn,