Saturday, August 23, 2008

Golf Channel Amateur Tour at Apple Mountain

So my promise of a Tuesday post was smashed, but I will blame it on our Tour Director for taking so long to get the pictures to me. :) Nevertheless, I got my pictures and here we go. This was the first time I had played this course and there has always been talk amongst the players that this was the hardest course on the tour and most people didn’t play in that tournament because they had a bad experience. I was told I wouldn’t like the course because I had to drive it straight in the fairway, and before I got my clubs cut down that was a bit of a problem for me a times. This tournament was farther than I had ever driven to a tournament and it felt even longer. Towards the end of my drive up I was getting really tired and I had to make a stop at McDonald’s to just get the blood flowing in my legs and get something in my stomach. After I ate I got back on the road and made my way up towards Lake Tahoe to Camino. As I got closer the navigation in the car said that it would not be able to complete the directions because it had not mapped out all of the roads. I began to panic a bit, but thankfully I remembered the exit off of the freeway and after I got off I turned into a parking lot and got on my iphone and I got the rest of the directions from the Apple Mountain website. So, in a sense MY BELOVED IPHONE SAVED ME!!! I got there safely and warmed up and mentally prepared myself for the round to come. There were a lot of ravines on the course, so knowing my yardages and where I could layup was key, and my Sky Caddie played a very big role that day. I felt really comfortable the entire day with my driving and iron shots. Probably the only thing I would change was that after my first mistake with my hybrid clubs it didn’t click that I was standing to far away from the club until the 18th hole, which caused the ball to have a slight tail right. This caused me to have quite a few shot where I could have been on the green in two, but because I started to top it or have the tail I just couldn’t get the yardage I wanted and it would end up in the hazard. But, what I was the most proud of was that the tournament before I was uncomfortable with yardages between 70-80. So I practiced those week before the tournament and they really came through for me and I was so happy that I practice a shot like that.

One great example was on a par 5 I hit my third shot to about 70 yards away, and it was uphill and I could only see the top of the flag. I felt comfortable with this shot and I took aim right at the pin and the ball came off really nicely and the ball ended up hitting the pin and landed a foot a way. I was so happy that I took a picture (left). My ball is the closer one. :)

The second time it really came in handy was on a par three, some of the men on the tour have been complaining that I get to hit from the first tees so I have been moved back, which isn’t a problem, but on this par three I had 70 yards exactly to the hole and I was practicing my short pitch shot with my pitching wedge and the rest of my group was standing on the tee and one of the guys under his breath, but loud enough I could definitely hear said, “there is no way she is going to make it with that shot!” It shocked me quite a bit since I was already over the ball, and I just said to myself yes you are yes you are. You are going to make it, this is a shot you have practice and you can do it. I calmed myself and hit the ball. I caught it a bit thin, but it ended up being the closes to the pin out of my group, and I just picked up my tee and said “and you said I wasn’t going to make it.” I missed my birdie putt, but made par so I was happy about that. The entire time I never thought once that I was going to win, I knew that if I just played my game that I would post a good score and that was all that mattered. We finished and I ended up with a 92 and I wasn’t sure how that would hold up. I had a 92 in the last tournament and I was badly beaten by and 87. On this tour you never know what is going to happen. So I walked in to turn my card in and one of the other guys who outplayed me last time said, “you have to beat a 104.”

I happily smiled and said, “ I think I got it.” I went to the car to put my clubs away and change my shoes and then made my way back to where everyone was and kept my fingers crossed that no one one had beaten my 92. As I walked in to the grill everyone in my flight stood up and applauded. It made me feel really good and then our tour director Phillip presented me my award and said that I had beaten everyone by eight shots. It felts so good to win especially since I drove so far to play in the tournament.

I earned enough points with this win to put me in third place for the points standings for the National Championship. The top four from each flight get to go, so hopefully I will keep my spot after this weekends tournament since I am taking a break and I hope to go into the tour championship feeling even more confident with my game and ready to win. A win will guarantee me a spot to the National Championship in Florida, which has been my goal this season. Up next I will be attending the PGA show in Las Vegas!!! I am very excited about it and I can’t wait to get there on Monday and I will be taking tons of pictures so stay tuned.

1 comment:

Cash said...

CONGRATS ON A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT ! I too have become a bit obsessed with the competition of TGC Amateur Tournament this year - check out my post here for my experiences this year:

Anyway, this is hot off the press - I just learned tonight that I qualified for the National event. I hope to see you there ! Best Luck, Cash