2:44 PM, Tuesday, February 4th, 2014:
This day was exciting from the moment I woke up. The countdown until noon at this house was like waiting for a Buckeye game to start. Jimmy and my father were here pacing and helping set stuff up. We'd yell out the time until we could start playing officially. My dad had kept his (-6) ball from the day before and we, were, ready... I think that's what I love most about these days: it's all day. It doesn't even matter if we're the only ones here at the beginning it feels different when we're within the qualifying hours. Instantly, it all means something. Every stroke will be recorded and every round could put you into the finals. The craziest thing? This is my back, yard. Whaaaaaaaaaaat? I never play this thing by myself (contrary to popular belief) so GolfKon actually feels like a different place during an event.
Windy came just minutes later (someone finally listened when I said come when it starts as it's easier to score well) and we were OFF. As for the level of play on Sunday? When a (-4) 19 ends up being seventh place? You're in a ridiculous tournament. Considering 2 of the Top 5 players didn't even make it to the event? And there were still three (-6) 17s and three (-5) 18s? Whaaaaaaaaaat? Sit back and enjoy the 15 minute ride kicked off by "Mack the Knife" himself...
Skipping down to avoid spoilers within view of the video...
I'm done saying "he had me", because yes he did. I cannot believe what happens to your brain when you're on the last difficult hole of the course. Hole 2 and hole 8 end exactly the same. Yet the first time he approaches it he's one under par and the next time two over. <blinks> It's all, mental. You know what I really think it is? You step UP to the hole 8 tee. You're higher than everyone, it feels like you're being watched. And you second guess yourself. You hit it differently.
However my dad hitting the tee shot perfectly and then sixing the hole? I, just... it is a bit of an optical illusion in person. The right to left slant goes against what your brain is seeing since the cement beyond the hole has that same slant (to allow water to drain). So when I stopped him and told him to point it right of the hole? It feels like you are. That hit ended up being completely straight, and then when the ball slowed down it curved drastically left. It's a mind-fuck for sure. I seriously thought I was going to see my father legitimately angry for the first time in 20 years. LOL. The day before I saw him hit ball after ball perfectly. <shrugs> In the end, since the course isn't changing, it's really all in your head.
Let me also say however, the birdie I hit on 8 was as close as you can get to a miss. Re-watching it I say WOW everytime. I really hit that off, and a putt THAT long on that portion of the course? Is realllllllllly hard. What a huge shot. That shot was the reason Steven and I weren't tied at the end of 9 holes. Just as close as can be.
...but aren't you sick of hearing that? I sure am. It's such a schizophrenic feeling during the tournament. I can't throw it. I physically can't. The second it starts? I want to win... yet I'm also wearing the "promoter" hat and I want desperately for someone to beat me. Ugggggggh. So here's what will go on the plaque...
One stroke. ONNNNNNNNNE STROKE. And damnit, statistically? That was the one. That was the one you guys had the best chance at because it's only 9 holes. The next best shot are the match-plays because I have to win 3 separate 9 hole rounds, but it's only against one other player. And GODDAMNIT JIMMY. Stop turning bogeys into triple bogeys cause you get pissed and then stop setting up for the next shot. You hit the last 3 shots on The Pyramid Hole in 11 seconds. 11 seconds dude. Take your time. A bogey instead of a triple bogey would've had you at (-2) going into 8! Instead you're (E) and you go nuts and hit a 6. Grrrrrrrr.
Anyway, the whole day was awesome. Lots of kids (the kid-putters I bought came in handy!) having a blast. God I love watching kids run around that course trying to kick-ass. I'm slightly concerned one of the kids is gonna hurt himself and I think I need to talk to the parents of the younger ones, because you really can't leave kids unattended on the course. Besides them walking on the green when kids are putting - wait oh yeah! Aside:
Jimmy got the first eagle ever on 8! And even crazier? A kid was walking on the green at the time and it went through his LEGS. !!! Amazing, but yeah, kids have to be supervised because although it seems laid back? To most of the players, it's anything but. If you're one stroke away from qualifying and hit it perfect - and some kid kicks it? Oh shit. That's not good. It's very difficult to get people to come to these things and also get them to resepect that, say, when the tournament is happening? To not scream, play basketball or be, well, kids. It may be minigolf but when you're putting a big shot? It's golf. Not sure how to get across the etiquette of the game, yet still let kids (and adults) have fun. Time will tell. I'll be more aware of it from now on when I see new kids on the course.
Oh and here's all the stats... a new record of 72 rounds of golf played during the event! Wow!
And finally, let me welcome Anthony Farrell to the ranks of the "Pro Tour Players" on Golfkon.com. He was not only a co-host during the broadcast... but he's actually a very good putter with a (-6) in qualifying. He played it safe on 8 which killed him. Not even sure if he realized he NEEDED that 2nd shot to stay tied. But he did, and he choked. He won't be back in March since he's expecting his child within days of the event, but the next major at the end of May? He's my pick. One shot off the course record in qualifying? Yeah. He's a gamer.
Alright! See you at the end of March when double the amount of entrants qualify (8) and anything is possible.