Well, I played pretty good today, but I couldn’t quite sustain it on the back nine as a few weak drives and some missed putts cost me an under par round and a chance at making the cut. I shot 1 under on the front after making a 20- footer for par on 1 and bogeying 3, but bogeys on 10, 12 and 14 with no birdies to offset did me in. I hit 9 fairways and 11 greens but had 31 putts, which were 4 less than yesterday. As usual, it was a battle, as the wind blew up from the north in the morning, then switched direction to the south later in the day. The south wind is much warmer and makes the course play easier, but overall today was much less intense than yesterday.
So, what is my overall take from the week? As usual, it is a pleasure and an honor to play in an event of this stature. The challenge is great, the grinding is intense. I feel that I shot about what I could reasonably expect to shoot, not better or worse, and that it could have been way worse given the severity of the venue. At any point in the round, if the swing decides to go away and the shots start to go awry, you could literally shoot anything. There is a penalty for every bad shot, and it takes a bit of luck to avoid the big number. I got lucky today on #9 when a layup hybrid from the deep rough barely cleared the hazard, and I got unlucky on #10 when a drive down the middle hit a mogul and kicked into the deep rough with an uphill lie to boot. That’s the way golf goes, with fortunes changing at the drop of a hat, so it is always best to contain your emotions lest you get too high or too low. Experience tells you that golf fortune is like the weather in Ireland: if you don’t like it (or like it) just wait 10 minutes because it will change, and you never know what that change will be.
I think that one thing I can take from the tournament is that what I am working on is the right thing, and that if I could devote a bit more time to working on it and if my body can continue to hold up I might just play well again sometime in a big event. My next one is the qualifier for the US Senior Open in 3 weeks, then the National Club Pro out in Monterey at the end of June. These are walking events, so I will keep working out and doing my cardio so that I have a chance to hold up for however long I need to. But as far as my swing goes, I feel that triggering the backswing with the pivot is a good thing, keeping the club head outside the hands to waist high in the takeaway is a good thing (I’m not good at either), pointing the club left at the top and moving the hands outward to start the forward swing is a good thing, and clearing and swinging left while staying deep with the hips and keeping the head out over the ball is a good thing. If I stay on track and keep putting in the time I feel that there are good things coming.
And again, I want to thank everyone who watched and read and rooted me on. I could feel the good vibes today and it really helped.