Has it Been Two Weeks?!

Goodness, have I ever been letting down my readers! Here’s the mini update:

Tuesday June 21st –
Took the day off work to get the car serviced. They tell me I need four new tires and new front brakes. However, I’m leasing the car and there’s only seven months left on the lease. Therefore, I doubt I’m paying over a grand to fix up a car that I’m not keeping. Then I ventured to the Fallsview Casino for twenty minutes to catch Toast playing in the Degree Poker Championship. Looked really cool! Read about Toast’s experience at Golf + Poker. Later that day, perhaps fazed because of the service issue, I lose my first round Langley Cup match at the golf club to a pretty unknown player. The Langley Cup is the 0-7 handicap match play championship at St. Catharines G&CC, an event I made the finals in last year but lost. I was incredibly disappointed in the early round loss this year although I’m proud of the comeback I made. I was down the whole match and was ‘dormie’ after 16 holes, meaning I was two down with two to play. I ended up winning the 17th and 18th to send the match to extra holes but missed another four footer that could have extended the match. Damn, the putting sucks right now.

Saturday June 25th –
My buddy Jay came out to play at the club today. My game is at its low point for 2005: my putting is horrible – at least, my confidence level is in the toilet, and without that, you have nothing. I shot an 80 and I go into a major tournament tomorrow without a putting stroke. At least I had a great dinner at Jay and his wife Laura’s place this evening. My girlfriend Jacky got to meet them for the first time and everything went well.

Sunday June 26th –
One of the major events on my tournament schedule this year is the Rolling Rock Open in Bradford, Pennsylvania at Pine Acres Golf Club. Eight guys from our club take part in this annual tournament, a two-man best ball championship. Toast was my partner in this tournament, his first time playing here (and my second). The tournament was a disaster, not only from a personal performance standpoint (I shot an 84 and only contributed two shots to our team score, as Toast shot 76 and our team score was 74) but from an overall perspective. Rolling Rock pulled their sponsorship for an unknown reason. Now, this isn’t the biggest deal in the world but last year there were little kiosks set up all over the golf course, with mini barbeques, beer kegs and drink stations to replenish your system. This year: NOTHING. Not even f’n WATER on the course! It was about 92 degrees out, I might add. Toast really was upset about the whole thing and rightfully so: I had talked up this tournament so much to him and Harris (who drove us down and played with his buddy Preston), making their expectations high. Needless to say, they weren’t met. At least the golf course still rules as does the ice cream! My golf game is at the low point of my LIFE right now from a competitive standpoint.

Wednesday June 29th –
The Rabid Pandas, my ball hockey team, win the SCBHL D Division Championship tonight! This is our fourth championship since we formed our team in the Spring of 2002. Awesome!

Thursday June 30th –
I’ve got ‘work golf’ today. This had to be the first time in my life that I wasn’t looking forward to playing a golf tournament and DEFINITELY the first time I had a chance to get out of work to play and really was ambivalent about it. I’m so lost on the putting green that I want to run and hide! Nowhere to hide today, as Scott Paper Limited invited my father and I to participate in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Charity tournament being held at highly esteemed Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville. The Abbey has hosted the Bell Canadian Open on the PGA Tour countless times and this is only my second time playing the course. It’s a scramble tournament though so there wouldn’t be too much pressure on me in this event…and it provided me with the chance to turn things around. I performed much better today and actually seemed to figure things out on the greens today. THANK GOD! Our team shot a 64 in the scramble format and we birdied our last six holes in the process. What a great golf course! I really enjoy the layout here and hopefully Harris’ buddy Preston can get us out here before the season ends.

Friday July 1st – Canada Day!
Ah, a holiday weekend! Putted really well today again and shot a 77. Game is coming around! I won $40.00 in skins today, my best ever performance. Jacky and I went hiking down to the Niagara gorge in the afternoon and just relaxed on a big rock down on the Niagara River, watching the jet boats go by. Great afternoon! We topped it off with an AWFUL dinner at Boston Pizza (our first…and last time at that place) and a GREAT excursion at Avondale in Niagara-on-the-Lake with Deron, Tanya and their newly turned one-year old daughter Mikayla. Great day! I end the night telling Jacky that I might quit the Niagara District Men’s Tour unless I do well in Saturday’s event at Rolling Meadows G&CC in Niagara Falls. I’m just fed up playing all these golf tournaments and being mediocre. I love golf and I love competition but if I’m just out there shooting 80 all the time, why bother? I just haven’t been competitive lately and I absolutely hate it. I need to know that I can play with these guys. If I can’t, I should just get out…

Today –
The third leg of the Niagara District Men’s Golf Tour from Rolling Meadows Golf and CC. I went to the club early to hit some balls and chip and putt. The short game session goes extremely well: the putting stroke seems to be back. My long game session is erratic to say the least. Oh well, as long as the putting is there, I can put together a score. My group tees off on the back nine at Rolling Meadows and the 10th is a 120 yard par three. Easy par to start. I par the 11th and then make an ALL-WORLD par on the 12th, a 197 yard par three. The hole was playing into a strong wind so I pulled out my three-iron rescue club. Gripping down on the club to play a three quarter shot into the green (I was inbetween clubs), I literally smoke the ball through the wind and hit it 40 YARDS OVER THE GREEN! I end up hitting my pitch shot, from behind trees to within three feet and make the putt. One of my playing partners called it a “one out of ten shot”; I corrected him and said I’d be lucky to get up and down from there once out of 25 chances. I rode the wave, making birdie on the next hole and finishing my first nine with an even par score of 35. After a couple bogies, I proceeded to birdie my 14th hole of the day to get back to one over for the day and really thought I could win the event. Alas, I missed a pretty routine birdie putt from 12 feet on the 15th and then had my only brain fart of the day on the 16th, hitting my four iron into a hazard and making a double bogey to end my chances of victory. In the end, I shot a fantastic 74 today and ended up with my first ever top ten finish on the Tour!!! I finished 6th today and made the prize table as well. It was really cool today: a lot of the guys knew I was down about my game (I told the organizer of the event about possibly leaving the tour because of my poor performances) and they came over and congratulated me for the round, telling me that I definitely belong out there and that my game is good enough to win events.

It’s funny how quick things can change in golf. A few days ago, I was so down on my game that I contemplated leaving tournament golf. And then today, I put together a round so good that I can’t remember the last time I felt so satisfied about my game.

Should be an interesting day tomorrow. Golf, of course, in the morning and then I’m taking Jacky to a family barbeque in Burlington. It will be the first time she’s meeting my father’s side of the family. Looking forward to it!

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