Our qualifying round was held at Bridgewater G&CC on Monday and we teed off at 8:24am with two chaps from The National Golf Club of Canada.
If you hate play-by-play, you’ll likely hate this post but oh well…it’s my blog so deal with it!
First of all, it’s important to note that Bridgewater was so saturated with water that the GAO needed to go to lift, clean and place throughout the course. Putting the ball into our hands certainly made scoring conditions easier but a 30km/hr wind negated that somewhat.
We couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. Harry nailed his drive right down the middle and his 4-iron second shot from 170 (that’s right Toast, a 4-iron from Harry from 170) stopped three feet away from the pin. I struggled to a bogey on the hole but it didn’t matter, as Harry slapped his putt in for a birdie three and we were off!
Harry came up short with his second shot at the par four second but made a nice four foot putt for par. My birdie effort from about 20 feet unfortunately came up short.
On the par five third, Harry came up short with a wedge approach, hit a chip well past the hole and missed the long par putt. I was able to make a nice two-putt par to keep us at one under.
We both seriously under-clubbed (my fault for telling Harry to hit 9-iron) on the downwind par three fourth. Harris’ chip came up short and he made bogey but I was able to stiff my pitch shot in to a foot to save par.
The par five fifth saw both Harry and I drill our drives down the middle. My approach from about 230 yards ended up just left of the green while Harry’s 4-iron from 210 or so came up a bit short. We both chipped on and missed birdie putts, with mine missing from about 8 feet. Should have had this one.
The par three sixth saw me over-club this time into the wind, as my six-iron sailed 10 yards past the green. I duffed a chip and made bogey but Harry made a fantastic up and down to keep us at -1.
The par four seventh was 444 yards into the wind. Harry and I both drove pretty well but I was forced to hit a 2-iron rescue from about 205 yards due to that wind. I pured it to about 25 feet and made a tough two-putt par to Harry’s bogey.
We finally got into trouble on the eighth despite being in good shape on our drives. I pulled my second shot into the greenside bunker and couldn’t get up and down. Unfortunately, Harry’s birdie putt went well past the hole and he missed coming back on a tough 8 footer to bring us back to even.
We both parred the ninth hole, a medium length par four to go out in 36 (E).
I started having some difficulty with my driver on the 10th hole, a shortish par four. I drove left into a grove of trees and took three shots to get to the green on my way to a bogey. Harry drove perfectly once again, came up short on his approach and couldn’t get down in two for our second bogey of the day.
The par five 11th was another missed opportunity for the two of us. Harris hit a great wedge from the 17th fairway to about 12 feet while my wedge was about 15 feet away for bird. Both of us missed to leave us at +1.
We both had outside birdie chances at the par four 12th, with my putt from the fringe just rolling past the cup and Harry’s barely coming up short.
Then the wheels fell off for a couple holes for me. The shortish par three 13th saw Harry come up short with his tee shot and me go long. Harris hit his chip long and made bogey while my chip nestled about three feet away. However, I couldn’t make this knee-knocker and we were now +2. I felt like I was letting Harris down by this point.
It didn’t get any better on the short par four 14th. We both hit great drives but the wind caught both of our balls on the approach. I hit a full pitching wedge from 102 yards but it ended up 45 feet short of the flag. Harry’s approach spun back about 30 feet and ended up right beside my ball, leaving us both with difficult uphill birdie putts. I rammed my putt 8 feet past and couldn’t make the comebacker. Thankfully, it was Harris to the rescue, as he calmly slammed home a six footer for par to keep us at +2.
I finally was able to do something on the dogleg right par four 15th. I hit my best drive of the day right down the pipe and hit an eight-iron to about six feet. Harris hit his approach way right and made bogey but I was able to coax in my putt for my first birdie of the day to give us some hope at +1.
It wasn’t to be. Both Harry and I went long on the par three 16th and while we both hit good chips, neither of us could make our six foot par putts.
We both missed 25 foot birdie putts on the 17th and would likely need eagle on the 18th if we had any chance, even though I knew that even par wasn’t likely to get in. Of course, I muffed my drive and nailed a tree to pretty much knock myself out of the hole right away. I did end up hitting a rescue from about 220 out to about 50 feet and two putted for par. Harry’s drive was long (as usual) and he had a decent shot to get home in two. However, his approach sailed way right of the green and he could do no better than a par as well (although he sunk a beauty of a putt to do it) so we ended up at 74 (+2).
I was really happy for Harry, as he drove the ball beautifully all day and played great the whole round. I felt that I let us down with a couple missed short ones (13 and 16 really were makeable, along with the birdie attempt on 5) and generally didn’t play as well as I expected. I ended up shooting a 78 on my own ball while Harris came in with an excellent 79. Well done Harris!!!
But 74 isn’t too bad and I think we will try again next year. I had a lot of fun, regardless of our score.
Both Harry and I are back at it on Saturday, only this time as individuals in the opening event of the Niagara Men’s Tour. The first event is a two-rounder, with the first round taking place at the esteemed Lookout Point G&CC in Fonthill, Ontario while the second round takes place a week later at Peninsula Lakes GC.
I’ll have a preview up in the next day or so.