If you were to look back through the archive section of this blog, you’d find a lot of the early posts talked about life in general – lots of golf talk, yes, but also talk about day-to-day stuff like work, my girlfriend (and future wife) and even my poker exploits.
Eventually, I settled on golf as the main subject matter, with some of the other stuff sprinkled in on occasion. Most of my posts revolved around my inconsistent golf game and my unstated goal of becoming a scratch player, a level I’ve been fortunate enough to reach, albeit briefly, a couple of times over the past couple years.
Through some gentle needling by friends like Cal and Harris, I then realized that most don’t give a rat’s ass about the state of my golf game. Most were coming to my blog to read about my thoughts on some of the great golf courses I’ve been lucky enough to play and to check out the corresponding photo reviews.
Well, hopefully you’ll indulge me for a quick second as I recap this weekend’s Gentleman’s Invitational at St. Catharines GCC, our annual three-day member-guest event.
This was the fourth year I participated in the tournament and all four have been with my wife’s uncle Henry from Burlington. He’s an avid player, a recent retiree and a really strong 16 handicap.
We’ve come close to making a dent in the tournament in the past, shooting a 61 (-11) in the first round of the two-man best ball event two years ago to take the early lead but we faltered down the stretch to finish 6th.
This year, we did the opposite.
We both had rough days on Thursday and our best ball score of 69 (-3) put us in the middle of the pack in the 54 team event, relegating us to the third flight.
I’d have a great day on Friday, shooting 73 (+1) on my own ball to help us to a seven under 65 on the day to put us into a one shot lead going into the last day.
I’d play a mediocre final round, shooting a 78 but Henry was off-the-charts awesome, shooting an 82 on his own ball to single-handedly carry us to a five shot victory in our flight, giving us our first piece of hardware in our four years of participation.
We would have won every flight below us and the 2nd flight as well with our -16 overall score, which was good enough to place us 5th in the overall competition, our best finish ever.
The staff at St. Catharines always do a great job with this event and this year was no exception. The dinners are all fabulous – surf and turf stag night on Thursday, a couples dinner on Friday and a barbeque pig roast and prize ceremony on Saturday. Not to mention breakfast or lunch every day, cocktails (lots of cocktails) and lots of prizes, pari-mutuel betting, calcuttas, etc.
Many thanks to the professionals, the catering staff and the management at St. Catharines for yet another wonderful member-guest tournament. We’ll be back next year looking to win the whole thing!
I was a bit worse for wear on Sunday morning but had to get in my Langley Cup match play event before the club aerated our greens the next day. It was ugly with a capital ‘U’, as I’d endure 3 three-putts and a costly four-putt on the pivotal 16th hole in an eventual 3&1 loss to good pal Andy.
I’ve never won the Langley Cup, the 0-8 handicap match play competition at the club and it’s the one event I want to win most after the Club Championship.
I’m now out of all the match play competitions for 2011, likely the earliest that’s happened in all my years at the club. Simply put, it’s been a rough year for my game from a scoring perspective.
I did enjoy the rest of my Father’s Day though. I got a beautiful card from my 2 year old son, some homemade sugar cookies from my wife, a barbeque dinner at my inlaws and it was topped off by Rory McIlroy’s most-impressive US Open performance at the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club.
McIlroy has all the tools – he’s long and accurate with the driver, hits pure iron shots and made every important putt using the tips he recently received from former major champion Dave Stockton. Most impressively, he just seems like a great kid with a good head on his shoulders.
He’s very easy to root for and judging by the reaction he received at every turn at Congressional, I’m not alone in making that assessment.