July 16, 2007
A couple of people have asked me what I’ve found to be the main difference between college golf and pro golf. My response was that in college, you could shoot an even par round and get away with it as long as you had a couple other good rounds. In the pro tournaments I’ve been playing, you HAVE to shoot under par or you’ll get boat raced. This response was mostly speculative, because fortunately I had played well my first 2 events kept it under par every round. Well, I proved myself right this week.
I went up to Charlotte to play in the Southern Open. The first day I was 3-under though 6, cruising along thinking another good round was in the works….Lost ball in the rough, plugged lie in the bunker, lackluster back 9….73…..97th place, point proven.
Needing a good round to make the cut, I went off early on Friday and shot 69. This is where things get interesting. After looking at the morning scores, I’m thinking I have a 10 percent chance of making the cut, at best. It’s 1 p.m. and the afternoon groups won’t finish until around 8. I could wait around and hope, most likely to be disappointed and face a late drive home. Or, I could leave, be home by 5, AND see one of my all time favorite bands, the Decemberists, play a once in a lifetime show with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Chastain Park. I weigh my options….
A) Stay and watch the cut line. Best case is I make the cut (but remember the 10 percent chance). Worst case is I miss the cut, miss the show, and tally NO victories of any kind for the week.
B) Drive back to Atlanta. Best case is I see the show and magically make the cut, at which point I would have to drive back to Charlotte at some point before 9 am Saturday. Worst case is I miss the cut, see the show.
Due to an enormously better worst case scenario, option B wins out. So I drive back to Atlanta and meet up with some friends before the show. We watch the scores come in online and in a period of 90 minutes my chances oscillate between 5 and 90 percent. And when I say oscillate, I mean it. One minute I’m in, the next no chance, in, out, maybe, depends on what Pat Bateman shoots, looking good, slight chance, O no Paul Allen shot low, O this guy went yard….and so on and so on. Final resolution: I made the cut on the number, went to the show (amazing), slept 4 hours, and finally drove back to Charlotte for the last round. I flushed my first 5 shots and I’m 3 under through 3, thinking mid 50’s gets me back in the top 5. Well I didn’t shoot in the mid, or even high 50’s, but instead in the high 60’s (69) and move up a few spots. What now? O yeah, drive back to Atlanta again. I’m trucking along when I decide to stop for some caffeine, where I proceed to bump the car in front of me, spend an hour working that out, but I made it home eventually.
That was a long 36 hours. It wasn’t a great result, but I still took a lot from the tournament. You have to make the most of every week, and sometimes you’re not firing on all cylinders, but if I walk away from the course knowing I kept a clear mind the whole round, stayed positive, and never got frustrated, then there is growth in that.
** Does anyone else think the PGATOUR.com home page is completely overwhelming? It might be the most poorly laid out site on the web.
** I drove past the NASCAR track in Concord, N.C. It’s HUGE, and those people are rabid about their NASCAR up there. Did Atlanta seriously think they were going to wrench the NASCAR Hall of Fame out of Charlotte?
** I really want to go to the football opener at Notre Dame. I think we’ll win, ND lost like 19 starters or something, including their beloved Brady.
** Flight of the Conchords, the new comedy on HBO, is absolute genius. So funny.
I’m home for 2 days then back to Charlotte for another Tarheel Tour event, then to Omaha to Monday Qualify for a Nationwide Tour event.