Monday, July 21, 2008

Playing and Putting Like Tiger

Ok, not really like Tiger, but I had one shining moment in today's round at the OGA course. Here it is, in way more information than you're going to care about.

After crossing the crap and landing just over the green of the par 5 nemesis that is the 14th hole in 3 shots, I was poised for a pitch and putt for a par. I had strung 5 pars together at the end of the first nine and was looking to make up a little ground after a couple bogeys in the first part of the back nine. Wasn't meant to be however, as I flubbed a pitch a couple feet forward, then ran the next one past the hole and two putted back up the hill for a double bogey 7. Ugh.

Looking for a little redemption, I cranked on my drive at 15, where the fairway is pretty wide and allows a little grace. Not however, if you hit it into the trees right, which I hardly ever do, but DID do today. I heard the ball play pachinko down between a few trees and hoped I'd have a shot at least somewhere towards the green.

As we reached the ball, I saw my first glimmer of hope. There was a good view of the green between two trees, out about 20 yards from my ball. If I could keep it low and straight, I could get out and up somewhere near the green. I was only about 170 yards out, but didn't think I could hit an iron because of trajectory, so I pulled a 3 wood out to really keep it low, and did a half punch shot / cut shot right towards the green...and kind of closed my eyes. I ducked down between the two trees to look, and watched the ball hit the far left edge of the green, check up, and rest above the hole....75 feet away, but on the green. :)

I hate being above the hole on the 15th. It's usually a quick and nasty putt, and if the pin is anywhere near the shelf in the middle of the green, and you don't slam it into the cup, the ball is going to run away like yesterdays bacon. It doesn't look as ugly in the picture above as it truly is, but trust me, it's WAY better to be below the hole putting back up. Fortunately, I was out on the edge where the shelf isn't quite as steep, but it was still going to be a crazy putt.

I figured I needed almost all the room between the hole and fringe for the break...somewhere around 12 feet of it. I also needed to putt out to the right, just enough to get it to the edge of the shelf, and then let it dribble back down the break to the left and towards the hole. If I could get it anywhere within 5 feet I was going to be very happy. In case that description isn't clear, here's a diagram:

When I rolled it out right, I thought I might have tapped it too light to get it to the shelf, but it hit it just right, then turned back towards he hole and looked like it had enough to get me close. I started walking to the hole, and then stopped because it grabbed the line, kept rolling, and after a few more turnovers.....dropped.

Best. Putt. Of. My. Life.

Carded the bird, and went on to match my personal best of 84 for the round. If you can't play like Tiger all the time, it's at least good to have a putt like that at least once every decade or so.