With a third place positioning the REC points for the ECO tour, I was really looking forward to Richlands. I had been playing good casual golf, my mind was back right after dealing with some issues the month before - and I wanted to win an event. Why not Richlands?
OB is why not. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.
Jared Washburn met me at my home at before the sun comes up o'clock, and after waiting for 15 mins on another layer who was a no show , we set out towards the east. The ride was not especially hard or unbearable - we talked most of the way about food. ( Jared is a Chef at The Flame in Sanford, and forever ago I myself apprenticed to a chef, with a younger HP's dream of becoming one) It was a good ride and I enjoyed his company.
Arriving at Richlands, two things became apparent - 1) I was glad I had decided to install the seat for my Rovic cart and 2) It was going to be a lot tougher than I had anticipated. Apparently the OUT OF BOUNDS for the course is pretty simple: If you're in the trees, on the road, near the volley ball pits or basally anywhere that is not straight up pure fairway - you're OB.
To say I hacked it up in round one would be to not even doing justice. Every. Single. Tee shot. found their way into the woods. Sometimes only maddeningly so - literally in tall~ish weeds - but behind the flags. The course does not require a surgeons precision - but it definitely punishes the wayward thrower.
I was the worse player int he field by far. With the leader for REC coming in at -4 (52), I limped in 13 spots back with a whopping +21 (77) a round so abysmal I do not even expect ti to make the algorithm for ratings. ( My rating at the event was 81, and that round was a 684. )
In round one, other Fly Guy players and friends did much better - Geoffrey with a 55, Dave in a with 65, as were Caleb and Jared. Victoria was tied in lead of a 6 player deep FA1 card with a 59.
So - back to me and my awesome +21 / 77. What do you do? Quit? Never have yet, not going to now. There ZERO chance of making up 25 strokes, no Winning it all was not on the plate, either. I did the only thing I could do: I took off my socks and shoes, grabbed my lunch, and just chilled for a hour, determined that round two - tournament be damned - was for me was only about putting up a better round.
The card i ended up on was mixed between the botton end of Rec and some of the Ladies. And we had FUN. I took my time, really had zero care about how the day was going to end, and just threw shots.
This is a lesson i have to get through my thick skull - throw and have fun - the shots follow. I'm not wired to be a "gung ho let's go!" - every time I start off that way I make dumb decisions and alter whats been working recently - trying to get 10 more feet, or just a little more movement - and it backfires. I have to remember - I'm not a pro - Hell I am not even a good Rec player - quit trying to do pro-shot things and just play.
Round 2 went much better. With zero care to the result, I shaved 14 strokes off to come in +7 (63) - a nice little 867 rated round. It was enough o pull me from 13th ( last ) to 10th. And irony of irony, if the 1st round in fact does not make the ratings algorithm, the second will help me, giving me a slight but still net improvement based on the day.
Geoffrey and Victoria pulled of the couples weekend by each winning their divisions, and Dave and Jared split 7th in the middle of the field.
Caleb dropped 2 strokes from his first round for 4th, but since he's leading the ECO points I do not want to give him only more free press. :)
The ride home we hit some rainstorms, and I was dog tired - but I did come home with something - the resolve to go back to Richlands next year and play better. Those OB flags be damned - I will put in better rounds next year.
Oh - and somehow I still have 3rd in ECO / Rec. So there's that, I guess.