Sunday, November 19, 2006

Golf Bet is tied 1-1

Yesterday was round 2 of the $500 10 round golf challenge. I had been hitting the ball well in practice so I felt confident.

Once again I jumped out to an early lead as I saved par on #1 and made an easy par on 2 as Bill went in the water. I could have been leading by 3 strokes, but Bill made a great up and down save to scratch out a bogey. So my lead was 2 strokes going into #3, the long par 4.

I decided to hit 3 wood to be conservative and try to take out of bounds on the right out of play. A bogey is a good score on this hole as it is very long and the green can be quite tricky. My plan backfired as I still managed to hit the ball right and it ended up lost. From the tee box, it did not look like it went out of bounds, but we could not find it in the rough after looking for 5 minutes. This was one of the key points of the match, because I hit a really solid second tee shot, which put me in position to go for the green. From 195 yards way, I hit my hybrid and managed to stop the ball about 60 feet from the pin. I two putted to save double bogey. Bill only managed a bogey and just gained one shot.

Bill gained another shot on #4 and we came to the short par 4 #5 hole. I pulled my drive a little left, but it had enough on it to clear the fairway bunker and roll about 40 yards short of the pin. Bill laid up with an iron and then hit his approach just over the green into the rough. I hit a great pitch shot to 1 foot for a gimme birdie. For some reason, Bill decided to use his putter from the rough. He left the 40 foot shot, 30 feet short and two putted from there for bogey. A nice two stroke swing for me.

As the holes wore on, I was not hitting the ball well off the tee, but I was hitting my wedges great and I had managed to make everything inside of 6 feet. Bill was not gaining any ground and was beginning to get frustrated.

The wheels finally came off for Bill on 12. This is another short par four with a lake on the right and bunkers in the front right and left of the green. Even though I was spraying the driver everywhere, I decided that it was still the best club to hit, because it took the lake out of play. I was not real confident in trying to thread a 5 iron between the lake on the right and the bunker on the left. I hit a decent drive that faded a little right into the rough, but easily clearing the water. Bill hit his two iron left, over the fairway bunker into some trees. When we found his ball, it had nestled up against a tree. His only shot was sideways back into the fairway. As Bill lined up for his next shot from the fairway, I went out to find my ball in the right rough. I found it in a good lie 105 yards to the pin. I hit my 52 degree wedge solidly and the ball landed on the green and trickled to the left fringe 40 feet from the hole.

Bill's troubles continued. He pushed his easy 90 yard approach into the front right bunker. Then he skulled his bunker shot over the green and into a flower garden. He asked for a ruling and I told him he could play it from the garden or take an unplayable lie. For some reason he did not want to disturb the pretty flowers, so he took a drop. He finally hit a good wedge and made the putt for a 7. I made par and picked up another 3 strokes.

By 15, Bill was still 4 strokes down with 4 to play. He sealed his fate by hitting his tee shot in the water. He was so frustrated by 17 that he quit. I convinced him that he should hit a driver shot on 18 just for practice. He hit a decent shot, but he dumped his 3rd ball in the water by the green. I laughed to myself as he said, "Now you owe me $5 for that ball because I didn't want to play this hole to begin with."

So now we are tied at 1-1. Considering that Michele was ok with me playing golf a week after our son, Jake was born and she is letting me play in a tournament on Wednesday, I think I will still have enough time to keep my game sharp. Bill is scheduled for surgery December 7, so there may be time for one more match by the end of the year.

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