Thursday, January 25, 2007

Golf Bet Update

I was down 3-1 and in no hurry to play Bill again since I had been playing like crap. Last Sunday, the weather was looking real cold and rainy and I was hoping for a rain out. Since Bill has 3 kids, any time he gets the ok to play golf, he tries to do anything in his power to make it happen. If the wind was blowing 40 mph and hell fire was raining down, he would try and convince me to play.

So Bill had arranged to bring out his Dad and his Dad's friend, Larry to play with us. When it was raining pretty hard at 10:00 AM I called to tell Bill that I was out. Bill got all upset and said I should at least come to the club for lunch and make a decision then. I dragged my ass out of the house and met them for lunch. Sure enough, the rain stopped and there was some blue sky out to the North so we decided to give it a shot.

I hate playing golf in the cold, especially when I have not had a chance to hit any balls and practice my putting. Naturally, everyone else in the group was ready to tee off right away without any warm up so I had to suck it up. I immediately double bogeyed the first hole when I stuck myself behind the trees on the left of the green.

Meanwhile, Bill kept plodding along making pars and the occasional bogey. After we had both parred the 8th hole, I was 6 over par and Bill was 3 over. I asked Bill, "Are you ever going to make a mistake today?" Bill then hooked his drive left into the bushes by the driving range. My drive finally found the fairway. Bill's ball was unhittable and after some discussion on whether he gets a free drop, we decided that he would take a one stroke penalty. He then put his ball in the front right bunker. I managed to just miss the green, but got up and down for par after making a 10 foot putt. Bill got out of the bunker and two putted for double bogey. Now I am only down 1.

On the back nine, my putter caught fire and I made some big putts to save par and bogey and one long 50 footer on 12 for birdie. I managed to go two up by the time we got to 15. This is the short par 3 over the lake. The pin was in front, so it was an easy 8 iron. I made a rushed swing from the top and sliced my ball into the lake. Now I gave a chance to Bill to make a move. Fortunately, for me, he hit his shot short and it spun back off the berm in front of the green and into the lake. Bill made his up and down for bogey and I missed, giving me a double bogey. Now I am up one.

16 is a short par 4 that has given me fits lately, because I cannot seem to find the fairway. Bill hit a great drive and was only 80 yards from the hole. I sliced it right and had to pitch back into the fairway. My approach was horrible again and sliced into the deep bunker on the right. This is one of the deepest bunkers on the course, so it's tough with a good lie. I had a downhill lie so I had no chance. I hit my shot heavy and left it in the bunker. Next one out and two putts for a 7. Luckily, Bill had missed his short birdie putt so I was only down 2 going into 17.

After we had started the round, the weather had managed to change to quite nice. By 16 though, some really nasty clouds had moved in and the temperature had started to drop again. We both teed off on 17 and hit good shots. The wind had picked up and I was nervous about the weather and was beginning to speed up my preshot routine. I had made up my mind after the last two iron shots I hit, that I needed to focus on trying to hit the shot a little harder to make sure that I released the club head. Naturally I overcompensated and pulled my shot 40 yards left of the green.

I immediately chased down my ball, because the weather was turning nasty and I didn't want to wait around for anyone else. I hit a great wedge shot, that almost went in. It ran 10 feet past the hole and I still had a chance for par. As I walked on to the green, I began to look for Bill's ball to see where he stood. He was not on the green, and I looked back into the fairway and he was taking a drop by the lake. Could I really be this lucky? Bill took his drop and hit a bad wedge shot, that faded right and went into the lake again!

I hurriedly tried to make my putt, which just missed so I carded a 5. Bill finally chipped on and made an 8. So now I have my one stroke lead back. On the tee for 18, it started to rain a little and it had become really dark, even though it was only 5:00 PM. I used a 3 wood trying to keep it in play. I swung hard and hit it solid, but it felt like a pull left. I lost sight of the ball immediately and asked for help. Ron and Larry said it went left along the cart path. Bill finally clutched up and hit a good drive down the left side.

As we walked to our balls, a big strike of lightning touched down a few blocks away. Our caddie had a look of terror in his eyes and we knew we would have to postpone the final hole. I jumped in the cart with the caddie and picked up my ball. I had been pretty lucky in that I had a clear second shot if we were still playing. However we had decided to play it safe and get out of the weather.

After we all arrived in the clubhouse, we decided that the next time we play, we'll go and play 18 first to finish our match and then play a regular round. It looks like our next round will be this Sunday. I am psyched up now, because if I can hang on to win this match and then win the 18 on Sunday, Bill will have gone from up 3-1 to tied at 3-3 in one day. :-) Plus the weather forecast is 69 degrees and sunny.

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