Thursday, October 25, 2007
had Jerry Kelly, Garrett Willis, and Briny Baird today. Kelly shot 67 and was cursing himself out most of the day. He birdied 3, 4, and 6, then on 7 pulled his tee shot behind the two trees that stick out into the left side of the fairway. 7 is a 502-yard par 5 that was turned into a 4 for the tournament. The first time I played it, I had an eagle 3. Chipped in from the fairway, about 20 yards short of the green. Jerry pulled his second shot, and sent the two ladies following our group running for cover. They were Garrett's wife and Briny's caddy's wife. He was on the downslope maybe 10 feet higher than the green and 10 yards away, short-sided with the green sloping away from him, and very unhappy. He hit a lob wedge way up in the air, that landed on the fringe and rolled into the cup for another birdie.
At that point he was -4 and tied for the lead. He had a 3-putt bogey on 8, which didn't please him, and then Andrew Buckle in the group behind us aced it. Another birdie on 11, but another bogey on 12. He missed some shots on the way in, but mostly was getting up and down for pars, including a very nice one on 16. As erratically as he was hitting the ball, 67 was a very good score.
Garrett shot 69 with 4 birdies and 3 bogeys, and Briny shot 70 with 4 birdies and 4 bogeys. Seems like there should be more to say, but I had my eyes closed a lot of the time. I got some sunscreen in my left eye early in the round and it was tearing and hurting the whole day.
This should be a fun tournament to watch on TV. The finishing holes should be exciting. 15 is a short, downhill par 4 that they can get close to or on with a driver. 16 is a long downhill par 3 with water short and left of the green, and a lot of slope in the green. Small bailout area to the right, and then desert. 17 doesn't look like much, despite being 464 yards, but the green is very difficult, especially for a long hole. It's a dogleg left, and everyone seems to be hitting it into the right rough, attempting to get a good look at the green. The green is elevated and two-tiered, with a false left side leading to a 10-foot drop-off. 18 is a 515-yard par 4 (for the tournament) with water right of the green.
I don't know why I couldn't remember any of those holes from when I played them, or any of the back 9. They do look different from the perspective of the pros' shots. I remembered every hole on the front. Maybe because of that eagle on 7 :)