U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying
The Club at Irish Creek – Kannapolis, NC
T-7 out of 97 (won the playoff and qualified for the U.S. Mid Amateur on September 10-15) shooting 69 (-2)
Just as an intro, the U.S. Mid-Amateur is a USGA event for golfer age 25 and older. As opposed to the U.S. Amateur which is open to any age. But the Mid-Am primarily eliminates college players from competing. I played in the qualifier to get into the U.S. Mid-Am.
If you read my post about the Forsyth then you’ll know that I didn’t have my best game during this little stretch of golf. But because just 13 hours before I teed off for the qualifier I was walking off the golf course after winning the Forsyth, my mindset was still fresh. I continued the same ugly but effective golf I had played for the three days prior. And it was just good enough.
I finished tied for 7th, which put me in a playoff with 5 other guys who also shot 69 (-2). The playoff was on hole 1, a par 4. They sent off three guys first, then I was in the second threesome. I didn’t warm up (if you caught my snapchat story from that day you’ll know why), but I didn’t need it. I knew what to do. I aimed up the left side, made a confident swing, and busted one down the fairway. When we got to our shots in the fairway, we asked if anybody up ahead made birdie, but none of them did. So immediately I got nervous, because I knew if I birdied, chances are the two guys in my group weren’t going to, and that would get me in. So I hit my wedge from 122 yards to about 13 feet. Which, considering the circumstances, was a very good shot. They both hit their putts and finished out. One guy made bogey, the other guy left his birdie putt a foot short right in the jar.
So it was down to me. I got over my putt and said to myself “Let’s ruin everybody’s day.” This may sound kinda insensitive or not very sportsmanlike. But 1) I don’t care, and 2) I needed to get my focus off of how important the putt was and how much pressure there was to make it. I needed to make it. I hit the putt. It looked like it was going to stay right. But at the last second it took the break and fell in on the right side. I did it! The putt fell! So many times this just doesn’t happen. You miss the putt, you move on to the next hole. Some other guy wins the playoff and gets to go. But not this time. This time, I made the putt. This time, I get to go.
This result just further confirms the notion that I simply need to work hard between events, but then come time for the tournament simply play the game I have. It might be ugly. It might not always produce good golf. I might happen to play better if I fight it on that rare day that I’m getting lucky. But golf isn’t meant to be controlled. It’s meant to be played. I might not always feel this strongly about it. But I know that in this little stretch, just playing my game produced good results.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur is on September 10-15 at Stonewall Links in Elverson, Pennsylvania. You better believe I’ll be making as big of a deal out of it as I can. 🙂