My club championship is my Masters. It means more to me than any tournament I have ever played in because my grandpa won it 10 times and the trophy is named after him. He is 88 now and in failing health, which makes me want to win my first club championship that much more. I felt good going in to my club championship this year. Ours alternates between stroke and match play.....this year happened to be match play, which I feel suits my game a little better than stroke play. I shot 75 in the qualifier and became the 3 seed. Our club championship is typically won by the same guy now....very good p,Ayer and former college player.
I 3-putt 3 of the first 4 holes in the quarterfinal match against the 6 seed and find myself 3 down through 4 and then 4 down after 5....yikes. Fast forward and I'm still 4-down through 10. The last 8 holes were a combination of me putting pressure on my opponent and my opponent starting to fade. I win 6 of the last 8 to win the match 2 up.
Now I'm on to face the 7 seed who upset the 2 seed in the morning match. Things are looking good for me to get to the finals. We are all square through 12, before I lose the 13th and 15th holes with bogey. I'm 2 down with 3 to go and really starting to feel the pressure. We halve 16 and now I've only got one option. He misses the 17th green and chips up to about 5 feet. My approach finds the green about 20 feet away and my birdie misses and par is conceded. He blasts his 5 footer through the break and I'm still alive. We both find the fairway on the par 5 18th. He is out of reach to go for the green in 2, but I have about 220 left. He lays up but find the right rough. I hit probably the best shot I've ever hit, considering the self-imposed pressure, and hit my hybrid to 25 feet. His 3rd ends up about 10 feet below the hole. My eagle putt misses on the low side and birdie is conceded. Then I make the cardinal sin of golf.....after seeing my opponent hit such a poor putt on 17 that would've won him the match, I quickly assume we are now going extra holes. He made me pay for that by rolling in his birdie putt to win the match and earning a place in the finals. Adding on, the 4 time defending champ lost in the other semi. Everything shaped up perfect for me, but I didn't get the job done.
As a golfer, you quickly learn what it feels like to lose. There are no coaches or teammates to blame anything on. I've played golf all of my life. I've played in high school and in college. I have never been as gutted by losing as I was Saturday. But the great part of this game is that it lies 100% on my shoulders. I have to own it and it is no one's fault except mine. Isn't this a great game??
How I channel my inner Happy Gilmore, "only 364 more days until the club championship, gotta toughen up."
Edited by conorgolf22, 17 July 2017 - 07:46 AM.