The First Dakota National Bank Pro-Am Jam 2017 Qualifier

First Dakota National Bank Pro-Am Jam 2017

The First Dakota National Bank Pro-Am Jam 2017 Qualifier – Dakotas Tour

The Country Club at Sioux Falls

Qualifier: Thursday, August 10

More about the tournament.

This is one of the select Dakotas Tour events where you need to qualify to play – similar to the Hillcrest tournament in Yankton. It is a one-day qualifier, and they take the low 28 scores out of 48 guys.  I figured anywhere from around even par to one-over par would be safe and make it to the Friday tournament. It’s one of the most popular Dakotas Tour events – especially since they bring in some big names for a concert each year. This year Jared Nieman and Rascall Flatts were playing right at The Country Club at Sioux Falls on Saturday night. (Which is where the photo is from.)

The First Dakota National Bank Pro-Am Jam 2017: Front 9

Here are some highlights from the front nine.

Hole #1: I teed off at 9:30a.m. Hit a drive down the right hand side and was behind a tree. Punched out toward the green from 135 yards.  It hit the green and rolled off the left side into the rough. Chipped it up to about six feet and just missed the putt.

Hole #2: I hit a perfect 3-wood off the tee and left myself with 85 yards in for my second shot. Hit a 60-degree wedge to six feet and made the putt for a nice bounce-back birdie.

Hole #4: Par 5. Birdie.

Hole #5: Par 4. Birdie. This brought me to -2 on the day.

Hole #6: Par 3. Playing 175 yards. I hit an 8-iron short of the green. I was left with a challenging chip, up the ridge to the pin that was just perched on the edge of the  upside down U-shaped green.  The chip went over the pin and into the fringe. I was left with a 20-footer down the hill and drained it for par!

Hole #8: Par 4. I made another stellar par-save on the 8th hole.

So, I finished the front side at -2 and was feeling great. I thought to myself: just play smart and shoot even par on the back to be safely in.

The First Dakota National Bank Pro-Am Jam 2017: Back 9

Here are some highlights from my qualifying round on the back nine.

Hole #10:  I hit a poor tee shot that was just safe enough to hit over the trees and I hit my second shot onto the green for a two-putt par.

Hole #11: Par 5. The 11th hole does not set up well for me at all. There are trees and out-of-bounds down the left side, and the trees hang halfway over the fairway. This forces  you to hit a draw off the tee. I should have grabbed my 3-wood, but ended up hitting the driver. It was the back nine and I was playing aggressive. Almost too aggressive for being -2 at this point.

I tried hitting a draw and snap-hooked it. Luckily, it hit a tree and came down in play. Next shot, I hit a 4-iron to layup. It was hit high on the face and clipped a branch. Only went 100 yards in the left rough. Then, I grabbed my 4-iron to lay up again, proceeded to  pulled it left but it was ok. I was still left with 120 yards in, now hitting my 5th shot. Next shot over the green, chipped it up and was putting for a bogey now. It lipped out for a double bogey 7. It was upsetting, but also knew I had some holes to make it up.

Hole #12: Par 3. I hit my tee-shot left into the bunker and had no shot. So, I chipped it out short of the green from the bunker. Chipped it up and in for a bogey 4.

Holes #13- #18: The final 6 holes were playing very difficult with the wind now blowing, and I was unable to get it back to level par.

I finished with a 2 over par 74. Missed the cut by 2.

Ladies Pro-Am: The Country Club at Sioux Falls Executive Course

After I finished The First Dakota National Bank Pro-Am Jam 2017 Qualifier, I was excited and honored to play in the Ladies Pro-Am event. Not every player had the opportunity to do so, so I felt fortunate to play. Earlier in the week the head pro sent an email asking if any other pros wanted to play in the event. I had my phone on me and replied within one minute… and was the first to respond and got in. I’m always down for more opportunities to compete.

It took place on the 9-hole executive course right near the clubhouse, and there was a chance to win some money. My team was pretty solid. Unfortunately we just did not make any putts, and I didn’t have any birdies to help the team out. The holes ranged from 60 yards to 225 yards. We finished at +2 with taking the best 2 balls from the 4-man team. It was really great to support women’s golf and compete with local players.

 

Sean McWilliams, Professional Golfer from Arizona. Former Division 1 Pitcher and Canandaigua, NY native. Join me on my journey throughout the US and Canada as I go after my professional golf dream, taking on the Web.com, PGA TOUR, Mackenzie Tour – PGA Canada events, and mini-tours like the Dakotas Tour. I’ll also be sharing tour travel tips, golf course and gear reviews, and much, much more.

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