Fox Run Pro-Am 2017 – Dakotas Tour
Fox Run Golf Course, Yankton, South Dakota
Tournament dates: June 30 – July 02, 2017
More about the tournament.
Kicking off the Fox Run Pro-Am 2017. I was set to play with an amateur team for the first two days, with a cut on the second day for pros. This was my first time playing with amateurs on the Dakotas Tour, so I was excited for the opportunity. Here are some highlights from the first two rounds.
Fox Run Pro-Am 2017
Round 1: Friday, June 30
8:20 start time – 10th tee
I teed off on the 10th hole, a par 5 at 525 yards. I hit a drive right down the middle, and then chose a 4-iron to get it just short of the green. Got it up-and-down for birdie. Love starting the first hole with a birdie!
Struggled to get any momentum on the back 9. One example? The par 3 4th hole, playing 195 yards with 20mph wind coming straight in. I hit a 5-iron and it started to draw too much. Pulled it left and over the back of the green. The pin was front left and was a near-impossible up-and-down because there was a huge slope to go up and over. Hit my chip over the green and was chipping again back up the hill for a 3. Hit it too hard and it jumped past the pin. Now had a 15-footer coming back for a bogey and missed it on the high side. Not a great hole.
But came back a couple holes later with a birdie to even myself out again.
Round total: Finished with a bunch of pars to shoot an even par 72.
Fox Run Pro-Am 2017
Round 2: Saturday, July 1
1:50pm start time – 1st tee
Really looking forward to some redemption today. Just needed a few more confident golf swings and things would fall into place. I was lucky to play with a great group of local amateurs: Paul AKA “Ike,” AJ (young talented player who also works at the club), and Barry. Really great guys – the kind of golf buddies you’ll stay in contact with for time to come.
Hole #1: Good start
I started with a smooth Par, my second-favorite score on the first hole. It just gets the round started on the right foot and calms the nerves. Birdie or Par, that is what you have to shoot for on your first hole.
Hole #2: Old divots
On the 2nd hole, I hit a huge drive down the left side and ended up in the rough in an old divot. Tough shot. Tried to explode and hit behind the ball to run it up on the green. I had 65 yards in so hit my 60-degree wedge. It was hit chunky or fat on purpose (similar to how you would hit a bunker shot), and it just fell short of the green. Didn’t release up like I thought it would. I had a straightforward chip. If I hit it hard enough hard enough, it would be perfect. But I just left it short about 15 feet. The putt I read perfectly, and it hit the edge of the cup and just missed it for par. Bogey 5. However, I did not let that bother me, because today I was going low.
Hole #3: No fairway rewards
Positioning off the 3rd hole is key to having a chance to attack the green. It is a hole where you are not rewarded for hitting the fairway. I took my driver out and went down the right side in the rough, right where I planned. It left me with 225 yards in, and I hit my 4-iron just left of the green in the short grass (fairway). Having plenty of green to work with, I chipped with my 56-degree and left it to a tap-in from 2 feet. Birdie 4.
Hole #5: Like a yo-yo
On the 5th hole I hit a monstrous drive. It was a nice high fade down the left center of the fairway, and it left me with 75 yards in to a middle pin. I grabbed my 60-degree wedge, and the ball landed right past the pin… and it ripped back like a yo-yo. It just missed from going in for a deuce. Now, I was left with a 10-footer straight up the hill, and I rammed it in for a birdie 3.
Hole #7: Like a dove with sore feet
Hit another great drive at 360 yards and had a 9-iron in on this par 5. The wind was helping slightly, and I knew I could hit the 9-iron as hard as I wanted. I stepped up and did just that. The ball came down and landed “like a dove with sore feet” just 8 feet from the hole. The putt was not too difficult; it was about a cup out on the left (4 and 1/4 inches of break from left to right). I stepped up and drained it for an Eagle 3. Par 5 scoring for the week, I was -7. Wow!
Front 9 score: I finished the front 9 with a score of 33, 3 under par. I was feeling confident.
Hole # 10: Over the flag
I hit great drive on 10 that ended up just in the rough on the right side, which is a great angle to the pin. I had an 8-iron in on this par 5. The ball flew just over the flag and was left with a very fast putt down the hill. I missed it for eagle, and made an easy birdie 4.
Hole #12: Difficult pin
Just another great drive on 12, which faded right up the middle of the fairway. Another fairway hit. I had only 75 yards in and grabbed my 60-degree wedge. Hit a great shot to a difficult pin and was left with a straightforward putt up the hill for another birdie 3.
Hole #14: Challenging putt
Par 5 14th, hit my second shot just short of the green and had a 25-yard chip shot to a back right pin. The chip shot released too much and had a challenging putt straight down the hill. I stroked the putt and it did not break at all. Just missed it for a birdie.
Hole #15: More birdie opportunities
I hit another fairway on 15, had a 7-iron in. Made the best swing of the day from 183 yards and stuffed it in there to 6 feet to make yet another birdie. 6 under par on the day, and I knew 16 was another birdie opportunity.
Hole #16: Misread
I chose my 4-iron off the tee to try and keep the ball in the fairway. This was a short par 4, 350 yards. I was left with a pitching wedge in and hit it to 10 feet. Misread the putt, and finished with a par.
Hole #18: Best putt of the tournament
Hit my drive right down the middle with a 3-wood. I had 175 yards in and chose the same club I used on hole 14: a 7 iron. The pin was way back on a slope in the back of the green. I hit it pin-high to 15 feet just left of the pin. Usually pin-high is good, but in this case, it was not. This gave me a 2-foot breaking putt from left to right… that then went straight downhill. Hit my first putt, and it ended up short of the cup about 6 feet. Too conservative! Now, I was left with a treacherous putt. I thought to myself just put a good stroke on it and trust it. I tapped it and it went in for a great par save! Best putt of the tournament.
Fox Run Pro-Am 2017: Review of the round
I played solid on the back 9, with 2 holes that I should have also birdied. Instead I shoot another 33, -3 under par finishing at -6 under 66 for the day. Our team shot -17, which was good enough for 3rd place in the pro-am team event. Ike also had a net eagle on the 6th hole, which he got paid on as well.
After the round, Ike hosted a party at his house for local and out-of-town players to get together and celebrate, which was a lot of fun. Looking forward to reconnecting with Ike, AJ and the local players next time we’re in Yankton.
Be sure to check out my Fox Run Pro-Am 2017 Final Round here.