Made the Cut: Day 3
Fox Run Pro-Am 2017 Final Round — Dakotas Tour
Fox Run Golf Course, Yankton, South Dakota
Sunday, July 2, 2017
This was the third and final round. I was playing in the third-to-last group and was tied for 8th place. Only professional golfers who made the cut were competing today, but many amateurs came out to watch and cheer the pros on, which was awesome. I felt I was in a good spot coming into the day— especially considering this was my second mini-tour event as a professional golfer.
Fox Run Pro-Am 2017 Final Round — Front 9 Highlights
Start Time: 1:40p.m., 1st tee
Hit 4-iron off the tee. (In the above video.) It is a par 4 where position is more important off of the tee than length. Looking at the hole, it’s a straight tee shot and then the second shot goes off to the right.
For my second shot, I had 130 yards in and hit my pitching wedge to 25 feet. Two-putted for par from there. Solid start. Feelin’ good.
This feeling changes on the second hole, as I make bogey. Just like yesterday. Thoughts of “hey this happened here yesterday, it could again today” must have creeped into my head. However, a bogey early on in a big competition can sometimes be a powerful motivator and help get your head on straight. You have ample amount of time to make up for that hole and it can settle some tournament-day nerves. Granted, having a day without bogeys is ideal, but it doesn’t always have to throw your round. You can turn it into a positive. At least, that is how I try to view the game of golf.
Then came my second bogey on the day. It was not the best ball striking day at all, but it was a great day for the short game. I was getting up-and-down from everywhere. I did not hit many greens at all. But these are days when your short game takes over and saves you. And it did just that. Struggled a little bit from the middle of the fairway with my iron shots; I do not think it was my swing, but more so my confidence waning. Have been working a lot with confidence, and probably need to do another call with my sports psychologist to see what is going on and things I can work on.
The 6th hole is a par 4, playing 420 yards. I hit a 4-crossover off of the tee to try and hit the fairway. Ended up pulling the shot just in the left rough. (This is why I now focus on eliminating the left side in my practice sessions.) I had a comfortable number in for my second shot from 163 yards and hit my iron shot solid. It was one of those shots where you are thinking (or yelling) “get in the hole!” It ended up 3 feet just left of the pin for a nice tap-in birdie.
Par 5, playing 530 yards. I hit a great drive in the center of the fairway. I missed the green right and was left with almost no green to work with (called short-siding yourself, part of “manage your misses“). Not good! I was fortunate enough to hit a great chip with a 60-degree wedge and left myself 7 feet for a birdie. I stepped up and hit a great putt. Right in the back of the hole for a bird!
I missed the par 3 with a 4-iron way left of the green in the tall heather grass. I had a 50-yard chip shot that just landed on the green. Now I was left with a 40-footer just to save par. I got up and drained it for a beautiful par!
My front nine score: Even Par
Fox Run Pro-Am 2017 Final Round – Back 9 highlights
Par 5, playing into the wind. I took a more aggressive line off the tee trying to get into the fairway. I hit the drive 310 yards off the tee and had 210 in. Chose a 4-iron and shot it just over the pin. Was left with a downhiller, moving from right to left. So, I was not able to be too aggressive. I made my stroke and it rolled by the pin, just missing on the low side. I ended with a birdie 4.
Just a dumb hole. Missing greens. Didn’t convert the up-and-down. But was still even for the day at this point.
Finished up being even par until the 18th hole, where I made a terrible triple bogey 7. Such a frustrating day. I know that I should have just laid up from the lie I had on 18 for my second shot. Take my chances by laying up and try to save par the hard way. Instead I got aggressive and tried to hit the green from a tough lie. And that cost me.
Overall, I missed a bunch of greens in regulation, but my short game saved me today. Could have been a lot worse. I hung in there and battled all day. Again a learning experience, and you learn from these events and move forward. I ended up finishing in a T21. As my second mini-tour event as a professional golfer, I had some proud moments today and some concrete things I need to work on.
Next Up: Mackenzie Tour Monday Qualifier – PGA TOUR Canada… the very next morning.
Always one to give myself as many opportunities as possible, I left right after the Fox Run Pro-Am 2017 Final Round in Yankton, South Dakota to drive 8 hours, 535 miles to Winnipeg, Canada. My wife and I had a quick pow-wow after the round. I originally signed up for the event, thinking I would go if I didn’t make the cut at Fox Run. It would still have been tight, but with playing all day on Sunday made this very tight. Should we do it? Should we not? Called PGA Canada to get my options. Could they push back my morning tee time? Nope. Any refunds? Nope once more. Well, OK then. What do I have to lose. Let’s do it. Will be sure to post the full story of my Winnipeg adventure soon!