Awesome dinner at Potbelly Sushi last night down at the Marina. It was a late night and we had early tee times today (Saturday). I arrived at the breakfast buffet at 6AM only to discover it did not open until 6:30. With a 7:40 tee time at Dye Fore – a 20 minutes shuttle ride away – we were going to cut it close again. Tomorrow is the last day of the trip and our final round at Teeth of the Dog, but today is the closing round of the Stableford Tournament.
As happened yesterday, we were sent off the first tee with no warm-up or putting practice. A different combination of courses was in play today – starting on Marina and moving to the Lagos (Lakes) course for our 2nd nine. Dye Fore has 3 nine hole setups and we played Chavon/Marina yesterday. I was paired with Steve and Tom, while sitting in 4th place. Steve was in 5th and Tom, who doesn’t get to play often working for Steve, was in 9th.
After starting with 4 straight pars, I made a bad bogey on 5, failing to get up and down from about 3 yards off the green but followed with a good par on the beautiful par 3 6th hole to sit at 1 over. Steve and Tom were stuck in bogey mode, 6 and 5 over respectively.
I’ll remember the 7th and 8th holes for a long, long time. I pulled a drive into a fairway bunker left on 7 and had an 8 iron into a green that sat well above the fairway. My shot went just left of the flag and a little long, leaving a tricky 10 foot downhill putt for birdie to get back to even. 4 putts later I scored a double bogey 6 and was steaming. The 8th is a par 5 so I was thinking birdie, maybe eagle to get that double back. From the middle of the fairway, about 250 out, I hit a 3 wood right at the flag that only carried 248 yards. It bounced into the top of a small pot bunker directly in front of the green and back into the sand. After a mediocre bunker shot, I 3-putted for bogey missing a 2 footer for par. I was done. From 1 over to 4 over in two holes – I need to work on forgetting the bad!
After adding another double bogey on the 12th, I ended up shooting 79 with no birdies. I was 4 under my quota for the day and finished the tournament 10 under my quota.
The story of the day was Steve’s turnaround on the back nine. After shooting 44 on the front, he blistered the first 8 holes of the back nine with 6 pars, a bogey and a birdie. His birdie 3 on #16 was a thing of beauty as he mashed an iron from a fairway bunker to about 2 feet. Unfortunately, he ended the round with a double on #18, shooting 38 on the back for an 82 overall and earned 1 point over his quota. Steve ended the tournament 12 under his quota.
Big congratulations to Phil, a scratch player and winner of 7 straight Tour on the Shore Championships and 2-time National Champion of The Tour Sponsored by Under Armour. Phil blistered the field with a final round 70 that included an eagle and 2 birdies, adding +6 to his total. Phil ended the tournament at 10 points over his quota. Chris, who also works for Steve, was steady all three (3) days going -1, +1, and -2 to his quota and came in second at a cumulative 2 under his Stableford quota. Shaun, my friend from New Mexico and a solid player, came in third going +2, -4, and -3 against his quota, ending the tournament at 5 under his quota.
There will be some questions about handicaps for next year’s trip, but we’ve been having a blast. Most of the players and spouses are at the beach this afternoon. I’m beat after 5 straight days of golf and sitting in my room pounding out the blog. Heading to the pool for some relaxation and maybe a drink prior to our final dinner tonight. We have the last round on the Teeth tomorrow before heading back to our real lives and I plan to be ready.
Stableford Final – Score vs Quota
- Phil +10
- Chris -2
- Shaun -5
- Jeff -10
- Steve -12
- Dave -21
- Tom -21
- Ray -23
- Mike -25
- Tim – DNF (elected to cuddle with his girlfriend and skip the round)