Wednesday. It was a little cooler than Tuesday with a high of 42, but playing 2 days in a row could not be passed up. Cripple Creek was pretty empty around noon and we had 6 guys. Let’s play . . .
Steve, Dave, Ryan and I were joined by Glen Hudson and Steve Dewey, both first time mentions in the blog. Mike had a meeting – he’s a busy guy – and texted that he couldn’t play. With 6 guys, we decided Steve, Dave, and I would play Ryan, Glen and Dewey in $5 Nassau, automatic 2-downs and a “press when pissed” option. We do that sometimes!
We also all kicked in $5 for skins which meant Ryan and I needed to make birdies as we don’t get any strokes from these boys. Problem – Ryan is a good putter and I’m in the middle of a battle with my putting stroke and haven’t had a round with less than 32 putts this year.
Today’s round continued that run as I hit 15 of 18 greens and came in with 35 putts. That would be known as a “no skins for you” kind of day. I made one birdie – #7 when I hit a wedge to about 8 feet and made my only 1-putt of the day. Problem was that Dave his his wedge to about 6 inches. Birdies were cut.
Our match was back and forth on the front nine and we came into the 9th hole 1 up on our opponents. Glen and team decided to press and naturally we accepted. Our team made a par net birdie to win the hole so we ended the front nine winning 2 ways – the Front and the Press – and we were 2 up on the Match and 1 down on the Texas Press. A Texas is an additional bet where the losing team on the front nine gets the advantage (in this case 1 up) on a new bet for the back nine – a chance to get money back.
At the turn, Mike showed up. His meeting was cancelled and he joined us for the back nine, making our group total seven (7) players. The music got cranked up, the trash talking was amped up, and our caravan headed to the 10th tee.
I had chances for makeable birdie putts on 4 of the first 5 holes and missed them all, leaving our team battling as we were 1 down on the back and 2 down on the Texas.
We went into the 15th hole and pressed as Dave was the only player getting a shot on that relatively short par 4. A win there was followed by a bad loss on the next and we came into #17 needing a win.
We ran into our friend Ken (Ice) who lives behind the 15th green. Ice subsequent read through this blog and sent me the picture on the right of his “Bogey” from back in 2001. As you know, our puppy is also named Bogey. Shoutout to Ice and we’ll tee it up together at Bear Trap or Cripple Creek soon.
Back to our match, #17 is our hardest par 5 and our opponents made it harder than it needed to be. A couple of drives into the water off the tee and an approach shot into the water, made our team’s par net birdie win. On a side note, I hit a wedge to about 2 1/2 feet and missed the birdie – more putting woes.
So, we came into 18 in good shape. I made par and was halved by a bogey net par from our opponents and we ended the match winning four (4) ways and losing one (1) way -the Texas press. A nice $15 win for me and my teammates, but no skins for me (see earlier references to my putting). Ryan, Steve, Dave and Glen took the skin money, but they were only $3 each.
The amazing thing is that we played in 3 hours and 45 minutes – 6 guys on the front and 7 on the back. We did play with carts, but it was still much faster than the average round on most courses, including Cripple Creek which has a 4 hour and 15 minute recommended pace of play. Ridiculous – slow play is probably the worst part about golf. Nothing drives me to distraction more than spending 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours on the course, but it is what it is, especially in tournaments.
My next round should be Friday and the weather looks to warm up into the high 50’s or low 60’s. See you then.