Winter golf can be tough and Sunday at Cripple Creek was no exception. With temps in the high 30’s to low 40’s, it was hard to stay warm and loose. In addition, I wore about 4 layers of clothes and winter golf gloves which reduces your swing flexibility and deadens your feel. With that said, at least I beat Jordan Spieth.
You see, Jordan shot a pretty poor 81 in the final round of the Genesis Open which featured a double, triple, AND a quadruple bogey. I only had one double (a ball off the bulkhead and into the water on #17) and came in with an 80, my second highest round of the year at the Creek. No birdies and quite a few putts left within inches of the hole. Also, the three putting that has been such nuisance returned with a vengeance.
Before reviewing the round, I wanted to say something about a friend we lost this past week to cancer – Jimmy “Long Ball” Roth. Long Ball was a true gentleman and long-time member of the “Group” at Cripple Creek. His presence in your pairing was always a pleasure and he was filled with a joy about the game, even when his back was hurting so bad he could barely swing. I’m going to miss Jimmy and hope his family and friends find peace in his passing.
Although the weather was not great on Sunday, we had six (6) guys show for the 11AM tee times. Jeff “Cookie” Mumford and Eddie Mac made first time appearances, joined by Brent, Nick, Dewey and I. Cookie is a long-time member of Cripple Creek and the Group. Eddie Mac has been a member for several years and has a big swing – he can hit it past most of us, but we never know where it will end up.
We split into threesomes, playing best 2 net balls of 3. Brent (5 handicap) and Nick (8) were in my group, so we also played a 9 point game within our threesome. Nick birdied #1 out of the box while I three putted for bogey, as did Brent. Two bogeys and a par on the next and a par and two double bogeys on #3, had our team 3-over after only 3 holes.
Brent had a tough front nine, while Nick and I didn’t add much for the team – one net birdie and some pars as we ended the nine at 5 over. We kinda knew were re going to get smoked in the match. Nick held a nice lead in our 9 point match however.
This guy – Bumley – met us at the turn just to say high and follow us for a few holes and entertain us with stories of his glory days in Group matches. Mike doesn’t play as often as we’d like and very seldom plays in cold weather. That said, he likes to keep involved with us all and spread his wisdom liberally.
On the back, Brent came to life and was only 1 over with a birdie and 2 bogeys to shoot 81. Nick had a solid back as well, 3 over with a birdie/net eagle on #17. I started the back with 7 straight 4’s on the card, but finished with a double and another bogey on #’s 17 and 18. The team ended at 5 over for the match and lost to the 2 under score posted by Cookie, Eddie Mac and Steve Dewey. I was fortunate to win a skin which dampened the overall loss.
It took a while to warm up once we got back in from the match. The Club was fairly busy for a Sunday in February – the President’s Day holiday probably had something to do with that – and we watched some of the final round of the Genesis Open in the lounge. I had some money on JT and Rory to win. My interest was peaked as the final round started with JT in the lead by 4 strokes (I had him at 13-1 for the win).
As it seems to be with my game the past few weeks, I was again disappointed when JT forgot how to putt and lost the tournament to JB Holmes, the slowest and most frustrating player on Tour. Such is life – at least my DraftKings team came through and gave me a small win for the week.
Here’s a quick shot of Nick on the 9th tee.