Next round of the four-ball comp with my pal Ben (13.1). Up against JC (14.8) and CP (15.9), so the only shots were three of us getting one on the S.I.1 12th.
1st (p3): I hit first and knock a 5 wood just off the back of the green. I usually go 5 wood if it's first shot of the day, and the back is much better than being short or right. Ben effectively tops his. JC is long and left (but luckily lands in GUR) and CP is short in a bunker. JC gets up and down really well out of the bunker for par, and I have to hole a good four or five footer for half, which I do.
2nd (p4): This is a can't-go-right hole so I pull mine left into the trees, everyone else is on the fairway. My punch out of the trees goes high and right of the green in a pretty impossible position. Ben and JC both make lengthy two-putts for a half.
3rd (p3): I miss a fraction left and go in a bunker but Ben hits the green. JC is just short of the green on the fringe. Surprisingly he opts to chip it, but does well and gets up and down. Ben three-putts so we're 1 down.
4th (p4): When the wind's blowing at our place, 9 times out of 10 it's the same direction, which is chaotic left-to-right wind on the 4th and 5th. If I fade it, it's gone, so I do that and go out of bounds, then do almost the same thing with the provisional and end up in a bush. Ben is just shy of the green in two but knifes his chip miles through the back. Recovers well and makes a good up and down from there for bogey. JC also makes bogey for them for the half.
5th (p4): CP toes his drive straight out of bounds which was rather comical. I'm wary of the wind so use a lower tee and aim well left, unfortunately it does clip a branch which takes some length off it, but it's in play. Ben tried to hit a low one through the wind (I think??) and hit a bizarre slicing stinger that looked like a Roberto Carlos free kick. It nearly hits where we left our trolleys but hits a tree instead and pings into the fairway but a good 100 yards short of where he would normally be. He smashes a hybrid and misses the green left, I hit a bloody awful slicey thin with PW to miss the green right, and JC finds the very back of the green. Unfortunately we're both inches away from getting up and down while JC two putts to win the hole on his own. 2 down.
6th (p3): Straight into the wind here. JC knifes his, but it hits the pin which prevents him going miles off the back and leaves him in the fringe. CP is down the bottom of the green with a 25 foot putt (at least). I'm on the green but I've faded off the pin and run down the hill leaving me about 20 feet. Ben went in a bunker, admirably almost holed it but it ran down the slope and away from the hole. CP then drained his 25 foot putt - rather annoyingly. I miss mine an inch right of the cup so we're 3 down.
7th (p4): Three long ones coming up now so we weren't too worried, Ben is a longer hitter than me so I was hoping his length would benefit us in this stretch. Unfortunately he hits a high ball so when it's windy it kills him and completely nullifies that length - ultimately all our drives went about the same distance. I actually hit a lovely 7 wood onto the top tier of the green, where the pin is. JC hits hybrid to the bottom tier. His 30 foot putt going up the slope on a two-tier green lips out - we honestly thought it was in. I roll mine up to a couple of inches for a par and a half.
8th (p5): Pretty routine hole - CP makes a par, then I make a par. Ben has an 8-footer for birdie but doesn't make it. Half.
9th (p5): All of us make the green in regulation. I'm closest to the pin but still a good 12 or so feet away, again I miss the cup by an inch. We all make par for half pretty much. Still 3 down at the turn.
10th (p3): It's wind behind and front pin. JC is a little long and left, CP is just short. I hit a beauty of a hybrid with a little bit of fade, honestly looked like it could have gone in, but when we get up there it's just two foot past the pin. JC gets up and down of course, so I have to make my birdie putt to finally win us a hole - and I do. Back to 2 down.
11th (p4): This is another one where the wind is annoying. I tried to tee it lower again but my ball still goes right. Ben hits his big high drive into the wind which kills it as per. Opponents both kind of hit draws through the wind so they go up the left. I have to punch mine in between trees so I can only get to about 40 yards short of the green. Ben doesn't hit enough club so he's left himself 20 yards short. CP has hit a wood or hybrid onto the green nicely. I pitch it just off the back, Ben knifes his chip into oblivion. CP lags it across the green for par, so I have to make a 10 footer from the back fringe - which I do not. 3 down again.
12th (p4): Our opponents and I all hit tidy drives, Ben, knowing that he's giving a shot away to the others tries to absolutely annihilate his drive, and kind of pulls it over the left trees which wasn't much use to us really. From there he has to hoist over another few trees but misses the green right and in a bush. JC has hit his second just short of the green, while I miss it right. I wish I'd missed it where he did as it's a much easier up and down from there. He pars and I bogey - 4 down.
13th (p4): JC uncharacteristically pushes his drive well right. CP hits a little fat but straight. I go a bit left but luckily goes the wrong side of a tree and leaves me a decent line in. It's a short par 4 and wind behind, Ben tries to absolutely rip his drive but carves it so far right it actually carries clean over the trees and onto the 9th hole - genuinely never seen anyone do that before. He has a bit of a mare over there, but I managed to wedge mine onto the front of the green. CP finds the back left but we both have long putts because the pin is back right-ish. I hit a great putt to about 5 inches for a gimme par. CP lags to two feet, we can't really give anything at this point but he obviously drains it anyway.
14th (p3): This is the new par 3 that I haven't yet parred. JC pulls his miles left, and CP fats it short. I hit a punchy 7 iron which hits the green but runs just off the back right. Ben once against hasn't taken enough club into the wind so he's short and left. CP plays a brilliantly chip and run which rolls up to about 2 or 3 feet. I hit a hybrid bump and run which runs a bit too much and leaves me about 6 or 7 feet. It's an absolute must-make so we spend some time reading it - decide it's pretty straight so I take dead aim and give it a whack - it's a good read and it drops. CP rolls his in for the half. It's dormie 4.
15th (p3): Big par 3 up the hill. CP hits a good one just short of the green. I hit a drive that just cuts in time to miss the bunker and rolls up to the back of the green. Ben goes long and left, but hits a nice flop shot onto the green leaving him about 12 feet from the pin. CP putts up, rolls past the hole and leaves him about 8 or 9 feet away. I've got a huge sweeping left to right downhill putt from about 20 feet, I make a great attempt that just swings inside the hole by an inch, narrowly missing the birdie. Ben actually knocked his in for par which saved me the bother. CP however, does what they've done all day long and knocks his putt in the hole for the half and the match.
As I said on the Played Today thread, I played superbly well other than the disaster at the 4th - counting that one as a triple I was only 7 over par for 16 holes (we played the 16th after the match, and I got up and down for par there as well - but it had started raining so we didn't finish the last two). These two were absolutely lethal on the greens, and their combined score was level par. Of course my partner didn't have a good day, but even if he did he'd have needed to be making birdies to give us a chance of winning. Just have to hold our hands up and say our opponents were near as unbeatable on the day. I really enjoyed the match, they were both great guys who we had a good laugh with, so that's the main thing. And we got one stage better than last year's effort in this competition, so... here's to next year I guess.
Nice write up!
Sometimes its just not your day/ totally their day and not much you can do about it!