JOURNEY TO THE PGA NATIONAL CLUB PRO
What a week it was in Plymouth Massachusetts. I arrived at Pinehills Golf Club Sunday afternoon to work on my short game in preparation for the NEPGA Section Championship the following day. As I was working on my putting I was greeted by my hosts for the week Mr. and Mrs. Wahlberg. They were so excited to see me as I was to see them. We talked for a little bit and then sat down for dinner. I have been teaching the two of them in Orlando for the last 5 years and their hospitality for the week was amazing. As jack said to me the last day, man this wouldn’t have been nearly as fun if you missed the cut!! I owe them many thanks for making me feel at home and one of the big reasons why I played so well.
Day one I teed off at 7:50am off the Nicklaus Course. I had a great ball striking day but didn’t roll the flat stick very well. It was hard to get comfortable and relaxed all day. I posted a 3-over par 75 which put me tied for 30th after day 1.
Day two I had a late tee time at 11:00am of the Jones Course. I hit the ball very well tee to green but yet again I couldn’t get comfortable on the greens. I ended up finishing the round -2 under par and moved up the leader board to tied for 12th heading into the final day. Knowing that the top 13 make it to the National Club Pro tournament I had many thoughts in my head going to bed that night.
Day three the final day, I had a 10:30 tee time off the Nicklaus Course. As I showed up to the first tee there were a dozen people around the tee box and a sign with my last name and score on it. I thought to myself wow this is pretty serious. We had a live scorer with us the entire day which was really nice. After yet again not making one putt on the front none I finished even par. In my mind heading to the back nine I though if I could shoot even par I would have a great chance of making it inside the top 13. As I arrived to the 14th tee even par, I hit a 4 iron to 100 yards out. I pulled a wedge left of the green and didn’t get up and down for my first bogey of the day. This was hard to take when only being 100 yards out on a par 4. With a short par five coming up I made a nice up and down for birdie on 16 to get back to even. With two holes to play I could start feeling a little pressure which led to a bogey on the 17th hole from 103 yards out. Heading to the long 18th hole into the wind i knew it was going to be playing extremely difficult. I hit a great drive to leave myself 204 yards to the hole. It took everything within myself to not think about outcome and just stay in the process that I have been doing the whole day. I hit a great iron just short of the green and got up and down for a total of 218 for the tournament. The cut was 221.
It was hard not to have a big smile heading to the scorers booth. This was a goal of mine for a long time and to achieve it was something special for me my friends and family. I am so excited for the PGA National Club Professional Tournament in Oregon next June!
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