Tee off time was 2:05 local time. The afternoon time have high heats, higher winds, and some bumpy greens from foot traffic. Holes 1&2 are longer par 5s, but are generous off the tee. Ryan missed both fairways right because there was a decent amount of wind coming from the left. Both shots we laid up and had wedges which both resulted in 30 and 20 foot birdie putts. He made both of them which was an absolute ideal start.
Our 4th hole was a total misjudge in wind which made us airmail the green. I really felt 7 iron was plenty but Ryan liked 6 iron. It’s a tough call that we can both be accountable for. The chip was tough and left about 30-35 feet for par which was not converted for a sloppy bogey. One thing ya can’t do is make those kinds of bogies from the middle of the fairway, but things happen. A big miss right on the next hole with 2 iron rested up next to a small tree to which there was no choice but to pitch out and try and get up and down from 100 yards. He hit it to about 6-7 feet and made a great par save. To me those putts are as good as birdies at that point.
The next par three 6th hole played 211 yards to which we chose 5 iron because the wind was down off the left. The putt ended up about 10 feet above the hole. It was a little left to right putt that he drained right in the center. Those 2 shot swings are huge in golf. He could have played the last two holes at (+1) but instead played them in (-1). Those at the end of the week can be huge.
A missed fairway right left us with with a funky lie in the rough. Sometimes it’s so hard to judge how it comes out. We chose the lesser club. The shot came out hot left and rolled over the back of the green. It was a chip shot that had green to work with but didn’t quite release down the hill. He hit a good par putt that just slid by for bogey. At this time the wind was pretty strong behind us so we were able to hit less club into a bunch of the holes coming up because they all face the same direction.
A two putt par on 8 brought us to the 9th. The hole payed significantly shorter in the afternoon because it was pretty big down wind. From 175 yards we hit 9 iron to take long out of play. The 9 iron got all the way back to about 3 feet to make birdie to make the turn in (-2) which is just what we needed.
The back 9 was a bit of a grind. We hit a only few fairways but couldn’t get it close enough. The few good looks weren’t converted. The fairways we missed left us scrambling from 30-40 feet on the greens. It was a tough back 9 because of the wind and the greens in all honesty were really tracked up. It’s hard to make putts when you are not sure if the putt will stay on line. But Ryan did what he had to and made nice two putt pars all with great judges of speed.
The 18th hole par 5 is usually reachable in two. We had wind into us and didn’t quite catch the tee shot. We had 244 to the front over the water which would have been a terrible decision to try and go for it. We quickly said lay it up and left 93 yards for the third. A full lob wedge pulled back to about 5 feet. We read it to go a little right and he stepped up to knock it in to shoot a solid round of 68. His (-5) total was one shot clear of the cut line which gives us 36 more holes of opportunity. The leaders are at (-12) so we have some work to do.
We are playing 3 hours ahead of the leaders so if we can post a good score on some decent greens I think we can make up some ground. If the greens gets like they did today it might be hard for the leaders to make the putts they usually do late in the round. Golf is a funny game and anything can happen on the weekend.