Friday, September 16, 2005

Back Nine

Got an email from a friend today about his latest golf outing:

"I played Olympia Hills a couple weeks ago, shot 43 on thefront nine ... With double bogeys on 7, 8 and 9. On the back, I startout double, TRIPLE, double. I'm 7 over on the back, 13 over on the last six holes, I'm about the kill somebody. But on the par 3 13th, birdie. The par 5 14th, I'm about 20 yards shortof the green in two, CHIP IN for eagle. Par on 15, par on 16, birdie on17, par on 18. A 38 on the back for an 81."

Alas, it's often the opposite for me: I open with a great front nine, only to collapse somewhere around 14 or 15. There's one round in particular that has always haunted me, because it contained the best of shots and the worst of times.

This was many years ago, at Oso Beach Municipal in Corpus Christi, and I was trying to break 80 for the first time in my life. I was in great shape. I needed to play the final two holes (a pair of par-4s) in 9 strokes to finish with a 79.

On the 17th, I hit a great drive, straight down the middle, leaving myself about 175 to the pin. This is a tricky green with some undulation and a little finger of water sticking out into the fairway about 10 feet in front. Like all the greens at Oso, it's a postage stamp.

I took out a 7-iron and hit what is still the best shot of my life. Bam, down on the green 1 foot from the flag! Knock it in for a birdie and I'm feeling golden. I still can feel every sensation of that shot.

So I go to No. 18 floating, needing only a lousy 6 for my first-ever sub-80 round.

I tripled bogeyed for an 80. Such is golf.

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