23 May 2011

Tough Pill to Swallow

Author: gclegg | Filed under: Article

It is tough to even begin this post. We had an amazing trip to Tucson. Outside of Hawaii perhaps the best trip of the year. The afternoon we arrived in Tucson we played nine holes at Quarry Pines, a public course about five minutes from Tucson National.

Kevin Spooner hitting a putt at Quarry Pines.

The guys came ready to play.  Practice rounds can typically be dull and monotonous as players go through the motions of learning a golf course.  That was not the case.  Everyone took great notes and gave everything they had to learning the golf course and preparing for the tournament to begin.

We were the first group to tee off on Thursday morning on the 10th tee.  We got off to a slow start, but battled all day.  When the last putt dropped our performance was the second best round of the day.  We were only one stroke off the lead.  We played like a team with a purpose.

Charlie chipping on the 15th hole during the tournament

After a rough day in round two we lost a couple of strokes to the leaders and were tied for fifth place, but only a few shots from second.  We knew that if we had a solid round we would advance.  The final round we came out ready to play.  We had talked the evening before about playing with confidence and being ready to hit the big shots at crucial times.

Jens teeing off on the 10th tee

We got off to a great start the final round.  We made a few early birdies and had some outstanding par saves.  When Chris Williams chipped in for eagle on the par five 8th hole it seemed like we were going to cruise.  However the other teams played great also.  None of the top teams seemed to be wilting under the pressure of the moment.  Going into the final holes we were in fifth place clinging to the final qualifying spot with the home team Arizona only a couple of shots behind us.  In the final holes we hit big shot after big shot and felt like we had a really strong finish, at least good enough to qualify.  Unfortunately Arizona had an amazing finish and beat us by one stroke.

The toughest part about competition is that sometimes you lose.  We put our whole heart and soul into this tournament, but we did not advance.  In the end each of the guys gave everything they had.  It was inspiring to watch them compete.  Hopefully each of the guys learned valuable lessons from this week and will be better prepared for the challenges that come their way.

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