Monday, August 2, 2010

My return to the CCC invitational

The 45th Annual Invitational Golf Tournament at Choctaw Country Club has come and gone.

The tournament, now known as the Spider Webb Invitational, was played on Saturday and Sunday at CCC.

A field of 58 teams competed for a championship in eight flights. As usual, it was a great tournament and the tournament committee members need to be congratulated along with the board, members and staff at Choctaw Country Club.

The tournament turned out great despite several obstacles. CCC had to replace the greens earlier in the summer and the tournament date was moved back to July 1-Aug. 1, guaranteeing even warmer weather than usual.

Scott Forsberg did a great job on the greens, which are already better than the old ones.

Back in the early to mid-1990s, I played in the event every year. This was the first time I played in the Invitational since 1997.

A lot has changed since then. First off, I actually was a decent golfer back then. Honest. My playing partners might find that difficult after watching me search for errant golf balls in places which usually don’t see golf balls, but that is true. My teams used to compete for a top spot. Now, we were sunk at the bottom of our flight, despite the best efforts of my playing partner, Eddie Freeman.

He played really well both days. We had some bad luck on Saturday in the low-ball tournament and had two really bad holes as one writer of this blog did not help out when his partner was in trouble. The tournament started out looking good for the old Craigman. We started on the fourth hole and I hit a good drive, chipped my second shot up to about five feet away from the hole.

Whoa, I thought, a birdie to start the tournament! But then it was oops, I pulled the putt left of the hole. Drats. That was one of my few highlights from Saturday. We shot an 81 and were 11 strokes out of the lead.

I played a little better on Saturday. At one point, I made three pars in a row. Seriously. I actually didn’t realize that until Eddie told me. He did a good job of masking his surprise. I made a long putt on No. 1, made a par on the second hole with a tap-in and then had a four on the third hole, which was good as Eddie followed up with a birdie.

I guess having some support on a hole made a difference for him. I only lost one ball on Sunday after visiting the ponds and deep grass several times on Saturday.

We played in the afternoon on Saturday. It was brutal hot. But it was worse Sunday morning despite starting at 7:30. No wind, lots of humidity and sweat.

I actually did practice a lot heading into the tournament, despite my play showing different. But it was good to be back in the tournament. Maybe next year I can turn back time and actually look like a golfer again.

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