U.S. Amateur Blog: 'The Hardest Round I Have Ever Played'

Aug. 24, 2009

Today was the hardest round of golf I have ever played in my entire life.

The winds were blowing 30 miles per hour and the course would have been difficult without them but when you introduce that strong a breeze you struggle to make pars. That happened to me, I played poorly and shot an 80, but after all the scores came in it wasn't as bad as it seemed. The average score on Southern Hills was 78.5, which is amazing considering the talent in the field.

The eighth hole played the hardest of the day, which isn't surprising because it is a 245-yard, par-3 that plays uphill and into the wind. I hit my tee shot into the left greenside bunker and was able to blast out to about a foot away from the hole. I knew that was a big shot because I was gaining almost a full shot on the field.

My only birdie of the day came on the 652-yard, par-5 fifth hole. I layed up to 119 yards and hit a half shot pitching wedge with a little draw to six feet and converted the putt. That was exciting because on a course that hard picking up any shots was a great victory. Jesper played solidly and shot 75, Tristan also beat the average and shot 78. All three of us will have to play well tomorrow to make match play, me especially. I will most likely need to shoot 68 or 69 which is doable because I will be playing in the morning when the wind is calmer and on the easier course, Cedar Ridge.

Hopefully I will be able to pull it off even though it is an outside shot. Even if it doesn't work out my way this has been an amazing learning experience, especially today's round. I saw what one of the hardest courses in the world plays like and it teaches you how solid and perfect you have to be to play well on a course that hard.

It will be helpful when I practice and preparing for other tournaments similar to this. The U.S. Amateur is an amazing tournament and I know that I will play in it again, but hopefully this one lasts a few more days.

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