Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shooting Dutch

The Dutch International, one of the biggest and best junior golf tournaments in Europe, finished today and I attended the final round of play. Sam easily made the cut, playing well in the first three rounds. He would have liked to be a couple shots further up the scoreboard going into the last day, but he told me over the phone that he was "hitting it better."

I arrived just as he was finishing the third hole. He had birdied the first hole and had a birdie putt on the third. It slipped by, but his solid play continued and he was minus two at the turn. Then disaster struck - self-inflicted. he was just off the green of hole 12 in two, and then took four shots to get the ball in the hole, a double bogey. On the next hole, he pushed his tee shot into a greenside trap, and despite a great sand shot, missed the par putt.

Disaster loomed.

Instead, Sam drilled his next shot on a par three to ten feet and sunk the putt. On the ensuing par five, he had 200 meters to the flag after his tee shot (and a free drop from a rabbit hole - good he asked the referee). His ball headed straight to the flag and looked like it would go in. He ended up with a sterling eagle.

In the final few holes, he had a few more birdie chances, but his ball lipped out. He finished with all pars and a 70, minus two. "I could have been minus five or six," he said walking off. But he could also have been plus five, losing his concentration. Instead, he redoubled his effort and showed true grit. He finished the tournament in a solid 17th place.

Its onto the English Boys, which tees off on Tuesday July 20.

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