Last week’s Golf Channel AmTour event was held at the Golf Club of Houston, home of the Shell Houston Open on the PGA Tour. The golf course was in fantastic shape and the weather was fantastic on a beautiful day in February. The tournament was a shotgun start, meaning I started my day on the 4th hole.
A birdie on the first hole is a slippery slope… On the one hand, you can’t birdie them all unless you birdie the first… on the other, it’s all downhill from there. However, in this case I played well throughout most of the day. At just +5 through 16 holes I had a pretty good chance to win the tournament, but two doubles in the last three were costly.
From the heatmap scorecard, you can see I faded towards the end (#1-3), which partly had to do with those holes directly into the wind. The other portion that stands out is holes 15-18 where I did everything well, but couldn’t convert with the flatstick. A string of red for strokes gained putting means I couldn’t capitalize on solid approach shots, leaving too much pressure on the closing holes to finish strong.
The scoring average on the day was 87.4 in my flight, meaning I gained 6.4 strokes on the field. In fact, I tied for most birdies in my flight and had the most holes of par or better… All that to say what I already know, need to limit the big numbers. Doubles did me in.
I faded to a T3 finish.
How it got away from me:
- Driving: 4.2 strokes lost
- Overall drove the ball well, but three awkward drives led to three bad doubles. Turn those into bogeys and I win my flight
- Approach to the Green: 3.7 strokes lost
- Irons were mostly sharp, but tired swings down the stretch doomed me on #1 and #3.
- Short Game: 0.2 strokes lost
- A solid strength for me. Rarely do I throw away strokes around the green.
- Putting: 3.7 strokes lost
- Actually a solid day putting for me, despite a 4 putt from 100 ft on my last hole. Left myself 12 feet and blew it 5 feet by trying to jam it in. Otherwise, a decent putting day.
Easy tee shot with a wide open fairway and I bailed out into the wind. I found my ball resting against a tree trunk and did a poor job getting it back into play. Had to make a 7 footer for double.
Course management. This short par 4 has beaten me up in the past. I typically pull driver and block it right into the water. Its not a tee shot that fits my eye. This time I pulled a hybrid and still blocked it! Luckily since I made a good club choice, the ball stayed just a few feet from the water and I was able to stuff it to a foot for a tap in birdie.
I know where I need to work. The shots that cost me the most were mental mistakes where I didn’t trust the shot I was trying to hit.
Keep at it and keep using PocketPAR to help me focus on the right areas of my game.