Last night I got home after spending three days in Vancouver, Washington. My business there was the 2012 Royal Oaks Member-Guest golf tournament, my fourth straight appearance there (see the ’11 entry) and something like my sixth overall. This year my regular partner Paul Sharkey was out of town so I played with fellow Greenspan Cup buddy Jon Gaston.
Different partner, same result.
We didn’t win.
It’s not like we didn’t have our chances. We jumped right out of the gate early with a 15-5 drubbing of our first-round opponents and followed it up with a 13-7 win in the second round. We were three up through three in our third match — and then something happened. Not sure what, exactly, but we lost five of the next six holes on our way to losing 13-7 to the eventual flight winners. Even still we were tied for first in our flight going in to the last day.
We just didn’t get it done.
We were up two after two and then proceeded to completely collapse and lose 13-7 in the fourth round. We needed a miracle to advance in the final round and a 10-10 tie wasn’t it. We ended up with 52 points, good for third in our six-team flight. Two wins, two losses and a tie. Not what either of us were shooting for.
As with other Royal Oaks Member-Guests, however, I’ll take fond memories from the trip. I stayed with Jon and Annette Gaston for the full three days and they could not have treated me better. We came in third in Thursday afternoon horse race, my highest finish in quite a while. In that horse race I hole a seemingly impossible flop shot in an eight-team playoff to advance to the finals — and took quite a few high fives thereafter. I followed that up on Friday afternoon with what had to be one of the shots of my life. I was only seventy yards from the green on no. 15 but I was in deep rough and the tree limbs in front of me precluded hitting one in the air. My solution: hit it into the bunker with enough speed that it would pop up and stop on the green. Magically it worked — and it stopped just six feet from the hole, a shot for the ages if ever there was one.
Unfortunately our opponent made his twenty footer for birdie and I missed mine on the high side. The story of our tournament.
And like the saying goes, until next year …