Yesterday’s One Club Open at Willows Run marked the unofficial end to my 2011 golf season. In a word my season was a disaster, especially as compared to 2010:
— Last year I dropped my handicap from a 7.5 to a 4.4. This year, after briefly dropping to a 4.2, I rose to a 6.4.
— Last year I went 4-1 at Greenspan Cup, capping off a two-year run in which I went 8-2 and a twelve-match streak in which I went 10-2. This year I won my first two matches and then couldn’t close the deal. Joel Aro and I were three strokes up on the 16th tee against Greg Cheever and Stephan Gran and ended up with a tie. Joel and I were then four holes up with five to play against Gran and Tim O’Brien and only managed a tie when OB missed an 18-incher on 18 to win the match at Bandon Dunes. I then lost my singles match against Gran 2 down — a match in which Gran won one hole with a quadruple-bogey 9. From 4-1 to 2-1-2 – not good.
— Last year I won my fantasy golf league. This year I came in 13th out of 27.
— Last year I advanced to the final four at the West Seattle Captain’s Cup. This year I lost in the first round.
— Last year my low round was 71. This year it was 76.
— Last year I was on the winning team for Jason Matzat’s Maple Valley Rain Devils’ Scramble. This year we didn’t sniff it although, to be fair, one of our players was something like a 50 handicap.
— Last year I, along with Jeff Benezra, finished second in the Glendale Member/Guest putting contest and second overall in our flight. (More.) This year we performed about the same overall but continued our downward trend in the putting contest, this time finishing third. (More.)
— Speaking of downward trends, last year Paul Sharkey and I finished third low net in our division at the Royal Oaks Member/Guest — not great, but not bad, either. (More.) This year we flat didn’t get it done. (More.)
— Last year I could dig down. This year I could not. In fact, my performance at the Montlake Cup may be my lowest point ever as a golfer. Standing in the middle of the 17th fairway I was 1 up against Broadmoor’s Christian Wilson. I then proceeded to hit a sand wedge long and left to bogey the very easy par five. All square. I then smother-hooked my drive on 18 — choke city. I followed that up, however, with a 220-yard cut 3-iron over trees to thirty feet below the hole — under the circumstances, probably the best shot I’ve ever hit. With a chance to win, I left my birdie putt about twenty inches short — a putt which I then missed to lose the match 1 down. Granted, it was getting dark and the greens were less than stellar by that point in the day. But still, that’s choke city, squared. Fortunately I didn’t hurt our team — the rest of Team Sand Point took care of business big time and we won the Montlake Cup handily. Still, I choked, and with as much experience as I have in match play, that’s simply unacceptable.
Here’s hoping my 2012 season is a lot better than 2011.
I’m heading to Scotland in June, so it better be.