Saturday, August 10, 2013
ATB Financial Classic presented by TELUS in Calgary, Alberta
Just a little over a month after the terrible floods that did over 500 million dollars of damage to the Calgary area, the PGA Tour Canada traveled back to Country Hills Golf Club in Calgary. The course was in great shape, especially when considering it was under water not too long ago. It was playing very firm and fast the first couple of days and then some rain set in for the final two rounds. Overall it was a great week and here is a little round by round re-cap.
This round was truly a huge relief for me. I had been working so hard in the weeks past but my results were still pretty terrible. Coming into the week it started to feel very natural again and I was excited to get back out competing. The round was almost flawless with the exception of two three putts. I hit 15 greens, made five birdies, one eagle and one bogey. I also hit the longest drive of the week on number 10 with a 404 yard drive that led to an opening eagle on my first hole. (downhill, downwind, firm, and maybe a sprinkler). Although driving distance is pretty overrated in my opinion, when my swing is in the right spot and my rhythm is good, I usually hit it pretty far. This drive, to me at least, tells me that my swing is back in a good spot and I can start swinging more aggressively again. I ended up with a -6 under par, 66 and I was tied for the lead.
Round 2 was actually a better ball striking round than Round 1. I hit 16 greens and almost every fairway. The putts just weren't dropping for me in Round 2. I was able to grab a couple coming in and post a -3 under par, 69. This put me at -9 for the event and 3 shots back of the leader. It wasn't ideal, but it was nice to follow up a low round with another round in the 60's.
The wind direction switched and the weather got very cool and wet for Round 3. In perfect sweater weather conditions, scores were actually not too low. I think the main reason for this was because it took a while for players to adjust to the new landing areas and different clubs of the tee. I played solid, with a good short game display as I only hit 13 greens. I guess you could say it was kind of a boring round. A lot of middle of the green looks for birdie and not a whole lot of action going on on my scorecard. I posted a -2, 70 and that actually moved me up on the leaderboard, although my deficit increased to 4 shots.
Weather conditions were pretty much the same for Round 4 as they were for Round 3 except the wind kicked up a couple of mph's. My mindset was to go in and get off to a steady start (the more difficult, into the wind holes) and then see where I was at and maybe try and get a little bit more aggressive. Well, my plan was bad. After looking up on the leaderboard on my fifth hole, people were making moves left and right. I was like 'what!' Personally, I thought it was playing pretty difficult on the last day. I made a bad bogey on the easy par 5 7th and was +1 through 9. The 10th was playing really difficult, straight into the wind. I hit my tee shot in the fescue, my lay-up in the fescue, my third shot in a long green-side bunker, and then hit it to about a foot for par. It was a huge save in my eyes and got me going a little bit on the back. I preceded to birdie the next three and make a little run. Then, next thing I see is that I am only 2 back with 4 birdie holes to go. I really thought I had a chance and I am really proud of the shots I hit on those final 4 holes. Although I couldn't get any of the putts to drop, it was a really good experience getting back in contention and feeling that competitive pressure again.
All in all, this was a great week. The tournament raised $50,000 for Calgary flood relief and every player was talking about how well the course played. On a personal level, this event was really key for me because I played 4 really solid rounds. Golf is a goofy game, and I was about as low as could be a month ago, but with a week like this, it is amazing to see your confidence and mindset can change. Thank you all so much for checking in and keep I'll keep you posted after the next two PGA Tour Canada events in Ontario!
Here are the final results: