This thread is going to be horrible (in a great way) to follow. While watching @MerchCzar this just brought back horrible memories that I thought I removed from my brain years ago.
My home courses finish is brutal, the last 4 holes are very tough and the typical wind direction makes them even harder if its blowing. I have seen and had many rounds go ary. Walking off 14, i have been under par at least 25 times and shot over par in the last 9 years of being a member. Common story at our course.
But my Icarito moment comes at a different course in a tournament, I am trembling just thinking about it.
I’m 3 under in a college tournament through 15, never broke par before (tournament or otherwise), and my team shows up on 16 tee, which never ever happens. They don’t say anything but I know, top 4 scores of 5 players count and we are on the verge of making a cut. We don’t make cuts, we are a “golf club” not a team, so no scholarships, not even any funding from the school, they even turned down our request to use the school logo on bags that we were purchasing out of our own fundraising.
The situation sets in hard, cause I know. Shaun probably shot 67 (cause he is a player), Robert and JD likely something around par (which they often did, just not in the same tourney) and Braden likely shot 90 (cause he shoots 70 or 90) and I am basically the steady guy who shoots between 77 - 80. They aren’t super happy so I know its not a done deal. They chat with a fellow player in my group and as suspected I later find out, they find out where I am at.
This is 11 years ago and I remember like its yesterday, 16 is a long par 4 into the wind, and I am no bomber so its driver into a fairway bunker, pretty solid hybrid just short and right of the green, and nice pitch to a back left pin to about 6 feet, left to right putt, left it hanging on the edge - Bogey. The audible groans from one of my teammates make a normally acceptable bogey on a tough hole hurt, like spine trembling hurt.
17 is roughly 200 yard par 3 over water, narrow green, and again into the wind. I ain’t going to be short so pull hybrid and knock it onto the right side of the green, maybe 60 ft. I nearly hole the thing, and Robert hits the ground like Bones did when Phil lipped out for 62 at The Open. Par. Onward.
18 is funky par 5, water on the left off the tee and then a pond on the right from about 100 yards that wraps around the back of the green. I am shaking putting the ball on the tee, a likely cut on the line and my first round under par, in a tourney non the less. I do my best @Tron and wipey fade one off the tee that runs into the right rough, I got a brutal lie and hack an 8 iron out that maybe goes 80 yards and I got about 210 left. Left to right cross wind on a slight left to right slope, water right. Lay up doesn’t even cross my mind, get it up there, close to the green, chip on and 2 putt and take your bogey and run. I just hit 2 acceptable hybrids on the last 2 holes, I got this. I aim right (slope, wind and I tend to hit a cut with longer clubs) and pure a hybrid, like as good a shot as I can hope to hit and it just doesn’t turn and I find out when getting up to the green, its buried, like barely even can see the ball in the left bunker about pin high. Take a huge swipe and still have no idea how this happened but hit it thin (no mistaking that sound) the ball came out hot, flew the green by 30 yards and over the water hazard onto the 1st hole! I am alive but the pitch/flop is more then challenging. Hit an ok shot on the fringe, make a bad choice and pull a wedge to try and take this slope out of play, chunk, 2 putt, triple. Game over.
Miss the cut by 2 (it kills me knowing a bogey was good enough) and don’t break par. The boys handled it really well, they were 15 ft away for the bunker shot, saw the lie and none would have even considered the possibility of somehow hitting it thin. They put it on themselves for putting the pressure on by showing up on the 16th tee but I squarely put it on myself. Took me 6 or 7 years to break par after that too. Oh golf!