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FORE! - Sucked back in by a good final hole
GOLF’S ability to suck you back in never fails to amaze me.
It doesn’t seem to matter how badly the majority of the round goes, you end up wanting to play again because all you can think about is that monster putt to save an eight or the long straight drive that followed two sliced horribly out of bounds.
This is particularly true if you happen to play the final hole well, as I found out a few weeks ago.
I actually made a decent start to my round, playing to my handicap over the opening eight holes despite taking four putts on the seventh green.
However, as per usual, just as I began to let myself think this might be a good day, disaster struck.
I pulled my tee shot at the par-four ninth way left and into an unplayable lie in the bushes. A penalty drop and mishit iron later and I found myself in a greenside bunker.
Now sand traps are very often my undoing. I’m always thankful if I make it out first time, with the ball going anywhere near where I hoped little short of a miracle.
This particular bunker posed a different problem in that the sand was wet and heavy. It took me five blows to extract my ball and I ultimately carded a score of 12, ruining my round in an instant.
Things got little better after the turn as I went triple bogey, triple bogey, five-over-par, while things got little better for the rest of the back nine.
Approaching the tee of the final hole, I did a little mental arithmetic. “I need a birdie here to get under 110,” I said jokingly to my playing partner and neighbour Derek.
I don’t think either of us thought it possible but a crisp four-iron and well-struck nine-iron later I found myself lining up a 10 foot birdie putt. Amazingly, it dropped and I had rescued a score of 109.
Of course, that brilliant final hole was all I could think about – until normal service was resumed the next time I ventured out to play.
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