2015 Mid-Pacific Open
Day Four Mid Pac Open 2015
to watch the first group come through to play #12. The wind is up and
it is gusting but not that often. That pin placement was a little
friendlier than in the past and still in traditional the Sunday place.
The first couple of groups are lucky. The wind dies or at least does
not gust 30 miles an hour on the putts and is not really a factor except
in the mind, wondering if it will do that.
On #13 the
tee is back about as far as you can get it and I think that will be the
way the course sets up today. None the less three of the four (all
younger than Paul by a significant margin) just drop a ball and smack a
fairway wood. Not the game I play!
have wondered if the conditions really make a difference just look at
the scoring over the weekend. Only 4 of the 28 players in B flight had
two rounds under 90. The other 24 each had at least one score in the
90's and six of those had a score of 100 or more for the two days. Only
8 of the 24 would have made the 180 cut line based on their weekend
I got a
chance to play 18 today and it was indeed brutal, the greens certainly
seemed quicker today than Saturday. For example on 15 I was in pretty
good shape being able to chip up hill to the pin. A reasonable up and
down chance under normal circumstances. I hit it just a tad short and
sure enough it just rolled back to almost the exact spot I started
from. I was just lucky to get it up on the green and two putt for my
double. The story was pretty much the same on each green. As Jason
says you have to get your ball in the correct quadrant, if you don't
good luck. Well I was not in the correct corner of the green on way to
many occasions and it wasn't like I didn't know. The results for me and
the rest of the group were the same, out of position, miles past the pin
or off the green. Having to play with that level of concentration
At the end
of our round the 4 of us concluded conditions like these can really wear
you out. We were all playing from the same tees as the tournament and
most of them were as far back as you can get them. By the way one of
the members of our group was a spouse and she played from the back tees
as well. I may have been able to out drive her on a hole but for the
life of me I can't remember which hole that was, but I digress.
find interesting is how good the group at the top of the leader board
is. TJ and Andrew both had the low score for today, a one under par 71,
oops meant to say John Ellis had the low score for the day a 4-under par
68. Having just played the course under similar conditions it seems
impossible that someone could handle the green speeds and pin placements
for 18 consecutive holes. It would take a monumental change in my game
to be able play that well. And I suspect that is the same with most of
the A and B flight players. It was a great 4 day event and Mother Nature
sure made it exciting. Looking forward to next year.
Day three Mid Pac Open
have a problem. Remember that great line from the movie? Well Mother
Nature has decided to complicate day four at the open.
I had a chance to get out on the course today for the full 18 holes
finishing just before dark. I played the first 5 holes alone and then
hooked up with Kelly Ann, her dad Henry (who I was able to ascertain was
not the 8th Henry in his family line) and Larry, who was kind enough to
buy me a drink after the round.
first 12 holes I was thinking this is not so bad. The pin placements
were seemingly quite fair and I was not having difficulty putting, in
fact they seemed a bit slow. That was an illusion, I just happened to
be very lucky to be in the right part of each green, more by luck than
# 13 with a back slightly right pin placement. This was actually one of
the holes I played well hitting my drive just over the hill and
"smoothing" a nine iron for a GIR and reasonable birdie chance. Henry
was in the green side bunker and hit what looked like a decent shot onto
the green. I saw where it hit and thought "nice shot Dad". Larry had
managed to muscle his shot over the green and I told Kelly Ann I would
putt instead of waiting. I was in a good spot and my putt actually was
quite short leaving a knee knocker for par. When I looked over for
Henry I was surprised that he was off the green! Then Kelly Ann stroked
a decent putt and son of a gun she rolled off the green and quite a
distance off to boot!
started to pay more attention and sure enough on each hole there was a
good place to be and numerous not so good places to be. Quite a science
of pin placements Mr. Diabolical.
to the problem. The winds really picked up for the last two holes. I
hit my second shot left of the 18th green and when I chipped up I could
actually see the wind take my shot and just toss the ball. When Kelly
Ann later hit her putt it was evident that the wind moved the ball.
As I sit
here overlooking the 12th fairway from the comfort of my upstairs "man
cave" there are occasional very strong gusts of wind that I am certain
will play havoc with play tomorrow. So, how does Jason account for
this? Good question because it is evident that our greens (actually
browns they are so stressed out - this is great for a couple of days but
then they will be crying uncle) can't too challenging or they really
will be unfair.
winds keep up, and they are supposed to, this will make for a very
interesting day four. I hope to watch it, report on it, and play on it
Day Two 2015 Mid Pac Open
day on the links for many. A 14 on #1 by a 5 handicap? Yup. A
perennial A flight contender shoots close to 100 blowing several shots
OB and misses the cut in B-flight (Oh the shame, but handled in a very
gentlemanly manner). It is interesting but not unusual to see very good
players with shanked shots and wild OB strikes. You see I know what it
is. It is the curse of the Mid Pac Open alien possession. I have
experience this for myself. It happened to me on the first tee at the
open several years ago.
how it works. You warm up, practice some putts, and then step onto the
1st tee. Some tall older haole guy (is that politically correct Jim,
but I digress) announces "now on the first tee with the something
something tee time, amateur billy the goat". Suddenly you notice that
there are people watching you. All the great swing thoughts leave the
premises and they are replaced by "don't hit it OB" or "God please don't
let me dribble it off the tee". The sub conscious mind gets the message
and says "OK we can do that" and wah lah the off the tee dribbler shows
you later in the round you don't have that dude announcing every shot,
but the sensation and the alien that has taken residence in your head
continues his (note that I did not use the female gender wanting to be
politically correct) consistent internal dialog of "don't go into the
trees, careful of the water, there is a hazard on the left" and so on.
And just like clockwork the sub conscious mind delivers on the
OK I will
admit the course is set up to be difficult but that does not mean a 5
handicap blows several off the tee OB.
I do like
that we can go on the Aloha section of the PGA for live scoring. Pretty
cool stuff in my view.
some back of the pack tid bits. Mike Kawaharada does an incredible job
with the open and he has a lot of help, thank you Vince. And, I did get
to see him play today and get one of the coveted salutes which is how
you know he likes you. Word has it that he did par 6/7/8 which is
amazing. Good work Mike!!
One of my
favorites from years past when he was good enough to play in the A
flight (dig dig) is Ray. He made the cut in B this year and reminded me
of my past comments on his golf swing (He could complete it in a phone
booth). Knowing that he was hurt by that I found myself in position to
make up for it and kick his errant second shot on #15 back towards the
green. I told him that it hit the cart path just so he wouldn't get
DQ'ed. I am a great goat after all. (some of that is not true, I will
let you guess)
forget one of the absolute best things about Friday Night at MPCC cut
night is that Mr. Diabolical shows up and brings his wife. I get a
hug. Just imagine the best hug you ever got and you will know of what I
speak (I am referring to his wife and not Jason just to be clear). I did
get to talk to Jason and the greens may not get any faster or pin
placements too radical because the winds are supposed to get worse and
we really don't want balls blowing all over the greens.
more stories and it is getting late and the third beer is starting to
put the goat out to pasture. Peace out to fast (no longer fat) freddie
and his ever lovely bride. Hope to be out there on the course with you
Day One 2015 Mid Pacific Open
difference a couple of years make. Is Jason getting soft in his old
age? Rough so short the ball actually will sit up in it? Green’s
running at a reasonable rate and pins in fair positions, can all of this
be true? Actually there is a method to the madness and I will attempt
to hallucinate what that might be.
blessed each year with a full field and in the past finishing for the
last couple of tee times became an issue. So what if things were a
little less knee shaking on day one and two? Would that really make a
difference when it comes to who is having a better than average two days
and then make the coveted cut? Probably not.
perhaps, and I stress that this is a goat’s conjecture; this is done to
allow Mr. Diabolical to come forth over the weekend and torture only
those who actually make the cut. If that is the case, then from what I
can tell it is working.
stories that I heard about balls rolling off the greens and chips that
failed to hold leading to backed up foursomes and such were all told in
the past tense. There was the tale of the pro who hit it 6 feet past on
the par 5 #16 only to roll past the front right pin placement and
proceed to chip up and back off the green for what has turned into a 13
stroke “fish story”. There were comments about front left pin
placements on #15 that dictated missing the green in regulation below
the hole to give yourself the best chance at par. Again, these were all
about past events.
overwhelming commentary was that the course is in great shape, playing
very fairly, and no one was heard to complain about unfair conditions be
it rough rough or otherwise. I have not seen all the final scores nor
have I been there to see if some finished in the dark, but I suspect
this was carefully thought out to lull the unsuspecting into a false
sense of comfort.
forward to a great event.