Second tourney of the year is in the books. It was, in a word, bipolar. This is a word I used in description of the last tournament. It is applicable for both, but for different reasons. More on that in a bit.
This is a tournament the King and I had been looking forward to playing for some time now. Honestly, when my interest in playing a tourney was first piqued, this is the one which caused the... piquing. With the ever-efficacious benefit of hindsight, I'm glad we waited.
The day leading up to the event was an exercise in fluidity. The original plan was to meet the Mid Range King in the Cities; sneak in a warm-up session; spend the night at my old roommate's abode; then rock faces at the tourney before riding off into the sunset. Things changed.
Through about thirty different scheduling changes with which I will not bore you, MRK arrives at 2am after a spur-of-the-moment decision (the right one, I might add); I get a much needed warm up at Acorn and putting practice at Bethel; and I get to reconnect with an old acquaintance I would end up playing with during the tourney. Sigh... let it simply be known that it was a tumultuous Friday.
Acorn is a fairly familiar course. By that, I mean that it had been familiar awhile back, but times change and so has our game. We know the course and how we liked to play it years ago. But the bag as changed. My throws have changed. And my drives put me in previously unaccustomed locations, leaving an unfamiliar feel. They also added two additional holes. The holes themselves were not challenging, however the designated OB areas added an uncomfortable puckering I won't here describe. Also in play were OB's we had known, but had not verbalized. All paths were OB. This includes the path along the side of hole #2 and beside hole #15. They also added the swampland off holes #9 and #11 to OB water. Before this would have meant little to me, however, my throws are a bit longer than they used to be. This area which had been outside of my considerations for planning my hole approach now had to be factored in. It was the most trepidation I had ever experienced at this course.
The morning was shaping up to be a solid experience. My group was just a solid group of folk (it didn't hurt that MRK was with me). We were not starting on a hole which gave me too much concern (#15). And I was feeling pretty good. Then we started throwing.
Our first hole was a bit shaky, but I expected I'd need a couple holes to get going. By our second hole, I had taken the box and held it for the next three holes. Everything after that was pretty downhill. I notched only one birdie for the whole course and balanced that out with a solid eight of the crooked numbers that screw up a scorecard. I finished the morning with a disappointing 67 (+7). The bright spots? No OB's. Solid drives in the open areas. A confidence-building tap-in par on #9. Some flashes of putting competency. And some nice recovery shots. The bummers? Everything that put me into a position to have nice recovery shots. My drives were generally inconsistent, releasing several too early. My approach game was pretty atrocious (all day as it turns out). And I gave up at least three strokes to gimme putts (though as we all know, there's no gimme's in disc golf!). The reality is that I got behind and was pressing to get back on it, and it only made it worse (e.g. quicksand). Rookie mistake.
At the break, MRK and I drowned our sorrows in a bit of Baja Blast at the local Taco Bell, and here is where the bipolarity and an understanding of the title occur (though not all at once). My grouping, again, was solid. I was in the third group (meaning I had no appreciable chance at the win), and our guys were just out to enjoy themselves. We started hole #12, and my drive thread the needle giving me a good run at a bird (though I settled for the par). Then more of the same and the round was looking to follow in the same footsteps as the first. That is until hole #15 where I earned me a circle 5! Ugh! Diggs. Not. Happy.
It took until hole #3 to recover. By then, I was sitting +2 with nine holes remaining. No change in the birdie situation, though I had stopped the bogey leak. Then I hit a twenty footer for birdie after a nice little drive. I went on to birdie #4, too. Then #5. The birdie train stopped after I had a bounce-out on #6, and I settled for a par. But it came back on #7 before I had a tap in par on #9 and another bird on #10. I finished a respectable 57 (-3) after that circle 5, giving me five birdies in the final nine holes, though I had even missed birdie putts on #6 and #8. I finished +4 overall, good enough to tie for 4th out of twenty-two in the intermediate div., providing some nice swag for the trip home.
I can't help but credit the turnaround on the delicious meal at Taco Bell. After all, the timing of the birdie run coincides very well with the food's digestion. My only regret is that I didn't stop by TB for breakfast before the tourney.
By the way, I am currently accepting player sponsorships, so if Taco Bell is monitoring this post, you are welcome to contact my people to see if we cannot work something out. I would be more than happy to represent your brand.