I haven’t been able to really capitalize on opportunities in competition this summer but I knew today I’d have the chance to. Coming into the final round of the GBO, I was one back of the lead. I had a great warm up session on the range and felt very confident going to the first tee. For the first 10 holes today, I hit pin-seeking iron after pin-seeking iron, yet made few birdies. The adrenaline pumping through my body made my putting stoke feel foreign and the sweet spot of the putter seemed non-existent. Despite that, I played 13 holes bogey-free and was one back of the lead at -3 for the day and -8 for the event. Two well executed shots on the par 4, 14th left me 15 feet for birdie and a share of the lead. The putt went racing 4 feet by the hole on the high side. I missed the come back putt and leaked momentum all the way into the clubhouse. I finished tied for 3rd, 3 strokes back of the winner with a score of 68 and a two round total of 132 (64-68).
I was disappointed with myself coming off the 18th green today because I put myself in a great position to win, but didn’t get the job done. After a few hours to cool off and reflect more objectively, this finish is the best of the summer; I put myself in contention despite all facets of my game not clicking and made a solid paycheck. I love the thrill of the chase and the rush of contention. No matter how well I play, there are always going to be things I can do better. I love that golf is a constant work in progress and can never be beaten, win or lose. This finish leaves me hungrier than ever and the timing is opportune with the Maine Open starting Monday. I’ll play a practice round tomorrow, get some putting stroke repetitions in and set out to improve the way I handle the pressure of vying for a victory.