May 26th 2019

Today I missed a birdie putt to win the match on the 18th green. Me, my cousin and my Dad were playing stableford scoring at Carswell Golf Club, and I was two points behind my cousin on the eighteenth tee. I didn’t really deserve to be within touching distance, but three pars on 15, 16 and 17 had clawed back what had otherwise been an atrocious round for me.

My upturn in form had coincided with my cousin’s slight dip, as he had been playing well until then. But still, I knew what I needed to do. I had to par the hole and hope that he blobbed it (scored no points by getting a 7 or more). Or, even more difficultly, if he saved double bogey I would’ve had to birdie the hole.

A birdie is worth four points, and a double bogey is worth one. If that combination of scores happened, I’d’ve won the match by a point. And it came down to the final putt. I creamed my drive and chipped on to within ten feet to give myself a tricky birdie putt. Whereas Craig tumped his drive into some challenging bunker-side rough, and had to hack out. Meaning he was on the green in three.

I’d selfishly hoped that his recovery from a bad position would’ve been worse, but to be fair to him he played it like Tiger on the last day of the Masters, and aimed for the bogey. He didn’t need to do anything too miraculous to win the match, he just needed bogey. If he bogeyed, even a birdie wouldn’t be enough for me to win out-right.

I stepped up to my Birdie putt knowing that I needed to make it, and he needed to miss his for me to win. I trickled my putt towards the hole, and for the first 9.5 feet it looked sure to be going in. And then it lipped out at the last second for a par.

With my par confirmed, all Craig needed to do was make his six-foot bogey putt to take the championship. And he did. Fair play to him. I left my surge too late, and he went home a worthy winner. I didn’t play well enough on the front nine to deserve to win overall, but my late increase in form at least made it interesting. It also made me feel better about myself, because I was fuming at how badly I was playing up until that point.

Until tomorrow, it’s all part of the game.


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