On a cold an grey november morning I played my first matchplay
. My playing partner was Christoph and we chose as a venue the Prenden Golf Course
. As the outside temperature was only 1° or 2° Celsius, three sweaters minimum was the dresscode of the day.
My playing handicap was 40, Christoph started with a 20, giving me a 20 shot advantage. So playing bogey when he played par was good for me ;-))).
The first nine holes we're very digital scorewise: 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1. We never halved a hole, it was either win or lose. It was funny to see that our drives and fairway strokes mostly had the same length, our balls mostly could be found within meters from each other. On the par 5 15th we had the exact same drive length! But my sometimes errant driving and my mediocre short game made it interesting.
On the 10th hole I was able to move 2 up, as Christophs second shot found the bunker while I missed the green a little to the right side but safely in the semirough. Things started out bad for me on the par 5 11th where my tee shot made it just beyond the ladies tee box. Christoph made a solid tee shot, but lost his second shot on the left hand side rough after making a blind shot uphill over the bunkers. This brought me back in play and I won the hole with a score of eight to move 3up. Felt shitty though, you don't want to win any points with crap play.
The best moment of the day - heck, of my whole golf year - came on the par 3 12th hole. I hit the 145 meters to the green with a seven iron and my ball landed just 5 cm in front of the cup, bounced off the flag post and rolled back over a meter into the semirough. Never was I any closer to a hole in one!!! I followed up with a birdie putt and went 4 up for the match.
The 13th hole I already lost off the tee, pushing my drive way off the right side into the rough. I didn't even bother looking after it. This ended my longest series of not losing a single ball for 12 holes. Which is very good for me. So I moved back to 3up.
The 14th hole we halved - for the first time in the match. On the par 5 15th I had a slight advantage after the second shot. Christophs third shot didn't make the green and I had a full sandwedge onto the green. Well, it took me one stroke with the sand wedge and two with the lob wedge to get the ball onto the green. Christoph sank his sixth shot for a bogey. So there I was with five shots on the green and a 1,5 meter downhill putt to win the game. And I missed the hole only by millimeters. Damnit!
But the decision came on the 16th, a 176m par 3. We halved the hole and I won the matchplay 3 up and 2 to go.
Thank you Christoph for a fun day and a nice game! I really got the hang of matchplay. Not only do you have to concentrate on your play but also on your opponent, playing strategically and react on what he plays and reacting to the opportunities you get. Can't wait until the next round!