So the Golf Channel Am Tour Bay Area Tour Championship was played over both the North and South Courses at the fabulous Silverado Resort & Spa, with the North being the site of the 2014 Fry’s.Com PGA tour event, as Corde Valle is hosting the 2015 Women’s US Open. Dan Cacho’s offical writeup is here:
The weather was perfect on Saturday, high 70’s to low 80’s with low winds, but very humid. It felt like i was playing in Florida. Sunday was normal Napa temps for August, upper 80’s to low/mid 90’s, and again, the winds were not a factor.
Playing in threesomes with Lewis Kidd and Mark Filipowski, I thought I played the south course ok, but had one hole, #9, where I hit a perfect drive, slight draw 285 yds and was left with 180 into a par 5.. all i needed was a easy 6 iron to the green to putt for eagle, and what happens… I pull it left and hook it into the green-side lake. Ouch.. take my drop and hit on, 2 putt for bogey when i had a great opportunity. then on #11, I hit a ball OB right off the tee and never got it more than 100 yds after.. I take a 10 on that hole and then 2 more bogeys on 12 & 13.. I start grinding to play the last 5 holes in 1 over par and feel lucky to only shoot 88. Later that night I get an email with my pairings for Sunday and find that i have the overnight lead.
Sunday is the tougher North course and we’re going split tees and we’re starting on #10. I’m playing today with Keith Wilson who shot 89 on Saturday and Mark Filipowski who is in 3rd place after shooting a 93. I tee off last, and both my playing partners are in the trees left and I split the fairway, 270 yards.. great start, decent wedge to 25 ft and 2 putt par.. #11, a par 3 over water looking into Johnny Miller‘s back yard.. again, hit a pretty good 9-iron and come up on the left side of the hole, another 2 putt par..
And that’s where the round started going sideways. 2 doubles, a par, a quad on #16 and then back to back bogeys, and i’m down one stroke to my playing companion Keith at the turn. I make par at #1, while Keith makes bogey, although I thought he had made a par.. Keith makes a really nice birdie at #2 while i make bogey and i’m now thinking I’m down 3 shots with 7 holes to play.. I need some luck and some birdies… mostly luck. Keith and I both par #12, and we both bogey #13, Keith with a great 10/12′ putt to save his 5. I then hit my tee shot left into the trees, and Keith splits the fairway on 14. I have to punch out and still have 200 yds to the flag. Keith tries to lay up and pulls his shot left into the trees and has a tough time of it from there. I make a much needed 1 putt par 5 while Keith cards a 9, a 4 shot swing on a single hole.. what was I saying about needing some luck??
We both bogey #6 and I make a 45′ bogey saver on #7 while Keith doubles. On the short par 4 8th hole, I hit a safe 4 wood to the right side of the fairway and Keith cannot find his ball left. I hit short of the uphill green and go over to help look for his ball. I never saw his shot off the tee and we search for the allotted 5 minutes and then Keith goes back to the tee to hit what would be his 3rd shot. As he is coming back, I see what looks like a freshly broken branch from one of the trees laying on the ground and I just keep walking on that line, I could’ve just walked away and let Keith take his penalty, but I found his ball and let him back into the hole and tourney. This was the 2nd time in the round, as I also found his ball buried in the tall grass on our first hole of the day, I’d hope he’d do the same for me. Keith just misses his birdie putt and then also misses the come-backer and we both make 5’s.
So it comes down to the last hole, I think I am 1 up so I just need to make par and hope that Keith doesn’t make a birdie to force a playoff. I pull my drive left into the trees and then when I punch out I hit another tree limb and the ball goes hard right and I’m now sitting 2 some 40 yards behind Keith’s drive. The ball is sitting up though, so I take out the 4-wood and make the best swing of the day… It lands 70 yards from the green right in the center of the fairway.. wedge it on and miss the 25′ par saver, but am in tap-in range for a bogey 6. It’s now all up to Keith, he leaves his birdie attempt 10′ short and also misses the par putt just left, so I now think I’ve won by a single stroke. but we get to the scorers table and that’s where Keith tells us he made a bogey on our 10th hole and I find I’ve won by two shots after shooting a very consistent 88-89 = 177.
Either way a pretty sweet victory for my 2nd in the summer series of my first Am Tour season. I’ve sewn up the summer series for the Sr. Sarazen flight and added another $175.00 to my 4 digit golf earnings and a very nice trophy for the mantle under Wanda.
This week – the 2 day Sac Tour Championship at Rancho Murieta. Another nice Golf Club with 2 courses, North and South both playing at around 6300 yards. The North Course was home to the Senior PGA Tour Raley’s Open for Nine years. It’s gonna be a hot couple of days, I will be drinking lots of water with plenty of ice and sun screen. Staying in Cordova on Friday and Saturday and playing a practice round on the South Course on Friday afternoon. First round tee time is 10:40 a.m. Saturday on the South #1 tee.