I just played in the Terra Cotta Amateur at Naples (Fla.) National Golf Club.
The golf course was just featured in the April 5, 2013 issue of Golfweek. It is an amazing course! It was my third major amateur event and I’m starting to get used to these tough fields and playing with some incredible amateurs.
I ended up finishing in sixth place with rounds of 74-71-71. I played well, but had some opportunities during the three rounds that I didn’t take advantage of. I putted well, too, but hit too many lips! My ballstriking was great until the last day. Fortunately, the recent extra work on my short game paid off and I made a lot of saves.
Overall, it was a really good finish and I’m very happy about it! My mental game is continuing to improve and actually, it’s getting a little easier to manage. I played with two good friends of mine during the first 36 holes: George Cunningham from Arizona, who just won the AJGA TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook, and Cameron Champ from California, my partner in the Winn Junior Cup in Las Vegas, who hits it farther than any junior golfer I know!
I had originally planned to travel on my own and stay with a host family. When my uncle Larry Dalke heard what I was planning on doing, he quickly volunteered to take me and act as my caddy. He’s a really funny and great guy, so we had a memorable time on and off the course.
Because southern Florida was hit with heavy rains on the first day of play, we had some time off. On that Friday, George Cunningham and his parents, Chris Petefish and his mother, and Uncle Larry and I went bowling. I have found that when you get a group of golfers together, you want to compete in anything you do! So, the friendly bowling outing became a competition between the parents and the kids. Sadly, it ended in a tie.
There were so many awesome things about the Terra Cotta Amateur, including the course, the field, and the weather (except that first rain-out day). But, at the top of my list would have to be the food! It was some of the best food I’ve ever had at a tournament! I couldn’t get enough of the buffet!
I would like to thank Denny Glass and the rest of the Terra Cotta committee for inviting me to play in this great event. I hope I get invited back! A big thanks to my uncle Larry for toting the bag for 54 holes and for taking care of me. Last but not least, thanks to Naples National Golf Club for giving us an awesome course to play for several days.
Thanks for reading and until next time . . . Boomer Sooner!