After a busy month that included a trip to the Masters and a round at Atlanta Athletic Club, it’s been a strange couple of days for Dominic Foos.
The 16-year-old from Germany followed a first-round, 6-over 78 with a second-round 79 Friday at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club. He’s made just three birdies in two rounds. And the mistakes have been unusually plentiful – 12 bogeys and a pair of double bogeys.
“Thursday, I actually played pretty good, just made a few stupid mistakes,” Foos said. “If you make mistakes here, you have a big problem. I actually thought going into this round that I had a good chance of shooting a couple under par, but today my game just wasn’t on.”
An uncharacteristic performance by the world’s 37th-ranked amateur has left Foos both mentally and physically exhausted.
“It feels like I’ve played 50 holes,” said Foos, who is 13 over for the tournament.
He began his round Friday with five straight pars before a birdie at the par-3 seventh appeared as if it would would mark the beginning of a turnaround. But four bogeys in his next five holes killed his momentum.
Then came a strange situation at the par-4 13th that left Foos flustered, even after his round. He hit a loose drive that went into the woods and then opted to hit a provisional, putting that ball in the middle of the fairway. When he got to his provisional ball, he was convinced that the first ball was lost.
“I got up there and said I wanted to play the provisional ball, but somehow the spotter found the first ball in the middle of the bushes,” Foos said.
Foos then had to identify his first ball in the bushes, take an unplayable and punch out into the fairway. Luckily, he was still able to make bogey.
Had Foos played the provisional ball before his original ball was found then his provisional ball would have become the ball in play and the original ball would remain lost. But since his ball was found within five minutes, he had to play that one.
“It was just strange,” Foos said, “because I thought, well, the bushes are there. I don’t want to play the ball. Whoever finds it, I don’t want to play it. . . . Bogey from that lie was very good.”
Aside from a couple tough days at Sage Valley, this month has been a good one for Foos. He attended the Masters and also played a practice round at Atlanta Athletic Club for this summer’s U.S. Amateur – Foos’ WAGR ranking earns him a spot in the field.
The Masters tickets came courtesy of family friend Sergio Garcia, whom Foos met about two-and-a-half years ago at a golf tournament.
“I know Sergio and his family very well,” Foos said. “We’ve gotten to know each other a little bit. I’ve visited him in Spain and we played golf together.”
Foos also caught up with fellow countryman Martin Kaymer at Augusta, although Foos admits he doesn’t know Kaymer very well – “We see each other maybe three times a year, but when we do we have a little small talk.”
Not a bad pair to ask questions to and seek advice from.
After Sage Valley, Foos will head back to Germany. He’ll spend a couple of days at home, then will travel to England for the Lytham Trophy, which begins May 1.
“Very big event for me,” Foos said.
But before he does that, he’ll try to regain some momentum in Saturday’s final round of the Junior Invitational. First things first, said an exhausted Foos: “I’m going to get some lunch, go to the range for a bit and then go to bed.”