Player diary: Matt Gilchrest (Part 4)
Last week I played in the AJGA FootJoy Invitational at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., and I won the tournament!
The AJGA rolled out the red carpet for us, as usual, with outstanding food, a great host hotel and awesome displays of the past champions. FootJoy was extremely generous and sponsored the event, which included extravagant tee gifts, including an entire wardrobe and some pretty sweet shoes. FootJoy also added to the gifts by awarding shoes and a Scotty Cameron putter to the winners of a ping-pong contest.
The weather was semi-cooperative during the week. Parts of both practice rounds ended up being washed out. I had the unique privilege of being the last group on the course during Round 3; this meant that only my group had to sit through a two-hour rain delay. I then had to return to the course to hit a 4-foot putt.
During the tournament I hit the ball fantastic, only missing three fairways and eight greens over the four rounds. Although I hit it really well, the difference maker for me was putting inside of 10 feet. Sedgefield has very hilly greens, which means it is often difficult to get chips or lag putts close to the hole. Putting well from short- to mid-range really made the shots around the greens easier.
All in all, I posted rounds of 68-66-71-68 for a 7-under 273 total. I did a really great job of staying patient and waiting for my opportunities on a challenging course. It is the biggest win of my life and my first AJGA Invitational win. I could not be more thrilled with my experience and thankful for all of those who made the event possible.