My first ice bowl first tournament of 2012. I love tornaments on new courses in a new area, a great way to get immersed into the local scene and meet the locals.
I had planned on playing open for the chance to play with some much better players than I and test my skills on a new course. But, as I stood at the registration table, the word “open” came out sounding much more like “advanced.” Ok Tyler, here we come. The 10th rated course in the country according to DGCR, my 9th on said list, and my 41st of the top 50. Show me what you’ve got.
I took a glance at the leader board to see what hole I started on, and my name was nowhere to be seen on the advanced cards. After further inspection, I found it at the bottom of a rec card. Great, from planning on playing with the best to playing with the worst, great start to my round. Ok, it’s not so bad – I’m here to meet some people, either I’ll be able to teach them a thing or two, laugh at them, enjoy their company, or just ignore them.
Upon meeting my card they seemed like decent folks, in fact they both were active on DGCR and excited to be in a tournament, one was a veteran and one was his first tourney. Besides a mild fuming inside my head, I put together an OK first few holes and soon learned that the course was in the “winter layout” meaning this championship caliber course was reduced to basically a pitch and putt. Add more fuming inside my head. This isn’t the Tyler I dreamed about, this place is pissing me off. Add a snide comment from the masters card behind us directed at me regarding the rec players in front of them that came about something like this Me: “Where’s the basket on this one?” “You need to throw to that pole, see that pole?” yeah, that pole 100 feet down the fairway, I see it, that doesn’t tell me where the basket is… “Where am I going?” “Just throw to that pole and you’ll see the fairway from there” Add fuming, if I was the type of person that got outwardly furious, I may have exploded at this point. I proceed to let a beautiful drive down the fairway that may have reached the basket if not for the tree that directed my shot about to said pole.
These things may seem minor, but they added up to an entirely frustrating round. The positive was that I had no idea how I was performing compared to my competition. Now only if I could catch up to a random guy on the card in front of us that might lift my spirits. Random guy: “This might sound crazy, but is your name Martin?” “Yup” “No way! I’ve read your website, and admire what your’e doing and have always wanted to donate, here’s $20.” “Cool, catch you around” now lets keep that positive energy going and finish this round strong. 90, I have no idea if that’s any good. I felt like I performed poorly overall, left a ton of strokes out there, but it was good enough for second place.
Ring of fire. An annoying frickin TD that had to walk the circle every single time before we threw a putt. Even so, I drained several putts, the first round went on and on until finally, I won. I won? Sick! A water bottle. Second round was a bit quicker that had me and two others battling, I drained my first one, down to 3 of us. Drained another, down to 2, head to head ring of fire, we both drained it. 4th shot, he made it, I missed – dang I wanted to walk away with all of the prizes! Ok, 1 for 3 on the ring of fire, and second place in MA1. By the end of the day, I was feeling pretty good about my performance. Thank you Tyler, we shall meet again, next time though I will see you in your potential caliber.