On March 20th I played a single-round event at Firelake Golf Club in Shawnee, Oklahoma put on by the Longshots Tour. I shot 73 (3 over par) to once again fall towards the back of the field and make no money. The experience I have gained within just the first two events this year has been valuable to me and I believe this is the start to a great season! Shooting 3 over par was disappointing, but I did improve my performance from the last event and I was able to take some positives away from the round as well. Here is a breakdown of the details:
The tournament entry was $245. I decided to also put in $30 to some of the extra games such as skins and a front nine/back nine best score. That brings my total up to $275 and I paid for the tour membership as well costing me an additional $175 bringing my total up to $450. I did have to travel for this event, however, I was already in Oklahoma with my girlfriend to visit our families so there were no hotel/meal/travel costs directly related to the tournament which kept the total expense to play at $450.
I had been in Oklahoma for a few days before this event and was able to practice a little bit to prepare. I did not play a practice round so the tournament round would be the first time I ever played this golf course. Thankfully there is a drone tour of each hole available on the website that I was able to use to become a little familiar with the layout! The first hole is downhill and played downwind. I started off the round striping a driver 330 yards down the middle leaving myself only 35 yards left to the flag. My ball-striking continued to be very strong for the rest of the round, but my short game and putting held me back from shooting a great score.
I hit 10 of the 14 fairways in regulation, 12 of the 18 greens in regulation, and had a total of 34 putts.. my worst stat of all would be the 0% up and down percentage. It is very obvious to me that my performance on and around the greens has cost me a lot of strokes in the first two events this year. As I prepare for my next event and continue this season, I will spend deliberate time in practice to sharpen my short game and putting for better performance in tournaments. I already spend a lot of time practicing the short game, but my recent results have shown me that my practice is only improving my ability in practice instead of improving my ability and performance on the golf course.
This tournament was a handicapped field. The player who won the tournament was a 12 handicap who shot a 74… When I enter these tournaments, I have to go in with a mindset and understanding that this format puts me at a disadvantage from the start. I was playing as a +2 in this field so just to tie the winning score, I would have needed to shoot a 60. It can be difficult to swallow when I have the dream and goal to play on the PGA Tour, but I am not even making money from little events like this. I am never discouraged by these tournaments or results though. I believe every tournament that I play provides me with the experience I need and brings me one step closer to my biggest goals. God has given me so much opportunity to play and I am thankful for the journey I am on.
I will be playing another single-round event this Saturday in Mont Belvieu, Texas! Check out my Instagram to see the preparation and tournament day experience. Also, if you have any questions or want to see specific content, please reach out to me or let me know in the comments!