NGAWire® | 7Oct08
NGA Staff Writer, Ronald Harrison Clifton, Jr.
I awoke today after a long night of MNF up ‘til midnight. I feel fortunate to have weathered the Reggie Bush onslaught by Lawler. Thanks to FF Churncz for not counting punt return yards. And a bigger thanks to Reggie Bush for tripping on his own foot for his potential 3rd punt return td it saved my victory.
As I am driving to the golf course I am still considering trading Dallas Clark to PJP for MJD, as well as possibly Plax Burress for S. Slaton.
This chilly October morning I arrived at Eastern Hills at 9 am 49* in my car. I arrived and beat the seniors to #1 tee. Piped my new Callaway Driver, never hit it before today, long and straight into the cool morning air. Just like in a USGA commercial a single walks up and I ask him to play. I meet Andreas a member of Lake Doster my previous home course and we are off #1 tee.
I learned Lake Doster is in excellent condition this year!
I played solid all the way around the front 4 fw, 3 gr, 14 putts nice little 40. Some nice par saving putts, a few key birdie putts just missed. I am putting as good as say Matt Maser or Dan McKay.
We make the turn and Andreas decides to push on with me any pays for his 2nd 9. He is an Ohio State grad likely a more frequent golfer than I and also a touch lower handicap. He is easy to play with like Chris Lemmon and Coree Raden.
I proceed to play the back 9 much like the front keeping it in play 5 fw, 5 gr, 16 putts. Again a few key par putts made, a few birdie putts just missed. I step up to 17 realizing I am +2 on the back! So 40 on front + 4 and +2 is +6 with 2 holes left. Predictably I make double on 17 not really a bad double just drive in rough approach short, pitch short, chip long (tried to hole it) 2 putt. Nearly made a nice bogey saving putt. I am grinding like crazy!
18 is playing downwind I pipe a long high majestic fade to the 270 mark (par 5) smoke a high cutting 3 wood to 40 yds just short. I haven’t played this shot well today all I am thinking is I am putting well get it on the green. I hit a pw a little heavy leave 30+ feet up hill birdie putt for the elusive 79. I read it, step up, it is up hill just misses one ball outside left, good effort, tap in par for 80.
Having never broken 80 I was much more calm and relaxed took it one shot at a time. I just needed one more putt to fall somewhere played good enough for 79. After the poor play I exhibited at TPC this is a very satisfying day for me. Having switched driver and irons since TPC in traditional Clifton fashion post TPC.
Clifton ADDITIONAL NOTE – I was wearing my green Oberon hat and yellow TPC champion bracelet for luck today.