Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A Competitive Match

Eli 20.2 was an overwhelming favorite in The Open Championship. 

He hits the ball 70 yards further on his drives than I do. He's a better putter. He's a better player than I am in every conceivable way. 

We were tied going to the 18th hole. 

"It was always going to be like this," he said. "We could play seventy-two holes, and we'd still be tied going to the last one." 

He's right. Somehow, when we're officially competing, I'm not sixty years old anymore, at least for a little while. 

Everything hurts today, though. Back, shoulder, hip, foot. 

In the six holes of straight golf, he was 1-up. In the six holes using one club of our choice, I was 1-up. I birdied the first par-4 of that stretch using only my 7-iron, including a 35-foot putt, left-handed, with the back of the club. 

I didn't even watch it go in. I was watching Eli's face. It was awesome. 

Incredibly, for the middle six holes when we were each only using one club, our best score on each hole was a combined +1. And I was only +4 for six holes with that 7-iron, which I had a hard time believing. 

The last six holes, we each chose a 4-iron for the other to play with. Impossible, basically, and we both struggled. Hitting partial shots with a 4-iron (which has very little loft) are unbelievably difficult. 

I'd like to say I had a brilliant last hole, but I didn't. Eli did, though. He parred it with a 4-iron. The kid is clutch. 

What a great round. And we both played so well, even though we both really wanted to win. 

A nice end to the summer. 

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