Okay, you’ve seen me blasting last year’s Ryder Cup for awhile now and you knew it was coming. I even heard murmurs on the golf course. The Ryder Cup 2019 recap is here!
A little background: NB Ryder Cup. If you’re reading this, you probably know – but NB = North Branch. The Ryder Cup is an annual event where we get a decent size group of people (32 this year) and we draft two teams. Then, on one steamy day every year, we play three different formats. A two person scramble, a two person alternate shot, and an individual match. Each match is worth 1 point (1/2 for halving the match). And now for this year…
Let’s start with the great news – THE BLUE TEAM WON!
But you didn’t really come here to see how the team did, right? You came to hear about the event. First is the scramble. I was paired with Big Joe D (because we’re anonymous). We were playing against Dan K and Steve C. A little insight into how things work in golf – but the older the are, the further up you get to tee off. Well, in this case, Dan is just old enough to get a tee advantage but not quite old enough to have his game fall off yet. So he’s damn good – and he tees off way ahead of us on some holes. Fear not – we can’t start with excuses on the first hole. HE GETS A HUNDRED YARD ADVANTAGE ON HOLE 2?! Okay, no we have an excuse. After halving the first hole, Joe and I dropped the second when he basically drove the green and we were 160 yards out. 1DN through 2.
On the third hole, I hit a great drive and honestly a pretty great chip. We had an excellent opportunity for birdie and they were still off the green with a tough chip. We both missed the birdie putt and they got up and down. We still trailed by one. Number 4 – a short par 4 on the Prairie. I had actually drove the ball over the green last time I played. I hit it great again, but it went left. Way left. But I was pin high. I had a nice chip…onto 8 green. But to the green I really needed to be on, I had to hit over said 8th green, a tree, and a bunker. We opted to go with a different shot and we chipped it on, two putt for a par. It was nice, but a missed opportunity. Oh, and Steve decided to run in a 20 foot putt for birdie. Cool! 2DN through 4.
Number 5, closest to the pin. I always envision getting a hole in one on every par 3 and how I will celebrate. Would I jump in the water? Well, probably not, I’d drown, but still, it would be cool! I hit the green and it bounced just off. Joe, my partner, had one on but Steve hit one on as well. It was a putt off (a common theme today). Joe and I switched up putting because our current plan wasn’t working. So he went first. He just barely missed it and it went past the hole by 4 feet. Now it was my turn. With Danny watching on from the shade, I hit the 25 foot putt to a loud roar. They missed their and we were 1DN through 5. The comeback was on.
Tee shot on 6 – went into the creek. Now for those of you who don’t know, that’s a good drive. Hard to be mad – but a tough break for sure. Joe had to play it safe and hit it on top of the hill. I had some making up to do and I struck the perfect shot, sticking it on the green with a reasonable putt. Again, we had a chance but we missed the birdie putt and we both parred. 1DN through 6.
Tee shot on 7 – OB, but Joe saved me. Both teams scrambled around and we both parred. 1DN through 7. On 8, I hit a good shot just short of the water and a beautiful shot in. We were just off the green and they were in the bunker. We missed the birdie putt, they chipped on and one putt. Two more pars, still 1 down, this time, with only one hole left. The best we could do now was tie. Equal shots onto the short par 3 and it was a putt off. Unfortunately, we didn’t get one to fall and we ended up halving the hole. We lost match one. But I played well – could I carry that confidence with me to alternate shot? I needed it as Zack (yes, that Zack – the one who used to podcast with us…..) and I played someone who just defeated our best player in scramble. It was Zack and I versus Derek and Mike (one of the 7).
In alternate shot, you and your partner decide who will tee off on odd and who will tee off on even. The odd holes have two difficult par 3s and the even holes have two par 5s. We opted to have Zack go for the odd and I would do the even. First tee – he CRUSHED it! Just way right. About pin high and I was used to playing from over there. I hit a perfect wedge to about 6 inches for a gimme birdie and a 1UP lead after one……are you kidding me?! They hit a 25 foot birdie putt. All square through 1 and that one hurts. Second hole, they scrambled after an errant drive by Derek. I hit a good drive and Zack’s second shot was…..in front of 3 tee bed? What happened to Zack’s direction (there will be a theme here….). I chipped on and they conceded since they weren’t even on the green after 5. 1UP through 2. Zack tees off on 3 and…where in the hell are you hitting?! We were in 4 fairway. Some trees in the way and I still managed to bounce the ball over the creek. A chip on and a missed putt, though and we were back to all square through 3. Not bad, we were in good shape.
We halved 4 and went AS into 5 – the first par 3 which we choose Zack to hit on because he’s quite a bit better than me. Just get it over the creek and we’ll be golden….RIGHT IN THE CREEK. Great. Okay, they were on top of the hill with a difficult chip. I’ll just chip it over and….in the creek. Son of a bitch. We conceded. 1DN through 5. Need a good rebound hole. It’s my drive. I hit it right and I’m worried. Zack tees off in case mine is OB. He hits it onto 5 tee bed (which is definitely OB) and their first questionable tee shot is in bounds. We are scrambling and can’t overcome our own mistakes. 2DN through 6. But 3 holes left and we still felt good. We just needed a good shot on 7, the second par 3, and we could rebound and make up a hole. I liked our chances. HOLY SHIT ARE YOU SERIOUS? A hole in one?! NO. 40 yard right…again! Rookie what in the literal hell are you doing? I could have hit the ball over there?! Okay, we can salvage this. I pick my head up, a shitty chip, he gets aggressive, another shitty chip. We lose. Not just the hole, but the match. 3 and 2. What a disappointment. I’m 0-2 going into the individuals where I have a tough matchup. You never say sorry in alternate shot and that’s all we had said for 7 holes. It had to get better from here.
Before individuals started, we watched the match of the day, where Ernie and Dustin H played against Joey and Kevin B…and yes, that Joey (the one who used to podcast with us….). After 3 holes, Ernie and Dustin were up 1 and we all laughed and joked about how great it would be to see that kind of upset! But then after 6 they were still up 1 and we got a little more confused. Were they playing that well? Was Joey melting down? What was happening. We watched them finish on 9 and it appeared Joey had a putt to win the hole. Judging by his putter throw, he missed it and turns out Ernie and Dustin won the match! 1UP! Wow, that helped the Blue team, especially after we just squandered one away.
Back to individual. I played Mark L and we teamed up with Ernie, hot off of his win, and Kristen. Ernie vs. Kristen was kind of our sacrifice. Ernie didn’t really have a shot did he? Well, for a minute he seemed to not only have a shot, but he was playing great! But that’s another match – here’s mine.
A perfectly acceptable 6 iron out to 90 yards and an easy pitch over the water. Picked my head up and I was in the drink. I already flashed back to last year when I dug a hole early and had to scratch and claw my way back. Except this year, my competition wasn’t someone who was going to screw up. But then Mark smoked one out of bounds? Okay, we’re even. We both chip over on our second tries and it’s a putt off. He two putts and I hit a very, very bad first putt leaving 5 feet. I miss it. A missed opportunity for sure. Just play my game and I’m easy 1UP. Instead, 1DN through 1.
I hit it a little short, but chipped on and almost in. A gimme par. I needed Mark to miss his putt and he did, barely. 1DN through 2.
My driver had been struggling on the Meadow so I opted to go with my 3 hybrid. It’s a short par 5, so it wouldn’t hurt me and I’d have better control. I had been hitting it well in recent rounds. Nope. Duffed – up to the next tee bed behind a tree. I had a decent shot at it though and I tried my 3 wood. Not a great result but I advanced it. Mark went up towards the green but right and duffed a chip before chipping on. I went left, chipped up and still nothing promising. An underwhelming putt left us both with bogeys on arguably the easiest hole on the course and a missed opportunity from both sides. 1DN through 3.
I hit a BEAUTIFUL shot, just on top of the hole and actually had closest to the pin for awhile (not sure who beat me but I’m questioning it – I was in close). I had a 4 footer for birdie, and to win the hole. I couldn’t convert. My putting was horrible. A tap in par is nice but it’s not winning me any holes. 1DN through 4.
I’d like to skip this hole, but here goes. That 3 hybrid I had been hitting so well? OB. Then OB again. I was frustrated, it was hot, and I conceded. 2DN through 5. 2 DN with 4 to go…I had been here before. I had been worse. I could do this.
My best drive of the day – to the 100 yard marker. Mark’s hit a tree – after searching, we ended up finding it in the water. A penalty left the door wide open for me. I picked one up here with a par. 1DN through 6. Exactly what I needed to do.
I hit an okay drive but it went right. Right was safe if it was out of the trees – mine mostly was. Mark went left…but didn’t hit anything. I had to punch up and over the green but I was laying 2 off the back – a spot I was familiar with. Mark looked for his and we couldn’t find it – except there was a ball by the green. Mark’s. Of course. He said he hadn’t hit a drive that far all year – and it was a hell of a time to start now. An easy chip on gave him a par and I bogeyed. Back to 2DN with 2 to go. The best I could do for my 2019 Ryder Cup was a halve and that was by winning the next 2 holes.
Our partners left us as Kristen finally took down Ernie and I told Mark we should do closest to the pin for $1. If you recall, that was my sweet spot last year and I was hoping for some of the same luck. Sure enough – he landed short right and I was right on the green. $1 for me. An underwhelming putt left me about 6-8 feet away. I had to hit it. I hadn’t hit a putt all day. This was disastrous. I was going to make Mark play the last hole anyway but it would be more fun if it meant something. I hit it, closed my eyes, and heard the wonderful sound of a ball finding it’s home in the bottom of the cup. I had done it! 1DN with 1 to go. The par 5.
I knew I could win this hole. I just had to play it smart. We both hit decent drives and I had a path to get a good second shot. I pulled out the 3 hybrid. Gave it a little kiss and forgave it for its mistakes earlier in the round. I geared up and hit the ball….OB. Damn near hit a car. Are you kidding me?! What is wrong with me today? Disaster. Second shot wasn’t great and the reality sunk in. I wasn’t going to win. Not just this hole – but the match – or any match all day. I wound up conceding and Mark took the victory 2UP. It was fun, but it was disappointing. My 2019 Ryder Cup was over and I was pointless once again. If you’re keeping track, I’m now 0-3, 3-0, and 0-3 again. It’s all or nothing with me.
But….not all is bad – as I mentioned, the Blue Team won, which netted me a cool 70% return on my investment (numbers don’t matter in terms of amount – look at that return!) Also good – we decided this may not be the last Ryder Cup this year!! We’re going to aim for a second Ryder Cup towards the end of the season and I couldn’t be more excited! A chance at redemption! So for now…I wait. I practice. I think. I relive each shot and figure out what the hell I could do to improve. And I feel sorry for the next soul I face because strictly by the math of it – I’m going 3-0 next time. Did you play in the Ryder Cup? Drop down and let us know how you did or what you thought of the round? Didn’t play and want to make fun of me for sucking? Drop down and do that, too!