Midtown Chiropractic in the Raleigh area 9/4-9/5
Hello everyone! Kevin Duke, back with another tournament recap. This weekend I played in my second ever MPO tournament at the Midtown Chiropractic Disc Golf Championship. Moving from a field of 6 where I was the 2nd highest rated player to a field of 28 where I was middle of the pack was a bit intimidating. Not having played the courses very much (Jones, Buckhorn, East Clayton, and Zeb) created a big mental challenge for me throughout the weekend. That said, I started off on a heater at Jones, nailing my drives and going 4 down through the first 5 holes! That came to an abrupt halt on the next hole as I lost my best driver in the lake on hole 9 (although I got a text today that it was found!) and then losing my second best driver on the VERY NEXT HOLE, going +5 through the next 7 hole span. Finishing +1 and feeling mentally defeated because of the lost discs and a few bad putts, I found myself in 23rd place after round 1. Round 2 was at Buckhorn, one of my favorite NC courses! I played my game there, par golf: take your birdies when they come and don't make stupid mistakes. It worked like a charm (sans 2 holes that took my lunch money) as I ended -6 with a 994 rated round and I even walked away feeling like I should've easily made 3 more putts which would've given me the hot round that day. Anyway, it jumped me up to 16th place which I was happy with. After heading back to the hotel with Star Frames teammates Jason E and Mitchelle C (and her husband Brian) we took a dip in the pool, had some beers, went out to eat, and cleared my mind for day 2. East Clayton was where I started out. I was carded with a good friend Matt T who is scary good (1000+ rated) but having him there pushed me to do better as well as calmed me down as I have only ever played casual rounds with him (so thanks for that buddy!). I again played my par golf game, taking par on 12 of the holes. With only 1 bogey, I found myself at 4 down after the round, climbing my way up even higher to 11th place in MPO. I KNEW top 12 cashed, I KNEW there were competitors right on my tail, and I KNEW the nerves were going to be an issue. I started off the final round at a very scoreable Zebulon with 6 pars in a row...that sounds like my game but honestly, it wasn't for this course. I missed not one, but TWO 7-foot putts and another 15 footer in those first 6 holes! It wasn't until hole 9 where I got the luckiest tree kick of all time to place me under the basket that I took my first birdie. Even with that confidence booster, the poor putting continued for the next 4 holes which I parred all of despite putting myself in position to make putts. Stepping up to hole 14 after another 13 foot missed putt on hole 13, I made the huge decision to switch to a different putter. My drive on 14 put me short, just outside circles edge. With the group in front of us standing on the tee directly in line with me and the basket, I stepped up, decided not to wait for them to clear away, said f*#& it (probably audibly), and nailed the putt! The putting magic finally felt like it was back after I nailed a 50 footer two holes later and proceeded to birdie the next 2 as well! I finished on hole 2 with another 20 footer for birdie to end my round at 6 down and bring me to a tie for 9th place overall. In the end, I did what I had set out to do. I know I could've done much better which gives me confidence (which I'm going to need a lot of) going into next week's Star Frame Showdown finale at Hornet's Nest in Charlotte. If you made it to the end, thanks for reading and I'll talk to you soon.
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