Par competition round at Cairns GC today. Course in very good condition with lots of run. A perfect 28C winter's day in tropical paradise. As might be expected in such conditions the top three places were taken by C grade players with +6, +4 and +4. I had the pleasure of playing with two low handicap young players. Their ball striking was a joy to behold and they are such great young men.
My front nine was a bit strange. Four from close to the green on 10 and thee from not far off the green on 11 saw two losses on the opening two holes. Twelve was playing as a 400m par four with the second over water. I was really pleased with my 3W second and two putts for a plus. Easy par for a half on 13 and easy par for a plus on 14. Fifteen is a 400m par 4. Two nice shots followed by three putts for a half. Then two missed greens for losses on 16 and 17 followed by an uninspired 5 on the short par 5 18th saw me two down at the turn. It didn't feel that bad but the score card tells no lies.
Then quite unexpectedly I birdied the 273m first, made easy pars for halves on the 2nd and 3rd, hit a beautiful faded 4I approach to the 373m for an easy par and a plus on 4, hit a very nice 3W to about 20 feet for a nice birdie on the 195m par 3 fifth and holed a nice 15 footer for a birdie on the 462m par 5 6th.
So there I was sitting three under after six holes on my second nine. A very good drive on the 368m par 4 seventh saw me standing over an 8I approach with a shot and a pretty easy chance to go three up overall. Just as unexpectedly I lost my 8I right then for no apparent reason skulled an easy pitch across the green into a bunker. Failure to get up and down meant a minus where I had expected a plus only minutes earlier.
Then came an ordinary 8I onto the 123m 8th to around 50 feet short of the back pin placement. My first putt must have been at least 10 feet short. Somehow my second putt found the cup. Then an easy two putt par for a half on the 343m par 4 ninth.
Overall result 77 against par 71 for +1 on the day. Thirteen greens in regulation which is pretty good for me and quite a few more than I would have guessed. I guess that's what happens when you play with top class players. Three birdies in a six hole stretch. With the vagaries of the handicap system I actually went out to 6.4 after the round.
The good news is that my blood sugars behaved nicely throughout the round. The bad news is that despite riding in a cart I was pretty tired after the round. Overall a real Jekyll and Hyde effort then out to pizza for dinner on the esplanade.
Just another day in paradise.