Senior Club Championship

Was played last weekend in our club. As always, 2 rounds had to be played, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. And there’s a cut after Saturday’s round.

The weather was murderous. We really chose the 2 hottest days of the year. On Saturday the temperature went up to 26°C, on Sunday it got even hotter and we ended up playing at 38°C.

I closed the first day with a reasonable 83. Within my handicap buffer, this got me to the shared first place with 3 other guys after the first round. My game was ok, but not good: I made quite a few putting mistakes and lost 3-4 stroked.

Next day we started in the heat as the last flight. How wonderful had it been on Saturday, when we were out as the first flight and could go with a good pace. Now we were trolling after the slow players, and the heat got obnoxious! I got really luck on the first couple of holes, where my erratic drives were close to OB a few times. But it stabilized after a while and I was playing the first 9 in bogey, and the second nine started with a few bogey as well. Not good, not bad, but not too bad.

Meanwhile one of the guys in my flight had established a 3 stroke lead, and the other competitor in our flight and myself though we can pack and go. But then on 15 he made his first mistake, while he ket it together on 16. On the par 3 17 my tee shot landed really close to the pin, and the leader gut really nervous: He changed clubs, tried to play it save and ended up to pull his shot into the bush where we didn’t find it anymore. So he and I ended up sharing the lead after 17, the 3rd guy one behind. Had I played birdie on that hole, I might have sealed a victory already.

Last hole I had the honors and played a wonderful tee shot down the fairway. Actually, it was the best tee shot I ever had on this hole. The former leader whacked his ball way right and ended up behing some high trees, and the 3rd guy had a reasonable tee shot as well, but quite a few meters short of my ball.

Tree shot ended in a bunker close to the green, 3rd guy was short of the green, and then it was my turn: I pulled a 6-iron a little to the left and ended up pin-high in the rough, about 15 meters to the left.

And then it happend. My concentration went to hell and I played a most stupid little pitch, getting the ball forward just a few meters! The other guys finished with 5 and 6 (I ended up with a 6 as well after my putt lipped out), and off we went to a sudden-death play-off.

I had lost my focus, and ended up on 3rd place. Happy to get out of the heat, but sad that I had let this opportunity slip away. Hope it will be a lesson for my next championship event.


So tonight I was heading to northern France, to present at the Java User Group in Lille. My idea was to fly into Bruessels and take a car from there to meet the folks around 18:00 at the meeting location of the Ch’ti Jug to talk about Eclipse and such.

Now it turns out that this was a really bad idea. The plane I took from Berlin to Bruessels: Well it started late. The excuse the pilot made was that his cabin people had miscounted the number of people on the plane. So they unloaded some luggage, then they found out that the people were actually on the plane, then they re-loaded the luggage.

Execution cost some time, so we started about 45 minutes after the planned departure time. Oh wee, I thought, good that I had planned for some extra time.

Turns out that the traffic jams around Brussels were not in my calculation. They ate up all the buffer that I had planned. But there was a chance! My little TomTom navigation app on the iPhone was telling me that I will be only 3 minutes late. Little did it know!

Just 20 kilometers before Lille my For rental car gave up. No comment, it said.

So what’s left: I can only apologize to folks in Lille. If they still want me, I’ll be back!