Where do we start? That was a lot of fun this week at the Illinois Mid-Amateur Championship at Stonebridge CC in Aurora, IL. The golf course design is very well done as most of the tee shots look narrower than they actually are. I did not have the opportunity to play a practice round this week, but thanks to google earth I had a good idea what to expect. Most of the fairways were 35+ yards wide with another 10-15 before any real trouble unless there was water on the hole. My first round I started on the 10th tee. I hit a poor wedge into this green but was able to get up and down. That gave me a nice boost and I started the day with 4 nice pars. We got to our first par 5 of the day and that lead to my first birdie. -1 throught 5. The next hole I was unable to make par from a divot in the rough and back to even. My 7th hole (16th on the course) is a great designed hole. 335 unreachable with how wet it was. I hit a good tee shot and even better wedge and got back to -1. Two more pars and I finish the front side at -1. We head to the 10th hole (1st) another par 5. Toady its a 3 shot hole, a good tee shot and wedge lead to another birdie, -2 through 10. The next hole a solid 3 wood and wedge and another birdie, -3 through 11. This is when the rain started. We had a two hour delay at this point. We come back out and I make couple of pars on 12 & 13, and we are rolling again. We get to our 14th hole (5th on the course). A solid par 4 with water all the way left. The green has a huge ridge running away from you and the pin was below that ridge. I hit a solid 4 wood to 104. Hit that wedge to a foot and we are -4 through 14. We can see that more rain is on the way and we are hoping for lighting at this point. Two more pars and I am -4 through 16 and 2nd place alone at this point. The 17th hole is a good par 3 with a tricky green. I hit into the wrong spot and rolled into the rough. A chip to 4' and a lip out lead to a poor bogey. Still have a good round going. The rain is picking up at this point. My umbrella broke in between holes and now my goal is to just keep my grips dry. We get to our final hole and I hit a very poor tee shot (worst of the week). I then punch out and try to lay up to make par the hard way. My lay up squirted right and into the rough. Never saw it bounce but never thought we wouldn't find it. After looking for 3 minutes (it goes fast) and its a lost ball. From there I hit the correct lay up and then onto the green and 2 putts for an 8 and an even par round of 72. I can't properly put into words my emotions at this point. Because of the earlier delay we have to go right out for our 2nd round. I was able to gather my thought for a i and made an opening par. The next 3 holes I hit good tee shots. Missed one green and had two 3 putts and I am 3 over through 4. Six holes earlier I was -4. I was able to make a birdie on the 5th hole (I birdied this hole every round). One more bogey and birdie and we finish the front nine at +2. Onto the back 9. I hit a good tee shot on 10 that ended up in a divot. A poor shot from there and I am now +3. I par 11 and 12. My 2nd worst drive of the event on 13 lead to another bogey. +4. I was able to bounce back on 14 with a birdie but gave it back on 17. I made par on the 18th hole to finish the day at +4. I was very disappointed with my score. I hit the ball much better than my +4 score for 36 holes. I made the cut (top 35) by 2 shots and had a very good chance of a top 20 finish with a good 3rd round. The top 20 are exempt to the 2020 event. So that was my goal going into the final round. The final round starts very well. A good tee shot, nice lay up and a wedge to 8'. I just missed that putt but had a stress free opening par. The 2nd hole much like the first. A good tee shot and wedge to 10'. Again just missed the putt but stress free par. The 3rd hole I pushed my iron and made a poor bogey after a very poor chip shot. +1 for the round. A par on #4 and we are off to my favorite hole. A good 4 wood off the tee and a wedge to 10' and I finally make a putt. Back to even through 5. The 6th hole is a 440 yard par 4. I hit a good tee shot and a solid 8 iron to the center of the green. 2 poor putts later and I make bogey. I hate three putting. The 7th hole longest par 4 on the course (470 yards). I hit another good tee shot. I have 188 yards into the wind. A solid 6 iron to the center of the green and I was please. But again 3 putts later another bogey. +2 after 7 and only missing one green. I am hitting the ball well and just need to keep doing that. The 8th hole is playing a lot shorter, a par 3 at 135 yards. I hit a very good PW to 8' and finally make that putt to get back to +1. Onto the 9th hole. I hit a good tee shot, good lay up to 71 yards and a wedge to 5'. Two birdies in a row and an even par front nine. I am please as I know I am hitting the ball well. I start the back nine with 2 solid pars and we head to the par 3 12th hole. Playing 175 yards into the wind over water. I caught my 7 iron a hair fat and the wind ate it up into the water. I know this is the club if I even thin it. I re-tee and hit it to 6'. I lip that putt out and make double +2 after 12 holes. I can still finish well. A solid par on 13 and we are off to the par 5 14th hole. Its playing into the wind and I hit a great tee shot. I have 237 yards to the flag slightly up hill to a green guarded in front by a bunker. I hit what I felt was a perfect cut 4 wood. I could see the wind hit it just as I thought. The ball hit a yard above the bunker and kicked back into it just under the lip. One more foot forward and I have an eagle putt. I did not have a good lie in the bunker. I tried to blast it out and the ball jumped up into the face and rolled back into my foot prints. A 2nd shot out rolled over the green and from there I was able to get up and down. A very poor bogey after 2 solid shots. I know I have 3 solid chances at birdie coming in if i hit the ball well. A good par on 15 & 16 and we head to the par 3 17th. 205 into the wind. I hit a 4 iron. Hit it very well and have 8' for birdie. It just slides by on the right and we are headed to 18 at +3. I know at this point in need an eagle to have a chance at top 20. Turns out that even would not be enough. The 18th hole was playing down wind. A 537 yard par 5 with water all the way right. I hit a perfect tee shot and have 224 yards to the flag. I hit a cut 4 iron to the front edge and have 25' for eagle. I hit my chip right by the right edge and have a tap in to finish my round at +2. I was happy to finish strong, but disappointed in my total score (+6) 222. I ended up at T-22 in a very solid field. There were past USGA champions in the field, if you look at some of the names this was truly a very good field. It would have been very nice to finish top 20, but it gives me something to work for next year. My stats are very telling. I need to learn how to putt. FIR - 73.8% (I will say the fairways were very generous). But if you missed you had trouble making par GIR - 72.2% (when you hit this many greens you will have lots of birdie chances. Man did I ever) Ave putts per round - 31.3 (this is about 3 putts too many per round). PPGIR - 1.79 [emoji36] Almost 2 putts per GIR. This must change if i want to compete. Just shows how important putting is. Total Birdies - 12 (4 per round) that is not a bad average Total Pars - 27 (exactly half the holes) Total Bogeys - 13 (5 from 3 putts) Total worse than Bogey - 2 ( 1 double, 1 triple) My take away is you have to eliminate your big mistake and putt better. It is simple to say if you do not 3 putt that's 5 strokes, but it is more than that. It is making more putts in the 8' - 15' range. I missed a lot of putt's there. This was my final big event for 2019. It is hard to believe that the season is over. I do have a fun event with my wife on Sunday that we look forward to each year. I have some time to reflect on the 2019 season and I will come back next week and write up my thoughts on how the season went. I already have plans to get back into the gym after labor day and try to come back in 2020 lighter, stronger and faster as I plan to use my super speed sticks all winter long. I want to thank MGS and the members here that have taken the time to follow along and read this all year long. I look forward to doing it again next year. Thank you.