The tournament is about that, too. It’s about being humbled by the game because, gee whiz, just how often does an amateur golfer play the ball down and putt everything out? But it’s also about sticking with it and making it to the finish line because there is virtue in going the distance.
“I’ve never played in a tournament like this,” Humphreys said. “I’ve played in scrambles all the time, but never as an individual.”
Shaw said he thought strict tourney conditions might add 10 strokes to the games of the uninitiated
“It’s told me I need a lot of work on my game,” said Shaw, who once upon a time was an NHS golfer, playing Westwood Park almost every day.
Both decided the tournament’s been fun, but when asked to elaborate, the question became trickier.
“I don’t know,” Shaw said. “I don’t want to expand on that … It’s punishing, really.”
Both thoughts are true. It’s fun and punishing. At some level, it may even be fun because it’s punishing. If it’s not, well, fighting the good fight is at least rewarding. And it’s not like only weaknesses are exposed.
For instance, Shaw can get up and down from the ball washer. Of all the things to be good at in the face of intermittent golf, that has to be last on the list and yet it’s his strength.
Meanwhile, Humphreys absolutely smashes the ball. Part of his problem on No. 11 was a drive that put him too close to the water, requiring too delicate a pitch over the hazard. Of course, it was his long hitting that set up the birdie at No. 16 and what may have only been a 7-iron he knocked it stiff at No. 17.
Anyway, after 36 holes, Shaw and Humphreys have plenty of stories. Maybe more than anything else, this tournament’s about that.
There will be many more today.
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