Most players in USGA amateur championships will tell you that getting into match play is the most important step in their competitive process. You can’t move on unless you manage your game well enough to get one of the coveted 64 places in the field.
So Tom Krystyn, 46, of Denver, Colo., shrugged his shoulders after a 9-over-par 81 at The Bridge in the first round of Mid-Amateur stroke play yesterday.
“Any course is tough when you are hitting it bad,” said Krystyn, a sales representative for Acushnet. “I didn’t hit the well. I didn’t hit the ball solid. I didn’t putt well yesterday. I turned it around. It was a lot better today.”
With two birdies and an eagle against two bogeys, Krystyn fired a 2-under-par 70 at Atlantic Golf Club for a 36-hole total of 7-over-par 151, which might just get him one of the spots in the match-play field.
“It couldn’t get any worse,” Krystyn said of his Saturday round. “I was more patient. I didn’t hit it great. I didn’t hit it in trouble. I hit it in trouble yesterday.”
The tall and slender Krystyn started bogey, par, bogey on his first three holes today but made a 60-foot putt to eagle No. 4.
“Then, I started feel more comfortable over the ball,” he said. “That kind of righted the ship.”
Asked for what part of his game was better 24 hours later and he quickly replied, “Driving. I drove the ball poorly (yesterday). I was hitting it in the bushes, in the tall grass. It’s hard to hit the greens when you are hitting it all over the place on the tee.”
Krystyn will probably do some scoreboard watching this afternoon to see if he joins the select 64.
“I was hoping to make a couple more birdies coming in,” he said. “But, I was also happy with an up-and-down from over the green on the long, into-the-wind ninth. I was hoping 70 would be good enough to get in but 69 would have been a better shot.” -- Pete Kowalski