Somewhere in the dustbin of hackneyed sports expressions that will be pulled out for March Madness is that of "peaking too soon."
I guess it is not always a good time to play your best game?
Exhibit A--I'm playing my first 40 and over tournament next weekend, The Crosstown Challenge. Two rounds at Zebulon Community Park and two rounds at Cedar Hills. I'd only played Zebulon once, last summer, and I'm pretty sure I was in the high sixties. I thought it would be a good idea to play it again before the tournament. The result? A 56.
Two days earlier, on a windy day, I shot a 56 at OT Sloan in Sanford, a course where I think my best score is like a 48. To be over par at OT Sloan is almost more embarassing than shooting a 56 at Zebulon is impressive.
But immediately I began wondering. Did I leave it all on the practice course? Was I peaking too early? Did I only have so many putts and approaches that I used up?
I did make a number of shots that I can't count on making with consistency. I took a deuce on hole #4 with a good drive (for me) and a long putt. I had quite a few upshots from 150-200 feet that I put to within putting range for a par opportunity. To do well at Zebulon, I need to drive well (for me). Course length is 6332, almost 2000 feet longer than OT Sloan's 4392. And I have to putt well--all of a sudden those 20 footers are for par rather than birdie. But I guess I can do it...I've done it before...unless I peaked too early.
Zebulon Community Park; Zebulon, NC
3-2-4 2-3-4 4-3-4 (OUT) 29
3-3-3 3-3-3 3-3-3 (IN) 27 (56)