|Chris Heintz ... At The Buick Invitational|
UCLA freshman Chris Heintz begins play this week in the Buick Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Chris qualified in October by shooting a one-under par 71 and earning one of two spots available for amateur competitors.
Friday, Feb. 13: Day 4
I started with a par on No.10. That was a good start.
On 11, I hit a four-iron to three feet and made the putt for birdie.
I made a great par save on No.12 from a green-side bunker.
Number 13 is a par 5 and I was in a bunker in two. My shot from the sand almost went in and I had a two-inch tap-in for birdie.
At 14 (par 4) I hit a great drive and stiffed an 8-iron to about six inches for another tap-in birdie. At this point I thought I was going to shoot 65. I had two tap-in birdies and a three-footer. I wasn't thinking about making the cut. I was thinking about actually playing in the tournament.
At 15, I hit a very Tiger-esque recovery shot. My drive went left and I had tree trouble in front of me on my second shot. I had to hit it 180 yards under some trees and hook it about 10 yards. The shot I hit went under a low tree branch, rose up over another branch and hooked around onto the green about 12 feet from the hole. I two-putted for par. I was feeling pretty good, like everything was going my way.
On the (par-3) 16th I smoked a three-iron into the wind to the middle of the green. I had a 20-footer for birdie that lipped out.
At 17 (par 4) I hit a great drive and then hit a six-iron 180 yards to the middle of the green about 25 feet from the cup. I misjudged the speed of the putt and left it about five feet short. I missed that putt and made a bogey.
On 18 I made a simple par. I felt really good having played the toughest part of the course in two-under par.
On the first hole I made a routine par.
On number two, I hit a good drive and put a wedge about eight feet, but missed the putt.
The third hole is a 200-yard downhill par 3 on a cliff. I hit a five-iron right on the flag that came up short and landed in the front bunker. The hole was just four paces from the bunker. I hit a reasonably good bunker shot, but missed the four-foot putt.
I made another bogey at the fourth hole. I hit my worst drive of the week - it went into the right fairway bunker and I had 230 yards to the hole. I hit a five-wood out and caught it solid but it went left of the green. I had a difficult chip and couldn't get it up and down.
On five, six and seven, I made routine pars.
The eighth is a par 3, 175 yards up a hill. I was between clubs: an easy 6 or a hard 7. I decided to go with the easy six and made the absolute worst swing. I hit it fat and short of the green. I wasn't able to get it up and down. My 10-footer lipped out.
On nine (par 5) I knew I was gone (missed the cut). I basically wanted to pick up and leave. I hit my drive way right. I tried to murder it. All I could do on my second shot was hit a seven-iron about 130 yards out of the rough. I was thinking that if I make this birdie putt, who knows, maybe by some freak way I could make the cut. But my putt never had a chance. I missed it low all the way.
I've got a lot to improve on. Patience and experience goes a long way.
I need to be more aggressive. When I was three-under I was content, instead of trying to make more birdies. I was a little lazy, a little sloppy. On those short birdie putts, I've really got to will them in there.
I need to improve my distance and learn to hit my irons better. No more 50-yard wedges like on the first hole yesterday. My putting always needs to improve. I can't be missing any short putts - two-footers for birdie.
It was a fun couple of days. There were tons of friends and family out there cheering me on and having a great time. They made the whole experience really special. It's something I'll always remember. I came away knowing that I can play at this level. There's no doubt that at the end of college, I can play on the PGA Tour.