Welcome to the show, kid.
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz shot 84 in the first round of the South Georgia Classic, his first Nationwide Tour event. The plus-2 handicap started strongly on Thursday, and was 1-under through three holes before weather canceled play for the rest of the day. Things fell apart quickly when play resumed Friday morning, according to Tom Edrington at BleacherReport.com.
On the restart of the first round, he went bogey, bogey, double, bogey and threw another bogey in at 18 for a 41. Ugh.
Things didn’t get any better on the front nine. Three straight bogeys then a double at four, two more at seven and eight. Added up to a 43, good for a 12-over par 84.
Good news is he cut Jerry Rice’s 92 at the 2010 BMW by eight. Bad news is he’ll be gone after the second round.
Smoltz, who is writing about his experience at PGATour.com, said he realizes he has a lot to learn about tournament play.
Well, I’m disappointed. Like anyone would be. I don’t think I’ve shot 84 in the last five months, or maybe even the last five years.
Every second shot came up short. Then of course I chipped it to 4, 5, 8 feet and missed putts. I never got in a rhythm. I never felt like I could roll them in the hole. They got close, but never in. I’ll take this round and use it in the way you should use it. I’ll take some valuable lessons and grind out a really good round tomorrow.
I’m not used to a lot of things out here, but that’s what’s neat about a tournament like this. The delays are not something you practice for, but you have to get used to it. You don’t want to shoot the score I shot, but certainly, I’ll be better for it tomorrow.
I think the biggest thing is just the patience of it. You’re waiting a lot. You’re having to think a lot. And once I get through that process of knowing how to wait and how to think then golf will be a lot different for me. When I get in a golf cart and race up to my ball and play it — I”m pretty good. But I have to learn, especially from yesterday. I was tested. I’ll attempt things differently tomorrow.
(Photo: Chris Condon/Getty Images)