This weekend Paul and I competed in the 34th Annual Wintertime Open in Pasadena, California.
We arrived in Pasadena Friday afternoon to practice the par 61 championship course. Nine holes into practicing, John Tompkins (better known as Biebs) met up with us to practice as he would be competing also. After the practice round we went back to Biebs’ house and his mom, Mary, made us a pulled pork and potato dinner which was one of the best home cooked meals we have had in a long time; and then for dessert we had brownies and ice cream. (If anyone is ever in the Pasadena area, hit up Biebs and see if you can come over for dinner. His mom is an amazing cook!) I made sure to go to bed early because I had to wake up at 6:15 a.m because it takes me a while to get ready in the mornings. I’d like to thank M.A.C Cosmetics for sending me makeup to use out on the course. If you ladies haven’t tried their makeup yet, I highly recommend their products on and off the course.
We warmed up by playing 4 or 5 holes before the players meeting at 8. I found out the hard way that only warming up a little bit is not enough for me as I came in with a 76 after my first round and was in 3rd place to Indigo Brude who shot a 70 and Suzette Simons who shot a 71. Paul was sitting in 2nd place after his first round as he shot a 53 and Philo Brathwaite shot a 52. The lead card going into the second round was Philo, Paul, Steve Rico, and Biebs. Paul said that he was feeling confident going into the second round as he left a couple strokes out on the course that he knew he could make up. I also knew that I could play better, and was determined to prove it in the second round.
Before going into the second round Paul and I were practice putting on the new vortex baskets made by Arroyo Disc Sports. This basket is leaps and bounds ahead of any other basket out there. Paul said, “I can’t wait to play a full 18 or more holes with baskets that can catch like this.” I was feeling a lot more confident as I shot a 69 which was the hot round for the women. I still was in third place, but now I was only 1 stroke out of second and 5 strokes out of 1st. Paul shot a 55 and still was in 2nd place, now 2 strokes behind Philo who shot a 54, and Steve Rico was in 3rd place shooting a 56. After the round Paul and I were exhausted; all we could think about was eating dinner and going to sleep. We had a short night due to our exhaustion, but of course we always have time for some Hungry Howies. We ended up going to sleep around 9:30 because of how exhausted we were, and I wanted to wake up earlier so that I had more time to warm up before the 3rd round.
We woke up at 6 a.m and the weather outside was overcast and it looked like it was going to rain, but thankfully as the morning went on the weather started to clear up. Before the 3rd round started we warmed up again by throwing a few holes and putting a little bit. I was really hoping to gain at least 5 strokes during the 3rd round and get into 1st place, but instead I shot a 77 and remained in 3rd. I learned that having more time to warm up is important in me shooting a good round and I’m hoping as I play more tournaments I get better and more used to playing early morning rounds.
Apparently early morning rounds don’t bother Paul at all as he shot the new course record of 11 under and jumped into 1st place by 6 strokes before the final 9. Paul said, “it was a really boring round to me, I had no 4′s, and only four 2′s, but out there having no 4′s is huge because there are seven long par 4′s. I really never put myself into trouble, but when I did, Steve and I were in the same spot, allowing me to follow his line.”
The final 9 consisted of Paul McBeth -25, Philo Brathwaite -19, and Steve Rico -18. I caddied for Paul throughout the final 9 and watched these 3 battle it out. The first hole Paul had an unlucky break off a tree and sent it out of bounds for his only 4 of the day. After that Paul cruised to an 8 stroke victory. The real battle in the final 9 was between Philo and Steve; These two both had their ups and downs throughout the final 9 with Steve pulling out 1 throw ahead of Philo to take 2nd place. After watching these three play, it amazes me how competitive they are and they still have a great attitude towards each other. The sportsmanship that they displayed made it fun for all of us to watch.
At the awards, Philo and Steve congratulated Paul for his performance and thanked him for always pushing them at each event to be better players as the sport grows. When Paul was receiving his award he said, “I would like to thank the Horn family and everyone else who worked on the course, it’s the best I’ve seen it in years. I’d like to thank everyone who came out to watch the final 9, it’s the most people I’ve seen out there in a long time….”
After the award; Paul, Bamba and Steve Rico did an interview, In the Bag and In the Mind of Paul Mcbeth. They asked questions which consisted of what’s in Paul’s bag and his choices in plastic. They also talked about the mindset of Paul and Steve on and off the course. Although they have two distinct styles, the mental game that they share propels their game to the top of the sport.
Our next stops will be in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Gentlemen’s Club Challenge, and following that will be The Discraft Memorial in Scottsdale, Arizona. Stay tuned and follow our blog to see our adventures throughout the year. Please share our blog and feel free to leave comments and questions. We would like your feedback so we know what you would like to see and read throughout our tour year.
Here is another article written about The 34th Annual Wintertime Open.