WGT invited World Golf Tour player mrenn29 to contribute this blog post. As the 2011 Virtual U.S. Open Champion, mrenn29 won a trip to the U.S. Open at Olympic Country Club in San Francisco next year (see Virtual Open recap).
Hello everyone. First off, I would like to introduce myself, for those whom I haven’t met, my name is Mike. I'm from Long Beach California. I love golf, have been playing for over 30 years and I am 37 years old. I try to get out when I can but we all know work will get in the way of golf.
I joined WGT back in March of 2010. It’s kind of funny how I found WGT, I was bored at work one day playing some kind of card game done thru flash and an advertisement came up on the side of the screen for World Golf Tour, tee up now. So I clicked on it and here I am LOL.
My first impressions of WGT were,WOW! Unreal graphics, famous courses and challenging. My second thought came after I double bogeyed the first hole on Kiawah, I said to myself, boy this game is tough! But I decided to stick with it and after the first month or so I started to see some progress. Then I took myself into the pro shop and decided to buy a wedge. Went back out and stuck a shot from 95 yards on St Andrews. From then on I was hooked! Then WGT decided to put the tier system in. What a challenge this was, but I am open to challenges. I kept practicing and playing with better players. And after over 1,000 ranked rounds later, I found myself hanging in there with some of the game’s best players.
You can usually find me chatting with my fellow Deviation members on IRC (Internet Relay Chat). There you will find some of the best players in the world. I usually am playing with fellow members from the Deviations Country Club. Everyone in the club is a great player and a great person. My personal favorite course is Oakmont. Some may ask why, well I enjoy it because to this day it is still the most challenging course to me on WGT. It can still take a lot of strokes back from me if I am not careful.
Now on to the Virtual U.S. Open. Being that we only had a little over a month or so to really get the feel of Congressional, I went into the open thinking, hey just give it your best shot and see what happens. Well the first round was a decent round of 62 for me. I was very happy with that even though it wasn’t the leader, but I was within 4 strokes after that round, so going into round 2 I knew I would have to go pretty low to have a chance especially with BolloxInBruges (Sam) (see Guest Blog post) up near the top, knowing he is fully capable of firing another round even lower.
So I teeed it up, made birdie on first 3 holes, and then came the dreaded 4th. I had a wind that required a draw in order to find the fairway, but luckily I pulled it off and then just wanted to find the center of the green on the approach. After I sank the 38 foot bending putt was when the rhythm really started. From there the first 10 holes were all birdied. That’s when I said to myself, wow, I might actually pull this off.
Then the nerves really set in, with pars on 11, 12 and 14, I started to sweat a little. But then I sank a nice 15 foot putt on 15 to get my hopes back up. So I finished with a 57 thinking, well I put myself in contention and that's more than I could ever ask for!
I’m really excited to meet the folks at WGT at Olympic Club next year and maybe even play some golf while I am in San Francisco. I’m also planning on meeting some fellow members of the Deviations in San Francisco so it should make for a memorable trip. And finally, I would like to thank WGT and the USGA for giving us the opportunity to compete in major tournaments such as the U.S. Open, my hats off to all the WGT crew for introducing me to such an awesome golf game!