Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Qualifier Mishap

I played today in my first Monday Qualifier attempting to earn a spot in the field of the Nationwide Tour's Chattanooga Open. Monday Qualifiers are an 18-hole round where a lot of guys are playing for a very small number of spots in the tournament field. Therefore, in order to make the field, you have to play very well and not make any big mistakes.

I did play very well today, but I made a big mistake. I kept the driver in play and hit a lot of good iron shots today. I also saw a glimmer of hope with the putter as I made a few in that 5-10 foot range that I've been missing. I felt good over the putter all day, too. 

But, as I said, there was a big mistake. I got it to four under par through 11 and hit a great tee shot on 12, the hardest driving hole on the course. From the middle of the fairway, between a seven and an eight iron, I decided to hit a fade seven. I never committed to the shot and never trusted that it was correct. The result was a poor swing and big block into a right bunker. The bunkers were very wet, and the spot where my ball landed was almost unplayably so. There was no where to take relief, however, and I executed a poor shot from the puddle, leaving it in the bunker and making a double-bogey six.

I hit a lot of good shots in the closing six holes, but couldn't quite get another birdie to fall. My score of 70 left me on the outside looking in. And, yes, 68 would have gotten me into the field. But I know better than to get caught up in the "what ifs." Today was undoubtedly a positive experience for me. I played great, and I made a mistake from which I will take an important lesson: Be committed to a shot before attempting to execute it. I already knew that, but this will serve as a powerful reminder!

I'm still brimming with confidence. As much as this hurts right now, I feel great about my game. I have just over two weeks to get totally prepared for the first stage of Q-school. I play October 21-24 in Florence, South Carolina. I can't wait!!!

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