The end result was a 78 in my first round on the Cupp course, and an even more disappointing 76 on the easier Hills course in the second round. After a lousy second round start that saw me at two-over-par through three holes, I had a good stretch on holes 5-8 where I made two birdies and missed two other good opportunities at birdies. Holes 9-11 all offered very good opportunities to make birdies, and I really felt poised to make a run. Unfortunately, lousy wedge shots turned three very good birdie chances into two bogeys and a par. I threw away at least three shots in that three-hole stretch, which is disappointing. I was excited, however, to be in a position to make a run and get myself back into the tournament. A few good days of practice will have me ready to capitalize on that opportunity next time!
While the second round is not officially over due to the frost delay and today's slow-play, I can say for certain that I will not be around for the final two rounds this week. While the feeling of missing a cut makes me miserable, I know that I will be able to use the next few days to practice and really get my game in shape for the second tournament of the year next week in Savannah, GA. I'm going to continue to try to sharpen my ball-striking, but I will be working particularly hard on my wedge-play and putting. I felt that both of those areas of my game were pretty reliable heading into this week, but I clearly have to keep working to get and keep my short-game sharp.
I'm not happy with my performance this week, but I'm not discouraged either. While at times I looked pretty bad, I still feel like I'm one or two good feelings away from playing well. I spent about an hour on the putting green after completing my long day today, and I think I may be on the verge of getting one of those good feelings with my putter. I'm going to get it--that "lovin' feeling!" Stay tuned for a practice report from the next few days.