Monday, April 19, 2010

So Close to Good

I was the most comfortable I have been all year on the course today. Playing in my first Monday Qualifier of the year, I started well, went on a lousy three-hole stretch mid-round, and then played the back nine in four-under par to shoot 68 and come oh so close to having my first ever start in a PGA Tour sanctioned event. It looks like the 67s will playoff for the last qualifying positions.

Glen Arven Country Club, where my qualifying round was played, is a short course that offers a lot of birdie opportunities. A lot of doglegs combined with very small, raised greens do give the course a lot of character, but I knew going into the day that I needed to shoot a very good score.

I got off to a good start. Solid driving and good short iron play had me two-under par through six despite missing a couple of makable birdie putts. On the seventh hole, I tried to force a driver up into a narrow area in hopes of reaching the par-five green in two, but a slight tug left my ball bouncing into a creek up the left side. I failed to get up and down from 70 yards for par. Two holes later, after a decent seven iron to 25 feet on the par-three ninth, I disappointingly three-putted to send my front-nine total back to even par. I was determined to stay committed to my routine and make some birdies and I did just that on the back nine. More good driving of the ball and some really good wedge play were the main contributing factors in my back-nine 32. I had a good chance to get one more birdie on the par-five 18th, but my three wood, which I absolutely smoked from 245 up a steep hill, found its way onto the back lip of green-side bunker. I was left with a difficult up and down and failed to convert.

I'm disappointed to have missed out on my goal of qualifying for this week's Nationwide Tour event, but I sure do feel good about the way I played on the back nine. I drove the ball beautifully at times and was able to shape it both ways on command. I saw some good iron play and some really good wedge play today, though I still hit a couple of really poor wedge shots. I still don't love the way I'm putting the ball. I feel great about my putting in practice, but I just seem unsure of myself on the greens right now. I know the things that I'm working on in my putting are good, so I'm excited for the day that it starts to feel right on the course. I'm certain that that day is coming soon.

My game is coming around. I really do feel like I'm ready to play well in a tournament. I'm not sure whether my next event will be the Monday Qualifier for next week's Nationwide event in Athens, GA, or the Tarheel Tour event which begins a week from Wednesday in Charlotte, NC. Either way, I will be ready to play and play well!

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