Sunday, August 29, 2010

Exciting Debut

I'll start by saying this: while being home for a tournament has a million advantages, good internet access is not one of them. The Malnati clan lives in older times without ESPN or an internet service that doesn't come through a telephone modem. That is why my blog has not received its usual daily attention.

The lack of news certainly doesn't mean bad news, though. After Monday Qualifying into the Nationwide Tour event in Knoxville this past week, I took advantage of the opportunity to play my first PGA sanctioned event near my hometown. Playing on Fox Den Country Club's Par 72 layout, I shot rounds 70 and 69 the first two days to advance to the weekend before a Saturday 70 and a Sunday 67 resulted in a 12-under-par total for the week and a tie for 16th place.

I battled nerves and loose tee balls on the tight golf course on Thursday and Friday, but some strong iron play and good putting helped keep my scores reasonable. On the weekend, I provided some real excitement. Standing on the ninth tee at one under par for my third round on Saturday, I hit a driver and a 115 yard pitching wedge into the hole for an eagle. I then went to the the par-five 10th and holed a flop shot from just right of the green for a second consecutive eagle. Standing on the 11th tee at ten under par for the event, I was in third place! That was a very cool feeling. I think I got a little bit ahead of myself in that situation, however, and I let things start moving a little too quickly. A three-putt bogey and a skulled lob wedge that bounced off of a cart path and ended up out of bounds resulted in a three-over-par two-hole stretch at numbers 13 and 14 that quickly dropped my name off of the leaderboard. I made four great pars to finish my third round at two-under-par and keep myself in position to make a move on Sunday.

I entered the fourth round tied for 35th in the tournament. On the Nationwide Tour, players who are not exempt from qualifying can earn a spot in the next week's tournament by finishing in the top 25. This had been in the back of my mind ever since I was able to successfully Monday Qualify. I knew it would take a solid final round to reach the top 25, but I felt like I could definitely do it. I played my best round of the week on Sunday. My ball-striking was very good, and I putted the ball well, too. I hit 16 greens and, despite suffering a three-putt, really putted well all day. The end result was a round of 67 that jumped me to 16th place and earned me a spot in next week's event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

So, now that I have finally written to catch you up on the exciting news from this past week, I need to start packing my bags so that I can hit the road for Pittsburgh tomorrow morning! What an exciting opportunity! This week proved to me that I can compete at this level, so I am excited for the opportunity to go out and play again this coming week! I will get a practice round in on Tuesday, and the tournament will begin on Thursday. And though I will not have the comforts of home this time, I will have some internet, so please expect daily updates!

3 comments:

  1. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/aug/28/malnati-enjoys-advantages-of-home/

    http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/2010/aug/28/97301/


    Some press in Knoxville.

    Good luck in Pittsburg, PA.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great playing this weekend and good luck in Pittsbaurg
    Chad Owenby

    ReplyDelete
  3. More press on Peter from Knoxville:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/aug/30/malnati-knox-have-changes-in-plans/?partner=yahoo_feeds

    Picture
    http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/2010/aug/28/97299/

    ReplyDelete

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