Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Still Moving Forward; Ready to Win Again

It has been a really productive ten days since my win in the Nebraska Open. I was back in Columbia, Missouri the day after that tournament and quickly got back into a good practice routine. I have been working to tighten up some looseness off of the tee while just trying to keep "that lovin' feeling" in other areas of my game. I have had some really good practices and some not so good, but I feel really good about the status of my game.

One somewhat disappointing thing that happened last week was the discovery of a slight flaw in my putting stroke. I have been working all year to make sure that hands aren't involved in my takeaway and that the putter head doesn't swing back too far to the inside of the target line. The past couple months I have been rolling the ball very well, so I was a little bummed when one of my former teammates helped me discover that I had exaggerated what I was working on earlier this year to the point where the putter head was actually traveling quite a bit outside the target line in my backstroke. I was tempted to ignore this information and continue doing what I've been doing because my putting has been really good of late, but I know that a flawed path will ultimately lead to inconsistent putting. I set up a few drills on the putting green and had a couple of frustrating days of feeling awkward and uncomfortable over the putter, but I am feeling very good about it now, and I know that I will be a more consistently good putter for working on this now.

Other than just some really good, full days of practice, the last couple weeks have been really good for me because I've been working my way back into a great workout routine. Fitness has always been something that has been important to me--as much for just feeling good in general as for excelling in golf. The hectic schedule of the summer made it tough to get in full workouts, so I just didn't do very much working out at all. I never really felt like I was out of shape or anything like that, but I could tell that I wasn't as limber and athletic as I have been in the past. So when I got home from my second Nationwide Event on Labor Day weekend, I committed myself to getting back into a good routine, even if I did have to start with really short, light workouts and runs. I have been very good about sticking to my plan, and this past week have even surprised myself with some longer runs and more intense workouts. I'm feeling great, and I know that a good level of fitness can only help me on the course.

It's getting close to Go Time again, now. The Missouri Open is this Friday and Saturday at Old Hawthorne, which has been my home course while in Columbia for the past three years. My game is every bit as sharp as it was in Nebraska, and now I'm going to be competing at a place that I know better than anyone else in the field. I need to have another good day of practice tomorrow and do a good job of staying present and trusting my routine for one shot at a time, but I'm really feeling good about this event. The tournament is just 36 holes, and it starts Friday morning. Keep it here for good news after each round!

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