Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good Day!

I knew that my game couldn't have been lost too deeply despite some disappointing results my last couple times out in competition. In U.S. Open Local Qualifying today, I executed very well for the most part and shot a 7-under-par round of 65 to take medallist honors and easily advance to the 2nd ("Sectional") Stage of qualifying. Today's accomplishment was pretty solid considering that 51 players were competing for just four spots in the next round. I knew that a solid round would get the job done, and I am very pleased that I was able to deliver.

My first tee shot of the day was not indicative of the solid play that would follow. Standing on the first tee at Holston Hills and feeling pretty good after a very nice warm-up session, I calmly hit a horrible block-slice off the heel of my driver that flew very short and some 50 yards right of the fairway. Facing some tree trouble for my second shot, I tried to play a low hooking hybrid with hopes that I could leave the ball somewhere in front of the green with an easy uphill pitch shot to the front hole location. Instead the ball came screaming out of the rough and flew almost all the way to green before landing into an upslope just short of the green and settling nicely just six feet from the hole. It was a routine birdie, and I was off and running! The next 12 holes were much more routine as I hit a lot of fairways and every single green through the first 13 holes. An up-and-down par save on the par-3 14th kept me bogey free and five under par for the day heading into the last four holes. I continued to stripe my driver in the closing holes, but my poor wedge play and chipping of late did rear their ugly heads for a brief stretch on holes 15 and 16. I missed the green with short wedges on both of those holes, and suffered my only bogey of the day when I failed to convert a simple up-and-down on the 15th. I was definitely a bit on edge after my shaky play on 15 and 16, but Holston Hills closes with back-to-back par 5s, so I knew that I could seal the deal with a strong finish. A perfect drive and a busted hybrid rolled just off the back of the green on the par-5 17th, but I holed an easy chip shot for eagle to give myself a real boost heading to number 18. Two solid shots left me below the hole in a front greenside bunker from which I played a nice shot and holed a slick 3-footer for birdie to finalize my round of 65. It was sure exciting to pull myself together and finish so well after giving a shot or two back on numbers 15 and 16.

Qualifying for the U.S. Open is the third of my three major "Outcome Goals" for 2011. Some of the process goals that I am trying to reach in order to help myself accomplish my outcome goals involve par-5 scoring, consistent putting, and precise wedge play. In today's round, I played the four par-5s at Holston Hills in 6 under par, so that was good. I also putted the ball very well. My wedge play, however, was not sharp at all. In order to make it through the Sectional Round of qualifying and reach the U.S. Open, I am going to need to be solid in all three areas. I still have not been doing a good job of achieving my process goals each week, and I really think I can and should do better. My process goals are in place to help me reach my outcome goals, and I'm going to work hard on the processes so that I can see the results that I want!

I have the rest of this week at home to work on my process goals before I head back out for a week on the Egolf Tour next week at Pine Needles Resort in Pinehurst, NC. I will have a great week of practice with the rest of my time at home before I hit the road again, and I will achieve all of my non-tournament-week process goals this week!

While today did remind me very much of the need to keep sharpening all areas of my game, I am thrilled with the way that I was able to play today. I drove the ball beautifully, and my iron play was pretty solid. I feel very confident on the greens, too. I actually ended up winning the qualifier by three shots today as three people tied for second with scores of 68. While that may make it seem like today's task was easy, advancing to the Sectional Round of U.S. Open Qualifying is actually a great accomplishment. I have experienced Sectionals once before (in 2009), and I feel like advancing to the U.S. Open is very do-able if I remain calm and confident. The Sectional Qualifier is 36 holes on June 6th, and I have signed up to play in Rockville, Maryland.

I have a lot of exciting things coming up soon. I have the chance to get back in contention on the Egolf Tour next week, there are some Nationwide Tour Monday Qualifiers coming up in the next few weeks, and I will have a chance to advance to the Unites States Open Championship in early June. It all starts with four good days of practice here at home in Beautiful Dandridge, TN, though. Keep it here for updates as I work towards my process goals and really start to sharpen my game!

1 comment:

  1. Great job Peter! Best of luck on your way to the US Open.


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