Monday, August 29, 2011

Drat

I played well today in the Monday qualifier for this week's Nationwide Tour event in Pittsburgh, but the final results certainly don't show it. Green Oaks Country Club is a fairly easy golf course tee to green, but becomes very demanding because of the severity of the slopes and speed of the greens. I handled the challenge well through 12 holes and recorded two birdies and no bogeys in the first two thirds of my round. The final six holes, however, were a different story. I hit a couple of really good shots on the 13th and 14th holes, but on both occasions, my ball found a way to end up in a less than desirable spot and I suffered back-to-back bogeys. A solid birdie on the par-five 15th gave me hope, but when I pushed a short par putt at the long par-three 16th and missed, I knew my fate. Disappointingly, I lost focus on the last two holes and played hockey on the greens to finish with two more bogeys despite having extremely make-able looks at birdie on each of the last two holes. The final tally for the day was a two-over-par 72. I played much better than that, however, and am still feeling good!

I am going to get on the road to head back home for another week of great practice. I won't get another shot at the Nationwide Tour for a little while, but I still have some exciting things coming up! Come back in the next few days for a practice report and to hear my plans for the near future. Thank you, again, for following me and for your support!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Feeling Prepared

I had a great week of practice this week. For the second straight week, I failed to finish a couple of my putting drills that are part of my process goals for the year, but it sure wasn't for a lack of trying. I spent hours on the practice green, but was having trouble finishing a couple of my drills. It's disappointing not finish all of my goals, but I did a stellar job with my fitness routine and wedge-play drills and feel great about all areas of my game.

I had a smooth drive to Pittsburgh, PA, yesterday afternoon and played a great practice round at Green Oaks Country Club today. Tomorrow morning at 7:48, I will tee off at Green Oaks in the Monday Qualifier for this week's Nationwide Tour event--the Mylan Classic at Southpointe Golf Club. The qualifying course, Green Oaks, is an extremely old school country club course featuring a lot of short, tree-lined holes that are well-protected by bunkers and rough with greens that are small, slopey, and absolutely lightning fast. If you read that description and think, "that's right up Peter's alley," you are exactly right! I really like this course, and I feel like I had a successful practice round today. The course will require some intelligence on shots into the greens and patience on and around them, but I know that I will have to pick some spots to be aggressive and make some birdies. I am ready to play a good round of golf, and know that if I can be focused for 18 holes, I will execute well and be successful.

I'm going to be relaxed and confident tomorrow. It should be a great day. Come back in the evening to hear all about it!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great Practice; Going to Try Again!

I want to give a quick update of my week thus far and tell what is coming next. I have been having a good week of practice in my beautiful East Tennessee home. Some time with my family and even some extended family has been very relaxing, but I have also been working very hard on my fitness and my golf game. Some days of very good practice and a couple of great "friendly" matches have me feeling good about my game. A six-birdie, no-bogey round on a breezy day at Holston Hills on Thursday afternoon showed the benefits of the work I've been doing as my wedge play and putting were both very solid. I still have some work to do on my putting and wedges to finish my process goals for the week, but I am on the right track! It has been a very productive week, and I feel like I am continuing to get better.

I had told myself that I was going to be done chasing Monday Qualifiers for a while after the one in Knoxville this past week, but given how well I've been playing, I have decided that I need to drive to Pittsburgh, PA, to play in the Monday Qualifier for next week's Nationwide Tour event. I am playing well, and I know that if I stay patient and continue to believe in myself, I will get into an event soon. With that belief firmly in mind, I will hit the road tomorrow afternoon for Pittsburgh and give it another good effort on Monday!

Between now and then, I am going to have another good practice at home tomorrow morning and a good day of work learning the qualifying course on Sunday. It's going to be a productive weekend. Come back for a good report on Sunday night!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Heartbreak Kid (Monday Qualifier-wise)

The trend continues, but this time both the disappointment and the optimism are magnified. To make a long story short, I have once again come up one shot short of Monday Qualifying--this week for the Nationwide Tour's Knoxville Open.

To miss an event that is so close to my beautiful home and one in which I had great success last year makes this the most disappointing missed qualifier I have experienced. On the flip side, the manner in which I came so close today leaves me feeling as optimistic as ever about my game. I was packed with nervous energy this morning at the beginning of my round, but I did a great job channeling that energy and focusing on each shot. My execution was great, but unfortunately, I was a little too "amped" and had trouble controlling my distances over the first few holes. A terrible first putt on the third hole resulted in a three-putt bogey from just 30 feet away before an inexplicably long seven-iron approach from the fairway sailed over the fifth green leaving a tough up-and-down and resulting in a second bogey. I was two over par through five holes, but felt like I was executing well. From that point on, my golf was nearly flawless. Despite a couple of missed opportunities on the greens and two disappointing pars on back-to-back par 5's at numbers 9 and 10, I birdied six of the final 13 holes and made no bogeys in the stretch to post a four-under-par round of 67. At the end of the day, it worked out that exactly seven players shot 66 or better, so I was once again left on the outside, but I am extremely proud of my performance today.

Coming down the stretch, I knew my back was against the wall, but I also knew that I was executing well enough to make something great happen, and I almost did. I was just one under for my round heading to number 15. A great up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 15th preceded an aggressive tee shot down the watery 16th fairway to set up a short-iron approach and another birdie. A solid drive and a very good 8-iron approach into the 17th left me with a 20-foot putt from directly behind the hole, but a well-hit putt missed high of the hole. I went to the 450-ish yard 18th hole determined that I was going to make a two. A perfect drive took advantage of the wind at my back and got me to within 130 yards of green. Facing an uphill approach, I launched a pitching wedge up into the wind right at the flag. When I climbed the hill to the green, my ball was sitting four feet directly behind the hole. A great putt found the hole and capped off my round. It was so great to execute well down the stretch. My game is great, and I am ready for great things to happen.

This one hurts; there is no doubt about that, but I am going to have a strong week of practice this week and be ready for whatever is coming up next. I need a night to process some things in order to come up with a good plan moving forward, but I will come back in a day or two with an update of where I'll be heading next. Something good is coming in the near future, and I can't wait to make it happen and then share it with all of you! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Great Week of Practice; Ready to Go!

I am feeling good! The last five days my practice has been very good and productive. I was determined to finish my process goals this week, and, though I came up two putting drills short today, I am incredibly pleased with my effort. I was against the eight-ball in terms of time this week after missing two days of practice on Monday and Tuesday because of the weather-delayed Monday Qaulifier in Kansas City and then spending the better part of Friday on the road, but I still completed all of my fitness goals, all of my wedge-play goals, and made a strong attempt at all of my putting goals. My wedge play really feels sharp after my practice this week, and, despite struggling to finish my last two drills today, I had great practice with the putter as well. I feel good all-around and am excited for some good things to happen in the near future.

Tomorrow is the Monday Qualifier for this year's Knoxville Open on the Nationwide Tour. I had a lot of success in that event last year, and am hopeful that I will get the chance to build on that success this year. I tee off at 10:00 o'clock tomorrow morning at Willow Creek Golf Club in the qualifier. I have played Willow Creek before, but, having not seen it in four or five years, I played a practice round on Saturday to refresh my memory. I am comfortable on that course. I know it will take a good round to qualify tomorrow, but I believe that I am prepared to play great. It will be very important that I stay in the present and do a good job of committing to each shot tomorrow, but I know that I am ready to do that. It should be a great day. Come back to hear all about it after the round!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Going to Get My Practice Back on Track

I have spent the last two and a half days in Columbia, MO, and have had three of my most productive practice sessions of the summer. My travel and competition calendar has been a bit hectic the past four weeks, and I have used that as an excuse to get lazy towards my practice and fitness goals. The process goals that I made for myself this year are very realistic and do not require that I push myself above-and-beyond what would be a productive amount of practice. What the goals do is keep my practice very focused and add an element of pressure to my practice. I am pleased with the way that I have been playing all summer and feel good about the amount of work that I have put into my golf game, but I know that if I complete my process goals each week, my practice will be more efficient and provide greater benefits to me in my competitions. With that in mind, this Wednesday I rededicated myself to achieving my process goals each week . I have had three great days of practice since then. Today I will drive home to beautiful Dandridge, Tennessee, where I will have two more good days of practice in preparation for the Monday Qualifier for next week's Nationwide Tour event--the Knoxville Open. My game still feels awesome, and I know that it is just going to keep getting better. That breakthrough for which I have been waiting might just come on home turf! Keep it here for another report heading into Monday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rock Barn Wrap-Up & More Monday Disappointment

I'm sure by now most of you have seen the final results from last week's Egolf event at Rock Barn Golf Club in North Carolina. I am sorry that this update is late. After shooting 73, 64 to make the cut right on the number, a fairly solid weekend performance of 69, 69 moved me up the leaderboard to finish in a tie for 21st. I felt very comfortable at Rock Barn and would have liked to have had a better finish than that, but I am very proud of the fact that I kept a good attitude and played with confidence all week despite struggling a little bit with my ball-striking and putting. I was one over par midway through each of my weekend rounds before finishing strongly both days to shoot some decent numbers. My iron play, wedge play, and putting were all a little off at Rock Barn, but I made good decisions (the last three rounds) and did enough things right to pick up a solid finish.

The tournament at Rock Barn was the last event of the regular season on the Egolf Tour. The second of my three outcome goals for the year was to finish in the top 20 on the Egolf Tour's money list. I am happy to report that I have achieved that goal. I am currently number 18 on the tour's overall money list and number 15 among Egolf Tour members. The reason I mention that last number is that the Egolf Tour pays for the top 20 finishers on its members' money list to go to PGA Tour Q-school in the fall. That means that I will have a 4,500 dollar burden lifted from my shoulders. I am excited to have achieved this goal. It shows that my game was fairly solid throughout the course of the year and that the practice that I am putting into my golf game is working. Having narrowly missed qualifying for the U.S. Open in June (the third of my outcome goals for the year), it feels good to put a check mark next to this goal!

Speaking of my outcome goals, my number one goal for the year is to earn enough money on the Nationwide Tour to qualify for its Tour Championship in October. Despite playing well and having some close calls, I have not made any concrete progress towards this goal because I have not succeeded in Monday Qualifying for any Nationwide Tour events yet. I am certainly behind the proverbial eight ball in terms of achieving this goal, but I highly believe that it is still possible. The Nationwide Tour has a handful of events remaining before the Tour Championship, and I am confident that I can get on a run and play multiple events as soon as I get into one.

Unfortunately, I won't be making that first Nationwide Tour start of the year this week. The Monday Qualifier for this week's event in Kansas City was a bit of a weather-delayed nightmare. I was slated to tee off at 11:27 yesterday morning, but morning storms and torrential rainfall delayed tee times just over five hours, so it was a 4:45 in the afternoon before I teed off. The course was not in great shape by the time I got to it, but I was determined to be mentally tough and have a good day. Because play was horribly slow, I got in just 13 holes before dark, but I played fairly solidly and made three birdies and no bogies on Monday. I had to return to the course to play the final five holes this (Tuesday) morning, and I felt pretty good. With a fairly strong wind blowing, I made solid pars on holes 14-16 and hit a good drive on the par-5 17th. Facing a strong left-to-right wind and 270 yards to a green fronted by a pond, I hit a perfect lay-up shot down the fairway and left myself 85 yards to the flag. I hit a crisp wedge shot, but let the ball float a little too much in the cross-wind and my ball settled eight feet right of the hole. From there I faced a slick putt with at least a foot of right to left break, but I felt good about it and expected to make it. I didn't. I hit a very stupid putt. Having visions of the quick putt leaking low of the hole, I gave it a little extra speed to help it hold its line, and I rammed it through the break, and it rolled some five feet past the hole. I was fairly calm and went through my routine well on the ensuing par putt, but did not hit a very good putt and suffered a very disappointing bogey. A par on the difficult par-4 18th left me with a score of 70 and one shot short of qualifying. It is hard to swallow another close call leaving me on the outside, but I need to remain encouraged by the fact that my game is good enough to have me in these positions so often.

My game is still feeling good. I need to have some good practice this week because I have definitely been a little loose with my ball-striking the past couple weeks, but I am happy about how well I am able to hold rounds together even though things feel a little bit off. My wedge play needs some more attention as does my putting, but I know that the work I have done all year on those two areas of my game has me in great shape moving forward. I still think I can achieve my goal of getting to the Nationwide Tour's Tour Championship, and a good week of practice this week will help me move towards that next week when I tee it up in the Monday Qualifier for the Nationwide Tour's Knoxville Open. I know that my breakthrough is coming, and it would be very storybook-ish to have it happen at home!

Thank you all for following me and for your continued support. I really enjoy the encouragement I receive from you! Great things are coming. Keep it here to hear all the news.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Bad 9 + Very Good 9 = Okay Round 3 at Rock Barn

I was lazy, sloppy, and just flat out bad for my first nine holes in round 3. I made a couple of very uncommitted swings, a couple more poor swings, and hit a few putts without having any kind of line in mind. I started on the back nine and made the turn at one over par in perfect scoring conditions. I wasn't happy with my performance, but I knew that if I turned around my mindset, I could still play a good round, and I did just that. I executed well on the front nine (my second nine today) during which I recorded four birdies and no bogeys for a final score of three-under-par 69. That is not a great score given the perfect weather we had for the round, but it did move me up the leaderboard a little bit and leave me in a position to make a big move with a solid round tomorrow.

I had a great afternoon of practice today after the round. I spent a little time working on all areas of my game and gave particular attention to hammering out some putting drills. I really feel like my game is continuing to improve. If I can stay focused and commit to a good plan on every shot tomorrow, I know that I can execute well and post a great final round. I tee off at 8:20 on number 10, and I'm excited to have a great day. Come back tomorrow evening for a final round report and a tournament wrap-up.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Almost Great in Round 2

I played the easier of the two courses at Rock Barn today in the second round of this week's Egolf event, and for the first two-thirds of my round, I was able to take advantage of the many birdie opportunities offered by the Tom Jackson course at Rock Barn. I birdied my first four holes and got it to eight under par through 12 holes today, but a sloppy finish tainted what could have been a special round. In the end I posted a seven-under-par round of 64 to get it to six under for the tournament. My round was just good enough to sneak under the cutline, so I will get two more days to play the tougher Rees Jones course at Rock Barn and attempt to move up the crowded leaderboard. I feel like my game is in good shape, and I'm excited for the opportunity to make a move in these final two rounds.

I tee off tomorrow at 9:10. I am going to be intelligently aggressive and commit to every shot. It should be another great day, so come back to hear a good report tomorrow evening!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Good in Round 1 at Rock Barn

Scoring conditions were great at Rock Barn today in the first round of this week's Egolf tournament. Unfortunately, I did not take advantage. A balky putter and some mental errors really cost me today and led to a one-over-par round of 73. I hit the ball pretty well off of the tee and was happy a lot of the iron shots that I hit, but in the end, I didn't make the putts that I needed to make and threw away a couple shots with some poor decisions. I don't know why I wasn't sharp today, but I think I got a bit of a wake-up call, and will be much sharper mentally moving forward.

My round today has me in a bit of trouble as scores were quite low today. I am moving tomorrow to the easier of the two courses being used for this week's event, however, and I know that an intelligent and well-executed round tomorrow can get me back into the tournament. I need to be patient and positive tomorrow and also must execute well and putt more like my normal self, but I think I can do all of those things. I'm excited for the opportunity to play a great round tomorrow when I need it. I tee off at 9:30 on the Tom Jackson course at Rock Barn, and look forward to a very good round. Come back tomorrow to hear about it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Long Few Days

I felt very good after the final round of last week's Egolf event. It was Saturday afternoon, I had just completed a solid final round to collect a solo 3rd place finish, and I made it to the Charlotte airport in plenty of time to fly back to the midwest on Saturday evening and get ready for the Monday Qualifier the for Nationwide Tour event this week in Springfield, MO. Then a cancelled Delta flight left me in Charlotte until Sunday morning before stormy weather in the Kansas City area kept me from making the three-hour drive down to Springfield until late Sunday evening. Then on Monday, I was fully prepared to have a great day and break through in a Monday Qualifier for the first time all year, but numerous weather delays pushed my 11:30 tee time all the way back to 3:30, and two more delays while I was on the course limited my play on Monday to just the first six holes of the qualifier. Some extremely sloppy golf in those six holes had me at one over par, and not in very good position when play was suspended for the day. Having already signed up for this week's Egolf event as a back-up plan, I had a predicament on my hands. The Egolf Tour offers no refunds to players involved in PGA or Nationwide Tour Qualifiers unless the player successfully qualifies, so I had to decide if I was going to finish the Monday Qualifier in Springfield and risk not being able to make it to North Carolina for the Egolf event which begins tomorrow (Wednesday) at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, NC. With twelve holes remaining in the Monday Qualifier, I couldn't just walk away from it, so I stayed in Springfield and gave it a great effort this (Tuesday) morning but in the end, came up short. I was four under for my first ten holes today and in a position where a birdie, eagle finish would have gotten the job done, but a par on 17 gave way to an overly aggressive strategy on 18 and an anti-climactic bogey to close what was otherwise was a great morning of golf. I finished the Monday Qualifier with a two-under-par round of 70, and began scrambling to make plans to get to North Carolina. I ended up finding a direct flight from Kansas City to Charlotte and luckily had a very smooth drive up to the airport from Springfield and had no delays or anything with the flight. I am now resting comfortably in Hickory, North Carolina, and am excited to have a great night (and morning) of sleep before my 12:10 first-round tee time tomorrow at Rock Barn.

The last few days have been a great learning experience for me. Travel issues and weather delays are a big part of being a professional golfer, and I have got to learn to be patient and positive in dealing with them. I definitely let the weather delays put me in a bit of a negative frame of mind on Monday at the Monday Qualifier because I was worried about how I would get to North Carolina if I didn't qualify. While that was a legitimate concern, I would have been much better off had I been able to stay my normal ever-positive self and play solid golf for the six holes that I was able to play on Monday. I played well enough on Tuesday in the final twelve holes of the Qualifier to get the job done, but I was in too much of a hole from my poor start on Monday. Patience with the weather and some scheduling adversity is definitely a quality that I will gain from this experience.

In all reality, though, I feel great! Rock Barn is a place where I played well last year and feel very comfortable. I definitely need a good night of sleep tonight and to get to the course a bit early tomorrow for some extra preparation getting used to the greens, but physically I feel very good, and I feel good about my game after playing well this morning. I am confident that I can have another good tournament this week on the Egolf Tour.

Thank you for keeping up with me! I've been saying this for a while, but I truly believe that something(s) great is coming very soon! Come back here for a report from round 1 at Rock Barn tomorrow evening.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Best Egolf Finish Yet, But Room to Improve

I am very proud of my final round performance in the Egolf Tour's Grand Harbor Open at the Patriot Golf Club in Ninety-Six, South Carolina. I entered the final round alone in 2nd place, one shot behind the leader, and I played fearless golf the entire day. I had a couple of hiccups here and there and certainly gave a performance that left a few things to be desired, but I am extremely pleased with how my mindset and my game responded to the pressure of the situation and am confident that my time for something great is coming soon. In the end today, I shot a three-under-par round of 69 to drop one spot on the leaderboard and finish alone in 3rd place, three shots behind the winner. It is my best finish to date on the Egolf Tour, but it left me with the taste in my mouth of what could have been and the hunger to go out and get it!

Today was a fun day. I was pleased with my ball-striking in the early-going of the round. I drove the ball well and hit some decent iron shots. Two solid pars on the first two holes gave way to a great birdie on the par-4 third hole before I added another birdie with two good shots and a nice chip on the par-5 fifth. I stumbled by missing a golden birdie opportunity from 97 yards in middle of the sixth fairway and then suffering a sloppy bogey on the short par-3 seventh. I rebounded beautifully, however, with a good birdie on the easy par-5 eighth and a great birdie on the difficult par-4 ninth. Heading to the back nine, I was two shots behind the leader, but feeling very good about my game. My worst drive of the day (which really wasn't that bad) came at the tenth and left me with a little tree trouble, but a great up and down saved my par and kept me rolling. On holes 11-14, I had birdie putts from ranging from 10 to 20 feet on each hole, but converted none of them. I hit poor putts on 11 and 12 but then executed what I thought were perfect putts on 13 and 14 only to watch the first slide by on the high side of the hole and the second stop an inch short right in the middle. I was frustrated through that stretch but remained determined to finish strongly. On holes 15 and 16, I hit both approach shots right at the flag only to watch one come up 40 feet short on the long par-3 15th and the other fly 30 feet long on the watery par-4 16th. A poor swing led to a bogey on the par-3 17th, and I found myself at 15 under par for the tournament heading to the 18th hole. I was determined not to pay attention to the leaderboard and rather to stay focused on executing each shot to the best of my ability, but I knew that the bogey on 17 had dropped me back into a large tie for 3rd and that a closing birdie would significantly improve my standing for the week. I tried my best to approach the par-5 finishing hole with patience and trust. I hit a solid drive up the right side of the long hole and faced 280 yards slightly uphill to a green that sits some 20 yards over a steep, grassy ravine. I picked a good yardage and line for my lay-up shot and executed perfectly to set up a 79-yard wedge shot uphill to the back left hole location. I decided to hit a three-quarter sand wedge in order to control the amount of backspin on the ball, and hit a nice shot eight feet from the hole. Knowing that quite a bit was on the line, I calmly went through my routine and rolled the right-to-left swinging putt right into the middle of the hole. While it wasn't the result for which I had hoped at the day's start, that finish felt sweet!

I am definitely happy with the status of my game. I feel like my ball-striking could be much more consistent, and I will always be working to further sharpen all the the elements of my game, but I am very pleased with the comfort level that I have over all types of shots right now. This week was just another step towards the breakthrough that I know is coming.

I would like to see that breakthrough happen this coming week and feel like it can. I am currently in Charlotte awaiting a morning flight back to Kansas City to pick up my car and head down to Springfield, MO, for the Monday Qualifier for the Nationwide Tour event next week. I was supposed to fly this evening, but Delta cancelled my flight--GGGRRRRRRRR! Despite the travel snafu, I feel awesome about things and am really looking forward to having a productive day of travel and preparation for the Monday Qualifier tomorrow. Keep it right here for more exciting news soon! Thank you for following and for your great support!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Time to Do It!

I shot a seven-under-par round of 65 today in the third round of this week's Egolf event. It was the low round of the day and propelled me from a tie for 10th into 2nd place. The round was a combination of some skillful misses off the tee, some decent approach shots, a shortgame that is improving greatly, and a putter that was very good at times. I really don't feel like I played my best golf today, but I did enough things right and was good enough with my poor shots to post a great round. I am thrilled to be in position to chase a win tomorrow, and I honestly believe that I have even better golf in me.

Tomorrow will be a lot of fun. Though I have been playing very solid golf of late, tomorrow is the first time that I will be in the final pairing of an Egolf tournament. I currently sit alone in 2nd place, just one shot behind the leader. I'm sure that I will have some nerves tomorrow, but I feel very confident in my game right now. I have not had my "A" stuff this week but have been able to piece together some good rounds anyway. If I can get something to "click," tomorrow could be a special day. If I continue to struggle a little bit, I will draw on the experience I gained from today's struggles to help me persevere and post another good round anyway. I truly think I'm ready to play well.

Sticking to my routine will be the most important part of my plan for tomorrow. I know that I will probably face some sort of adversity during the final round, but I also know that if I form a solid game plan for every shot and then commit to it and execute fearlessly, I can play a great round. I will do that on every shot tomorrow! It's going to be a great day. Come back to hear all about it tomorrow evening. Thank you for following me!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Round 2 Report

Once again I find myself in good position at the half-way point of on Egolf event. This week's tournament is hosted by the Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor, and I played the secondary course, the Club at Star Fort, today. After a shaky first 8 holes gave way to a solid finish and a three-under-par round of 69 in the first round, I went out and created a near carbon copy in Round 2. Sloppy driving of the ball and some lazy shots had me scrambling to get through the first ten holes at even par before I pulled myself together and finished strongly to shoot another three-under-par round--this time a 68 on Star Fort's par-71 layout. My six-under-par total has me in a tie for 10th place, but I am only five shots behind the tournament leader with two rounds to go.

My game has been a little bit off the first two rounds, but I have done a great job of staying positive and holding it together. My putting feels good even though I have missed a few short-ish putts, and I am confident that with a stronger level of committment, my ball-striking will get back into sharp form. I had a good practice session this afternoon and really feel ready to have a strong weekend performance.

I tee it up at 7:50 tomorrow in the third round and am looking forward to a great day. Come back to hear all about it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shaky Start but Feeling Good in South Carolina

After a crazy day-and-a-half of travel, I arrived in the little town of Ninety-Six, South Carolina, at about 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon. A very quick practice round at the Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor, the host course for this week's Egolf event, was a nice tune-up for the tournament, and then I teed it up at that course at 7:50 this morning for my first round of play. Despite having a great morning and feeling pretty good, I really struggled early. I wasn't hitting the ball very solidly, missed a green from 94 yards in the middle of the fairway, and hit two very poor five-foot putts in the early part of my round. Through eight holes today, I had made one bogey and seven pars on a course that was ripe for the taking. My game never did return to consistently good form today, but I hit enough good shots and stayed very positive which allowed me to play my final ten holes in four under par for a three-under-par opening round of 69. On a day when scoring was absolutely great, this round wasn't what I was looking for, but I am extremely pleased with what I was able to get from a round in which I didn't have my best game.

A short practice and a lot of rest this afternoon led me into a very productive evening session at the event's co-host, the Golf Club at Star Fort. I played the course last year, but really did not remember it well at all, so this evening I walked the course and took a lot of mental notes that I think will help me tomorrow when I play the second round there. I also did some good work on the practice green and feel ready to go for tomorrow.

I tee off at 8:40 tomorrow morning, and I really feel like I am ready to play a great round. Come back tomorrow to hear about it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Solid Play, Extremely Frustrating Results

There are a lot of very good things to report from my round today in the Monday Qualifier, but unfortunately I have to hurry up and get on the road so I can catch a flight to the Carolinas for this week's Egolf Event. I will say this, however: I played my second consecutive bogey-free round in competition today and played solid golf in doing so. I made five birdies and thirteen pars for a round of 67. My short game and putting were very good. My wedge play, on which I worked extensively last week, felt good but yielded only mediocre results. I can tell that I am swinging my wedges well, though, and am confident that great results will follow. So the end result today was that I was in a six man playoff for the final two spots and made par on the first three playoff holes and failed to earn my spot in the field. It was another bummer, but I still feel like I am playing well.

One more positive story before I hit the road: I came to the 18th hole at four under par for the day and had a pretty good notion that it would take at least five to qualify. Facing a medium length par-5 with tough bunkers down both sides of the fairway, I striped a perfect tee shot, hit a decent three wood just short and right of the green, hit a beautiful soft pitch out of the rough to four feet, and buried the putt in the middle. In the end, I didn't get the job done today, but that finish felt good!

I'm going to ride today's good play into this week's Egolf Event in South Carolina. A quick flight or two tomorrow morning and I'll be there and be more than ready to go for the first round on Wednesday. Today was a bummer, but it's still going to be a great week!

Catching Up on a Positive Last Month

I've been too busy playing golf tournaments and working on my game to update my blog! That's really not true, but I have been keepin...