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.

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