Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quick Play-by-Play from the Win; Back to Work Now

It felt good to get the job done in the tournament yesterday, and having to overcome a bit of adversity early in the round made it all the more sweet. I began the round with a one-shot lead over three other players and was paired with two of them in the final group. I made solid pars on the first two holes and then let a good birdie opportunity slip away on the long par-five 3rd hole where I failed to get up and down from 68 yards. Still, I was even par through three holes and feeling okay about things. Then I had a mini-implosion on the fourth hole. I was committed to my plan on the downhill par-3, but my execution was absolutely awful, and I hit a six iron into a creek left of the green. I had to drop on a bit of a downslope and proceeded to half-blade a little pitch shot some 25 feet past the hole. I was definitely a little bit rattled, but I pulled myself together and hit a good putt, which followed my line perfectly and rolled right into the middle of the hole. The bogey sent me to one over par for the round and dropped me behind one of my playing competitors who birdied the hole, but I felt rejuvenated by the bogey putt. The fourth hole was my last blunder of the day. From that point on, I made a lot of solid swings, hit some very quality wedge shots, and putted the ball beautifully. Birdies at the par-5 sixth hole and short par-4 eighth got me to four-under par for the event and had me tied with a competitor playing in the group ahead of me heading into the back nine. I stuffed a wedge for a birdie on the par-4 11th and recovered from a poor drive with two great shots on the watery par-5 13th to make another birdie. Two good shots led to a birdie on the par-4 14th and gave me a three-shot clearance over the players in my group, though I wasn't aware of what the player in the group ahead was doing. After pars on 15 and 16, I was informed by a leaderboard that I was leading by only one shot over the player in the group ahead of me. Standing in the fairway of the short but tough par-5 17th, I could see the player in the group ahead of me make a birdie to pull even with me. I had hit a good drive and had a chance to attack the green with my second shot. I chose four-iron and hit it very solidly right at the flag, but watched with disappointment as my ball landed just short of the front edge of the green and came rolling back down the slope in front of the elevated green. I faced a fairly difficult chip and was definitely feeling some nerves as I surveyed it, but I hit a decent shot to about five feet and drained the putt. A conservative tee shot and a six iron into the middle of the green set up an easy par on the closing hole. The end result was a final-round 67 and a one-shot victory. It was a great performance, and it is safe to say that lovin' feeling is back as I head into Egolf Tour play next week.

I am pumped that I have some good news to report to you on here, but I think this week's event is just a precursor of the good things that are to come. I'm back in east tennessee now and had a great afternoon of practice today. I need to keep having good sessions to sharpen all areas of my game, but I think it is safe to say that I am on the right track! I'll be back on the road Sunday evening for next week's Egolf event at Pine Needles, but before then, I have some work to do these next few days to finish all of my process goals for the week. I'm going to get them done, though.

Thank you to everyone for the encouragement and support. Keep it here for more good news moving forward.

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