Thursday, May 31, 2012

Still Alive at Rock Barn

I had a great day leading up to my 1:17 tee time for Thursday's second round of this week's Egolf event at Rock Barn. A nice comfortable jog and an efficient practice session highlighted my morning, and then a good lunch and a solid warm-up had me feeling great heading to the tenth hole to start my round. I'm not sure why, but things didn't go well from there. Some sloppy ball-striking and an off-day with the putter left me scratching my head. I actually hit some really great shots, but I had too many "what-was-that?" moments for my round to amount to much. In the end I posted a two-over-par 74 and thought for certain that my two-under-par total would miss the cut. At the end of the day, however, I was just inside the cut line, and I now have two more days to recapture that "lovin' feeling" and sprint up the leaderboard. My game actually feels pretty good, so I'm excited to go play well the next two days. Keep it right here for some good news! Thank you for your support!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Good Work at Rock Barn So Far

I played fairly well today in the first round of the Egolf Tour's HGM Hotels Classic at Rock Barn. I hit the ball beautifully for most of the day, and really felt comfortable on the course. I missed a birdie putt from inside of ten feet on the first hole and then missed a four-and-a-half foot putt for par on the second, so I was not off to a great start and my putting certainly looked concerning early. I played solidly all day, however, and though I never got hot with my putter, I made five birdies and no bogies over the final 16 holes to open the tournament with a four-under-par round of 68. That round is nothing too special as Rock Barn is playing very easy right now, but it is a solid start to the tournament.

More importantly, I felt good on the golf course. My shots were going fairly close to where I was looking, and I made some confident strokes with the putter as well. I think I am on my way to posting some more really good numbers soon.

I am also happy with the work that I have been doing this week. I have been very efficient with my time  and have been putting in solid practice sessions on all areas of my game. I have been getting in some good workouts, too. It's been a very productive week, and I'm excited to keep it going. I think I'm going to have some good news to report before my stay at Rock Barn is over! Keep it here for all the latest. Thank you for following me!

Monday, May 28, 2012

No Good on Monday; Going to Have a Great Week Anyway

I hit a couple of squirrelly drives that cost me a few shots and was cold with my putter all day in the Monday Qualifier for this week's Nationwide Tour event. I shot a three-under-par round of 69, and was a full four shots off of the qualifying mark. My game showed a lot of promise, though. I hit some very good iron shots and a couple of nice wedges. I would certainly have liked to qualify for the Nationwide Tour this week, but I'm going to build on the positives from my Monday Qualifying round and have a great event on the Egolf Tour. I have already made the trip down I-40 from Greensboro to Hickory, NC, for this week's Egolf event at Rock Barn Golf and Spa. Rock Barn is a great venue, and I'm going to recapture that "lovin' feeling" this week. Keep it here for updates of all the action starting Wednesday! Thank you for keeping up with me!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lack of Updates Does Not Equal Lack of Excitement

I am sorry that I haven't been doing a good job of keep you up to date for the last week. I finished the Egolf Professional Tour event at River Hills with a two more struggling rounds on the weekend. I fought hard and showed a lot of signs of promise but could muster only a one-under-par round of 70 on Friday and a two-over-par effort of 73 on Saturday. The final result was a tie for 23rd place. I really expected to do better than that, but given that my game was definitely off all week, I am pleased that I was able to achieve a respectable result.

I'm not really sure what caused my struggles last week. I had a great weekend of practice leading into the event and am obviously coming off a stretch where I have been playing quite well, but all aspects of my game were just a little bit off at River Hills. With that said, I felt pretty bad and still shot good enough scores to keep myself within striking distance of a decent finish until the very end, so I know that I can't be too far off.

I didn't have the greatest week of practice, either. I worked very hard and put in a lot of time, but I just couldn't get things clicking in any area of my game. I spent more time on the range than usual because of some kinks in my ball-striking, but my time on the putting green wasn't very effective, either, and I failed to complete all of my putting drills for the week. I also missed a run over the weekend, but I feel good about my fitness and know that I will have no trouble getting back on schedule. I do want to make sure that I don't let a busy tournament schedule become an excuse for not finishing my process goals, however.  I'm going to really emphasize all of my practice drills and fitness goals in the coming weeks. It is important that I not over-exert myself as the summer gets hot and busy, but my process goals are very realistic and can be attained very efficiently if I stay focused and have a good plan.

I have an extremely exciting stretch of events ahead of me. Tomorrow (Monday, May 28), I will tee it up at 7:50 a.m. in the Monday Qualifier for the Nationwide Tour's Raleigh, NC, event. I am one-for-one in Monday Q's so far this year and know that I can do it again with a patient and solid performance tomorrow. I will update you in the evening and also let you know what else is on the horizon. Even coming off a bit of down week, I am feeling great! Thank you for following, and keep it here for great news (and more frequent updates)!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Half-way Report from River Hills

I owe you a very thorough update, but because of my 8:09 tee time tomorrow morning, I'm going to be brief for now. The Egolf event this week is at a course called River Hills Country Club. The course is fun because is requires extreme accuracy and the ability to work the ball off of the tee. Houses (and therefore out of bounds) boarder both sides of nearly every hole, and no holes offer a breather from the premium on control. On top of that, the greens are small, undulating, fast, and very firm this week. It all adds up to a fairly challenging test. With that said, the course is short and offers a lot of birdie opportunities. The event's co-host is a course called the Palisades. The Palisades is a visually intimidating golf course, but it is actually one of the easiest courses we will play all year. The host course, River Hills, is definitely much more demanding, and the scoring averages through the first two rounds confirmed that.

I opened the event Wednesday morning at River Hills and looked a bit off from the beginning. Though I didn't have any big misses, I didn't hit very many good shots either and shot a birdie-less 38 (+2) on my first nine holes of the tournament. Four back-nine birdies offset another sloppy bogey and allowed me to post a one-under-par score of 70 in the first round. In the second round at the Palisades, my game was missing. I did not feel comfortable in any area, and though I was able to hit a few good shots here and there, I cannot say that any part of my game was good in round two. Despite all that, I birdied two of the last four holes to post a three-under-par score of 69 in the second round. I'm not sure why I felt so out of whack in round 2, but I'm pumped about the practice session that I had afterwards and even more pumped about the chance to play two more rounds at River Hills. If I can execute well, the course really suits my strengths. I'm confident that I'm ready to play well, and I think it's going to be a fun two days for me in the final two rounds! Keep it here for a good report each of the next two days, and follow the results at: Thank you for keeping up with me!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Great Weekend Work Wraps up a Good Week; Exciting Stretch Ahead

I had a great chance to win an Egolf event this week. I had a very confident and relaxed attitude in the first two rounds of the tournament, and I tried my best to keep that same demeanor as I carried a one-shot lead into the tournament's third and final round. I was pleased with my mindset during the final round, but I definitely put a little extra pressure on myself. I am disappointed that I executed poorly a few times in the final round and did not shoot a good enough score to hold on to my lead, but I feel like my game and my mentality are still trending upward, and I am excited to keep improving. 

I returned to my East Tennessee home after the final round on Friday and have had a great weekend of practice. My short game needs to get better, and I have put in some quality time on it this weekend. I also spent a lot of time on the putting green and did a good job of finishing all of my putting drills. In fact, with some quality short game work and a couple of very good workouts, I completed all of my process goals for the week. I also spent some time on the range with Bobbo on Saturday, and he confirmed that things are looking good with my golf swing. I really feel like my practice has been good lately, and I'm excited to think that my game is getting better.  

I have a fun stretch of golf in the next few weeks. I will leave Monday afternoon for Lake Wylie, South Carolina, (just south of Charlotte, NC) and an Egolf event at River Hills Country Club. River Hills is a tight and dog-leggy little course that most guys on the Egolf tour hate, so I am pumped to play it. After playing the four-day event at River Hills, I will head to central North Carolina to prepare for a Monday Qualifier for the Nationwide Tour's Raleigh, NC, event. In addition to the possibility of playing that week on the Nationwide Tour, the Egolf Tour also visits Rock Barn Golf and Spa for one of my favorite stops of the year. I definitely hope and expect to play the Nationwide Tour the second week of this road trip, but Rock Barn is not a terrible back-up plan. At the end of that week, I will head up to the Washington D.C. area for U.S. Open qualifying at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, MD. I definitely have a lot of great opportunities in the near future, and I am excited to keep chasing the dream. I am going to catch it!

Thank you for following. Keep it here to enjoy this fun journey with me. Great news is coming!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quick Final-Round Report

I'll give a more in-depth report of the action from this week's tournament later this weekend, but for now, I just want to give a quick report before I hit the road for home. I felt good heading into the final round and continued to feel good throughout the round, but I was a bit sloppier than I had been in the first two rounds. I made three lousy bogeys, and they cost me. I did make five birdies to shoot a two-under-par round of 70, but two players were able to pass me, and I finished alone in third place. ( I'm disappointed not to get the win, but I'm still very excited about the status of my game. Great things are coming soon! Thank you for the support and encouragement!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summary of the Week So Far; One More Good Round to Go

This has been a crazy week. It started with a great weekend last week during which I spent quality time with my family and enjoyed all sorts of things but did not practice at all. That two-day break was probably pretty good for me after going non-stop for the past month+, but I was definitely ready to hit the grindstone again on Monday and get back to work. Mother nature had a different plan, however, and rains cancelled my Carolinas Tour event and forced me to take a third day away from golf. The rain-out did allow me to travel to Greensboro a day earlier than expected, though, and I was able to play a practice round and have a good day of work on Tuesday in preparation for this week's Egolf event at Willow Creek Country Club. I felt that I had a good day of work on Tuesday, and it has showed in my performance over the first two rounds of the tournament. I opened with a bogey-free 65 on Wednesday and followed that with a 67 in Thursday's second round. I am on top of the leaderboard heading into the final round of this 54-hole event, and though I have just a one-shot lead over a tightly packed group of followers, I feel very good about my position. Now, I don't think it is safe to draw the conclusion that I should take a three-day break from playing and practicing before each tournament, but I have to say that on rare occasions, enjoying a little time away from golf might be good for me. I love to practice, though, and working on my game never really feels like work, so I can go week after week without too much trouble. I'm rambling a little bit, but the point I'm trying to make is that this hasn't been a typical tournament-week for me, but I am comfortable enough with my game and the time that I have put into it to be relaxed and confident on the course anyway. That is a good feeling.

Here's a brief overview of my first two rounds. After parring the first four holes of the tournament (including an easily reachable par 5), I rattled off five consecutive birdies to make the turn at five under on Wednesday. Birdies at the 2nd and 4th (my 11th and 13th) holes got me to seven under through fourteen and was really feeling great. With another reachable par 5 still ahead, I got a little bit ahead of myself and kind of let the round stall. I parred the final five holes. I wanted to re-claim that loving feeling when I went out Thursday afternoon for round 2, but my first tee shot kind of threw me a curveball. I hit a nice three wood down the middle of the first fairway, but was kind of shocked to see the ball get a firm bounce in the wet fairways and roll all the way into the rough through the dogleg. I still expected to be in fine shape, but when I got to my ball, it had nestled so deeply between two tree roots that I could barely even make contact with the ball. I moved the ball backwards about 15 yards with my second shot. From there I calmly hit an eight iron about ten inches from the hole for a routine par save. It felt every bit as good as a birdie. I went on to play solidly the whole front nine, but I gave away opportunities by making a par after a great drive at the reachable par-5 7th hole and missing an easy 5 footer for birdie after a great wedge shot into the 9th. I was a bit erratic on the back nine, but still hit a lot of good shots and made three more birdies. I made my lone bogey of the tournament on a lousy three-putt from just outside of 30 feet after hitting a safe and solid five iron into the middle of the green at the par-3 16th. I definitely had to work a bit harder on the back nine than I had previously in the tournament, but my game still felt solid.

I currently stand at 12 under par for the tournament and am right where I want to be--on the top of the leaderboard. ( I have been relaxed and comfortable over almost every single shot this week, and I plan to be the same way tomorrow. I am going to have to shoot a great score tomorrow to come out on top, but I feel confident that I can do that. I am going to stay relaxed and control the things that I can control. I will be smiling all day!

Come back to hear some good news! Thank you for following me and for your support!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Good Start

I promise a more thorough update will be coming soon. For now, though, I just want to say that I am in High Point, NC, for this week's Egolf event at a course called Willow Creek Country Club, and I was pleased with my first round on Wednesday. The rain-saturated course is a bit defenseless right now, and after opening my round with four straight pars, I proceeded to birdie seven of the next nine holes. Unfortunately I parred the final five holes, as well, but my opening bogey-free round of 65 has me in good shape. I'm going to play well in round 2, and then I'll come on here and tell you all about it. Thank you for following!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Carolina Tour Washout

I was really looking forward to getting back into tournament golf with a two-day event at River Hills Country Club on the south side of Charlotte this Monday/Tuesday, but it was decided that the Carolina's Tour event for this week would be cancelled by persistent rains. I am bummed, but certainly will not let that keep me down. Despite having to take a third consecutive day off from playing golf, I was able to get in a great workout and feel like I had a somewhat productive day. I will now head up to High Point, NC, on Tuesday morning and spend the day getting ready for this week's Egolf event at Willow Creek Country Club. I will be playing on the Egolf Tour for at least the next two weeks, and I really feel like I am ready to compete for victories at this level. I need to have a productive day on Tuesday to get me back into the groove of things, but I am excited for a good week. Keep it here for more news!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fully Re-Charged; Ready to Go

I didn't really need a re-charge, but some nasty weather and a weekend with my whole family together gave me a great opportunity to take a couple days away from golf and enjoy time with my favorite people in the world. I was with my parents, my sisters, my sweetheart, my bro-in-law, and my cute little nieces and nephew. I didn't hit a practice shot all weekend, but I feel like I got better and am really ready to compete and practice this coming week.

As for my practice last week, I did a good job finishing all of my fitness goals and all of my putting work, but I hardly did any of my short game or wedge play practice. I really do want to finish my process goals every week, and I expect to, but I will give myself a one-week pass given my solid play lately and the quality time that I was spending away from golf this weekend.

With that said, I will not be so lenient this week and moving forward. I need to be efficient and focused with my time and get my process goals done. This week should be fun. I'm playing a two-day event on the Carolinas Pro Tour at River Hills Country Club in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, Monday/Tuesday and will head up to High Point, NC, for an Egolf event at Willow Creek Country Club Wednesday-Friday. I'm going to have a good week. Keep it here for updates along the way!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Good Job on Wednesday; Time for a Work Week

I played in the Local Round of U.S. Open Qualifying at Holston Hills Country Club on Wednesday. Knoxville, TN, is a stacked place to try to qualify for USGA events, but I always know at the beginning of the day that if I take care of business, I will get the job done. On a slightly uncomfortable rainy day, I played very solidly and was good enough to advance to the Sectional Round of qualifying. I made five birdies, and after a great up-and-down to save par on the par-3 11th hole (my second of the day), I never came close to making a bogey. I hit 13 of 14 fairways, and really felt like my 67 was about the highest score I could have shot. I'm glad I didn't shoot any higher, too, because 67 wound up being the qualifying score right on the number. I'm happy with the way I played, though, and glad to be one step closer to the 2012 U.S. Open.

I have had a bit of slow week so far in terms of my practice, though, and I need to have a productive couple of days moving forward. I'm excited to have the rest of this week off from competition to continue to sharpen my game. I will get back into action next week with a Carolinas Pro Tour event on Monday/Tuesday and an Egolf event Wednesday-Friday. I am going to work really hard in the coming days and finish all of my process goals for the week. My game is feeling good, but I am excited to keep getting better. Another Nationwide Tour Qualifier and U.S. Open Sectionals loom just weeks away, and I plan to contend from some mini-tour victories between now and then. It all starts with a good week of work right now, though.

Keep it here for practice reports and to follow all of the action. Great things are coming! Thank you for following me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wrap-up from First Nationwide Tour event of 2012

There is no doubt in my mind that I was exactly where I belong when I was playing along side the Nationwide Tour players this past week in the Stadion Classic. I always seemed to have one element of my game working well during the week, but could never match solid ball-striking with a good performance on and around the greens. I did enough things right to know for sure that I am ready for that level, and I am now more hungry than ever to get back out there where I belong.

In Sunday's final round, I was a bit shaky from a ball-striking perspective, but I was committed to being more aggressive on the greens, and the results were great. I survived some very errant shots in the first five holes to escape that opening stretch with all pars. I then settled down a bit and gave myself some good birdie opportunities on holes six and seven and was able to convert them both. An overly aggressive first putt from the fringe on the par-three eighth hole led to a bogey, but I responded with great birdies at holes ten and eleven to move to three under par for my final round. A slightly pulled tee shot at the watery par-five twelfth hole forced me to lay-up, and I narrowly missed a fifteen footer for birdie after my wedge shot came up just short of hole. From there, I made my first serious mistakes of the tournament. With the tees up on the water-guarded par-three thirteenth, I was between clubs and decided to go with a controlled seven iron. I was committed to the shot, but my execution was awful and I hit the ball some twenty yards right of my target and into the lake. A poor wedge from the drop area led to a two-putt double-bogey. I was determined to stay positive and get right back into a solid routine, but a bit of misfortune hit me on the very next hole. I missed the fairway by just a fraction, but my lie looked fine into the uphill par-four fourteenth. My approach shot from just 136 yards caught a "flyer" out the rough, however, and hit a cart path over the back of the green to go some 75 yards down a hill towards the next fairway. I hit a great shot up and nearly saved par, but the bogey dropped me back to even par for my final round with just four holes remaining. I was still determined to dig deep and finish strongly. I striped a drive down the narrow par-four fifteenth and made birdie after a great wedge to five feet. I executed very well on the sixteenth and seventeenth holes as well, but could not get the birdie putts to fall. On the final hole, I had a great two-putt up and over a mound from probably 90 feet to close with a par and a final round of one-under-par 70. It was very disappointing to squander the momentum that I had built in the middle of my round, but I am still proud of the way that I brought it back and gave myself a chance for some big birdies down the stretch.

My rounds of 68, 70, 70, 70 left me with a six-under-par total and a T31 finish for the week. One of the very exciting things about the Nationwide Tour is that a finish in the top 25 automatically qualifies a player for the Tour's next event. That was definitely something that I wanted and expected to achieve last week, so I am disappointed to have come up a little bit short. However, to finish 31st without ever really having my game firing on all cylinders is definitely very encouraging. I was very confident going into this past week that I could compete at the Nationwide Tour level, and I am absolutely certain of it now. There is no Monday Qualifier for the next event on the Nationwide Tour, but I will be signed up and ready to qualify when the Tour plays in Raleigh, NC, the last week of May.

For now I have to stay focused and positive and keep working to improve. I have a big day tomorrow (Wednesday) as I will be playing in Local Qualifying for the U.S. Open at Holston Hills Country Club. I was close to the U.S. Open last year, so I hope that I can get back to Sectionals again this year and give myself another chance. I will be ready to go when I tee it up tomorrow morning at Holston Hills.

Last week was an exciting and positive experience for me. It has me as motivated as ever to keep improving and to take my game to the next level. In order to do that, I have to stay focused on my process goals and continue to work hard to improve. I will do just that! Keep it here for a good news report from U.S. Open Local Qualifying and to keep up with my practice this week. Thank you for following. Great things are coming!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

So Close in Round 3

My game was good in the third round. I felt the most comfortable and confident that I have all week, and at times it really showed. Unfortunately, I never found that "lovin' feeling" on the greens, and I have only a one-under-par round of 70 to show for my efforts. My third-round score maintained my position in the middle of the pack, but I definitely feel like I am playing well enough to move up this leaderboard. I'm very excited to have one more day to go out play on Sunday. I've been shooting a lot of low scores for the  past month, and I feel like I can do it again!

I will come back with a final-round report tomorrow, and in the coming days, I will give a full review of the entire week. There have definitely been a lot of positive things for me this week, and I hope this is the first of many Nationwide Tour events for me this year. For now, though, I am simply focused on playing a solid round on the final day of this event. I will be relaxed and enjoy myself all day, and I'm confident that I can put up a good number. Come back for a full report in the evening. Thank you for all the support this week and always!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Weekend Charge Coming

I was disappointed with the way I executed on the back nine of my second round, but I held it together for a one-under-par score of 70. My two-day total of four under par has me in a tie for 27th heading into the weekend. I haven't really been sharp yet in the tournament, so I'm excited to improve and have a great weekend performance. It's going to be fun! Keep it here for the good news!

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Good Start

I played very solidly in the opening nine holes of the Nationwide Tour's Stadion Classic at UGA today, and despite some shaky ball-striking on my second nine, I finished strongly to shoot three-under-par 68 in the first round. I hit every fairway and every green on my first nine holes (the back nine) and failed to convert a number of great birdie opportunities, so I made the turn at one under par. After feeling totally in control with my driver through nine holes, I sprayed one well right of the first fairway (my tenth) as I made the turn. That drive set the tone for what would be a much more adventurous nine holes, but I still managed to give myself some opportunities and was able to offset my lone bogey on the fourth hole with birdies at holes five, seven, and eight. I left a great birdie putt on my final hole short, but tapped in to shoot 68 and feel good about my start. My game feels good, and I'm excited to go out and play again tomorrow. I'm going to continue to be relaxed and enjoy myself, and I'm confident that I can deliver a strong performance for the entire round. I'll be back with an update tomorrow evening. Thank you for following me and for the support!

Time to Get 2012 Rolling

I feel prepared for today's first round of the Nationwide Tour's Stadion Classic at UGA. I had a very productive practice round at the University of Georgia (UGA) Golf Course on Tuesday. The course is fairly demanding with a lot of medium to long par-4s and very tricky green complexes, but I think the challenge of it fits my game well. I worked quite a bit in the past couple days on my long and mid-iron shots and also have had some good short game work, so I feel like I am tuned up and ready for a great week. I get started at 2:25 today, and I am going to be relaxed and execute a smart game plan fearlessly on every shot. I will be enjoying myself out there, and I bet I'll have good news to share in the evening. Come back for a round-1 report tonight!

New Blog Site

Hi everyone! Thank you for continuing to try to keep up with me. As you might have noticed, I've not been updating this blog at all late...