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!

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