Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where I Want to Be

I played very well in round 2 of the Egolf Tour's Championship at Wintergreen on Thursday. I hit the ball beautifully and felt comfortable most of the day on my way to a ten-birdie round of 63. That round pushed my 36-hole total to 13 under par for the week and has me two shots clear of the field heading into the weekend. I am very exited to be in this position and am going to enjoy myself very much the next two days. If I can stay relaxed and comfortable, it will be a great weekend. I'm going to do it! Come back to hear the good news each of the next two days. Thank you for following me, and check out the live results at www.egolfprofessionaltour.com.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crazy Opening Round at Wintergreen

This week's Egolf event is at a course called Stoney Creek at the Wintergreen Resort near Charlottesville, VA. I was a late addition to the field after deciding to travel over here from Indiana following the Monday Qualifier for the Nationwide Tour event. I'm glad I made the trip because Wintergreen is a cool place and my golf game is still feeling good!

I began the tournament with birdies on each of the first four holes and six of the first eight. It was an incredibly good start, but unfortunately I couldn't keep it going. I was very balky with the putter during the middle of my round and made a number of bogeys on short missed putts. I continued to hit the ball well, however, and am proud of the fact that I birdied two of my final three holes to get my round back to four under par and post an opening 68. It was a wild day, but all in all, I feel great about my game.

I've got the putter straightened out, and I'm going to play well in round 2. Come back for a good report on Thursday evening!

Monday, June 25, 2012

64 Is Good, Right?

I knew the golf course for this week's Monday Qualifier was easy, but when I birdied the final three holes on a moderately windy day to shoot a seven-under-par round of 64, I was fairly pleased with my performance. It was not enough, however, as nine players shot scores of 63 or better. I played well, but I did make some mistakes. At the end of the day, my round wasn't good enough, and I've got to move on, stay positive, and keep getting better.

I am moving on quickly, too. Prior to competing on Monday, I had decided that I would be at peace with a week off if I didn't succeed in this Monday Qualifier. As daylight was fading on Monday, however, I was trying to swallow another close call and I decided that I was going to hit the road and play in this week's Egolf Tour event in Virginia. I am currently at a hotel in Lexington, KY, and will catch a good night's sleep here on my way to the Wintergreen Resort. I will get there in time to have a leisurely and relaxed practice round on Tuesday evening before beginning the tournament on Wednesday.

I am still very encouraged and feeling great about my game. I believe that I am ready to compete at the Nationwide Tour level, but I still need to achieve some things on the mini-tours. I'm pumped to get back after it this week. Keep it here for updates throughout the week. Thank you for following me!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Done with a Great Week; Ready to Go "Nationwide" in Indiana

A solid day of practice on Sunday allowed me to finish all of my process goals for the week and has me  feeling great heading into the Monday Qualifier for this week's Nationwide Tour event. I am very happy with the week of practice that I have just completed. After narrowly missing at the Monday Qualifier in Wichita, KS, I got to work and hammered out all of my putting drills, short game practice, and fitness work described in my non-tournament-week process goals. In addition to that, I have spent some quality time on the golf course. I played a productive practice round on Sunday at the Quail Crossing Golf Course. The course is very nice but it should allow for some good scores in the Monday Qualifier. My game is in good shape, though, and I am ready to go low! I definitely feel like I am ready for another Nationwide Tour start and am confident that I can go out and earn one. I don't tee off until 1:20, so it will be a bit of a long day, but I feel like good news is coming. Come back for a good report in the evening! Thank you for following me!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quick Update from a Great Week

I found myself surprisingly disappointed after coming up short in the playoff at the Monday Qualifier for the Nationwide Tour event in Wichita, KS, this week. I was incredibly pleased with the way that I battled tough conditions in the qualifier and finished with a clutch birdie on the final hole, so the realization that I wouldn't get the chance to play in the actual tournament bummed me out a little bit. As always, though, I got back to hard core work on Wednesday and am feeling pumped about the week that I have had. I have been getting after all of my fitness goals and had three incredibly productive days of work on the course Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. In addition to playing 18 holes on Wednesday and Thursday, I have completed four of my putting drills and spent four full hours working on all areas of my wedge game. My short game is getting better and better, and it's exciting to see continuing improvement. Today (Saturday), I traveled to Evansville, Indiana, where I will play in the Monday Qualifier for next week's Nationwide Tour event here. I need to have a productive day of work on Sunday in which I learn the qualifying golf course and knock out my remaining practice drills, but I feel ready to do just that. Come back in the evening for a report from my day and a preview of the Monday Qualifier. It's time to get back out on the Nationwide Tour! Thank you for keeping up with me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Most Exciting Performance with a Most Disappointing Result

My travel to Wichita, KS, went quite smoothly, and though I definitely was tired and stiff during a Sunday afternoon practice round, I was feeling good heading into the Monday Qualifier. The qualifier was at a course called Auburn Hills, and it is a very good and pretty demanding layout. With 25-35 mph winds blowing all day, the course was flat out difficult on the day of the qualifier.

As I warmed up in the heavy winds on Monday morning, I felt good and just knew that I was going to have a good day. Then the first hole happened. I hit two good shots to set up a decent look at birdie on the opening hole (definitely one of the easiest on the course) and then proceeded to let the wind mess with my head (my fault, not the wind's) on the green as I three putted from just 25 feet for a bogey. Then the second hole happened. Hitting straight into the wind on the medium length par-4, I mishit my drive quite a bit, but got it going down the fairway. I knew that I hadn't hit the ball solidly, but I was unpleasantly surprised to find that I needed to hit a three wood into the green for my second shot. Standing over my second shot into the second hole with a three wood in my hand, I thought for a split second that I might not be able to break 80 given the conditions. I backed off of the shot when that thought crossed my mind and really committed myself to playing one shot at a time and having a smart plan for each and every shot. I went on to par number two and then played some really great golf the rest of the day. I made a lot of pars and hovered around even par for the day through 11 holes. A bogey at the par-3 12th moved me to one over par, but I was determined to stick with my plan. Great birdies at holes 13 and 14 got me to one under par, and I stayed there with pars on 15, 16, and 17. The eighteenth hole is a long par 5 that features a fairly tight fairway for the tee shot and a very difficult and water-guarded green. I smoked a drive right down the middle of the fairway, and then hit one of the most courageous shots I can remember for my second. With water protecting the right side and front of the green and a very strong wind coming off of my right, I aimed my second shot 10 yards into the pond and hit a perfect shot with my hybrid club that rode the wind to the left and finished just short and left of the green in the fairway. From there, I hit a perfect chip to a difficult back right hole location and rolled my four-foot birdie putt right in the middle of the hole. I was in incredibly proud of the shots that I hit on the 18th hole, and was quite pleased overall with my round. I ended the day with a two-under-par 70.

Apparently some players handled the wind a bit better than I did. I was pumped with my score and felt like it was good enough to qualify, but I ended up in a six man playoff for two spots in the tournament field. I failed to birdie the par-4 first in the playoff, and two of my fellow competitors did make birdies, so my Monday Qualifier ended in disappointment. I'm a bit in shock honestly, but I'm still very proud of the performance that I put forward. Despite being a bit shaky early, all areas of my game seemed to be working nicely down the stretch. That is great news, and I can't wait to build on that.

I don't have to wait too long. Next week the Nationwide Tour is having an event in Evansville, Indiana, and I will be playing in the Monday Qualifier for it as well. For now, though, I need to focus on having a good week of practice. Last week during the Egolf event, I had one of my most efficient and productive weeks of practice that I can remember. I finished every single one of my tournament-week process goals last week, and I am going to get after the non-tournament-week list in the next few days. I will get them done this week. My game is in good shape, but it is just going to keep improving.

Thank you for following! Keep it here for practice reports and a look at what is coming up next!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not Yet, But Getting Close

I felt good heading into the final round of this week's Egolf event. I was two shots behind the leader and was relaxed and confident. I made a birdie on the opening hole and then gave myself three really good looks at birdies on numbers two, three, and four, but couldn't get any of them to fall. I continued to hit the ball very well through the middle of the round but was definitely pressing a little bit on the greens and didn't hit a lot of good putts. I never missed any short putts, but I had a lot of 8 to 15 foot looks for birdies and made none of them. My putting practice was great all week, so I know that I just needed to be a little more relaxed on the greens in the tournament. Then, after hitting the ball beautifully all day and most of the week, I made a mess of the par-5 15th hole. A drive in the left rough and a couple of crummy wedge shots led to a bogey. I was disappointed and a bit rattled, but I kept it together and birdied the last two holes to post a final-round of two-under-par 69 and finished tied for 4th. That is another good finish and it was a very solid week, but I am going to break through with something big soon!


Speaking of breakthroughs, I'm in the airport in Nashville, TN, heading to Wichita, KS, for the Monday Qualifier for the Nationwide Tour event there this week. Come back for more news about that Sunday night. Thank you for keeping up with me and for your support!


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Good Third Round Sets Stage for a Fun Final

I played well in the third round of the Egolf Tour's Bolle Classic at Sapona Country Club. I was solid for the most part all day, and even when I did hit a couple of poor shots, I followed them up with some good ones and managed to keep my scorecard bogey-free for the second time in three days this tournament. I managed five birdies and posted a score of 66. It felt at times like I was going to go very low, but my putter never did heat up enough to get me really rolling in the right direction. I was solid, however, and made all of my short putts in round 3. All in all it was a good performance, and I am feeling great about my game.

I will head into Saturday's final round in a five-way tie for second place, two shots behind the leader. I have been in contention quite a few times heading into the final round of tournaments lately, and I definitely know what to expect and what I need to be thinking. I'm going to try my hardest to have an intelligently aggressive plan on every single shot but then just relax and execute fearlessly when it's time to pull the trigger. There is a fine line between trying too hard and being careless mentally. I have erred on both sides of that line in the past, but I know that I am learning and I feel like I am close to getting it right. This final round will be another challenge, but I am very much looking forward to it. It is going to be a fun day.

In addition to the exciting finale to this week's tournament, I have a lot of good things in the near future. I'll explain more later, but just so you know, I'll be high-tailing it to Nashville, TN when I finish the Egolf event on Saturday. I am going to catch a 6:15 flight Sunday morning to Kansas City so that I can get out to Wichita, Kansas, to play the Monday qualifier for next week's Nationwide Tour event. I'll give more details about that trip and the next couple weeks soon.

For now, I'm ready to put the finishing touches on a great week here on the Egolf Tour. I won't have time to give much of an explanation after tomorrow's final round, but I'll drop a quick line or two on here when it's over. It could be some really great news! Come back to check it out, and definitely come back on Sunday for a summary of the week and a look at the excitement in Wichita. Thank you for following me!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quick Report from a Frustrating (But Still Promising) Second Round

I'm still searching for consistency. I played solidly in round one at Sapona Country Club and made very  few mistakes. In Thursday's second round at Colonial Country Club, I birdied two of the first four holes and hit a lot of solid shots in doing so but then went through a four-hole stretch during which errant tee shots and a couple of mishit iron shots left me scrambling for pars. I made two bogeys during that stretch to offset my two early birdies and stood at even par for the second round through eight holes. On the final ten holes, I hit the ball beautifully and was really executing well from tee to green. Unfortunately, I didn't putt well. I missed a lot of very make-able mid-range birdie putts and missed a couple of putts from short range as well. It all added up to a three-birdie, three-bogey round of 70. That is a disappointing score, but I am actually feeling good about my performance now. I drove the ball very well on my second nine holes today and also hit some very good iron shots, so I am encouraged by how my ball-striking is feeling. I also had a very good session on the putting green this afternoon and feel confident that I am rolling the ball well. My game is in good shape, and I am still in good standing in this tournament. I'm going to stay relaxed but focused over the final two rounds, and I'm excited to see what happens. Keep it here for good news, and follow the results at www.egolfprofessionaltour.com. Thank you for keeping up with me!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Not Bad in Opening Round

In a very literal sense of the phrase, I was "not bad" in Wednesday's first round of the Egolf Tour's Bolle Classic. Playing at tournament host Sapona Country Club, I was very mediocre for most of the day, but sprinkled in some good shots here and there and never hit any really bad shots all day. The end  result was a six-birdie, no-bogey round of 65. The course was fairly easy given benign conditions and soft greens, but my round was very solid and is a great start to the week. 

I did a good job of staying focused on nearly every shot today. I failed to commit to a good plan a couple of times and let shots slip away by failing to get up-and-down for birdie from just in front of the green on the par-5 first hole and then missing an easy four-foot putt for a birdie on the eighth, but other than that, I was fairly sharp mentally today. My execution wasn't always the greatest, but because I had a good strategy for each shot, I kept the ball in good places. I was particularly proud of my final birdie of the day. After hitting two good shots into the par-4 seventeenth hole, I faced an eight-foot putt for birdie. I read the putt and then stepped over the ball to hit it, but from on top of the ball, I didn't trust my read at all. In past weeks, I would have made a weak, uncommitted stroke that most likely would have resulted in a lousy putt. Instead, I backed off of the putt for one more look and got committed to my line. I then made a confident stroke and rolled the ball right in the middle. It was a nice birdie and was a good illustration of the role that trust plays in execution. My physical skills are continuing to improve, and I can tell that I am making progress mentally as well. 

I am excited to be off to a good start, but my goal for the week is to a have consistently solid performance. I tee off at 9:10 in Thursday's second round at Colonial Country Club. If I can stay sharp mentally, I know that my game is in good enough shape to deliver a great round. I have been having great practice sessions so far this week, and I'm going to let that work show. Come back Thursday evening for some good news from round two. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ready for This Week's Egolf Event

After a fun-filled weekend with my family, I had a short practice session on Monday afternoon at Dandridge Golf Course and then hit the road for North Carolina. This week's Egolf event, the Bolle Classic, will take place at Sapona Country Club in Lexington, NC, and Colonial Country Club in Thomasville. After arriving in Greensboro late Monday evening, I needed to have a thorough day of preparation on Tuesday, and I was able to do just that. I started the day with a short early-morning jog before heading to Colonial for a refresher on the tournament's co-host course. Colonial features some dog-legging holes on which you cannot see the landing area from the tee, so I hit quite a few tee shots to familiarize myself with the lines off many of the tees. I was very efficient in that process and was able to get to the tournament's host course, Sapona, by mid-morning. I played a full practice round at Sapona and spent just a little bit of time afterwards working on my short game and putting. I feel like I am playing well and both courses suit my game nicely, so I'm excited about the prospects for a good week.

I am ready to have a consistently good week. After some excitingly good play in April, I have been making a few too many mistakes at random times during rounds to really get anything truly exciting going here lately, but I still feel like I am performing at a very high level. I am going to continue my year-long effort to stay extremely relaxed on the course and not get consumed with the results while I'm playing, but I am going to try to amp up my focus a little bit this week and not let myself hit any mentally sloppy shots. I know that I will execute poorly from time to time, but I think if I can be fully committed to a good plan on every shot that I can eliminate some of the mistakes that have been creeping in lately. I am ready to play well. Keep it here for good news from Wednesday's opening round. Thank you very much for following me!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Great Weekend; Time for Another Good Tournament Week

The scenery in this picture is one of the many highlights from a weekend of fun with my family. This particular picture is of the Little Pigeon River in the Smokey Mountains just before my dad, sister, and I set off down it in a kayak. That is one of my favorite things to do!

In addition to lots of fun with my family, I did some good work this weekend. Solid workouts both days helped me to finish my fitness goals for the week, and though I didn't even come close to marking off all of my practice goals for the week, I did have a couple of short but efficient sessions working on my game over the weekend. Like I said in my last post, I'll excuse my shortcomings this week, but I am going to really emphasize my process goals moving forward and get them done every week.

This week I'm playing in the Egolf event at Sapona Country Club. The tournament starts Wednesday, and I will be ready to go. Keep it here for reports along the way and to hear about the exciting things that are coming up next. Thank you for following!


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Friday, June 8, 2012

Going to Keep Improving--My Golf and My "Blogging"


I have not done a good job lately of keeping my blog up to date with good information. It certainly means a lot to me that so many of you take the time to keep up with me and invest a little bit of yourselves in supporting my career, so I am sorry that I haven’t held up my end of the bargain by keeping your information source fresh. I will try to do much better as I move into an even more action-packed portion of my schedule this summer.

This week has been good. I was very disappointed by the performance I gave on Monday at Sectional Qualifying for the US Open, but looking back on it, I can easily see it as a positive experience. The main reason that I was so disappointed on Monday is that I truly expected to qualify. My mindset going in wasn’t just, “ah, this would be cool if I can play great and get into the Open,” but rather, I was thinking, “If I play well and take care of business, I will play in the US Open.” That mindset has evolved since my past experiences at US Open Sectionals, and I think it shows progress in the belief that I have in myself. Unfortunately I didn’t execute well enough to qualify on Monday, but to know that I was comfortable in that situation makes me feel good.

After the 36-hole day on Monday and a full day of travel on Tuesday, I have spent the last three days playing some matches at good golf courses here in my east Tennessee home. I played 27 holes each on Wednesday and Thursday with a couple of other mini-tour players from the area before taking a drumming in at 18-hole match on Friday. Despite the loss on Friday, my game has felt very good. It has been nice to have some fun, yet competitive matches to keep me busy during what I hope will be my last off-week for quite a while. I need put in a little time on the practice facilities as well and work on my process goals, but I am happy with the work that I have put in on the course this week.

My two older sisters are both in town for the weekend and we are going to celebrate my June 13 birthday a bit early, so I think this weekend will be filled with a lot of fun non-golf activities. I’ll sneak in some efficient practice both days, but I think we’ll spend a little time in the mountains and a lot of time together as a family, so that will be GREAT!

In all likelihood, however, this will mark the third time in four weeks that I won’t complete all of my practice goals, though I will put a good dent in them. I won’t be too hard on myself if I don’t get them all done this week, but starting next week, I am going to be much more adamant with myself about having the focused and efficient sessions that I need to have to complete all of my process goals each week. Completing my process goals keeps my golf game and my body in prime shape to compete at high levels every week. I need to have the discipline to stick with my plan, and I will do that.

I know for certain that I will be playing next week in the Egolf Tour’s Bolle Classic at Sapona Country Club in Lexington, North Carolina. Beyond that, I have some exciting options, but I’m not certain as of yet what I will be doing. I will keep you posted on that and will also be back with a practice report (and probably a cool story or two) from this weekend in a couple of days. Thank you so much for following me, and keep it here to keep up with all the news! There is going to be great news soon, and I’m going to do a better job of sharing it all with you. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

No 2012 US Open for Me, But Great Things to Come

I still owe you a thorough update, but for now I just want to say that I didn't give the performance for which I was looking at US Open Sectional Qualifying on Monday. Playing at Woodmont Country Club in very demanding conditions, I failed to break par in either round and posted scores of 74 and 73 for a three-over-par total. One under par was the qualifying score. I felt really comfortable at the beginning of the day and really think that I have the game to play at the highest level, but I just didn't execute very well on Monday. There was nothing tragically wrong, though, and I'm still very confident that great things are coming. Come back in the next day or two for a full report of what is happening and a look at what the next few weeks hold. Thank you for following and for your support!


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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Very Good but Still Sloppy in Final Round

My game felt good in the final round at Rock Barn, and I really executed well the majority of time in all facets of my game. Unfortunately, I had a couple more "what-the-heck?" moments and made two silly bogeys and a horrific double-bogey on an easy par-5. I made six birdies, but the mistakes left me with a very pedestrian round of 70 and a seven-under-par total for the tournament. I finished in a tie for 21st, seven strokes off of the leaders' pace. I felt that my game got progressively better over the weekend, and I feel like I really could have contended for the win had I not made silly mistakes throughout the week. I am definitely still trending upward, though, and am confident that great things are coming.

Speaking of great things, I have sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open on Monday. I will be onsite at Woodmont Country Club for preparations on Sunday and will be ready to go for the 36-hole marathon on Monday. Come back for a full report of the practice day and preview of the qualifier on Sunday evening. Thank you for following me and for your support!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Interesting Third Round at Rock Barn

First of all, I'm sorry for the lousy quality of my recent posts. I'll give a little more detail and share some more good information soon, but this one is going to be quick as well.

I felt decent at times during Saturday's third round of the Egolf event at Rock Barn. I had some birdie opportunities in the first half of my round, but never capitalized and opened the round with 10 consecutive  pars. The last eight holes, however, were anything but boring. Good birdies on the second and fourth holes (my 11th and 13th) got me to two under par for the day, but I quickly gave both shots back with sloppy bogies at holes five and six. I closed the day well, however, as I hit a lot of quality shots and birdied holes 7, 8, and 9 to shoot a three-under-par round of 69. I moved up a little bit on the leaderboard and put myself in position where a good final round can really do something for me. I need to play a good solid round from start to finish, and I think I'm ready to do just that. Round four is going to be good! Come back for a tournament report and more information soon!

Visible Progress

I’ve been making a lot of invisible progress lately. By that, I mean that my scores have been consistently rather stinky, but beneath that,...