Monday, July 30, 2012
Speaking of positives... Though I certainly feel it is accurate to say that my last four weeks are fitting into the category of "slump," it is worth noting that I have had just one over par round during that stretch and have made the cut and earned a check in each of the tournaments that I have played. Making cuts is certainly not my goal, but the fact that my scores are still decent and my final results have yet to dip much below the realm of mediocrity shows that my standard of performance is increasing. I know that I don't have my best stuff right now, but I am still able to post somewhat respectable results. When I get that lovin' feeling back, it will be special!
Though my practice hasn't felt especially smooth or easy lately, it has been thorough. I completed all of my practice goals last week during the Missouri Open (though a skipped run on a lazy Sunday morning cost me finishing all of my process goals), and feel like I made progress despite not getting the tournament results that I wanted. I will have the rest of this week off from competition, and will take advantage of some great practice facilities in Columbia, Missouri. I will complete all of my process goals this week, and hopefully will recapture my good form.
I will play again in a Monday Qualifier next Monday for the Web.com Tour event in Springfield, MO. I still know that my game is good enough to compete at that level, so I am hopeful that a good week of work will have me ready to go next Monday!
Thank you for following me, and keep it here for practice reports throughout the week.
By the way, for those of you who use e-mail to keep in touch with me, please note that my address has changed. My new e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support!
Saturday, July 28, 2012
I have had a great week of practice during the tournament. Though my results are a bit off right now, my game is feeling good and trending even better. I'm on my way to Omaha, Nebraska, on Sunday morning to prepare for the Monday Qualifier for next week's Web.com (Nationwide) Tour event there. I'm ready to get that loving feeling back on the course, and I truly believe I am ready to succeed at the next level. Keep it here for some exciting news moving forward! Thank you for keeping up with me.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
I executed very well in the opening round, but stayed icy cold with my putter for most of the day and had to settle for a two-under-par round of 70 when it felt like I played well enough to post something quite low. With the exception of a couple of mishit putts and two poorly struck three-woods on the front-nine par-5's, I am happy with every shot that I hit in the first round. My game is very close to firing on all cylinders, so I am excited about what the next two rounds might hold.
I tee it up at 8:10 central time in Friday's second round. I'm going to play well again and get some good vibes going. Come back in the evening for a more thorough report of the good news! Thank you for following me!
Sunday, July 22, 2012
First of all, I want to further emphasize some of the positives from this past week. I was completely awful on the bermuda putting surfaces in Wednesday's opening round of the event, but a lot of determined work on the putting green had me feeling much more comfortable (even if I wasn't getting great results) on the greens by tournament's end. I know that some of the late-season events on the Egolf Tour and, more importantly, some of the stages of Q-school will take place on bermuda greens, so it is important that I was able to keep a good attitude and make good progress on the putting surfaces. A much larger take-home point from this event was my ability to change my thoughts when some bad shots threatened to make me negative. An unlucky break followed by a bad chip shot led to a bogey on the par-4 11th hole in the second round. That bogey moved me to one-over-par for the event with just seven holes remaining before the cut, and for a split second, I let my mind wander to negative thoughts. I regained focus, however, and reminded myself to stick with my routine and stay in the present over each individual shot. When I birdied four of the next seven holes, it really proved to me the power of thinking correctly on the golf course. That's not to say that I will always be able to execute well, but I certainly give myself a good chance if I have the right attitude and a good thought-process over each shot. I employed the same power of positive thought to salvage two ugly rounds on Friday and Saturday. I was completely off early in the third round, but instead of imploding, I birdied four of the first seven holes on my second nine. I was trying to make a similar run in Saturday's final round, but I could never get anything going. At the end of the day, I am certainly disappointed with my scores and my finish from the tournament this week, but I will remember the positive lessons learned and draw on them to help me in the future.
I have already touched on the positive work that I did on the practice green during the tournament, but I am also pleased with the week of work that I have had as a whole. My practice was a little bit inconsistent this week and my fitness work was, too, but I was determined to get all of my process goals completed. Though I did not complete my goals as efficiently throughout the week as I would have liked, a very thorough and solid day of work on Sunday allowed me to get all of my fitness and practice goals done for the week. I had a good session on the driving range with Bobbo and also spent some very high-quality time on the putting green and working on my short game and wedge play out on the course. All aspects of my game seemed to be in working order during my practice on Sunday, so I'm confident that the semi-struggles of the last couple weeks were just a quick blip to keep me honest. I still feel great and am excited moving forward.
And moving forward I am. I am heading up to the midwest on Tuesday morning for some exciting opportunities. The Missouri Open is this Thursday-Saturday at The Club at Old Hawthorne--my home course from my college days. I am a two-time champion of that event but was disappointed with my finish last year, so I am motivated to have a great week. Two days after the Missouri Open, I will play in the Monday Qualifier for the Web.com (formerly Nationwide) Tour's Cox Classic in Omaha, Nebraska. The following week, the Web.com Tour will be in Springfield, Missouri. Monday qualifiers are certainly difficult, but I know that I have the game to compete at the Web.com Tour level, and I am ready to break through and earn my way out onto that tour. I am excited about the opportunities that the next few weeks hold.
Everything is good. Practice continues to be challenging but also fun and productive for me. I can definitely tell that I am still improving, and I know that my tournament results will be back where we want them in the very near future. Thank you so much for keeping up with me and for all of your support. Keep it here for more great news moving forward!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
In reality, I did not do a good job of preparing myself on Tuesday for the challenge that the greens would present, and my lack of preparation showed in a first round during which I three-putted three times and added a fourth three-putt from the fringe on another hole. Luckily my ball-striking was good in the first round, or I could have posted an ugly score. I survived my terrible putting day with a score of even-par 72 in the opening round. I began my second round outside of the cut-line, but I was determined not to think about that. I had battled through an extremely frustrating afternoon of putting practice following my first round performance, and I had a very good short putting session in the morning before beginning my normal warm-up routine on Thursday. I went to the first tee determined to focus on each shot and not let my mind get obsessed with trying to make the cut. My early round ball-striking put me behind the eight-ball quickly. Though I felt good about my swing heading into the round, I quickly realized that something was a little bit off. I snap hooked a drive out of bounds on the wide open second hole and made a double-bogey and then pull hooked another tee shot into a group of trees to set up a bogey on the par-4 fourth. I was reeling, but I was determined to stick to my plan. I committed to each and every shot and began to claw my way back. A couple of birdies allowed me to turn at even par for the day, but a poor club selection and a very poor chip led to a bogey on the eleventh and threatened to derail me. Standing at one over par with seven holes to play, I could have given up. I consciously decided to take control of my thoughts and chose to continue to try to play one shot at a time. I began to execute a few shots well, and I managed to birdie holes 12, 13, and 16 to get to two under par. A near miss from long range on the seventeenth hole left me feeling frustrated, but I was determined to stay committed and hit good shots on the final hole. I hit my driver down the fairway and then hit a gap wedge right at the flag from 120 yards. The only problem was I had misjudged the wind and the ball came up short of the front hole location and sat in the grass on the face of a bunker. I was definitely discouraged by the result of that shot, but I had to go play it from where it stopped, so I held it together and walked to my ball and calmly chipped it off the face of the bunker and into the hole for a closing birdie and a second-round score of 69. It was a great feeling to finish my round strongly, and I am pumped to say that despite awful putting in round one and some extremely poor ball-striking early in round two, I am heading to the weekend with a chance to play well and jump up the leaderboard. My physical skills have been a bit off this week, but my mental game has never been stronger than it was in round two. I know that my putting and ball-striking are both in fine shape, and the confidence I gained from executing well under pressure today might just vault me to a great weekend performance.
I get started very early in the third round. I'm excited to go out and make a move. The course will likely be set up tough for day three, so a solid performance will go a long way. I'm going to be patient, focused, and relaxed. Come back in the evening to read a good report! Thank you for your support!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I'm out near the coast of North Carolina for this week's Egolf event at a course called River Landing. I'm coming off two days of very enjoyable relaxation and am feeling great. I got back to work with a full day of preparation on Tuesday during which I learned my way around the golf course and did some practice to sharpen my game. I start at 7:50 a.m. in the first round, so it is bedtime right now, but come back Wednesday evening for a report from the first round and for more information about the course. Thank you for keeping up with me!
Saturday, July 14, 2012
I will play in another Egolf event next week at a course called River Landing in Wallace, NC. This is a first-time venue for the Egolf Tour, so it will be exciting to check out a new spot. I have had great practice during this week's event, but I need to do another hour of short game work on Sunday in order to complete all of my practice goals for the week. I'm not certain that I will have a facility on which to complete my work, but I'm going to try to make it happen. My game is close to being great, and I just need to keep sharpening all areas.
Keep it here for more news as I wrap up a good week of work and head farther east in North Carolina for next week's event. Exciting opportunities are coming up, and I am still improving. Thank you for following me and for all of your support. It means a lot to have so many people pulling for me!
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I have been determined lately to give my full attention to every golf shot. Though that may seem like a no-brainer, it is surprising how many practice shots I have hit in the past without the least bit of a plan or a thought process. I'm sure that such a mentality makes it easier for me to to have mental slips in tournaments. Therefore, I have really tried in the past week to have a few seconds of planning and mental preparation before each and every shot. I want a thorough thought process to be habitual for me before each shot. This week, I have played two of my best practice rounds ever employing the strategy. My physical skills feel as honed as they have ever been, so a quality mindset should allow me to play very well.
With that said, I know that I tend to put the most pressure on myself at times when I feel the best about my game. For this reason, I know that it is even more important than ever for me to stay relaxed and to enjoy myself on the course. I have always had trouble combining good focus with a relaxed attitude, but I am learning that as long as I get truly focused for a few seconds before each shot, I can be relaxed the other 96% of the time that I am at the golf course. I feel like I am really starting to get a grip on this concept.
I am very excited for this week's tournament. I am going to be focused AND relaxed. I tee it up at 8:27 on the tenth tee at Irish Creek in Wednesday's first round. Come back daily for reports from the rounds. Thank you so much for keeping up with me!
Sunday, July 8, 2012
I am leaving Monday morning for Charlotte, NC, and the Egolf Tour's Southern Open at Irish Creek Golf Club and The Country Club of Salisbury. Obviously, I am still thrilled about the win that I had last week, but it is a clean slate now, and it is time to get myself in that position again. I feel well-prepared to have a great performance, and I am excited about this week's event. The tournament starts Wednesday. I will have a couple of good practice rounds the next two days, and I'll give you an updated before the event begins. Thank you for following me! Keep it here for all the news from what should be a great week!
Friday, July 6, 2012
I am not happy with that result and am a bit disappointed with the poor mental effort that I gave in the tournament, but I must say that after traveling home on Tuesday evening, I awoke Wednesday morning ready to get back to work. Since I did not treat the Monday-Tuesday event like a tournament this week, I am going to hold myself accountable for all of my non-tournament week process goals. I have had three very good days of work since then, and am excited to keep being productive this weekend. I have a lot of work to do to finish my goals, but I will get them done!
It was great to get that Egolf win last week, but that is just a stepping stone to achieving my goals and getting to where I want to be. That win felt good, but I am already hungry to get out and accomplish much more. I have a lot of good things on the schedule in the coming weeks. Next week I will play an Egolf event just north of Charlotte, NC, at a course called Irish Creek. It should be a great tournament with a big field, so I am highly motivated to have my game in top shape.
I am going to have a solid weekend of work, and I will be ready to go when I hit the road for Charlotte next week. Keep it here for a weekend practice report on Sunday evening. Again, thank you so much to everyone for all of the support and encouragement! It means so much to me to have so many people pulling for me.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
After making a lot of birdies and playing very well the first three rounds, my week got a lot more interesting (and scary and crazy) on Friday night. Sitting on a two shot lead, I headed out for a relaxing dinner with my cousin, his fiance, and some of their friends. We had a good meal and some good camaraderie, and I was feeling great when we got up to head home from dinner. The good feeling didn't last long. As we walked out the door of the restaurant, it was clear that a storm was coming over the mountain. We ran to the car and tried to make it home, but less than two minutes into our drive, the wind blew a tree across the road in front of us and took a power transformer down with it. We whipped a quick three point turn and sped off to get out of the wooded area. We spent the next one hour and forty-five minutes tucked against a bank building underneath the drive through cover and watched as the wind ravished the area. When the wind finally abated enough that we could leave our little safe spot, the real adventure began. With downed trees blocking nearly every road in the rural area, we could not find a route back to my cousin's place. Finally, after trying a multitude of options, we went back to a route that we knew had been blocked during the storm, but luckily crews had cleared a lane, and we were able to make it to my cousin's street. We could not make it all the way to his house, but we were able to park the car within walking distance and climb over a few downed trees to complete our journey to his apartment. Once there, we got no comfort. Trees were down all over his yard. One had clipped the corner of his house on the way down before crushing his neighbor's truck in the driveway. A different tree crushed the car of another neighbor. Somehow my car was spared. Though it was late, we spent some time surveying the damage. It was a crazy, scary night, and despite the damage, the heat, and the lack of electricity, I think we all were thankful to be alive and healthy.
|My cousin's apartment Saturday morning|
Compared to the disastrous weather of the night before, golf seems a little bit less important, but I still badly wanted to play a solid final round and win the tournament. I began the round with three consecutive birdies, and though that looked great on paper, there were a lot of shaky shots in those three holes. Still, it was a great start and I felt fairly in control. I actually hit more solid shots in the next three holes, but couldn't convert any birdie opportunities during that stretch. I made an unforced error by being overly aggressive to a tight hole location and short-siding myself from just 135 yards on the par-4 seventh hole. That bogey rattled me just a little bit, and I played some fairly tense golf the rest of the way in. My relaxed attitude was gone, and every shot seemed hard. I made a few mistakes and gave away some shots with a couple of poor pars on the par-5 ninth and thirteenth holes and made a mess of the tenth hole on the way to a bogey. I managed to get myself into a decent mindset over each shot and did a good job of committing to a plan, but in between shots I was a mess. Finally, after making some good pars, I arrived on the tee of the par-5 seventeenth hole. With a one-shot lead over my playing competitor Chesson Hadley, I reminded myself how much fun that situation was for me. I pounded a drive down the fairway and executed a great five iron into the green. Though I didn't hit a great putt for the eagle, the tap-in birdie allowed me to keep my one-shot advantage heading to the final hole. A safe drive into the right rough set up a beautifully played approach to the middle of the green, some thirty feet left of the tucked right hole location. When Chesson's wedge shot got caught up in the back fringe and he failed to make his long, swinging birdie effort, I rolled my putt within two feet of the hole and kicked it in for par and a one-shot victory.
|Me with Wintergreen Director of Golf|
The support that I received this week from all of you and from my family and from all the folks at Wintergreen has been incredible. Thank you very much for caring about me and my career. It means so much to me to have people rooting for me and sharing my success with me!
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