Sunday, July 22, 2012

Great Sunday of Work Completes an Up-and-Down Week

I am back home in Tennessee for a couple of days, and that feels great! On Friday and Saturday in the final two rounds of the Egolf Tour's River Landing Open, I struggled pretty badly to a 73, 71 weekend performance. In both rounds a poor start (including an opening nine 40 on Friday) put me into a tough position before I got it together and played some good golf in order to post respectable scores. Unfortunately, my scores did nothing to move me in the correct direction on the leaderboard, and I ended the week in a tie for 32nd. That is two "mediocre-at-best" finishes in a row, and I definitely did feel like my golf game was a bit out of sorts this week, but there are plenty of positive things that I will remember from this week and a great day of work on Sunday has me feeling excited and ready to get back to tournament action.

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 (formerly Nationwide) Tour's Cox Classic in Omaha, Nebraska. The following week, the Tour will be in Springfield, Missouri. Monday qualifiers are certainly difficult, but I know that I have the game to compete at the 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!

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