Monday, October 1, 2012

The (BIG) Ups and (little) Downs of Golf

A lot has been happening in the past week, and I am sorry that I have done such a lousy job of keeping you updated about it all. In the past five days, I have had a pretty dramatic high and a very disappointing low on the golf course, but in between the two, I was able to spend some quality time with some of my absolute favorite people in the world, so I would rate the last few days quite highly despite laying an egg on the golf course on Monday. I still have very little time to write, but I will try to give a brief synopsis of my last five days (and in doing so will explain why I have very little time to write).

It started in Mint Hill, North Carolina, last friday with the final round of the eGolf Tour's Olde Sycamore Open. After recovering from a terrible opening-round 74 with a bogey-free 66 to make the cut, I put up another bogey-free round on Friday and jumped from the back half of the field into a solo fourth place finish with a final-round 64. I still didn't feel great about the way I was hitting the ball, but I had a very good game plan and putted well enough to put up a good number. That round gave me back-to-back fourth place finishes on the highly competitive eGolf Tour despite not having my best stuff. That is pretty exciting!

As soon as my round was over on Friday, I drove up to my sister's new place just outside of Washington D.C. in Ashburn, Virginia. That made for a long day, but it was totally worth it because I got to hang out with my sis, and my parents had driven up for the weekend as well. I wish my sweetheart, Alicia, could have been there, too, but it was pretty darn sweet to spend a weekend with my sister. We spent Saturday outside exploring. In the morning we walked around her new stomping grounds and then headed out west and spent the afternoon in the northern VA Blue Ridge Mountains. It was an awesome day!

On Sunday, I was back to work preparing for the Web.com Tour's Monday Qualifier in Potomac, Maryland. Some strange weather halted my afternoon practice, but I still had a productive day and felt ready to go for the Monday Qualifier. Unfortunately, I didn't perform well on Monday. With my mom caddying and my dad and sister there to watch, I had poor touch on the greens and sprayed some tee shots off line as well. The touch issue caused a three-putt bogey early in the round and then a lost ball on my eighth hole of the day led to a very disheartening triple bogey. I fought hard and ended up posting a one-under-par score of 71, but that was two shots shy of the qualifying number. My game was sloppy and I wasn't mentally sharp enough overcome my poor execution. I am disappointed not to have qualified.

My ball-striking is definitely a bit off right now, but I think I am heading in the right direction. I have obviously posted some very good rounds lately, so I know that I am not too far off, and I believe that I am close to playing my best golf ever. I have not done of good job of sticking to my less-fidgety routine, however. I had it very close to where I wanted it a couple weeks ago in South Carolina, but old habits are dying hard. I will continue to work on it, and both my routine and my ball-striking will be back where I want them in no time.

After failing to qualify on Monday, I decided the best thing for my game right now is to keep playing. I am working through some things, and I need to keep putting them to the test under tournament conditions. With that in mind, I decided to take off Monday afternoon from the D.C. area and head back down towards Charlotte, NC. The Carolinas Pro Tour has its Tour Championship Tuesday-Thursday at a course called Carolina Lakes just south of Charlotte in South Carolina. Though I was nearly 500 miles away at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, I will be there and ready to compete for my 9:50 a.m. tee time on Tuesday morning. I am comfortable on that golf course and am excited to play!

Though my execution hasn't been good lately, my only goal from a performance standpoint this week is to have an intelligent plan on every shot, to commit to that plan, and to trust my new routine. If I do that, I know that good execution is just around the corner. I should be in contention for a win this week.  Keep it here for all the news--I will do a better job of keeping you updated! Thank you for following me!

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