Monday, November 19, 2012

Crash... Early End to a Great Year

I did not play well the final two rounds at the Second Stage of Q-school. Rounds of 78 and 75 on Friday and Saturday placed me convincingly on the wrong side of the score needed to advance to the Final Stage and marked the conclusion of my 2012 competitive schedule. Q-school is the most important competition of the year for a player like me with no status on the PGA Tour or Tour, so it is very disappointing that my performance didn't match the consistently high standard that I have upheld for most of the year. I definitely was nervous and felt an increased amount of pressure at Q-school, but I truly believe that I handled the mental challenges of the week well enough to be successful. I simply didn't have it from a physical standpoint. My ball-striking was bad all week, and though I managed it well enough to hang in the mix through two rounds, I didn't hit enough solid shots to survive the tough course for four rounds.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that I have exited Q-school before reaching the Final Stage. That is extremely disappointing, but it is important to look at the entire body of work when analyzing my year and the trajectory of my career. I have done nothing but improve over the past three seasons of playing professional golf, and 2012 was undoubtedly my best year. My results were consistently good, and I even managed to have some very good tournament results on weeks when I didn't feel great about my game. I have practice logs and some year-long statistics that I will study over the next week and will share some more detailed analysis of things that I did well and things that I can do differently to keep improving. My general summary of the year right now is simply that is was another huge step in the right direction despite a very disappointing ending.

With that said, there are areas of my game that glaringly need work. I am a very inconsistent ball-striker. At times I feel like I can hit every shot that is needed to be successful, but at other times, I struggle just to hit routine shots solidly. I'm pleased with the work that I have done and continue to do on my putting and short game, but it's time that I actually put some real effort into my ball-striking. I am going to talk with Bobbo and come up with a plan for the next couple months. I'm not talking about making a drastic swing change, but I need to come up with something (a new swing thought or practice technique, for example) that can help me increase my competence and consistency as a ball-striker.

I am not discouraged. Disappointment is still hovering over the bum results from last week and the consequences thereof, but I will move on and continue to improve. My career is still on a great trajectory, and I still absolutely love what I do. I will be stronger and better than ever next year!

I am going to do some analysis of the year and come up with a plan for the winter in the next week. Please keep it here for more news, and continue to keep up with me moving forward. I really appreciate all the support and encouragement that you continue to provide as I chase this dream. We are going to catch it!

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