Friday, November 2, 2012

Good Final Round Effort

I played well in Friday's final round of the eGolf Tour's Forrest Oaks Open. Entering the day in a three-way tie for the lead, I was in a great mindset to start the round. I hit two very good shots into the first hole but watched in amazement as my five iron from just 167 yards (hey, it was freezing cold and a little bit uphill) trickled back down the false front edge of the green and came to rest well below the level of the hole on the front fringe. Three putts later, I walked off the first hole with a disappointing bogey to start my day, but my attitude was not changed. I was relaxed and determined to execute a good game plan on each and every shot. For the next 13 holes, my game looked great. Despite a couple of very frustrating missed putts, I played holes 2 through 14 in four under par without a bogey. I was cruising. Though I did a good job of not worrying about what my competitors were doing, I knew that I was tied with one of the guys in my group with four holes to play, and I had an idea that we were in the lead. Still, I felt calm and confident over almost all of my shots. Ironically, it was only the putter--my biggest strength--that felt balky under the final-round pressure. I was a little uncomfortable over the putter all week for some reason, and that discomfort bit me on the 15th hole. After watching the competitor with whom I was tied roll in a lengthy putt for a birdie, I missed a short range putt for par on the par-4 15th. The two-shot swing put me behind the eight-ball for the final three holes, and my par-par-par finish paled in comparison to the leader's par-birdie-birdie effort on the same stretch. I shot a final round 69 (-3) and finished tied for 2nd place at ten under for the tournament.

I definitely wanted to win and am disappointed not to have finished more strongly after playing so well for the first 13 holes of the final round, but overall I am very pleased with the way I played this week. Coming off a nerve-wracking week at the First Stage of Q-school, I was determined to have a week in which I practiced being in control of my emotions and staying relaxed. I did a great job of that, and I played really well, too. My ball-striking was as good as it has been in a while, and though my putting let me down, I know that I am a great putter and fully expect that this week's lackluster performance on the greens was just an anomaly. I feel as good about my game right now as I have in a long time. It was a great week!

I need to have a solid weekend of work to finish up my process goals for the week and to get that lovin' feeling back with the putter. I will head to Davidson, North Carolina, next week for the eGolf Tour's final event of the season at a great course called River Run. It will be a small-field event, and I'd really like to put myself in position to win again. Doing so will start with a good weekend of practice. Come back for a report from the weekend and a preview of next week in a couple days. Thank you for following me and for your support!

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