Sunday, February 17, 2013

Summary of First Tournament Week

Missing a cut is one of my very least favorite things. I strongly dislike it. For that reason, I cannot look back on my first tournament week of the year with overwhelming positivity, but I can say that I am very pumped to be back in tournament action and am excited about the weekend of practice I have just completed. The long lay-off from competition definitely left me a little bit rusty in terms of dealing with the mental challenges that accompany tournament golf, but I am confident that I will bounce back quickly. I don't have to wait very long to get myself back into contention as the eGolf Tour plays again this week just inland from Hilton Head Island at a course called Oldfield Golf Club. Though a lot of things were very disappointing in week 1, I definitely feel like I progressed this week and am excited to go compete again.

I want to cathartically speak a bit more about the negatives from this past week. I had a hard time getting ahold of my thoughts during the second round. At the very first sign of adversity, I began to think about the cut. At the time of my first bogey in round 2, I was still one under par for the tournament and in good position to do much more than make the cut. As my mind went places it shouldn't have been going, I found myself struggling to find comfort over my golf shots. I am disappointed that I executed poorly at key times during my second round, but I know that my problems were psychological and not physical. That knowledge is simultaneously frustrating and encouraging. It frustrates me because my thoughts are under my control, and I should have been able to manage them better. At the same time, it is encouraging because I know that my mental game is one of my greatest strengths, and I am certain that thinking the right thoughts will become easier as I get back into the groove of tournament play.

There is plenty of good news to report from this week as well. Other than the obvious news that I now have my first tournament of the year under my belt, I also completed all of my work goals for the week. Doing so wasn't easy, and I had to deliver a very strong performance on the practice green in some chilly conditions on Sunday, but I did it, and it felt great. I didn't feel fantastic about my ball-striking sessions over the weekend, but I am hitting the ball well enough to compete, and my short game work and putting were both very solid and productive. In addition to that, I am quite pleased with my fitness work during this tournament week. I may have trimmed the intensity of my workouts slightly, but I still had great running and strength-training sessions all week.

I am feeling very good about things. My bum result in the first event of the year certainly could be a little unsettling, but I still had a positive week, and I'm ready to give it another go this week. There is no additional pressure to perform well this week to "make up" for last week's shortcomings. I just need to stay relaxed, enjoy myself, and play to the old cliché--one shot at a time. I love playing tournament golf, and I am ready for week number 2 of it in 2013!

Keep it for a pre-tournament update on Tuesday night before this week's event begins on Wednesday morning at Oldfield. Thank you for keeping up with me!

***Special Request: I will be journeying to some new venues this year as I split time between the NGA (formerly Hooter's) and eGolf Tours. My first NGA stop is next week (2/28-3/3) in Tifton, Georgia. Does anyone have any potential housing contacts for me in that area? Tifton is about 50 miles north of Valdosta right on I-75. Let me know if you happen to know anyone around there that might not mind a house guest for a week. Thank you very much!

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