I'm sorry that I haven't updated you since the first 33 holes of last week's event. If you have seen the final results, you know that I do not have a lot to brag about in terms of my finish, but I am actually very pleased about some things that happened in the middle of the tournament. I'll cover the good and the bad from last week's event and will also talk a little bit about my plans for the coming weeks. Last week's finish didn't look good on paper, and the final round didn't feel good in action either, but I am still feeling great overall and am pumped to build on my strong start to the year.
The last time I wrote on here, I had completed 15 holes of my second round at the eGolf Tour's cold and windswept Irish Creek Classic. I returned to the course on Friday morning to prepare for the planned 8:30 a.m. re-start of round 2. Frost pushed that re-start back until 10:00 o'clock, but even with the extended delay, wind chill factors were in the 20s when we teed it up. I stood at three over par for the tournament and had a to play three of the toughest holes on the golf course to finish my second round. Though my mindset was pretty good, I'd be lying to say the thought of "just surviving the cut" hadn't crept into my mind while thinking about the closing three holes at Irish Creek. When it came time to tee it up, however, I was right where I needed to be mentally. I formed a good game plan before each shot and executed really well. I finished my second round with par, birdie, par over the final three holes for a second-round 70 (-1). That was a really good feeling to go out in tough conditions on tough golf holes and execute well.
After posting my second-round score Friday morning, it was a waiting game for the second-round to be completed and round-3 tee times to be released. I pegged it at 1:50 p.m. to begin my third round and proceeded to play 17 solid holes Friday afternoon. I hit very few poor shots on Friday, but I just couldn't seem to catch fire and start rattling off birdies. Every aspect of my game felt pretty good, but I couldn't get any mid-length putts to drop and stood at just two under par through 17 holes when play was suspended for the day. I really played well for the 20 holes I played on Friday, and I had myself in a great position in the tournament with 19 holes left to play on Saturday.
Unfortunately, to quote my friend Michael Sims, "golf happened" on Saturday. My game felt great on Friday, and I was agonizingly close to really tearing it up, but I just didn't have it on Saturday. I continued to drive the ball well, but everything else was a real struggle. My iron play, short game, and putting all cost me shots in Saturday's final round, and after making par on the final hole of my third round for a 69 (-2), I ballooned to a 75 (+4) in the final round, which took place in the week's best scoring conditions. That round sent me tumbling down the leaderboard, and I finished in a tie for 37th. I still can't really explain why I played so poorly the last day, but I'm motivated to keep improving so days like that will occur even less frequently.
Everything is good with my golf game, though. I may have been trying a little bit too hard in the final round, but other than that, I'm just going to chalk it up as "one of those days." I have had two days of practice since Saturday's debacle, and everything is feeling as good as ever. It is time to turn my attention to this week's event.
Although, with that said, I do need to confess my shortcomings in practice from last week. The crazy weather and daily delays did make practicing difficult during last week's event, but I'm disappointed to say that I once again came up a little short of finishing all of my work goals. I did all of my short game work, ball-striking drills, and fitness work, but I came up two putting drills shy of completing all of my work. In addition to that, I once again failed to hole enough chip shots and bunker shots to fulfill my tri-weekly requirements.
Now, it really is time to turn my attention to this week's event. I will hit the road Tuesday morning for North Augusta, South Carolina, and this week's NGA Tour event at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club. I had a productive day of work on Monday, and I am ready to have a great tournament week. I am going to be relaxed and really enjoy myself from beginning to end this week, but at the same time, I am going to commit to having efficient and effective practice sessions and completing all of my work goals. This is going to be a great week!
My first four tournament weeks of the year have done nothing to lower my very high expectations for this year. I think that all of my outcome goals are very achievable, and I think I'm off to a good start in pursuit of them. I need to really emphasize my work goals in the coming weeks to ensure that my game is continuing to improve, but of equal importance, I need to make sure I am enjoying myself in all that I do. I absolutely love what I do, and as long as I remember to have fun with it, I know that I will continue to progress towards my goals.
If you have read this entire post, thank you very much for your loyal support. Even if you skipped some parts in the middle, thank you for keeping up with me. :) I will do a better job of keeping you updated during my tournaments in the future. Keep it here for reports from the NGA event this week. Great things are coming!
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