Saturday, March 16, 2013

Good, Bad, and Ugly on Day 3

On Saturday morning I warmed up in the dark before the 8 a.m. restart of the second round. I was a little jittery knowing I faced eight tough holes in cool and breezy conditions. I felt good, though, and I had a feeling it would be a great day. I swapped a birdie and a bogey over the final eight holes of my second round to post a 71 (-1). With the exception of a terrible bunker shot on the par-3 7th hole, I played very solidly during the conclusion of my second round. As all of the scores came in, it became clear that my round was indeed pretty good. Though the leaderboard was very tightly bunched, my 1-over-par total through 36 holes had me just four shots behind the leaders.

I teed off at 12:30 to begin my third round, and despite 20+ mile per hour winds whipping across an already brutally hard golf course, I felt great and poised to make a move. I began my round impressively, recording eight consecutive pars on a tricky stretch of opening holes. A big blunder on the easy par-5 9th cost me a bogey as I made the turn, but I still felt good. Another poor swing led to a bogey on the par-3 11th, but I answered with two of my best swings of the day on the uphill par-5 12th. Unfortunately, my second shot must have carried just a bit farther than I intended, and though I thought it had a chance to go in the hole, we actually found it in some gnarly pine roots 20 yards over the green. I scraped out a difficult par, but that rattled me. Though I still felt good about the way I was swinging, my execution was sloppy the last six holes, and I compounded a few ball-striking mistakes with my worst putting stretch of the week. I ended up shooting 80; it is the only time in my professional career I have posted a score in the 80s. Of course I'm disappointed to have shot such a poor score and to see the plummet that ensued down the learderboard, but my game still feels good. I had a very focused practice session after signing my scorecard, and everything is in good shape.

I'm going to play great on Sunday. All the pieces are there; I just need to put them together. I feel fantastic, and I know that the good results are coming. Keep it here for a final-round report and a summary of the week. Thank you for following me!

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