Monday, April 29, 2013
It has been well-documented how difficult Cross Creek Plantation Golf Club was for last week's NGA Tour event. After grinding my way to opening round scores of 72, 73, I sat right around 20th place in the field. The course was winning. I got that sucker on Saturday, though. It helps tremendously that I warmed up with the putter in the early-going of the third round, but mostly it was very good driving of the golf ball, solid (at times brilliant) iron play, and a dynamite short game that allowed me to post my third-round score of 66 (-5). That round vaulted me back into contention. I was in the final group for Sunday's final round and just two shots behind the leader. Unfortunately, I never got any closer than that. I had a great warm-up session in the rain Sunday morning, but about 15 minutes before my tee time, play was suspended because the course was too saturated. The rain wouldn't relent, and play never resumed. I was left in a three-way tie for second place. That is my best finish of the year so far, and I am excited about it, but I sure wanted a chance to play for the win. I am still quite pleased, though, with the way my game improved throughout the week and with my nice finish.
Last week's good tournament result is fitting because I had one of the very best weeks of work that I have had all year. I had great practice sessions in all facets of the game. I was especially proud of the way I worked through some frustrating short game sessions and made real strides around the greens. That work showed tremendously during Saturday's round as I converted some high quality up-and-downs. I completed all of my work goals last week, and it felt great. I am going to keep doing that.
The quality of last week's work and play makes my results in this week's Monday Qualifier a bit mysterious. I felt good heading into my 7:40 tee time at the Georgia Club, but my ball-striking was woeful most of the day. I hit a number of un-solid iron shots and never really got much going. I made four birdies and four bogies on a relatively benign track. It was certainly a disappointing performance and a bum result, but I'm not going to let it thwart my momentum.
I am heading on to this week's NGA Tour event--the Savannah Lakes Classic in McCormick, SC. You've never heard of McCormick? Me either, but I hear this event is something special. I am excited for it. I am going to have another great week of work, and hopefully, I can continue my recent trend on the NGA Tour. My last two NGA Tour starts have resulted in a 3rd place finish and a 2nd place finish. I think it's time to continue that pattern! Keep it here for updates from McCormick, SC. Thank you for following me and for your support!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
I played extremely well in the third round on Saturday at the NGA Tour's Mountain Lakes Classic. Battling some misty rainy conditions on the difficult Cross Creek Plantation Golf Club, I was sharp with my driver, short game, and putter and was adequate with my iron play. It all added up to a six-birdie, one-bogey round of 66--the lowest round of the day by two shots--that vaulted me up the leaderboard into a tie for 2nd place. I will be in the tournament's final group on Sunday, and I feel great about the way I am playing. My mantra this week has been to see, feel, and TRUST each and every shot. I'm going to do the same thing on Sunday, and I am excited for the opportunity. Come back for a more thorough report Sunday evening. Thank you for your support!
Friday, April 26, 2013
I can't really decide how I've played the past two days. I am having the best week of practice that I've had all year, and I'm feeling great about my game, but my results have been a little up and down in the tournament rounds. I do feel like I'm playing well, and I have hit a lot of quality shots, but I've also been a little sloppy and hit a couple of very poor shots. I was three over par through 14 holes on Thursday before birdieing two of my last four holes for a 72 (+1). In even tougher conditions on Friday, I played very solidly in the morning. I was two under par through 13 holes but finished with a double and two bogeys to post 73 (+2). That is a disappointing finish, and it stinks that it will knock me down the leaderboard quite a bit, but overall those scores are not that bad here.
I will be right in the middle of the pack heading into the weekend, and I feel like my game is in good enough shape to make a strong move. I'll keep you posted over the weekend! Thank you for following me.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I have had two fantastic days of practice here at Cross Creek Plantation. I am hitting the ball well, and I feel like my short game and putting will be up to the challenge this week will present. I tee off at 12:30 on Thursday, and I will be ready to go!
This is going to be a fun tournament, and I am going to be composed and approach each shot with a "See it, Feel it, TRUST it" routine. Keep it here for post-round updates. Thank you for following me!
Monday, April 22, 2013
So, as I said briefly in my last post, some kind of stomach bug or long-lasting food poisoning got me during last week's eGolf Tour event at Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, NC. I felt noticeably weak and tired during my morning round on the first day. I thought I was being a bit of a wimp, which I can be when I don't feel great, but as I tried to practice in the afternoon, I could tell that I really wasn't very healthy. I forced down some lunch, and that wasn't a good idea. For the next two days, I ate very little, slept a lot, and used what little energy I had to play tournament rounds. After posting an even-par 72 on day one in perfect conditions, I was a little behind the eight ball heading into day two. Fortunately some winds picked up to make play more difficult, and a very steady three-birdie, one-bogey round of 70 was plenty to get me through the cut. I played solidly in some tough conditions during the final round of the 54-hole event, but a balky putter kept me from making a move up the leaderboard. I posted a final-round 70, and my four-under-par total left me with a T25 finish. I didn't hit many good shots last week, but I hit very few poor ones. Had I putted the ball more like my normal self (I was poor on the greens all week), I could have posted another very nice finish. As it is, I'm pleased with way I handled the challenging week.
The after effects of the sickness have been more damaging to my golf game. I didn't manage to eat a full-sized meal until Saturday night, so I struggled a little bit to regain my strength and energy. I travelled early Sunday morning to South Georgia to play the Monday Qualifier for this week's Web.com Tour event in Valdosta. I played a poor practice round on Sunday afternoon, and unfortunately could muster nothing better on Monday morning in the Qualifier. I posted a 73 (+1) on a fairly easy golf course. It was definitely a disappointing effort. I started to feel some pep back in my step during the round, however, and afterwards I felt both hungry and full of energy, so I think I am back.
I am pumped about this week now. Even though I won't be playing in the Web.com Tour event, I am already up in Seneca, South Carolina, and will begin preparations tomorrow for this week's NGA Tour event at Cross Creek Golf Plantation. I did no practicing or working out at all last week, and I missed it. I love to work at my craft, so I am excited to get back after it this week. I already went for a run after the my round in the Monday Qualifier, so I'm off to a good start for the week. I obviously won't push too hard these first couple days, but I feel like I'm ready to get back to work.
Thank you for your faithful support of my career. I'm sorry for the lack of updates last week. I'll be doing better this week! I'm excited for a new week, a new tournament, and a new opportunity to keep working towards my goals. Please keep it here for great updates along the way!
*By the way, my ultimate performance goal in golf is to be a contender year-in and year-out on the PGA Tour. Sometimes I get bogged down in the week-to-week life of the mini-tours and Qualifiers and I forget that. I reminded myself of that today. I have a great plan to achieve that goal and I am on a good path do it. I just need to stay the course and keep believing. Thank you for believing in me.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I did play a tournament this past week, and I played fine. The reason I haven't been on here with updates is that I contracted some kind of stomach bug early in the week that really knocked me out. I couldn't eat or drink anything without feeling sick in my stomach, so my week has been consumed almost entirely by my tournament rounds and sleep. By the way, I shot 72, 70, 70 (-4) to finish T25 in the eGolf Tour's Forest Oaks Classic. I'm definitely on the mend, and I will update my blog more appropriately by Monday evening at the latest. Exciting stuff is coming. Thank you for your support, and I'm sorry for my unannounced hiatus from blogging this week!
Monday, April 15, 2013
I actually did not feel as great on the course during the final round as I have felt on some days over the past two weeks. A number of shots had me feeling a little bit uncomfortable, but I was able to stay in the present fairly well and managed to avoid making any big errors. My round started with an unexpected bonus as I rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole. I failed to birdie the par-5 third, so that felt like a dropped shot, but good birdies on holes 5, 8, and 9 moved me to four under par for my round as I made the turn. I wanted to win the tournament and was definitely excited to feel like I was moving in the right direction, but I did a great job of thinking one shot at a time. My big blunder of the day came at the par-4 tenth. After a nice tee shot, I hit a nine iron to the water-guarded green. My approach landed about two steps short of the hole, bounced up to what looked like the edge of the cup, and then came spinning back away from the hole some 15 feet. I had hit the shot very softly so I was surprised by the spin, and when I got to my putt, I really wanted to make it. My last thought to myself was, "this putt is uphill and into the grain; you need to get it there." I killed it. It felt like an explosion in my hands. I hit my 15-foot putt five feet past the hole. I regained my mental capacities and hit what I thought was a great par putt, but it dove low of the hole and I tapped in for my bogey. I was determined not to let that derail me, though. I gave myself a make-able birdie putt on each of the last eight holes, and though I didn't get them to drop on 11, 12, or 13, I birdied four of last five holes to post my final-round 65.
It was great to post a good round on Sunday. I have played a couple less-than-stellar final rounds this year, but I think my game is in better shape now than it was for some of my disappointing final-day efforts. Even though I ended up five shots behind the winner, I felt like I was in contention all day, and I relished that feeling. I am excited to get back in that position many times. I am confident with where my game is and even more so with my mentality on the course, but the most exciting thing is that I feel like I am still improving in both areas. I say this all the time, but I mean it: great things are coming!
In addition to the good tournament results, this was a great week of work for me. I finished the week one putting drill short of completing all of my work goals, but I'm not going to beat myself up over that. The condition of the putting green at this week's event made my drills very challenging, and I put in a lot of good work in the effort to get them done. I overcame two very sluggish days where my game and my body did not feel great on Tuesday and Wednesday to have a fantastic week. I think that sticking to my practice and fitness routine really helped me come out of that mid-week funk in time to feel great for the tournament. It is very cool for me to see the benefits of my work goals, and this week was a great example of that.
I am heading up to Greensboro, North Carolina, this week for a 54-hole eGolf Tour event at Forest Oaks Country Club. I am a big fan of that golf course and am looking forward to another great event. The tournament is Wednesday-Friday, and though I think I am going to take "tax day" off to do some paper work and travel, I will be ready for the tournament.
Stay tuned for updates from Greensboro. Thank you very much for following my blog and keeping up with my career. I truly appreciate all of your support!
Saturday, April 13, 2013
I didn't feel my best in Saturday's third round. I was just a bit uncomfortable over some shots, and felt fairly cold with my putter as well. I birdied three of the final four holes, however, and posted a third-round 70 (-2). I'm tied for sixth and just four shots behind the leader heading into the final round. Sunday will be an exciting day! Come back for a more thorough report after round four and a summary of the week. Thank you for your support!
Friday, April 12, 2013
Thursday, April 11, 2013
This week's event is at a course called Heritage Oaks on Oak Grove Island in Brunswick, Georgia. It is a very cool course in a pretty setting, and waist-high saw grass is a dominant feature of nearly all of the holes. Good strategy and precise execution are required to navigate the course from tee to green. I like that. The greens present a unique (and unexpected at this level) challenge. They are horribly slow, inconsistent in their firmness, and extremely bumpy. While it certainly would never be my choice to play on poor greens, these are perfect putting surfaces for those who are mentally tough. I figure everyone in the field is facing the same challenge, so I am approaching the greens with a good attitude and trying to have a normal work week on them.
So far, so good. I did have two three-putt bogeys (including a missed putt from no more than 18 inches), but I hit every green in regulation and made six birdies for an opening-round 68 (-4). My ball-striking wasn't as sharp as it has been at times lately, but it was pretty good, and I felt very comfortable on the course. I am playing well, and I really like the challenge presented by this course.
It is a great feeling to overcome a sluggish day and a half and feel like I am as fresh as ever again. I am having a great week of work, and after my solid opening round, I feel like I am going to have a great tournament as well. I have an afternoon time for Friday's second round, and I'll be ready for it. Keep it here for nightly updates. Thank you for keeping up with me!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Despite a couple of very poor three-putts during the qualifying round, I feel great about my putting right now. I have been having some of my best putting practice of the year over the past couple weeks, and I feel very comfortable on the greens. My short game is feeling good, too, but I definitely have some work to do on my medium-range pitch shots. I have been having good short game practice lately, though, and I'm confident that part of my game is in good shape as well. As for my ball-striking, I am feeling as good as I ever have. I have played in some brutal winds my past few competitive rounds, and I have been hitting the ball extremely well. I found a little swing key last week, and I am growing more and more comfortable with it each day.
I am currently at the airport in Houston, Texas, on my back to the east coast for this week's NGA Tour event at Heritage Oaks Golf Club in Brunswick, Georgia. I am excited to have an event to play because I feel like I am ready to do something good!
The NGA event is Thursday-Sunday. Keep it here for reports throughout the week. Thank you for your support!
Sunday, April 7, 2013
That is good news because I have a good opportunity for a breakthrough this coming week. The Web.com Tour is in Midland, Texas, and I am currently in Dallas ready for the Monday Qualifier. I played a practice round at the qualifying course on Sunday, and I feel great heading into my Monday morning tee time.
Come back Monday evening for a report from the Monday Qualifier. Thank you for keeping up with me!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I have just one more day to jump up the leaderboard in this 54-hole event, but given a pretty ugly forecast, I'm thinking that a solid round can really do good things for me in Thursday's finale. I feel good, and I'm ready to play great.
Come back for a final-round report and a look at an exciting week ahead. Thank you for following me!
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I accomplished so much on Tuesday. I did a great stretch and workout to start the day, and then had a morning practice session during which I hit balls for about an hour and then worked on my chipping and pitching for half an hour. I worked on my thought about my footwork, and the results were instant and dramatic. I was hitting the ball solidly and was able to curve it both ways on command. It felt great. That feeling carried into my short game session, and when I headed home for lunch, I was pumped. After lunch, I arrived at the Founders Club at St. James Plantation for the first round of this week's eGolf event. I had another short practice session on the putting green before beginning my normal pre-round warm-up. Everything felt good.
I played beautifully in round 1. I was hitting the ball solidly and felt relatively in control in all aspects of the game. I made four birdies and three bogeys for an opening-round 71. Two of my three bogeys were great shots where I simply misjudged the wind and used the wrong club. I really played well, and more importantly, I felt more comfortable on the course than I have all year. That lets me know that great things are coming.
I play at 8:40 on Wednesday morning in round 2. I feel a good one coming! Keep it here for more news. Thank you for following me.
Monday, April 1, 2013
By the way, I need to give a shout out to my two favorite girls for being a great cheering section for me this past week. My fiancé, Alicia, and my sis, Laura, were both with me, and we had a great week!
Now, to an alarming trend... I won't bore you with too many details of this, but I need to put this out there to help hold myself accountable. This Sunday concluded the twelfth week since I published my work goals for the year. It has been a challenging year so far from a weather perspective and also from a facilities perspective at a few events to be sure, but I have completed 100% of my work goals only five of the twelve weeks. Also, I created a new set of goals within my short game work called "tri-weekly" requirements for this year. I am 0/4 completing this section of my goals. I am one of the hardest working golfers in the world, but my work goals ensure that I am working intelligently and effectively. As of today, April 1st, (and this is no April Fool's joke) I am going to re-commit myself to all of my work goals and do a better job of finishing them. My work goals will help me achieve my outcome goals, and I am going to do both this year!
I am playing again this week at St. James Plantation. This week's event is a 54-hole eGolf Tour event at the Founder's Club. The tournament is Tuesday-Thursday, and I really enjoy this golf course. It should be a great week. Keep it here for practice and tournament reports.
Thank you very much for following and supporting my career!
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