Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm Back!

Dear Loyal Followers,

To those of you who noticed that I took a long break from writing here on my blog, I have two things to say. First of all, thank you very much for taking an interest in my life and my career and caring enough to keep up with me. Secondly, I am truly sorry that I disappeared for more than two weeks without even a note to announce that I would be doing so.

I am great and am feeling better than ever right now. My heavy tournament schedule this year has not taken a physical toll on my body, but I definitely was starting to find myself bogged down a little bit mentally. I still love to play and practice and work on my game, but all of the off-the-course business associated with my job was wearing my out a little bit. Over the past three weeks, I have allowed myself to relax a little bit. During that time, I enjoyed a week off from competition and then had two of my best tournament performances of the year. Most importantly, I have been soaking up some quality time with the people to whom I am closest. It all has me feeling wonderfully refreshed, but now I am ready to get back to work.

So here is a bullet point version of the past 2+ weeks:

-I successfully advanced through the local round of U.S. Open Qualifying in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Monday, May 13.

-I had my best ball-striking week of the year and posted a four-round total of 25 under par at the NGA Tour's Cherry Blossom Classic in Georgetown, Kentucky, May 16-19. I held the lead throughout the final round, but eventually lost in playoff.

-I overcame a very very poor ball-striking performance in my pseudo-hometown NGA Tour event to finish tied for 8th in the Three Ridges Classic in Knoxville, TN, May 23-26.

-I failed in this week's Monday Qualifier for the Web.com Tour event in Potomac, MD.

During that stretch, I made very little progress towards any of my work goals and did even less work towards managing the business aspects of my golf career. I put in maximum effort towards my tournament rounds, but beyond that, I was soaking up some family time and recharging.

I am ready to go, now, though! Though I had some good tournament results during that more relaxed stretch, I know that my hard work and dedication to a solid routine have been the foundation for my steady improvement over the years, and I am ready to get back to work. I am going to give a whole-hearted effort to complete all of my work goals for this week, but starting next week (June 3), I am completely rededicating myself to my goals for the year. I feel rejuvenated, and I am ready to make big things happen.

I am currently near Washington, D.C. preparing for U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying. I am playing at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. I know the course well and will get even more well-acquainted with it over the next few days. The qualifier is a 36-hole marathon next Monday, and you can bet that I'll be ready for it.

Thank you for following me, and thank you for caring about me and my career. Keep it right here for updates as I dive into bigger, better, and more exciting things!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good Stuff from the Past Nine Days

Okay, I'm sorry again for my disappearance from my blog. I thoroughly enjoyed a furlough from competition last week, and though I did have some very productive practice sessions, I decided to cash in one of my three weeks off from my work goals as well. I spent some quality time with my sweet fiancé and did some good thinking, too. I have some thoughts to share, but I still don't have time for that tonight. I just want to let you know that I do still exist, and my game is in great shape.

I had my U.S. Open Local Qualifying on Monday at a course in Cincinnati called Maketewah Country Club. The course presented U.S. Open conditions as the rough was long and thick, the fairways narrow, and the layout long. I played beautifully, and though I three-putted the final green, I successfully advanced to the Sectional Round of Qualifying with a one-under-par round of 70. The course was extremely tough, and I was very pleased with that result. My 2013 U.S. Open chances are alive and well!

Now I'm on to this week's NGA Tour event in Georgetown, KY. I'm excited to get back to tournament golf, and after seeing the course for the first time today, I feel like it suits me quite well. I'm excited for a great week!

Please come back for all of the following: great reports from this week's event; a(nother) new commitment to my work goals; and an update to the "tournament schedule" posted in the tab at the top of the page. Thank you for following me and for your support.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Soggy Week Ends in a Sunday Washout

For the second consecutive week on the NGA Tour, the final round happened a day early. I sat squarely in the middle of the pack after three rounds at the Savannah Lakes Village Classic, and that is exactly where I finished the tournament because heavy rain left the course unplayable and Sunday's final round was cancelled. It was disappointing not to have the opportunity to improve my position, but there is nothing I can do about that, so I'm not going to worry about it. Overall, I am not happy with my performance or my finish at Savannah Lakes, but there are still some very positive things from which I will draw moving forward.

I am going to give a more in-depth analysis of last week's event and also look back over the last twelve weeks--a stretch during which I played an event each week--in another post very soon. For now I will just say that I am looking forward to my first week off since beginning competition back in mid-February. I am also ready to reverse an alarming trend that has seen me complete my work goals far too infrequently this year. I have a lot of great stuff to share, so please come back to hear my thoughts and plans moving forward. I have a strong feeling that great stuff is coming soon.

Thank you very much for your support!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

No Move on This "Moving Day"

I just didn't hit the ball very well during Saturday's third round of this week's NGA Tour event. I felt pretty good heading into the round and am very encouraged by some short game shots and putts that I hit, but I was never in good position to get anything going. A mishit drive and a very poorly judged chip shot led to a double bogey on the long par-4 sixth hole. Birdies on the par-5 ninth and eleventh holes got me back to even par, but I never even sniffed another birdie in the closing seven holes. I dropped two shots over that closing stretch to post a third-round score of 74 (+2). Cold, wind, and rain made the course play difficult on Saturday, so my score didn't really drop me down the leaderboard, but it certainly didn't help me climb. Good putting and a few really nice short game shots kept me in it. I am in a little bit of a ball-striking funk right now, but I feel as confident as ever with my ability to score. I know that something will click with my full swing very soon, and I believe I am close to playing my best golf ever. Right now I'm hoping for good enough weather to play the final round of the Savannah Lakes Village Classic. Sunday's forecast doesn't look pretty, but I'm ready to play a gritty round and make a Sunday charge. Come back for a report in the evening. Thank you for your support!

Friday, May 3, 2013

On to the Weekend at Savannah Lakes

I didn't feel great about my game for some reason heading into Friday's second round of the NGA Tour's Savannah Lakes Village Classic. Firm greens and some gusty winds ensured that the course would play difficult, and I wasn't feeling great about the way I was striking my irons. I was determined to stay in the present and TRUST each and every shot, and that plan seemed to work. I still hit a few poor iron and wedge shots, but for the most part, I played very solidly in some challenging weather. I posted three birdies and two bogies for a second-round 71 (-1) to move to even par for the event. After the cut, I am in the top side of the middle of the pack and am poised to make a run over the weekend. The weather promises to be challenging, but that should help me climb the leaderboard. Keep it here for good reports from the weekend action. Thank you for following me!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Inconsistent in Round 1

I got off to the start for which I was hoping early in the first round of the NGA Tour's Savannah Lakes Village Classic. Through five holes I had hit every fairway and had make-able birdie putts on each hole. I converted two of them, and stood at two under par through five holes. My great feelings continued when I nailed a ten footer to save par on the long par-4 sixth hole. I'm not sure what happened to thwart my momentum, but over the next six holes, I struggled quite a bit. I continued to drive the ball beautifully, but my iron play was poor, and I made two big short game mistakes between holes 7 and 12. On the watery par-5 11th, I played a great tee shot and an aggressive second shot up near the green. I had a brain cramp on my pitch shot, though, and bounced my 50-yard shot over green. Short-sided, I failed to get up-and-down for my par and made a horrible bogey after being in perfect position in two shots. I misjudged an easy chip and made bogey on the par-3 12th as well. I arrived at the 13th hole one over par for my round, and despite a lot of solid shots coming home, that is where I finished. I closed with six consecutive pars for an opening-round 73 (+1). Firm greens and some sporadic winds made the course play difficult, but I feel like I was a little sloppy in the middle part of my round. I can and likely will do much better in round 2. I tee it up at 12:57 on Friday. I'm going to See it, Feel it, and TRUST it all the way to the clubhouse. Keep it here for a great report Friday evening. Thank you for keeping up with me!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ready to Go at the Savannah Lakes Village Classic

This week's NGA Tour event is definitely a mini-tour "major." Everything about this tournament has a great feel to it. The course--the Monticello Course at Savannah Lakes Village--is beautiful, and though it will yield some low scores, it demands good execution. The community supports this event very strongly, and galleries have already been present for both the shootout (a nine-hole, ten-player competition) on Tuesday and the Pro-Am on Wednesday. To wrap up this event's status as a mini-tour "major," a strong field is assembled and will be playing for one of the of the six biggest purses of the year in mini-tour golf. It is definitely a cool event.

I am feeling good, too. I have not had two of my greatest days of practice over the past two days, but I have spent a lot of time on the golf course playing the holes, and I feel very comfortable on the course. I get started early in Thursday's opening round, and I am ready to have a great week. I'll say it again, my last two finishes on the NGA Tour have been 3rd and 2nd. It's time to continue the trend!

I'm going to have fun, be composed, and commit to a See it, Feel it, TRUST it approach on each and every shot. This is going to be a great week. Keep it here for updates. Thank you for following me!

Visible Progress

I’ve been making a lot of invisible progress lately. By that, I mean that my scores have been consistently rather stinky, but beneath that,...