Monday, June 3, 2013

No U.S. Open This Year, but Feeling Great

I just didn't quite put it all together at Woodmont Country Club in Monday's Sectional Qualifier for the U.S. Open. I played fantastic golf and feel absolutely great about my game, but a couple of mistakes and an icy cold putter over the second 18 holes caused me to come up a little bit short. I posted rounds of 70 (-2), 69 (E) on the North and South, respectively. My two-under-par total of 139 left me three shots out of a playoff for the final qualifying position.

I was feeling very calm and was playing nicely to start the day when I got a bad break on my fourth hole. I pulled my drive on the short par-4 fourth hole, and it went into a fairway bunker. I should have had a routine little wedge out of the fairway bunker to the green, but my ball plugged so deeply in a soft area of the bunker that I could hardly move it with my next swing. I didn't move it, actually, and I ended up hitting a great wedge a few shots later to salvage a double-bogey on the hole. I played beautifully the rest of the first round. My only blunder was a missed putt from three and a half feet that caused a bogey on the par-4 14th hole. With the exception of the tough luck in the fairway bunker and the short miss on the back nine, I really played a great round of golf on the demanding North Course.

My round on the South Course was one of the better ball-striking rounds I can remember. I drove the ball beautifully, hit a lot of quality iron shots, and was fairy good with my wedges. Unfortunately, my putter turned icy cold. I had numerous birdie putts in the eight to 15 foot range, and I never made one of them in the second round. I was comfortable over my putter, and I'm coming off a great week of putting practice, so I'm certainly not discouraged. It was just bad timing for a poor putting round.

Qualifiers are hard. They are a test that is graded on a "Pass/Fail" scale. On paper, I failed this week. It sure didn't feel like failing. I am so pumped with how my game felt during the qualifier. I played with two PGA Tour winners, and I know that I can do what they have done. I'm excited to keep improving, and I'm more convinced than ever that big things are in my future!

I'm off for the rest of this week but will be traveling to Wichita, Kansas, over the weekend to prepare for the Monday Qualifier for next week's Tour event there. Keep it here for a couple of practice reports during the week. I'm going to do some great work. Thank you for your support!

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