Monday, November 18, 2013

Birdies to End My 2013 Schedule on Another High Note

I entered the PGA Tour's OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, expecting to have to battle some loose ball-striking. I surprised myself and hit the ball fairly well in the opening two rounds, but my putter refused to heat up, and I posted identical rounds of 69 (-2, -4 total). Those certainly weren't great scores in the opening rounds, but I easily made the cut and stood in the middle of the field heading into the weekend. I continued to hit my irons fairly well over the final two rounds, but unfortunately, I started to hit my driver very erratically. I had suffered zero penalty shots over the first two rounds, but I hit one ball out of play during Saturday's third round and three balls out of play during my final round on Sunday. When I kept it on the golf course, however, I was finally brilliant with my wedges and putter on Sunday. Two penalty shots and a nasty three-putt had me at two over par through five holes in the final round. It would be a lie to say I was feeling good at that point, but I did keep a good attitude, and I went on a tear! I birdied 9 of the final 13 holes (including 6 of the final 7) in my last tournament round of 2013 to post a fourth-round 65 (-6). That final-round got me to 11 under par for the tournament and vaulted me from the bottom half of the field all the way up to a 15th-place finish. It was a great exclamation mark to a great year, and a fantastic testament to the value of a strong mental game. 

My finish this week was very valuable for a couple of reasons. First of all, it is obviously good to get the confidence that comes from playing great in a final round. this one was particularly big, however, because the PGA tour re-shuffles my category after this tournament. That means that I will move up the priority list and now have a much better chance to get in the tournaments early next year. I am obviously pretty good at staying present with my thoughts on the golf course, but the implications of my good play this weekend are huge with regards to my opportunities next spring.

So, what now? I have seven weeks before my next golf tournament. I'm not exactly sure what all I want to accomplish during that time, but I know what the next two weeks are going to look like. I'm going to commit to three things: being a husband; settling in to our new home; and re-establishing a routine to keep my body in peak condition. When December gets here, I will have a whole new list of off-season goals that I want to accomplish, but for the next two weeks, these three things are my priorities.

I couldn't be more excited right now. I have a lot more analyzing and summarizing to do from my 2013 season, but it obviously was a pretty darn good one! Keep it right here for news going forward into the off-season, and thank you so much for following me, supporting me, and enjoying this ride with me!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Feeling Good in Mexico

I didn't have the strongest finish to my second round on paper, but the three pars and one bogey that I made early Saturday morning are quite deceiving. I really hit the ball beautifully and rolled some great putts, too, but I couldn't seem to get a birdie, and the blemish on my card was the result of a very well-struck wedge that flew a remarkably long distance. The bottom line is this: I feel great about the progress of my game this week, and I have two more rounds here in Mexico to shoot a couple great scores.

I had quite a long break between completing my second round and the planned third-round start, so I enjoyed some of the spoils of Mexico. Enjoy the pics, and come back for a great report from the final two rounds Sunday evening! Thank you for keeping up with me!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Good Start in Mexico

After weather delays forced me to watch and wait without ever playing on Thursday, I played 32 holes on Friday at the PGA Tour's OHL Golf Classic at Mayakoba. Like I said in my tournament preview post, I haven't had my best stuff lately, but I have been feeling better and better each day this week. I actually played very solidly on Friday. I never tried to do anything too fancy, but I hit a lot of quality shots. Surprisingly, I was a little cold with the putter, but I still managed seven birdies and made only two bogeys in my 32 holes on Friday. I'm feeling great, and though I don't pretend to be firing on all cylinders, I know that if I can continue to improve steadily each day, I'll have a chance to be there late in the final round. For now, it's bedtime because a 6:45 am re-start awaits me in the morning. Come back for a report from Saturday's action. Thank you for following me! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Plan in Mexico

I'm in Mexico for the final event of the PGA Tour's Fall Series--the OHL Mayakoba Classic--and to be perfectly honest, I just don't have my best stuff. My ball-striking is a bit off, and I feel like even my good shots are leaving the club weakly and floating through the air rather than coming off the club crisply and penetrating the air as they fly toward the target. So what am I going to do? I'm going to do what I always do: stay positive, commit to an efficient and effective practice routine, play to my strengths on the course, and have a great tournament. I am good enough and smart enough to contend without my best stuff, and I'm going to prove it this week. I might even find that lovin' feeling sometime during the tournament and do something special. 

I had a great day of practice on Wednesday. I found a lot of positives during a decent range session and then had a nice hour working on my wedge play and short game. I have had productive time on the practice green each day that I've been here, and on Wednesday, I really wanted to complete my six-footer drill before leaving the course. That drill requires that I make 18 of 24 putts and is usual very challenging for me. I made my first 19 in a row on Wednesday. I definitely have a lot of reasons to be confident despite not feeling like I have my best stuff. 

I'm going to figure out a way to have a great tournament this week. Keep it here for news as the competition gets under way on Thursday. Thank you very much for following me!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Heading to Mexico

2013 has been one exciting year for Peter Malnati. Here is the bullet-point version of the highlight reel: 

-I rattled off a bunch of top-ten finishes (including two 2nd place finishes) during a busy stretch of mini-tour golf this spring and early summer. 

-I cheered incredibly hard for my then fiancĂ© as she applied for and got a great job at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. 

-After Monday Qualifying for the Tour event in Wichita, Kansas, I finished in the top 25 in five of my first six events on that circuit.  

-Alicia and I found and bought a house in Knoxville. 

-I won the Tour event in Knoxville with a dramatic finish in front of my family and tons of hometown fans.

-I officially earned my PGA Tour Card for the 2013-2014 Season. 

-On November 1, I married the absolute love of my life. 

So I would say that it has been a pretty solid year for me. Remember that breakthrough that I had been promising for the last couple years? I certainly had that in a big way, but I'm not quite ready to call it a year yet. I am in the field for the final PGA Tour event of the Fall Series--the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I am on my way to Mexico now, and I have the opportunity to put a big exclamation mark on the end of my 2013 season. 

It would be a lie to say that I have stayed perfectly in my practice routine over the last couple weeks, but I do feel like I am in a great place mentally to go play some good golf. I am going to form a plan for my week in Mexico during the travel today, and I will have a solid week of work to finish my year. Keep it here for an update on that plan and for news from Mexico. 

Thank you so much for enjoying this great journey with me and for your support and encouragement along the way!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Times

I'm always happy, but I'm particularly over the clouds right now. I married the love of my life last Friday in the most beautiful ceremony and on the greatest day I could ever imagine. 

I do need to get back to work on my golf game, and I will update you on that very soon, but for now I wanted to share this incredible joy that I am feeling. Thank you for caring about me, and thank you for your great support.

Come back soon for news about my career!

New Blog Site

Hi everyone! Thank you for continuing to try to keep up with me. As you might have noticed, I've not been updating this blog at all late...