Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Not My Best out West; Time to Get Back on Track

My "West Coast Swing" for 2014 is over. I did not finish very well at Pebble Beach, and I did not get the job done in the Monday Qualifier for the Los Angeles Open either, so I am heading Home to regroup and recharge as I prepare to get some momentum rolling into the next stretch of PGA Tour golf. I'm honestly feeling a little bummed coming off my first four events of 2014, but I know that it is a long season and I am still in a great position to reach my goals. 

I played some great golf during the first two rounds of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and I was in nice position heading into the third round. In Saturday's third round, I was playing the Monterey Peninsula Country Club, and the weather was absolutely brutal. A misty rain was blown sideways by 30 mile per hour winds that were gusting to outrageously high speeds. I'll give you a three-hole stretch that illustrates how hard the wind was blowing. On the 176-yard, downhill par-three 11th hole, I hit a 3 wood. On the 599-yard par-five 12th hole, I hit Driver-Driver-Driver short of the green, and on the 430-yard par-four 13th, I hit Driver-Driver short of the green. I actually handled the worst of the wind okay, but I started to hit a few shaky shots on my second nine and missed a few short putts as well.  As darkness approached on Saturday, I was four over par for my round with two holes to go. I would have to come back Sunday morning to finish my third round, and I was sitting right on the cutline. I parred the eighth hole (my 17th) and knew that a par or better on the par-three ninth would put me inside the cutline. I never got comfortable on the tee and pulled my shot well left of the green where it unfortunately settled up against the back side of a Cypress tree and left me no shot at the green. I made a disheartening double bogey, posted a third-round 77 (+6), and fell from T17th at the beginning of the round to T77th and a missed cut. It was a really bad feeling to finish that way, and truthfully, I didn't play very well for the majority of round three, but I cannot forget that I did play some great golf over the first two rounds. The finish to my tournament at Pebble Beach certainly leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but I have a lot of positives from which I can build. 

As I said above, I also competed in the Monday Qualifier for the Northern Trust Los Angeles Open this week. I was in a good frame of mind to play the qualifier, but I made a couple of little mistakes and didn't putt well enough to get the job done. I posted a 71 and the final qualifiers came from a playoff at 68. 

So now I have this week and next week off from competition. I don't like that, but I'm sure that most people would say it's good for me. The weather doesn't look promising the next few days in my beautiful hometown, but I'm going
to spend at least a couple of refreshing days at Home, and then I'll make a plan going forward. 

One thing that definitely hasn't changed is that I still love to play and practice. I'm excited to keep working on my game, and I know that I'll continue to improve. Most of my problems on the West Coast were mental shortcomings, but until the first two rounds on the Monterey Peninsula, I wasn't very sharp in other aspects of the game either. That means I definitely have a lot of room to improve, and I enjoy the challenge of continuously getting better. 

I have a great plan in place with my Map Goals. For various reasons (some extremely legitimate, others fairly weak), I haven't completed all of my Map Goals the last three weeks, and due to the weather, I probably won't this week either, but I will get back into a thorough and efficient work routine. I know the formula and I believe it will work at every level. Intelligent planning + thorough preparation + a great attitude = steady improvement = success. This formula will work on the PGA Tour, and I'm ready to put it in action. 

Thank you very much for believing in me and for your support!

2 comments:

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  2. We met you at the Pebble Beach practice putting green where you were kind enough of sign a souvenir ball for our grandson. Now we intend to follow your progress on tour and pull for your success. Hoping you're staying warm in Tenn. and getting ready for the Fla. swing. All the best !

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