Wednesday, September 17, 2014

At Sawgrass

Here I am at the home of the PGA Tour--The Tournament Players Club (TPC) Sawgrass. This picture is of the 18th hole on the Stadium Course, the famous host of The Player's Championship, but this week's event is on the Valley Course. The Valley Course is much less notorious than it's brother with the island green, but it is an excellent course and will be a great test for the Web.com Tour Championship this week. 

Here is the fact. I enter this week's event needing a top five finish to retain my playing privileges on the PGA Tour for the 2014-2015 season. Anything less than that and I will be a Web.com Tour player for the 2015 season. So, I'm going to shoot four rounds under par and get the job done this week. Now that I've said that, I'm going to do the things I need to do to make it happen: work hard and play one shot at a time! 

There is no question that it has been a tough and frustrating year for me, but I'm proud of the work that I've done, and I am feeling progress. I'm ready to play great, and this is my week!

Life is great! If you missed my last post, check it out because it's really cool. Thank you for keeping up with me and believing in me. Come back for good reports from this week's tournament rounds. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Missed Cut, Royals Slumping, Life is GREAT

I'm going to get some sleep and get ready for a great week at the Web.com Tour Championship, so this will be very brief, but I want to share some info from the past week. I felt great about my game and hit the ball solidly, but I wasn't sharp in Columbus, Ohio, and the Ohio State University Scarlet Course pitched a birdie shutout for 36 holes against me. I posted 32 pars and four bogeys to miss the cut by two shots in the third Web.com Tour Finals event. Speaking of shutouts, my beloved Kansas City Royals have been really struggling of late, too! With the season coming down to crunch time, the Royals have fallen out of first place and need to right the ship if they are to break their long playoff drought. So in my world as a professional and as a sports fan, things are a little rough right now. 

My week in Ohio was a great reminder of just how great life is, though. The world is full of great stories and amazing people. I'm going to work my tail off and find top form on the golf course again, but that will never define me. Relationships with amazing people and having a positive impact in the world will define my life. Life is great! 

Watch the video by clicking this link: http://youtu.be/jTmOvT12vDsand then laugh and smile at these two pictures:

I am going to have a great week of work and play well this week, but last week made me feel like a winner, too! Thank you to the Richardson family and thank you to my wife, Alicia, who reminds me that I am a winner every week!

Thank you for following and caring about me. Keep it here for a full golf-report in the next two days!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cut(s)

I'm going to talk about the elephant in my golfing mind. I am really tired of talking about, writing about, thinking about, and worrying about the cut line at golf tournaments. Mostly though, I'm sick of missing the cut. When I first turned professional, having to survive a 36-hole cut at tournaments was the biggest difference from my college golf experience. It took me a while to get used to it, and I missed a lot of cuts my first year. During that year though, I learned to replace the "make-the-cut" thoughts in my head with simple "play-good-golf" thoughts, and for a three-year stretch from 2011 through 2013, I did just that quite a lot and missed very few cuts. This year, for a number of reasons, I missed a few cuts early in the year and my thoughts have spiraled all the way back to where they were when I was a newly-turned professional golfer worrying about making cuts. My game hasn't been sharp all year, and therefore, I have found myself lingering around the cut-line a lot on Thursdays and Fridays. In these situations, I have found myself thinking about the cut, which puts even more stress on my already not-as-sharp-as-I-want-it golf game. It all adds up to a recipe for struggles, and I have cooked up plenty of those this year. 

This past week fit that mold perfectly. The second event of the Web.com Tour Finals was at River Run Country Club, a course that I know and really like, and I was ready to play well. On Thursday, I did play well, but a few errant drives and a luke-warm putter led to an opening-round 71 (-1), and I sat in a tie for 45th place heading into Friday. I opened Friday's round with seven consecutive pars and definitely was thinking about staying ahead of the cut-line. A tense swing on the par-three 17th hole (my eighth of the day) resulted in a terrible tee shot that kicked out of bounds. I made a triple-bogey, and though I played hard the rest of the way, the damage was done. I ended up posting a second-round 75 and fell three shots outside the cut. It was a really disappointing feeling to head home early from a course where I have such fond memories. 

Here comes the good news! These first two paragraphs are about the past. This is the first time all year I've actually talked about all of my missed cuts. It stinks to miss cuts, and I hate having weekends off in my line of work, but I can do something about it. Poor play and missed cuts are going to happen from time to time, but, as I've already shown in 2011-2013, with the right mindset, they don't have to happen to much. The right mindset is one in which the focus is on playing good golf and trying to win tournaments. I can and will get back to thinking that way! 

The other good news is that my not-as-sharp-as-I-want-it golf game is coming around. All year I have shown deficiencies in every area of my game, but over the last several weeks, my practice has greatly improved. I still haven't put all the elements together in the same round, but I have seen bright spots from all areas of my game in my last three golf tournaments. I am definitely getting some of my confidence back, and I thoroughly believe that I am good enough to compete at the highest level of professional golf. 

So yes, there is definite frustration in this post, but in letting out that frustration, I find much more optimism. I am really good at this golf stuff. I know how to practice and the right way to think, and, though I haven't necessarily been doing both this year, I'm going to get back on track. 

I'm back in action this week at the third event of the Web.com Tour Finals in Columbus, Ohio. I'm going to prepare well and get myself in position to win a golf tournament. Thank you for continuing to believe in me! Keep it here for updates from Ohio! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

River Run Ready

The second event of the Web.com Tour Finals--The Chiquita Classic--is about to begin for me. The Chiquita Classic is at River Run Country Club in Davidson, North Carolina. In addition to playing well here last year, I have great memories from numerous eGolf Professional Tour events on this course. My practice continues to feel better and better each day, and I feel like I am ready to play really well. I am going to believe in myself, trust every shot, and play Peter Malnati golf the next four days here in North Carolina. Thank you for following, and keep it here for updates along the way!



Close Calls and More Progress

I'm playing good golf, and it's really fun! I haven't been able to put enough consistently good play together yet to have a good...