Wednesday, June 10, 2015

68, 68, 68, 68, 68, 67

The title of this blog post represents the six scores I posted during five days of competition in Dallas over the past week. Another appropriate title for this post would have been an oxymoronic phrase such as "positive frustration" or "encouraging disappointment." I posted four consecutive 68's in the Tour's Greater Dallas Open and finished tied for 12th. I followed that effort with rounds of 68 and 67 on Monday in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying, but finished the day as the second alternate from my qualifying site, so it is highly unlikely that I will compete in this year's Championship.  I'm clearly playing well, and I definitely feel much more positive and encouraging energy than frustration or disappointment  from my time in Dallas. 

I was very pleased with my play for the most part in the Tour event. I opened the tournament with two solid rounds on Thursday and Friday. I shot 68 every day, but the two weekend 68's were miles apart in terms of my performance. In great scoring conditions on Saturday, I holed a wedge shot on the opening hole for an eagle and reached -4 through six holes before scuffling a little bit and playing the final 12 holes in even par. On Sunday, I again started quickly, but after two bogeys late in my opening nine, I played beautifully in some tougher conditions and shot three under par on the final nine holes of the tournament. My fourth consecutive 68 moved me up the leaderboard a little bit and I finished tied for 12th. I want more than that, but with the exception of the final twelve holes on Saturday, I am very pleased with the way I played in the event. 

The real heart breaker came Monday in U.S. Open Qualifying. I wasn't as consistent as I like to be, but I had stretches of beautiful golf on a very nice and fairly demanding course in Dallas. I shot another 68 (-2, this time) in the first 18 holes. That score had me outside the qualifying score after the first round, but I was in good position. I birdied four of the first six holes in the afternoon round and felt like I had something special going. A few sloppy tee shots and one particularly disappointing lag putt led to a couple of costly bogies on my closing nine holes, including the 36th hole, and my second-round 67 left me out by a single shot on a spot in our national championship. It is a shame that I didn't finish the long day better, and it hurt pretty badly to come up agonizingly short in U.S. Open Qualifying yet again, but I still posted two nice rounds on a great golf course. 

Clearly I am playing well, and I'm feeling very good about that. I'm currently in Cleveland where I tee off at 7:10 on Thursday morning to begin the Tour's Rust-Oleum Championship. The long day on Monday combined with travel on Tuesday and weather problems shortening the Pro-Am on Wenesday have definitely combined to negatively affect my preparation, but I can tell that I really like the course here, and I know that my game is in solid shape. I'm going to have a great week! Keep it here for great (and more frequent) updates moving forward! Thank you for following me!

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