Monday, June 1, 2015

Wrap-up from Raleigh

I didn't have my good stuff in Raleigh. I drove the ball erratically, and that made it difficult for me to ever maintain much of a run. That's not to say I didn't have flashes of brilliance, but at the end of the week, I made too many mistakes to have a good finish. I ended up with rounds of 67, 71, 68, and 69 for a nine-under-par total and a tie for 30th place. I'll share some stories from the week, and then talk about what I need to do moving forward. 

They call Saturday "moving day," and after a disappointing round in great conditions on Friday, I came out ready to move in round three. I birdied the opening hole, narrowly missed birdie opportunities on the next two holes, and then went birdie-birdie-par-birdie-eagle on holes four through eight. The eagle was a hole-out from 132 yards. It was exciting stuff!

I was a combined 12 under par on my opening nine holes during the four tournament rounds. I started on number 10 and opened the tournament with a four-under-par 31 on Thursday, shot six under par on the front nine on Saturday, and overcame a rocky start to shoot two under par on the front nine on Sunday. My second nine performances included three days at even par and a three-over-par 38 on the back nine on Saturday. I don't necessarily think my poor second half performances indicate any kind of large problem, but it certainly was a frustrating characteristic of the past week. 

After my hot start on Saturday, I had visions of a very low round, and I could taste the sensation of being in contention for a win coming down the stretch. I know better than to let those kind of thoughts into my head over golf shots, but I was definitely thinking about grand things between shots. When some wayward shots and disappointing putts started to ruin my vision, I really took it hard. I felt like I was letting a lot slip away, and it was not a fun feeling. I approached Sunday with a renewed commitment to playing one shot at a time and enjoying myself, and I'm very pleased with my attitude in the final round. I was still too erratic to post a great score, but I felt like I was in a good state of mind over every shot.

I had a great week of work in Raleigh. I was on pace through Friday to complete my full weeks of practice and fitness. I lightened up on the workouts over the weekend, so I ended completing my Full Practice Schedule and Light Fitness Routine, but given the nature of the long, hot week, it was a very solid effort. I know that achieving my Process Goals will keep me on track to accomplishing my Outcome Goals, so I am proud of that work.

The first take-away point from the week in Raleigh is that I need to continue improving. I always know that, but it was particularly clear after this week. My swing is feeling good, but I definitely have a long way to go to achieve the consistency and control for which I strive. I also need to continue to improve my mentality on the course. My early success this year has definitely gotten me into a winning mindset, which is a very good thing, but I find myself thinking ahead a bit too much on the course right now. I'm thinking of results and the money list when I know that focus on each shot is the only way to achieve what I want. My mental strategy is simple--stay in the present and focus one shot at a time--and I need to trust it when I'm on the course in tournament play. 

I don't have to wait long to get back in action. Alicia and I drove home from Raleigh last night, and we fly to Texas this evening for the Tour's new event, the Greater Dallas Open, this week. I'm excited to keep working and improving. I know that more great things are coming. Thank you for following and for your support. Keep it here for reports from Dallas. 

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