So, what went wrong? (Truthfully, not a lot.) Most glaringly, I finished my third round with a triple bogey on the 18th. I failed to fully commit to my tee shot, and I missed in the left rough. From there, I probably tried to do too much when I played a hybrid from a thick lie with more than 200 yards to the green. The rough grabbed my club head and I hit a low-left diver into thick trees well short and left of the green. One penalty shot and four swings later, I closed my round with a tough-to-swallow seven on the par four. With the exception of the blunders on that hole, the only other regret I have from the week in Canada is trying too hard over some shots. I find myself getting a little too results-oriented and thinking of the outcome (worrying) rather than focusing on the process (planning). It is a good thing for me to want and expect to win, but when it is time to hit shots, my mind needs to be focused on having a good plan and trusting it. Worrying about the outcome during shots causes me to be tense and to make poor decisions. I feel like that happened to some degree over the weekend in Nova Scotia.
So, what did I do well? (Quite a bit!) There were a lot of very encouraging things from the tournament. First of all, I truly believed that I was in contention and thought I could win up until my birdie try stayed just high of the cup on the 71st hole. It is fun and extremely valuable for my growth to be in the hunt. Even better news is that while in the hunt, my game was good. I have no idea what my best-ever total for greens in regulation is, but I hit 60 of 72 for the week in Canada. I felt like I was very in control with my irons and wedges. I was not thrilled with the way I putted, but I am very proud of the fact that I had no three putts for the week on challenging putting surfaces. I feel like my flawed, results-oriented thinking pattern affects me most on the greens, and it did hamper my ability to get hot with the mid-range birdie putts, but I was extremely solid from short range and with my pace on the long ones. Overall, I'm pleased with all areas of my game. I need to continue to get better, but I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.
My trusty caddie, Alicia, and I came up with a little four-word catch phrase to summarize the mental process I want to go through over my shots. It goes like this: Plan, Trust, Execute, No-Worries. It is so simple, but that is what I need to do over each and every shot. Have a plan. Trust that it will work. Execute the plan. Do not worry about the results.
The thing that allows me to trust that my plan will work is my preparation. The practice and work that I do to prepare for tournament situations is paramount to my success. In Nova Scotia, I had one of the very best weeks of work that I can ever remember. I completed my Full Fitness Routine and my Full Practice Schedule. It was a great way to start the sixth five-week segment of the year for my Process Goals. I'm excited to keep doing great work so that I can feel prepared when I'm coming down the stretch with a chance to win golf tournaments.
I don't have to wait long for that opportunity. Alicia and I have spent the entire day (literally, we began at 3:00 AM in the Atlantic Time Zone) traveling to Boise for this week's event on the Web.com Tour. We are excited to get settled in here and get back to work!
Thank you for following and keeping up with me. I really appreciate all the support I receive. Keep it here for updates from Boise!
And enjoy a few pictures from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: