Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bum Result, but Positive Performance in Portland

One principle of being mentally tough is knowing that my performance is going to stink occasionally. This week in Portland, my preparation was on point, my attitude was right where I want it, and I just made a few very costly mistakes with my execution. I hate that, but I have to know that it is alright and that this was still a very positive week. If I do a poor job of handling the things that I can control (preparation and process), I feel like that is a failure on my part. If I prepare well and take care of my process but end up with a bum result, I can be at peace in knowing that sometimes that is going to happen. That is where I am this week. I feel very disappointed not to be playing the weekend, but I know that I prepared well and had a good attitude on the course, so I can accept the results. 

I ended up with scores of 75, 73 (+6, total) to miss the cut but eight shots, but each of my rounds featured a "what-the-heck?" hole. In Thursday's opening round, I was even par with a horribly cold putter through 11 holes before making a mess (literally) of the par-three 12th. I blocked a short iron well to the right of the water-guarded green before blasting my chip shot too far and having it roll into the pond. It stayed on the muddy edge of the water, and hilarity ensued. Click the link below if you don't believe me.
The result of that was a tough-to-swallow seven on the par three. I maintained a good attitude moving forward, but I dropped a few more shots before a great birdie-eagle finish gave me a glimmer of hope heading into the second round. Friday's round saw another solid performance crushed by a cold putter and another big number. This time the big number was even bigger, and it came on the par-four 16th hole (my seventh of the day). I was in a greenside bunker in two facing a long bunker shot to a back hole location. I needed to be a aggressive, but I caught the shot thin and it flew into the abyss behind the green. I had to drop in the same spot and hit the shot again except from a plugged lie. To my amazement, I hit nearly a carbon copy of the first shot and had to drop in the bunker once more. I popped the third one safely onto the green and two-putted to secure a nine on the hole. A seven on a par-three and a nine on a par-four will usually derail even the best of rounds, and these two certainly thwarted my efforts in Portland. 

Despite the obvious disappointment of the scores and final result, I was very pleased with my ball-striking in general over my two rounds at Pumpkin Ridge and especially with my performance over my final eleven holes after making the nine. To close out my round on Friday, I hit the final eleven greens in regulation and had a birdie putt of less than 20 feet on nine of those holes. My putter remained cold, and that is certainly a little bothersome to me, but I was very encouraged by the way I hit the ball. In fact, playing on the most demanding course we had seen in the last several weeks, I hit 29 of 36 greens in regulation. That is encouraging stuff. I definitely have some work to do to get my good vibes going again with the putter, but I know I'm never far off with that club. Overall, I feel great, and am excited to get back to work soon!

To end the regular season on the Tour with a missed cut is definitely a bummer, but I will take a great deal of positive things from this week's event. More than that, the end of the regular season is a natural stopping point from which to take a look back on the year as a whole, and I would be crazy not to feel great when doing that! I will be on a plane for a long time tomorrow, and I will write a post summarizing my feelings about the year as a whole and looking forward to the big events to come. There is still so much to accomplish, and I am feeling great. 

Thank you for following me and believeing in me! I really appreciate all the support I receive. Keep it here for a big report sometime on Monday. 

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