Although my play was very consistent over the final 54 holes, there is still plenty of room for improvement. I gave myself a mental challenge on Friday. After playing the first 11 holes bogey-free and 4-under-par, I hit a great drive and had a good chance to go for the par-5, 12th hole in two. Unfortunately, I hit a poor 3-wood that rattled around in trees right of the green and ended up bouncing into the hazard short and left of the green. I thought I got a good break because my ball was playable, but I hit my next shot deeper into the hazard and ended up making a double bogey. When I saw my third shot land in the water, my head began to spin a little bit, and I must admit, I immediately thought about the cut. However, I am really proud of the way I responded, and despite feeling some nerves for the next several holes, I remained focused and trusted my routine. I ended up playing the last six holes one-under-par to keep myself in the tournament heading into the weekend. I made another double bogey on Sunday. The par 3, 11th is a tough hole, and I hit my tee shot into the bunker, but that was actually a pretty good miss given hole location. I recently made a slight change to my bunker technique, and my results had been great throughout the week in Indiana. However, I think I got a little bit too excited with this bunker shot. I thought I could make it but ended up chunking it badly and left it in the sand trap. It was painful to make the double bogey in the middle of what felt like a final round charge, but once again, I responded very well and birdied the next hole on my way to playing my last seven in 2-under-par. I definitely made some mistakes in this tournament, but it was very encouraging to see my mind and my game recover well.
After the week in Indiana, I feel like my game is trending strongly in the right direction. I feel like I am driving the ball as solidly as I ever have, and though my iron play was still a little bit erratic, I am starting to hit them very well. In addition to that, my short game was very sharp, and for the first time in several weeks, I started to putt the ball with a lot of confidence. The only area of my game that was disappointing was my wedge play, but even that was great in practice, so I know it's going to be dialed in soon. After a few frustrating weeks to end the regular season, this past week was a great way of getting back on track for the Finals and the upcoming Fall Series.
As Alicia and I travel from Indiana to North Carolina, the thing that has me feeling the best about the way I opened the Finals is the way I followed my plan. Though my goal for the Finals is big--WIN!--my plan is simple: prepare well and play with confidence, freedom, and trust. I had a great week of work in Indiana. I was very efficient, and I completed my Full Fitness Routine and my Full Practice Schedule.
When my practice journal looks like this, it usually means I have prepared well. As for the mental aspect of my plan, I am not going to lie. There were times when I felt nervous, uptight, and results-oriented out on the course this week. But, I was able to stay focused, and for the most part, I trusted my routine on every shot. My formula works, and I am excited to keep it up moving forward.
The next stop in the Finals is River Run Country Club in Davidson, NC (just north of Charlotte). It is another golf course that I really like, and I am excited to have another great week. Thank you for following me and keep it here for more good stuff!!