Saturday, November 14, 2015

Feeling Good in Mexico

In many ways, this week has felt strange. Riding a high of excitement following last week's win, I arrived in Mexico late in the day on Tuesday. The late arrival and the exhaustion of trying to celebrate and decompress from last week left me in a great state of mind but not in a normal state of preparedness for this week's event. By noon on Wednesday, though, I told myself I wanted to get back to work and focus on doing my job. I played this course two years ago, so my lack of a practice round was certainly not detrimental. My intention was to be as prepared and hungry to play well this week as I had been in my first three tournaments of this young PGA Tour season. After a good tune up on Wednesday afternoon and another good practice session Thursday morning, I felt that I was in the moment and ready to go by my 12:10 tee time in the opening round. 

Of course, there was one big reminder that things are different in my life this week than they were at the start of the previous tournament. Rather than my typical tee time at the far back end of the wave with my fellow 2015 Web.com Tour graduates, I was in the front half of the wave playing with Matt Kuchar and Russel Knox. That is nice, but what was even nicer is the fact that I felt very much like I belonged there. It was definitely different, but the new tee time category felt good, and I am already used to it. 

I began the tournament with a par and a bogey on the first two holes, but I followed that with an incredibly solid fifteen holes in which I made five birdies and no bogies. I three-putted the 18th green on Thursday to end my opening round on a sour note, but the three-under-par 68 was a nice start to the tournament. I was less solid on Friday. I sprinkled in a really poor shot every few holes on Friday and my putter wasn't there to bail me out. I was two over par for my round and outside the cut-line with four holes to go, but I rallied with some good shots late. I birdied holes six and nine (my 15th and 18th on Friday) to post an even-par second round and advance to the weekend. I never got anything going on Saturday, but I played solidly and posted a five-birdie, one-bogey round of 67. I'm currently seven under par for the event and sitting in the middle of the field with a chance to make a very positive move on Sunday. 

I am definitely still beaming about my maiden victory on the PGA Tour last week in Mississippi, but I also know that win is just the beginning for me. I'm proud of the way I've been able to focus and do my job so far this week in Mexico. It'll take a Herculean effort to reach the top of the leaderboard this week, but I am excited to continue playing solidly. 

Thank you for following me and for your support. Please come back for a final-round report late Sunday or Monday.    

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