For the past several weeks, I have been trending towards stinky, and this past week in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at the Honda Classic, I arrived at stink. With the exception of my scrambling around the greens, my game was pretty lousy. I was wayward off the tee, struggled badly with my approach shots, and looked a little bit lost at times on the greens. It was definitely a tough course, and my short game kept me in the tournament on Thursday as I posted an opening-round 73, but I was in trouble early and often on Friday as I posted a 77 to miss the cut by seven shots. The week before in Los Angeles, I wouldn't say that I stunk, but I was definitely playing on the bottom side of my average, and I ended up bogeying my 36th hole to miss the cut by one shot. In all reality, I've lived somewhere between low-average and stinky since the second tournament of this calendar year.
The problem, however, isn't that I have been stinking. That is going to happen. The problem is that my personal standard of average isn't good enough yet. You see, if I play average golf, I am going to be surfing near the cut-line. I have proven that when I'm playing in the high end of my good range, I can win, but the great players are able to compete and give themselves chances to win tournaments even when playing just to their average. I need to improve my standard of average so that when I play averagely, I am competing for a good finish on Sundays. In doing so, I will also improve my great play and my stinky play. I don't think golf will ever again see a player like Tiger Woods in his prime. Tiger could win a tournament playing at level less than his personal average. I will never achieve that, but I do believe that I can get to a point where I play to my average for the first three rounds and have a chance to win if I play well on Sunday. That is what I'm working towards.
I say all of that to make the point that no matter how good I get, I am always going to have individual shots, rounds, tournaments, and even stretches of time when I stink. So this little rough patch that I'm in right now is no big deal. I will come out of it and play well, and I will continue to work to improve my standard of average.
I am actually working really hard to improve right now. I feel like I came out of the brief little off-season (December) swinging really well after focusing on my swing mechanics a lot during that month. Then, during the course of playing tournaments seven of the first eight weeks of the year, I neglected my swing mechanics, and things got a little bit sloppy. I have put in a lot of work to improve my swing over the past 16 months, but I still have more modifications to make and a long way to go to feel like I own my swing. I am really excited to keep putting in the work to get better, though. I love to practice, and right now, I feel like so many great things are in store, so I'm motivated to put in the effort that will allow those great things to come to fruition. Right now that means focusing on my swing mechanics more than I might like to. I enjoy to play purely by feel, but for the time being, I'm going to consciously think about my swing mechanics because I know that will make me a better player in the long run.
I was hoping to qualify for the field for this week's World Golf Championship in Miami, but my stinky play of late didn't get that done. So instead, I'm somewhere even cooler: HOME! I'm excited to have a week off to work and recharge at home. I'll be ready to go play well when I hit the road again for the Valspar Championship outside of Tampa, Florida, and then Mr. Arnold Palmer's Invitational at Bay Hill.
Thank you so much for following and supporting me. I know it's more fun to watch the good results than the stinky ones, but keep believing in me. I'm going to be moving forward. Great things are coming. Keep it here to share the journey with me!