Friday, March 25, 2016

Positive Signs but Poor Golf in Puerto Rico

I traveled to Puerto Rico with a simple goal. I wanted to compete in accordance with my new motto: "Don't worry, have fun, play with Freedom." I'm actually quite happy to report that I did that. I felt the normal first tee jitters and certainly felt appropriate disappointment about the poor shots, but I never once felt tension or negative anxiety during the tournament. That was great! My performance stunk, but I achieved a big part of what I wanted to do, and that has me excited moving forward.

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not happy with my performance. I posted scores of 73, 75 for a four-over-par total and missed the cut by five shots. That's lousy, but I know that my game will come around. I was very poor on the greens this week, and I hit too many really bad shots. I need to putt well to be successful, and I also need to keep my poor shots a bit more reasonable. I actually hit a lot of good shots during my two rounds in Puerto Rico, but a few of my misses were real head-scratchers. Still, I know that I will clean that up, and I know I will get my putter back in business, too. Though I didn't have my good stuff this week, I saw glimpses of it, and I know that the mindset I had in Puerto Rico will help me get the good stuff out soon and often. 

I was feeling pretty down after my disappointing performance at Bay Hill, but I actually feel really good now. I know that I'm doing things right. I know that my game will come around. And I know that I have a long, successful career ahead of me on the PGA Tour. I'm going to continue to follow my motto, and good results will come!

Now I get to sneak in a few days at home, but I don't have to wait long to get back in action. I'll play the Shell Houston Open next week, and I'm excited to have a fun tournament. 

Thank you for your continued support. Keep it here for more reports!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dear Peter:

Don't worry; have fun; play with Freedom!




It's go time in Puerto Rico. I've actually focused more on rest than on practice over the past five days, and though I don't like to do that often, I think it has been good for me. I am very excited to play this week. I remember the course pretty well from two years ago when I played here, and I'm ready to get out there and play my game.

Keep it here for an update or two from the tournament. Thank you for following and supporting me!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gotta Let the Good Stuff Out

In some ways, I'm better at golf than I have ever been in my life. I'm swinging the club the best that I ever have, and in practice, that has resulted in the solid and consistent ball-striking for which I strive. In tournaments, however, my play has ranged from inconsistent to downright poor over the past several weeks. I am definitely frustrated with my results lately, but I still feel really good about the long-term prognosis of my work.

My last post was called "Sometimes I Stink." I have played two tournaments since then that verify that statement. I posted rounds of 75, 72 two weeks ago at the Valspar Championship in Tampa. I had entered the tournament feeling good about my game, and I showed some really positive signs with good play off the tee, but my iron play, wedges, and putting were all very sub-standard, and I missed the cut by two shots. From Tampa, I moved just up I-4 to Orlando for my first Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. After my preparations for Mr. Palmer's event, I felt so ready to play well. I had practiced well. My full swing was clicking, my short game was feeling sharp, and I was ready to get hot with my putter. My good feelings never came to fruition in the tournament. I played with tension, posted frustrating rounds of 73, 76, and missed the cut by five shots. Sometimes I stink, indeed.

Over the past couple days, I've spent some time asking the question "why?" Not "why do I stink sometimes?" I know the answer to that. I stink sometimes because golf is a human performance, and bad shots, poor rounds, and tough stretches are a part of the territory. The question I have been asking is "why do I feel prepared to play well, but struggle in the tournaments?" I've discussed this with Alicia and some other members of our team, and I think we're on to something.

First of all, I am allowing myself to feel tension on the course. I know that I'm in a little bit of a slump, and I don't like it, so I'm trying too hard to make good things happen. I'm assigning more meaning than there really is to every shot I hit right now. I know better than to do this, but I've got to be intentional about letting go of the results and enjoying my process. Secondly, for the first time ever in my life, I am concerned about playing the game "properly" when I'm on the course. My entire golfing life, I have just been scrappy and done whatever I can to get the ball in the hole quickly, but right now I'm trying to make sure I swing correctly and hit the correct shot in all situations, even if that takes me out of my comfort zone. I never used to do that. There are no judges in golf, and an unconventional three beats a beautiful four every time. Finally, I am trying hard not to make mistakes on the course. When I won the Tour event in Brazil, I played hyper-aggressively off the tee. I actually made eight bogeys that week, but I also made 30 birdies and won the tournament by four shots. I feel as though I'm playing cautiously in tournaments right now when my best style of play is getting after it and trying to make a lot of birdies. 

Another way that I can sum up all three of these areas I have just discussed is simply to say to myself, "don't worry, have fun, and play with Freedom." I think that will be a nice little catch phrase for me over the next several weeks. Don't worry; have fun; play with Freedom. I like it!

My game really is good. All areas of my game have looked sloppy at times during my stretch of poor play, but I have had some fantastic practice over the past several weeks, and I feel ready to play well.

I made a last-minute decision to play the PGA Tour event in Puerto Rico this week, so after soaking up a couple days at home, I will travel there Wednesday morning. I'm excited to keep playing, and I'm looking forward to a fun tournament in Puerto Rico. What am I going to do? I'll prepare well like always, then on Thursday I'll tell myself, "Don't worry, have fun, play with Freedom!"

Thank you for following and cheering for me. I really appreciate the support! Also, I know I haven't done a good job of keeping my blog updated lately, but I'm going to do better moving forward, so keep it here for more frequent reports!

New Blog Site

Hi everyone! Thank you for continuing to try to keep up with me. As you might have noticed, I've not been updating this blog at all late...