Sunday, April 2, 2017

Close in Houston

A birdie-free 75 in the opening round was not the start I was looking for or expecting after two weeks of great preparation for the Houston Open. I was feeling primed physically and mentally to get after it, so I was definitely pretty bummed after the first round. When I look back on it though, I really was prepared. I just had a rough day. I hit some bad shots at the wrong times and didn't make any putts. I was prepared, I just didn't execute very well. That first round had me behind the eight-ball for round two, and I did end up missing the cut, but this week felt different and better than some of my recent disappointments. I'm prepared to play well, and it's going to happen soon!

Round two was really fun. I woke up Friday morning feeling a little bummed about my poor score from the day before, but I discussed those feelings with my caddie (Alicia!), and we decided that I was going to forget about everything and just go play as if I was having a fun round with my buddies. I had absolutely not given up on getting back into the tournament, but I knew that the best way to do that would be to go have some fun. I felt relaxed and confident during my warm-up and was  genuinely excited to go play. The wind was picking up for the afternoon, and I felt ready for the challenge. I hit a good drive down the middle on the first hole and then hit my second shot too well as I pierced an eight iron through the wind and over the flag into the back fringe. From there, I casually rolled in a fifteen footer for my first birdie of the tournament, and I smiled real big. I went on to birdie four of the first six holes in round two. After a good drive on the par-five eighth, I was really feeling it. I committed to my second shot and was feeling good, but I splashed my three wood into the pond right of the green. Despite the bogey, I was still feeling good, but I just couldn't get it going the rest of the way. Still, with winds increasing and conditions becoming more difficult, the cutline began to rise, and I still had a great chance to make it to the weekend with four holes to go. I hit a disappointingly poor wedge shot into the par-five 15th hole and made a par. I then hit a lot of good shots over tough final three holes, but ended up finishing par-bogey-bogey to post a score (72, even par) that wasn't nearly as good as how I felt I had played. It was really fun to play well and feel some excitement again, though!

One more cool story about the second round: I ended up bogeying the final hole, but that doesn't tell the story of what really happened. After my bogey on the 17th hole, I needed an eagle on the 484-yard 18th hole to make it to the weekend. I smoked my drive down the watery par four and had 187 yards to the front left pin which was tight to the water. The wind was helping off the right, and I had 179 yards to the front edge of the green. I knew to make it I had to hit a seven iron up in the air and have it land softly right on the front of the green. I hit the most beautiful shot, and it was falling left on the wind and going right at the flag. It landed on the edge of the front fringe and skidded forward past the flag all the way to the back tier of the green. It was so cool to hit that shot and actually see it have a chance while it was in the air!

So, at the end of the day, this will go down as a missed cut and that is always a little bit disappointing for me, but this was actually a really good week. I am feeling physically prepared to play great, and I will continue to work to make my swing more autonomic so that it's more consistent in tournament situations. I'm also really close to feeling mentally prepared to play great. There is definitely a big part of me that still wants success too badly and is too obsessed with results right now, but the attitude of just having fun and being relaxed is a good start to overcome that. I was close to getting it in Houston, and I am going to get there!

I now have Master's week off unfortunately, but I will use it to prepare well for a long and great stretch of golf after the Masters. I'm super excited, and I know that great stuff is coming.

Thank you for following and believing in me, and please keep it here for good news moving forward!

1 comment:

  1. Peter - Nice Ace today! We met at our wife's friend's wedding in Atlanta and I've enjoyed following your progress each week, especially your consistent positive attitude. Keep up the good work!


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