Friday, July 30, 2010

RI Open and Upcoming

Well I made a cut at least. This week's Rhode Island Open was filled with positives and triple the negatives. Three triple bogies that is. Rounds of 75-74-75 netted me a 34th place finish. The ball striking was a little off until my last 9 holes of the tournament, and I had some difficulty reading the greens. The course itself, Quidnessette CC in North Kingstown, RI is actually a tremendous course that sits right near the ocean. A good course for my game if I just could have executed better.

I'm in Hanover, MA now, visiting my former roommate from Marquette, Brendan Lowd. He got us tickets to a Red Sox game and it'll be my first trip to Fenway. I'm always down for rooting against the Tigers... so we'll have fun. Sunday I'm headed up to Nantucket to see another one of my college friends, Tony Watt. Tony lives in Wisconsin right in Bristlecone Pines, site of this year's Wisconsin State Open. He was really excited about caddying for me in the tournament... until the Wisconsin PGA told me that my requests for a special exemption had been declined and I would not be playing in their tournament. Which was too bad, because I really wanted to get back to Wisconsin. No matter though, as now I will be playing in the West Penn Open which is being played at the same time, and I'll be able to sleep in my own bed for that one.

Next on the schedule is the Pennsylvania Open August 9-11 at Applebrook CC just west of Philly. I'll be going for a third State Open title.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend in Connecticut

I had quite the trip down memory lane this last weekend, as I returned to Milford, CT where I lived for 9 years growing up. The Ratzenberger family was kind enough to have me for the weekend. I grew up playing baseball, basketball, soccer and basically any sport every created with their son Bobby. We dominated. It was great to see them again, although it was a scary sight to see his younger brother Danny, now 21, all grown up... it made me feel so old.

It was my first time back there in basically 12 years, and the most amazing thing is how my perspective has changed. What used to seem like a long drive, is actually about 5 minutes. The cul da sac I grew up in, which used to look enormous, and hosted numerous wiffle ball and kickball games growing up, looked underwhelming. And the backyard of our old house, didn't look nearly as sprawling as it used to... granted some family put up a fence and added a garden...lame.

Yale GC was no different. The nice people working there gave me the wave to practice and play, and I must say that it seemed much shorter than it used to. My dad used to tee me up at the 150 yd marker and have me play in from there. Now I was hitting pitching wedge into number 4, the par-5, and 8-iron into the ninth hole, a 200-yd downhill par 3, which I recalled my father hitting 2-iron into when we used to play there. I made a deuce.

The next day one of our friends, Guy Yocum, had me out to my other old home-course, Racebrook. It was in really nice shape, and although I didn't drive it so well, I still managed to shoot one-under, shattering my previous low of 88 out there. It was amazing how many of the holes I still remembered.

That evening I met up with another one of my childhood friends, Ryan Cole, who was on a bowling team with me when we were 10 and 11. The two of us and Bobby went bowling at the 60-lane bowling alley in Milford. Maybe it was the vibes of being back there, but I bowled the best I had since I was 11, putting up 191 and 180 in our first two games. I had broken 200 a couple times when I was 11 though. Ryan bowled a 222 in our 3rd game... where was that when we were in that league??? I had a great time back there, and maybe even picked up some karma. Cathy Ratzenberger, Bobby's mom, came to watch me at my first two collegiate victories at Wexford Plantation and Lake Jovita. Maybe that's all I needed to get back on the winning streak again! Regardless, it really felt great to be back and I'll need to stop there again more frequently than once every 12 years.

I'm in Rhode Island now for the Rhode Island Open and played a practice round today. Hit it great and stroked it even better. One more day of practice and then 18 holes on Wednesday. Then there's a cut and 36 holes on Thursday. Cant wait!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Even Par? No good.

I've been shooting even par a bit lately, and that's just no good. First it was Cincinnati for the Nationwide Monday qualifier. The course there really isn't all that difficult, and I was 3 under through ten with some easier holes coming up. Unfortunately I was about done hitting good shots for the day and struggled my way into an even par 72. Then this last week I played the eGolf event in Kannapolis, NC, where I shot a pair of even par 71's and missed the cut by 3. I brutalized the easy holes the first day, bogeying two easy par 5's and a drivable par 4. I fought back the second day after a tough start and on the much more difficult course of the two, but ultimately didn't get enough putts to drop. So a pair of 71's wound up not being good enough.

I am in Greenwood, SC for a couple days with a wonderful family who put me up for the eGolf event that was here about a month ago. Peter Malnati is down here with me as well and we had a nice early start to this morning and played a tennis match at 7am. Finally some good news, as he was dismantled in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 by my impregnable forehand and cat-like reflexes. Just got back from a solid 2 hour short game session as well. I'm headed to Greensboro on Monday for two practice rounds for an eGolf event, which begins on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nationwide Monday

Next up for me is a Nationwide Monday qualifier in Cincinnati on July 12th. Good news is that it's at the Oasis Golf Club, where I played college tournaments all 4 years and set a school record of -17 (199) my senior year. I'm excited to return there, play some good golf, and get myself into my first Nationwide event of the year. I still have not heard one way or another on the Mylan Classic here in Pittsburgh. I'm hoping they may grant me one of their sponsor exemption spots, since I'm a local player. I've talked with the tournament director, who is an extremely nice individual, and now I'll just have to wait and see. If the Nationwide Monday doesn't work out, I'm then scheduled to play in back to back eGolf Tour events down in the Charlotte area. My July then concludes with a trip to New England for Rhode Island's State Open.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

John Deere Qualifying

I'm in Moline, IL right now gearing up for John Deere qualifying. The pre-qualifier is tomorrow and they take the top 50 plus ties, and we will go to the Monday qualifier where 4 spots are usually available. Playing about as good as I've played all year. It's time to get this year turned around right now. Deer Run CC is a course I got to experience last year and I know that I can play well there. The key will be qualifying for the event, which I am confident will occur if I play my game. Time to rest up and make some birdies tomorrow. I tee it up at 820 am.