Thursday, October 21, 2010

Straight up bad luck

I was second off on day 2, and thought it would be a big advantage. Boy was I wrong. It was cold, windy, with a steady rain for my first 8 holes. I played tough but couldn't make the 6-10 footers for par I was having. A couple of the late groups didn't even have rain, but that's the luck of the draw. The tough conditions led to a 40 on my opening nine, and it didn't get much better as I dug myself a nice sized hole at 77.

Day 3 was much better. I played really solid and opened with birdies on the first two par 5's to get me to 2 under. A pulled 5-iron into a hazard led to a bogey on 15, but I sank a 20 footer on 17 to get back to 2 under. A had some nice up and downs on 18 and then on 2, and followed them up with a great 20 foot birdie putt on 5 to get me to 3 under, heading to the reachable par 5, 6th. I ripped a drive down the left side of the slight dogleg left. There are a couple trees just off the fairway that guard the corner a bit. My ball didn't quite carry them and we hear a loud thwack. Something falls straight down, figured it was the ball. We get up there and there's nothing. We look everywhere for the 5 alotted minutes, but the ball simply disappeared after hitting the pine tree apparently. I had to go back to the tee, and wind up making a double bogey to drop me back to 1 under. I finish with 3 pars to shoot 70. If we just find the ball, that's 2, maybe 3 strokes right there. The 8 the first day happened due to a poor drive, but this drive wasn't that bad, it was a missed tree away from being just about perfect. A birdie there to get to 4 under would have me in prime position heading into tomorrow. Now I need to make something happen, which I'm certainly capable of doing. I just need to give myself as many opportunities as I can and take advantage.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 1 at First Stage

Fired an even-par 71 in the first round, which has me tied for 27th. The top-23 spots and ties advance out of this First Stage Site. I played pretty solid today, with one ouchie. 7 Fairways, 13 Greens, 28 putts, 1 for 1 sand saves. Here are the highlights and lowlights from the round...

-Good start on number one, 2-iron down middle of fairway, pitching wedge to 4 foot, made it for birdie, -1
-Hit the next 3 greens, made pars
-The 5th hole is a driveable par-4, which I can reach with 3-wood. However, the pin was tucked in a spot today, where if I didn't knock it on the green I'd have an extremely difficult up and down. I layed up with a 5-iron and hit a lob wedge to 4 feet and made it for birdie, -2
-Pull-hooked my next two drives, but made scrambling pars.
-Drained a 30-footer for birdie on the difficult par 3, 8th, -3
- Disaster strikes. After those bad hooks on 6 and 7, i decide to hit 3-wood on 9. I hook it into some trees, it kicks into the water. I have to drop in the trees, and with my 3rd shot, I hit a tree and it bounces back over my shoulder into the water. Drop again, make a quadruple bogie 8. +1
-Bad 2-irons on 10 and 11, bogie ten, get up and down from a divot in the fairway on 11 from 150 out to stop the bleeding, +2
- Stick it on 12 to 4 feet, but miss it.
-Pitching wedge to 6 feet on 13, and a great flop shot on 14 net me a pair of birdie 4's on the par-5s, E
- Great sand save on 15, followed by 3 ho-hum pars to finish the round, E

Lots more golf left to play, and as long as I eliminate the mistakes (like 9) I'll be in good shape.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Practice Rounds at Irish Creek

I've now spent two days at the Club at Irish Creek and I'm feeling great about the first round which begins on Tuesday. The course really sets up well for my game, plus I'm hitting it really well. I really feel like I've got the capability to take it deep in a couple rounds if the putter gets hot, which is rolling really well right now too. I feel I'm peaking at the right time and I'm excited for the challenge this week. Par is 71 out there, including 3 par-5s, all of which are on the longer side, requiring me, on average, to hit 5-iron, 2-iron, and 3-iron into respectively. Great advantage for me, because the rest of the field will have to hit woods in, or lay up. The course is in great shape, and even better, has bent grass greens that are going to be on the quick side... right up my alley. My parents got into town today, and Papa GVS will be looping for me this week. We have a good track record together. He knows my game, and knows when to say things, and when not to. Definitely going to be a fun week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Surprise, even par

Again I fired even par, and again I failed to make a cut. The good shots were really good, but the misses were still a bit troublesome. Still, I was 2 under for the tournament with 7 holes to play and knew I needed to get to 4 under, and I was happy with how I played the next couple holes until I hit a pair of bad tee shots on 15 and 16, which led to bogies. I really hit it great on the range today, and gained some more confidence in my swing. I just focused on the basic fundamentals and what has been successful for me in the past and I hit it great again. I used to say that my swing was over as soon as the club was halfway back and I've gone away from that this year for some dumb reason. Once there, I just finish the swing back and unload through. Pretty simple. I'll admit that I've over-thought my swing a bit this year, but I was really pleased with my results today. I stayed and practiced at Callaway today after the eGolf event finished up. My plan is to practice and play here tomorrow and then head to the Club at Irish Creek on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Even par once again

Fired an even par 72 today out at the Callaway Gardens Mountain Course, which is the much more difficult of the two courses I'm playing this week. I'm really hitting it better, and I stroked it well today too. I got off to a good start today and birdied my first hole and had a couple good up and downs to stay under par. Unfortunately a pair of back 9 bogies dropped me back to even. The par 5's out there really aren't suited for my game. I have to lay up on three of them, and everyone can easily reach the last of the four. My length doesn't do much out here at Callaway, but it's a good course. I'm looking forward to tomorrow on the shorter course and see how low I can take it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

At Callaway

I've had a great few days of practice and now I'm at Callaway Gardens preparing for the eGolf Tour event this week. I spent three days near Atlanta playing Club Corp courses in the area. Friday I went to the TaylorMade Kingdom. We spent about 4 hours going over my swing and putting stroke on the MATT System, hitting balls on a launch monitor outside, and having me try different shafts and club heads in order to get me fit properly. I find it always extremely helpful to see my swing on their MATT System. They burn you a CD with your swing, and the coolest part is that you can watch your swing from any point in space. This gives you a whole new way to view your swing and to look for flaws.

I spent all of yesterday out at Callaway Gardens, just practicing all day long. I spent a solid 6 or 7 hours, mostly working on the putting stroke, as we saw my stroke had been getting a little out to in at Reynolds. I didn't play yesterday because they were busy, but I really got some good practice in. I'm just getting ready to head back out there today, where I'm meeting Peter Malnati for a practice round.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not today, but that's why there's tomorrow

Had my Nationwide Monday qualifier today and it didn't go well. The swing is really coming along nicely, but I still had a couple costly, loose drivers. Got to keep it in play and I didn't. But my swing is really starting to feel solid again. Just a couple days of good practice to sturdy the confidence in my swing and I'm sure great things are to come. I'm headed to Atlanta tomorrow for a couple days. I'll be headed to Bear's Best for a couple days of practice. It's a Club Corp facility, thus I'm able to practice/play there for only a cart fee. Then I'm off to the TaylorMade Kingdom at Reynolds Plantation to take a look at some things.

I just had a great conversation with Coach Raymonds, who's done so much for me over my life, and I'm eternally grateful to him. He's the reason I wound up at Marquette, which was one of the best things that ever happened to me. And he's such an inspiring individual. His message, "Don't ever give up." There's no better wisdom than that.

My next tournament will be at Callaway Gardens October 12-14. It's an eGolf event.