Saturday, February 26, 2011

All-American Tour Championship next

So I'm officially in the All-American Tour Championship, which starts on Monday. It's a 64-man match play event with a Nationwide Tour exemption going to the winner. I think it's a great opportunity to get into a Nationwide spot. Instead of playing for 7 spots in a 100 man field, I'll just have to beat 6 guys in 6 matches. And I'm really excited after a great practice day today. I spent a lot of time on the putting green and was really stroking it well. On top of that, I continued to hit it great on the range. Although I haven't played many match play events, I have had some success in the events that I have played. It's always been a format that seems to suit me, as I usually make a lot of birdies.

My tee-time is 12:06 on Monday. Assuming I continue to win my matches, I'll play 1 match Monday, 2 matches Tuesday, 2 matches Wednesday, and the Championship match on Thursday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Made 40 pars in 54 holes. Just didn't get much to go in all week long. Made some solid par putts at times, but on a whole, I just didn't stroke it great. Really striking the ball well though, and I'm really excited about where my game is headed. The short game will be the area of focus going forward as I hit some so-so chips this week and didn't roll the ball confidently enough. Looks like I'll finish T-33 this week. Made 3 birdies and 1 bogey again today. Bogeyed the first hole of the day, birdied the 2nd hole to get back to even after knocking it on in two, and birdied number 5 with a good up and down. I then proceeded to make 12 straight pars, the worst of which being on number 9 when my 2nd shot hit the pin and went to 5 feet. I lipped out the putt. Reached the difficult par 5 18th in two and two-putted for my third and final birdie.

I might be playing in the All-American Tour- Tour Championship next week. It's a 64 man matchplay event, with the winner receiving a Nationwide Tour exemption. The Gateway Tour is off next week. To date I've made 4 of 5 cuts this year, a vast improvement over last year, but what wouldn't have been?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another 70, another made cut

Shot 70 again today. A little bit windier conditions, but again it could've been better. And again it was mostly missed opportunities with the putter, or just not hitting some 120 yard shots as close as I should. Made 3 birdies and 1 bogey. Definitely a positive that I've only made 3 bogeys in 36 holes. That's what you need to do in order to shoot low scores. Unfortunately, the birdies haven't been there yet this week... must be saving them all for tomorrow. I drove it fantastically today, and really had the 15 foot high low bullet driver working today. A shot that I owned for much of my time at Marquette, and it's a great sign that I was really feeling comfortable with it today. Missed a pair of up-and-downs on the front nine on the par 5's. Should've birdied both of those holes. My only bogey came when I gunned a 20 footer past the hole by 4 feet and missed the comebacker on number 4. Made a clutch birdie on 16, rolling in a 10 footer for birdie that got me to 4-under, after birdies on 6 and 11. Had a 7 footer for birdie on 18, but was cautious with the speed, knowing that 4-under was the cutline in all-likelihood. It broke off on me. A successful day from a ball-striking standpoint. Worked on the putting afterwards, although it was by no means BAD today, just very average. Got the stroke feeling good on the putting green after and I'm ready to go low tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Solid start in Round 1

This week's Gateway event got off to a decent start today. I fired a 2-under 70 that was led by good ball-striking. The swing is really starting to feel better and better. I hit a couple iffy drives, but I hit a bunch of really good iron shots. I made a couple solid par putts, but didn't make much on the day, making 4 birdies and 2 bogeys. I started on the back 9 and two-putted 11 for birdie. I hit a great pitching wedge from the right rough on 15 and sank a solid 12-footer. A 3-putt on 17 from 40-feet down a big slope dropped me back to 1-under. Had to lay up on the par-5 18th after a mediocre drive. I had 247 to the front edge, the pin was 34 on, and the left side of the green dropped off into water... yeah, not feeling that on day 1. Had a really good up and down on the par-5 2nd hole. Hit a flop shot from 30 yards to 8-feet and sank it. Just missed a green with a wedge on 4 and hit a crummy chip to make the second bogey and drop back to 1 down again. Reached the next par-5 in two and parred my way in. Made a real nice 8-footer for par on 9 to finish the day. T-32 of 118, as scores were pretty good today. 39 and ties make the cut. I tee off just after noon tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back on Track

I've spent the last few days resting, getting work done on my arm/wrist by Dr. Jason Loth, and ultimately healing up. Both Carson and Jason were pretty shocked at how tight and locked up my left forearm and wrist were, however, with just a few sessions it seems to be getting better. The sharp pain that I was getting is gone, and I'm only experiencing some achey, fatigued, soreness if anything. I practiced yesterday for the first time since Saturday and hit balls with very limited discomfort. Today I had a full practice session and played 9 holes out at Moon Valley before dark. I hit it great and shot a 5-under 31. Glad to see that the hard work I've been putting in, and the progress I made, wasn't lost in my few days off. In the grand scheme of things this was probably a positive, as it brought to light areas that need to be strengthened due to overuse/fatigue, and it gave me a nice little break to recharge my batteries a bit. It was my first extended break (4 days) in a long time. I usually take a month or maybe two off during the winter, but with my struggles last year I decided to press through the winter and really work on tweaking my swing to get it back to where it's been in the past, which Joe B and I seem to have done, or are close to doing. Anyhow, I really enjoyed being out on the course today playing, maybe even more than I have lately, and I would attribute that to a couple days off. I'm excited for next week's Gateway event, as I'm going to try and play. It starts on Tuesday.

I've also made some progress on the book I bought last week, Dante's Divine Comedy. It's a bit of a slow read, as I'm trying to pick up on as much symbolism as possible, plus the vernacular can be dated at times. If I were trying to read it quickly, I'd surely get lost or miss some things, and that would be absolute hell...

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Although my wrist felt slightly better today, there was definitely still some pain. I called and emailed the Gateway Tour and withdrew from this week's event. I've spent most of today resting the wrist and icing it. I'm meeting up with Carson Kemp tomorrow, my personal trainer, and he had some good thoughts on what might be causing it, and he may set me up with his chiropractor as well. So I'll be meeting up with him at 830 tomorrow morn.

Went to Borders and picked up my first recreational reading since High School. College put a bit of a sour taste for reading in my mouth with all the required readings, but I think I'm finally over it. haha. Picked up Dante's Divine Comedy, which I've always wanted to read. I know, probably sounds like an English Lit required reading to most, but the subject matter has always intrigued me. And I'll most likely have a day or two to dive into it as I'll continue to rest the wrist and ice it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Concerning Day

I was out at Moon Valley this morning and was hitting balls on the range. I probably had hit 20 PWs and 20 9-irons, and was starting to hit a few 8-irons as I was working my way up through my bag. On about my 3rd 8-iron I got a sudden sharp pain in my left wrist. I had some problems last year with that wrist, and it even caused me to WD from the West Penn Open last summer. The pain comes as I'm trying to release the club and it's located on the outside of my left wrist. I immediately stopped hitting balls and spent two hours putting and chipping. I could definitely feel a tightness as I even tried to putt though. So I spent the rest of the day icing it and resting it. I also put my brace on as well. I've got a Gateway event that starts Tuesday and I have to give a 48-hour notice if I need to withdraw and still want a refund, which gives me until tomorrow morning at 8AM. I'll be getting up early to test it out, but if there's any pain tomorrow morning I don't see any sense in trying to play through anything. The purpose of playing the Gateway Tour now is to prepare myself and get my game in gear for summer and Nationwide qualifiers. Not to press through any injuries and cause a setback going forward. Anyhow, the pain is a different spot in the wrist, which I don't like. Hoping it's just a strain from overuse or something. We'll see in the morning.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rounds 2 and 3

After making birdie on the first hole of the day in Round 2, I hit a rough stretch and turned in 41. I sat at +6. I figured the cut would most likely be +3, so I knew I needed to make a move. My biggest problem was that I really wasn't stroking the ball very well. I reached the par-5 3rd hole in two and was able to two putt for birdie, getting me to +5. The wind began to pick up as I entered my last 5 holes. I had a few more opportunities, but couldn't get any putts to fall. I headed to 9, my last hole of the day, at +5, needing a birdie to have any chance of making the cut. It was blowing 25mph dead into my face and I hit a 3-wood down the middle, following it up with a knock down gap wedge to 7 feet pin high. It was a must make, and I hadn't really made anything all day long. I focused on the line and not mechanics and put some speed on it, pouring it into the right center of the cup. It would wind up being a thousand dollar putt, as +4 snuck in due to high winds at the end of the day.

Today's round was postponed an hour due to winds blowing between 40-50 mph. The balls were rolling all over the putting green. It was pretty ridiculous. An hour later, conditions were basically the same, but they started play anyway. I was in the first group of the day, a two-some. I hit some great shots on the first few holes, but was 4 over through five. On the first hole I had a 30-footer for birdie. It was downhill and downwind, and I thought I might not even be able to stop it. Wrong, it somehow stopped 10 feet short. With a 40 mph wind, the most difficult thing isn't hitting shots sometimes, it's trying to judge the speed of putts as you putt downwind or into the wind. Had some trouble with that today, but made some mid-round birdies to help me tread water for a bit. One bad drive on the back nine cost me a couple shots, but for the day I really hit it well. Laughably, as my playing competitor and I stood in the 18th fairway, the wind switched and then died. Unreal. We played in 3 hours, and as we left the scoring area, the group 3 behind us was just making the turn, now in calm conditions. Unreal. haha. I shot 78, but played the par-3's at 2-under on the day. So that was a positive.

As a whole, I didn't have the best of putting weeks and that's where I'll spend the majority of my focus this weekend as I get ready for another Gateway event next week. My ball-striking is really feeling better, and I'm looking forward to next week after some good shortgame work in the next few days.

Oh, and how about the Marquette win over USF yesterday? Down 16 in the the second half and to come back and win... studly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Continued Improvement, Round 1

My parents were in town this last week during the Waste Management Open. My dad covered the event, and due to the frost delays, wound up being alot busier in the afternoons than we thought he'd be. We were planning on playing a bit more golf together, but we were still able to play Monday and practice a couple time together. My mom enjoyed the complimentary items from the tournament, and I won't be running out of bottles of soda, yogurt covered raisins, or Waste Management playing cards anytime soon.

It was a good week of practice, which I spent mostly out at Moon Valley. I didn't play as much as I normally would because it was such a busy week here, and the frost delays all week really bunched up the course, but I spent some quality time practicing and continue to feel better about the status of my game. Today was the first round of the Gateway Tour event at the Ironwood course at Anthem, and I hit it well all day long. I didn't have one of my better putting days, but limited my mistakes and birdied 2 of my last 4 holes to fire a 1-over par 73. The course is difficult, with seriously sloped greens and tough pin locations. A strong wind blew for the majority of the round, and that 73 puts me at T-25 of 100 players after round 1. I've got a 12:39 tee time tomorrow and feel poised to make a move.