I just couldn't get it going in the Monday Qualifier. I bogied my first hole and bogied my 12th hole to fall to +1. I finished strong however, still managing to post a 69, but the real momentum swing/lost opportunities came at the turn, I missed an 8 footer for par on 8, after being -1 thru 7 and a 5-foot birdie chance on 9, and 6-foot birdie chance on 10, and another 5 foot effort for birdie on 11. If I make those four putts, all inside 8 feet, I'm 4-under thru 11 and my 3 late birdies would have gotten me to -7 and into the John Deere. From that perspective, I'm really close, just a few putts away from being in the mix. I'm playing really well and am truly excited for the rest of this season.
So after coming up short Monday, I hopped in my car and drove 9 hours, to Lexington, KY where I spent the night. I then got back in my car and drove another 7 hours and got to Kannapolis around 4 o'clock. I played two balls around the Club at Irish Creek to get as much golf in as I could. Really hit it great. But my first round was at the Country Club of Salisbury, and I didn't get a practice round in there…
Hitting some putts to the pin locations could have been helpful today, but I got off to a solid start with a 3-under par, bogey-free, 68 to start the tournament. Not bad after 16 hours in a car! I made 16 pars, 1 birdie, and 1 eagle. If that sounds familiar, it's because I made 16 pars and 2 birdies in the Thursday pre-qualifier a week ago. I'm in 28th place of 161 guys after Round 1, with a cut to low 53 & ties tomorrow.
We had a 1-hour rain delay today and the greens were really soft and were bumpy and chewed up, so it was kind of difficult to make any putts of length, but I kept giving myself chances and finally poured in a birdie on 12 after 11 pars to open the day. Then I stuffed a 6-iron on the par 5 15th to 5 feet and drained that to get to 3-under. I play at Irish Creek tomorrow 9:54AM. A course I know very well and have a good game plan for. Gonna take it deep!