I got to the golf course around 11 and went through registration and all the small stuff I needed to get out of the way. I moved on to the practice area and got comfortable around the chipping green and putting greens. The place was packed. Guys everywhere and I ran into some guys I know from the past 3 years playing around the country. It was around 1 when I went to the first tee. I played the practice round with 25+ year veteran Jeff Maggert and 2010 Zurich Champion Jason Bohn. It’s great having the opportunity to hang out and see the ways these veterans practice. Bohn gave me some great advice for my career and it was awesome for him to take some time to do so. Good dude.. Funny guy! I wrapped up Tuesday with some putting and 10 mins on the range.
The weather was rough and I finally got out to the practice area just before 3. It was an easy/rest day anyways, being the day before the tournament starts. I got a great practice session in for just over 2 hours, mostly on and around the greens. I tightened up a couple things on the range and left feeling good about it. The practice was solid! It’s starting to feel natural walking around there with this being my 6th PGA Tour/Web.com event. Experience definitely helps! I’m excited to get it going this week.
This morning I teed off at 9:06 with Glen Day and Brad Adamonis. It started off pretty bland, but I was hitting the ball well and having chances. I missed consecutive 6 footers on my 3rd and 4th holes and followed those up with a bogey on my 5th. My thought process at that moment was to get something going and make the turn at under par. I rallied and birdied my 6, 7, and 8th holes to turn at -2 34. The course was playing easy and I felt like I was getting drummed by Glen and Brad. Its always a plus to play in a group like that where you feel like you need to keep pushing and making birdies. On the 10th, I hit a 6 iron to 3 feet and lipped out the birdie. A bummer letting that one slide! I followed that by a greedy 9 iron and short-siding myself on 11. A great up and down kept the round alive and kept me believing there was a shot. (Thanks Tim Yelverton for the short game help last week) My 12th hole was a par 5 that I hit an unreal fairway bunker shot to 35 feet. I believe that putt and the next putt on 13 were my two best of the day. I made eagle on 12 to get to -4 and then flagged it on 13 to 4 feet on made birdie to get to -5. I was right back in it and it felt great! I had to keep pushing though. I rolled in a 15 footer on 15 to get to -6. My 16th was another par 5 and my focus was to do the simple things well. I wanted the least stressful birdie on this reachable par 5 I could get. I hit a hybrid from 245 to 30 feet short off the hole. Somehow that putt went in the back door and it got me to -8! I was thrilled! I knew -8 was good enough so I want to play two solid holes on 17 and 18. On 17 tee I actually told myself to keep pushing. I hit a pretty good 5 iron to 30 feet and was a foot off the green. The next chip was one of those shots where you knew it was your day. It had some pace on it (going 4-6 ft by the hole) but centered the flag and dropped to get me to -9. A solid drive, 5 iron, and lag putt from 20 ft wrapped up a back 9 of 29. My first competitive 29 and it came at a sweet time! The 63 qualified me for this weeks Zurich Classic. I will know tee times for Thursday and Friday on April 23 and will update this throughout the week. 3 years ago I played the Zurich Classic and played well with the exception of some mistakes. I’m ready for another go at it and know that experience will help.
The Brasil Championship was April 1-7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Crazy place! The golf course was great and the tournament was exciting to play. Once away from the golf course, it was chaotic around the city.
The week was enjoyable at times and a great learning experience as well. All my luck came in the first 48 hours of being in Brazil. I made a hole-in-one on Monday and Tuesday. Wild! Even though I could’ve had the worst caddy of my career, he definitely thought he deserved a lot of credit for those two shots. He would speak Portuguese to me all the time with the expectation of me understanding everything. Here’s an example of his quality performance, he gave me a 56′ from 122 yards on a crosswind haha. Pretty rough!
During the tournament I played alright. My mindset was too conservative the first day. I’ve got to have an ‘attack mode’ from 160 an in. The second round I did and performed better. 75-69 was not good enough. The game is getting better and the year is long. The time will come with patience, hard work, and perseverance. This game owes you nothing. You have to earn it an believe.
It has been a wild last few days to say the least. Wednesday morning around 9am I found out that I was in the Chile Classic. I rushed to get a ticket and catch a 130 flight out of Memphis. At the moment I found out I was in, I was just leaving Jackson to head to Hattiesburg. I was fortunate to find a flight and I arrived in Santiago, Chile at 8am Thursday morning. After going through customs and catching a ride to the hotel it was 10am.
I now had a 1:10 first round tee time to catch. It still felt like Wednesday. I had hardly slept, around 2-4 hours of what I guess you could call sleep. I ate a great breakfast and tried to gather myself before catching the 11am shuttle. Problem was.. I missed the 11am shuttle by a couple minutes and waited on the 12 noon shuttle.
Finally it was 12:30 and I arrived at the Prince of Wales CC. Time to 1) check in
2) find a caddy 3) hit 10-15 balls and 10-15 putts and 4) tee it up in the Chile Classic.
Par on the first hole, great! Holes 2-8 it was a struggle feeling where the club was. I was trying to minimize mistakes after putting myself it some awful spots off the tee. No doubles were big! I felt like if I could steady the ship and not let fatigue effect my mental well being on the course, I could post something close or just above par. That was my goal on 9 tee. I made a great run to get it back to even par and gave one back on a hole coming and left another couple out there. All in all round 1 was a success. After all, it was over and I could sleep.
I knew a good round was very capable. I’ve seen the course, know how to play it, and have been putting well. I got off to a great start and shot -3 on the front. I made a couple poor clubs (both rounds) on the back and gave a couple shots back. I birdied 17 and had a great chance on 18 to finish well and have a chance at playing the weekend. That was the opportunity I wanted the day before. Unfortunately, I missed the cut by 2 strokes.
It was a wild experience, but it felt good to be back in competitive golf in this environment. I’m looking forward to getting back to the States and playing more competitive rounds. The rust will be off soon and it’s a long year. A memorable start to it though!
Thanks to everyone for the support from back home!
The 2013 is just about underway. I am currently the 1st alternate in the Chile Classic that starts this Thursday. If that doesn’t work out I will be doing the Transitions Monday Q in Tampa on March 11. The next 5 weeks will be a great time to sharpen the game. I’m doing 4 Monday Q’s ( 2 PGA, 2 Web.com) and I am into the HSBC Brazil Championship as of now.
I will try to get this site updated while I’m on the road with pictures and stats of tournament rounds over the next 5 weeks.
It was nice to end a frustrating week at times with a nice round. I closed out Q School with a 66. I put ‘Bob Rotella’ on the bag for one last go at it and it was a nice day on the links with my dad. I had it -7 through 12 holes and bogeyed 13. I birdied 15 to get it back to -7 and then made the only poor swing of the day and probably the worst drive of the week and hit it OB on 16. That double hurt, but I told myself this has happened all week and there’s a right way to respond to this. Let’s forget about it and don’t let it bother you. The next hole I flagged a 4 iron from 210 and made birdie to get it to -6 and lip out on the last left me at Even par for the whole tournament. It wasn’t where I wanted to finish, but it was nice getting something out of it in the last round. It was no doubt a long week and I learned a lot through it. I’m excited for the opportunities I’ll get next year and it’s time for a great offseason so I can take advantage of them!
These two rounds were very similar. I played well in both of them, but didn’t close it out and left with frustration. It’s been too often this week that the outcome of a shot(s) has changed my mindset. In Round 4 is was very evident. I missed a 6 footer up the hill to go to -2 thru 13 and then finished with bogeys at 3 of the last 5. In Round 5 I missed a 6 footer on 16 to go to -3 under and did a better job of not letting it get under my skin, but it bothered me. I finished with a double on 18 to shot even par.
I have played a lot better than my scores show this week, but it’s been a week of great learning. I know I belong and will be on the Tour soon. My time for the PGA is not now, I have to get better controlling mindset and becoming process oriented ALWAYS. The Tour would’ve beat me up this year. I’ll play in some Web.com events in 2013 and be a much better overall player. Those starts this coming year will be huge and I will take advantage of them.
There is one more round to end the tournament tomorrow and all I can do is give it my best shot of tying everything together and have the right mind frame for 18 holes. There is a process to it. I’m getting closer and closer and will be there soon.
I will update the blog in the next couple days and breakdown the year and off-season to come. Thanks to all for the support and keeping up.