Dear Sponsors, Family and Friends,
As we head in to the fall season, I hope you have all enjoyed the summer
After coming off the eleventh place finish in Portland, Oregon, the tour had a two week break and I was able to go home to Grand Rapids and spend some time with family. Two weeks definitely helped to take care of some aching muscles and gave me a chance to get some good workouts in. However, I neglected to find the time to prepare for the event in Mobile, AL and thought I would be able to just show up and compete at a high level. If you saw my scores you will be as convinced as I was that preparation is an important key to being successful. I am not saying I won't take weeks off, but in the future I will have to schedule a few days of practice after such a long break.
I shot 76 my first round in Mobile and never felt comfortable. Friday was less of a struggle and I was giving myself a chance to make the cut. Until, that is, I made a ten on my fifteenth hole. As painful as it was to make a "moose," I couldn't help but laugh. Here's how it all went down. I hit my tee shot in the trees and had to take a drop for an unplayable lie (one penalty stroke). I still wasn't out of trouble so I had to punch out into the fairway which is when things got interesting. I hit a solid nine iron that hit the lip of the cart path five feet in front of me and the ball ricocheted back and hit me square in the chest (a second penalty stroke), at this point I may have lost my cool a bit. I still had to punch out but failed to get the ball all the way to the fairway. My next shot clipped a tree branch and went into the pond short of the green (a third penalty stroke). From there it was a pretty routine wedge and two-putt. As frustrated as I was for having thrown away the previous fourteen holes of hard work I couldn't help but laugh and made birdie on the next hole; too little too late. So off to Florida for a solid week of hard work before the next event in Prattville, AL.
I spent a few days with my golf coach Buddy Whitten and worked on the basics. We tweaked my putting a bit and spent some time finding a driver I would feel more confidence with. I was definitely ready for the Prattville event and what a difference it made. I shot 73-70-68-71 and finished tied for 39th. The scores were so low that by shooting one under par on Sunday I actually lost ground. However, I was pleased to have seen such a positive result from the time and effort I put into preparing for this event.
This year has been an abundance of mistakes made and lessons learned. I suppose that is life but I hope that means I will be that much more prepared next year.
I am currently in Danville, CA for this week's event. It is the beginning of a five week stretch for me that will take me to Hawaii, China, South Korea and Japan. If I have the time to send you an update from somewhere in Asia I will do so. Otherwise, I will be in touch when I head back to the states.
Thank you again for all your continued love and support. I love to hear from all of you and enjoy the updates. Keep the emails coming.