Some people hate being in this situation. The way their body feels makes them worry, which makes their body feel even more different. It's a bad cycle. Personally, I love getting in this situation. It means good things are happening. This is why we play, to get the rush that comes in the crucial situations. Whether it's to win a two dollar nassau, a club championship playoff, or a putt to get your Tour card, this is why we play.
When I get into a situation where I can feel the adrenaline rushing, I don't let it worry me. I embrace this feeling. Some days you might not pull the shot/shots off, but when you do there is no better feeling in the world. And you have to realize that everyone deals with nerves. Some are better than others at dealing with them, but we all feel it. I guarantee Tiger can feel his nerves coming down the stretch. If he didn't feel the rush, why else would he keep playing? He loves the rush, and that's one of the reasons he is the best.
Choking doesn't have to come with negative results. There's choking, and there's choking. I've hit some of the best shots of my life when I was choking badly. Next time you get into this position, embrace it. Realize you've done something good to get into a position where you could choke.
The world isn't changing if you make or miss that putt, so just knock it in. It'll feel good.
In a later post, I'll talk about some of the situations that have had me "choking" the most, and how I fared. In the meantime, I'm going to Monterey for those Pepsi Tour tournaments. 14 hour drive tomorrow (I'll break it up). Should be a GREAT trip.
- Great Courses/Area
- I can't play here
- I'm starting to play pretty good
- Very little money to be made
- Long way from home (About 12 Hours)
I'm leaning towards going, but I'll decide when I find out how many players they're planning on getting.
On a side note, my new friend Mediaguru lost his fried Bobby Drabner last week to cancer. My condolences Tony.
I was desperately trying to get back to even, not for the money (In what might have been the weirdest/worst payout of all time, if I'd have finished 3 better I only would have made another $200; six better and I would have been in a playoff for the win.), but just to get old man par. I grinded it out every shot, but it wasn't happening. Thus, I'm not going to go the year without shooting over par (but I start a new streak...NOW).
I had to endure a day where a guy in my group was hitting it 70 yards by me every hole. I'm not a short hitter, but this guy made me feel like a flatulent old man. I tell my buddy about him, and, come to find out, he took 2nd in the world long-drive last year. His name is Danny "the blade" Luirette, "the world's longest lefty." He's about 8'2" tall, and he can mash it. I hit a cart path on one hole and was still a good 30 behind him.
After all the scores were tallied, I ended up in a tie for 20th. Not bad, considering the field and the golf starved life we lead in Utah this time of year. Aside from some silly mistakes, I played pretty good this week. A tie for 20th isn't too bad in a tournament where you never got anything going, especially in a tough field. I can say that I played much better this week than I did at Coral Canyon, where I ended up 3rd. It hasn't been spectacular (or even close), but I'd say I'm off to a very solid start to the year.
I couldn't make any birdies today. My green reading ability appears to
have left me. 71. I'll post more when I get home.
Website with scores
southwest.pga.com click on the s az open.
If you read this saturday, you'll know how I ended up before I do. I
left early, and am now without internet access.
One thing I haven't mentioned about this tournament is the quality of the field. There are many past PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour players playing this week, along with many who should be on the Tour in the next couple of years. Joel Kribel, Steven Alker, Jason Allred, Matt Bettencourt, Chris Sessler, and others have all played either on the PGA or Nationwide tours with success. Spencer Levin was in the top 10 for most of the 2004 US Open. All of these players are here, along with many mini-tour players who you will be seeing in the future.
This week's cut (even par 140) was a tough one to make, not only because of the quality of the field, but also because they cut to less than 1/3 of the field. The norm at most tournaments is to cut to around 1/3 after two days, but this week only 40 of the 141 players are playing the final round. When there are this many good players together, the scores bunch, so every extra shot means 10-15 guys will pass you.
Anyways, I'm in position to have a good finish, and I have a very real shot of winning. If I can get hot with the putter, anything can happen.
Aside from a few mental mistakes (couple of 3 putts, bad distance control), I played very good all day. I'm really driving the ball well, and my mid/low iron play has been very solid. If I can get the ball closer to the hole with my wedges, I should be able to put up a good score tomorrow.
Right now I'm tied for 25th, 5 back of the leaders (65). Like I said, I played the tougher of the two courses today, so I'm still in pretty good shape. They cut to the low 40 and ties after tomorrow's round, and it looks like the cut will come at 2 or 3 over. If I play as solid as I did today, I should have a chance on Saturday.
I go off at 10:51. I'm going to dream about my ball hunting the hole.
That's what I got to do tonight. I stopped to practice at Lake Powell National (Page, Arizona) on the way to Phoenix. It's actually a very good course. I played it about 4 years ago on a trip to the Pacific Coast Amateur. The swing felt good, and I hope I worked off the bit of rust on my short game. Anyhow, I've stopped in Flagstaff for the night, and I'll be getting in a practice round tomorrow afternoon. I haven't gotten in a lot of play the last week because of the weather, so I'll know more about the state of my game after the next two days.
EDIT: It turned out to be a very nice day. I actually got some good work in, figured out a couple of things in my swing, and had a good time. The ol' IPod is a nice thing to have while practicing, too.
Mats still suck, though.
71. Frustrated. More when I cool a bit.
Later that night...
I made it back to Salt Lake. It looks like I ended up tied for 3rd, which is much better than I thought when I slammed my trunk and burned out of the parking lot. I lipped out putts on my last three holes, so I had a very bitter taste in my mouth. I thought I would end up finishing around 8th or 9th place, but I guess everyone else had trouble getting the ball to go in, too. It's hard to know where you stand without any scoreboards. The killer is that I ended up only losing by 3 shots.
All in all it was an OK start to the year. I played pretty good, but I just didn't get anything out of my game. I left a few too many shots out there, which is something that should improve once I get playing a bit more. Thanks to all the railbirds for the support. Next up: Southern Arizona Open.
I couldn't get anything going today, and after bogies on the last two holes I ended up with an even par 72. I didn't play good, didn't play bad, just survived. Luckily, the other scores weren't too low, so I still have a chance. 68 was low, so now I need a good one tomorrow to win.
I need to hit the ball closer to the hole. I just didn't have that many chances to make birdie. On a positive note, my eagle total is already 1 for the year.
I did a lot of work today, and it feels like I worked out all the kinks. I ended my practice session by playing 9 holes without a bogey, a good sign. You never know how much rust you have until you play a real tournament round, but I go to bed with much more confidence than I had last night.
I've got a good feeling...
I played at Coral Canyon today, and the course looks very good. It always seems to be in great shape this time of the year. It's not a very difficult course for the better players. There are a couple of tough par 3's out there, but the rest of the course isn't too bad if you can keep the ball out of the desert. The par 5s (five of them) are all reachable for the longer hitters (me? yeah, I guess), and there is a drivable par 4. With a few good putts you can put up a pretty low number.
Even with my game needing some work, I feel very confident going into the weekend. Playing well in the past helps the confidence (4th last year; almost won the whole thing as an amateur a few years ago). I'm looking forward to getting off to a good start. I'm going to play Bloomington CC tomorrow because Coral Canyon will be having the pro-am. Tune in for the news Saturday night.
I'm on the road to St. George four days early to better prepare myself for the Coral Canyon Open. The weather in SLC is getting better, but I want a bit of warmer air. I'll let you know how the ol' game is coming along.
If this post looks funny it's because it's from my phone. Ehh.
FIXED IT :)