It's tournament time! That is refreshing to say. The time before tournaments is almost too much to handle. It's like the drive to pickup your dream girl for your first date. There is all this emotion and excitment, pressure and anticipation building and waning inside in random bursts and it is your job to manage all of it; to pick up the blocks and put them where they fit.
When we finally arrived at the tourney site two days ago, there was no record of me having requested a hotel room and no rooms available in their 27 room chalet. The resort is an hour and a half from civilization and the nearest small town in over half an hour in the opposite direction...I opted for the small town and am now staying in a small motel in an extreamly remote Malaysian village. It consists of a few hotspots: a local grocery store, a chinese restuarant, a few indian restaurants and some small shops, one of which happens to be an internet cafe...it reminds me of a small college. It has a bubble enviroment feel.
The golf course is very challenging. Three holes are on the ocean and use it as a hazard. The wind blows strongly off the ocean and onto the well-designed course. Nicklaus did a great job with this course...lots of decisions to be made. For examlple, the 13th is a 425 par 4 with a giant pond running down the center of the hole. You tee off on the right side of the pond and at some point have to make it to the left side. If you choose this route off the tee, you contend with a 250 carry over the pond, straight into the ocean breeze. If you play down the right and cross on shot 2, you're landing area is considerable narrower on shot 1 with water and OB in play. Then you have to cross the pond on shot 2 and play into a narrow green surrounded by water and bunkers, not to mention the ocean breeze that blows across your shot.
I mention this hole because it is here where I will pick up shots on the field: I can use my driving abilities to an advantage and cross on shot 1, leaving a shot wedge into the hole. There are more subtle choices all over the golf course.
Despite my weakened condition and dramatic weight loss, my preparation has been flawless and the results have dictated that. I had the two best practice rounds of my life in the last two days. Monday I hit the ball beautifully and found some shots I can rely on this week. Today, I made my final decisions as to aiming points, club selections, etc. and executed like a man on a mission. I know that if I can stay confident, faithful and relaxed in the heat of battle tomorrow, there is nothing that should impede me from making the goal of qualifying for the asian tour a reality.