Friday, February 29, 2008

In Need of a Few Good Meals

My apologies for not staying current on the blog. I've been very sick this week with some stomach troubles and been trying to remedy that. I should be out of the woods now for a while (wood knocking) as I returned from a hospital today and was cleared of a wide range of scary possibilities. I've got the Oprah weight plan going: just allow it to fluxtuate...alot, and am down a few dress sizes. As soon as I'm up to it, I'll spend the next few weeks back in the gym trying to gain some weight back again before I leave for my Shanghai event. Before leaving the states, I definetly did not envision having the frequency of health issues I've faced since my arrival last October. There is a very wide range of food sanitation over here and for a sensitive foreign stomach, it only takes one bad instance to ruin a few weeks. It seems that to be successful here, I am going to have to become extra cautious with my food selections and diet. I am thankful my illnesses havent been too serious, or taken place over an extreamly inconvenient time period. There are many great places to eat here and I just have to find more of the places with the cleaner food. I'm going to continue searching and improving and start winning in the comming month. I'm more excited than ever as the Shanghai event aproaches, the winning share is $80k, which should buy me a few good meals.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

1st event on Korean Tour

This week I was placed on the waiting list for the Asian Tour's SAIL Open in India. It is a 10-15 hour flight from Taiwan and based on that and the uncertainty that I would gain entry into the field, I opted out of the journey.

As of now, my next tournament will be a Korean Tour event just outside Shanghai, China begining March 20. The link for the tournament venue is:

The website gives me good vibes already.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Road Maps

If I could create a hierarchy of support I have received since I was a smaller, long-haired, strong-gripping, golf marathoner, we may be able to build another pyramid. Whether a person helped in a subtle or monumental way, it all contributed in some degree to where I am now. Maybe it is because I am a tall, "golden haired," professional golfer that I have been given so much help since arriving on far-eastern soil, or maybe it is because I look humerously different, but despite reasons, I have been given tremendous aid everywhere I have gone here by complete strangers.

In Singapore, there was Mr. Wong to provide medicine, guidance and transportation. In Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Lou saved me a 30 minute walk with a golf bag on my shoulders in the middle of the nowhere when I got lost and introduced me to the golfing community. On Borneo, when I found myself stranded an hour and a half from the nearest village, a stranger drove me forty minutes out of the way, through the jungle, to the nearest local motel. Here in Taipei, the friendship of Mr. Kuo got my foot in the door at the best golf course and resort in Taiwan. Now after help through numerous channels, I have a free place to live and improve my golf game.

This post isnt soley about me, it is more about people in need. In all these siutations mentioned above, I found myself with an obsticle to hurdle and no running shoes to jump in. As if straight out of Edgar Allan Poe, strangers appeared and helped. Now, I have been asked directions before by tourists and given them to the best of my knowledge. I have also given a half-assed effort in the same situation, which most likely led these people in need to seek further assistance. No one can get to an important destination without help in some form. I hope I am able to tell a tourist someday that I won't tell them where to go, I will take them there. I hope that I am able to provide someone the same sized shoes, all my supporters have given me to jump those hurdles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Year, New Approach

This day is the first working day following the six day, new year celebration here in Taiwan. This celebration includes many traditions geared toward ridding one's home and life of the previous year's bad luck and karma and welcoming good luck into the coming year. From an eastern religious perspective, it addresses spirituality and creates hope. Because the celebration's spiritual purging relates to a golfer's unwavering hope that they can improve despite a few broken clubs and alarmingly deep divots, I would like to contribute a few thoughts that continue to improve my game. With a little practice, my hope is they can aid your golf experience in the new year...

You cannot force your ball to go anywhere, so trying to hard never makes your ball find it's way into the hole. "Making it happen" should be modified because a golfer can only do so by allowing the natural order of the universe to run its course. A great shot is a beautiful dance with the Golf Gods. Occasionally, players get away with hitting the ball close to the pin with multiple swing thoughts when they deliver their mighty cut.

This week on, Mark O'meara discusses how he won two majors “unexpectedly.” He says he didn’t try to win them. When he came down the final holes with the biggest tournaments in the world on the line, he didn’t try harder. He allowed the tournaments to come to him. He “played.“ While it is almost counter intuitive to "let go" instead of trying to gain control when your journey detours toward a more challenging road, it is spiritual and becomes more than a round of golf. It becomes a walking, athletic meditation; an opportunity for a golfer not only to recover from the stresses of the world and to truly enjoy the moment, but to have a unique, quiet experience that is theirs alone.

Buddhist Zen Masters say that it is only once you have emptied your cup, can truly enjoy your drink. A quiet mind is one that invites greater, deeper knowledge into your life. There is no analysis, there are only senses and your surroundings. It is a connection with something greater. You don’t choose the shot, the shot chooses you. I am not Buddhist, nor am advocating the average golfer needs to become a monk every time he tees up his ball. But Lesson 1 is simple because it can be summed up by that word: simplify. Quiet your mind in between shots and take notice of the spectacle around you. Even if your shooting 10 strokes or more over your handicap, you've definitely done it before and here you are, still playing golf with the hope that tomorrow, you will play 10 strokes under you handicap. This is just a learning opportunity and if taken as such, it actually moves you closer to playing 10 strokes below your handicap. Whether you have hit a shot and it has lodged itself into a sand trap or is three feet from the pin, my sports psychologist would tell you that the ball is exactly where it needs to be.

This approach will not only enhance your enjoyment of your adventures around the course, it will be a chance for you to improve your life. Most golfers I play with are in such a rush to finish, they forget to play. It's called "playing." It is a word associated with children and enjoyment. Golf is supposed to be a way to maintain youth and health. The best professionals I've played with are more mild-mannered and methodical than any weekend player I've ever golfed with. This should be the dead giveaway. This new year, empty your cup and "play" golf. You might be surprised to find the good rounds are better and the bad ones make those good ones all the sweeter.


Quote of the Week

From '07 Open Champ...

FROM THE INTERVIEW ROOM: Irishman Padraig Harrington

Q. Two questions that are nothing alike, but have you ever aspired to be No. 1?
HARRINGTON: If I have, I wouldn’t tell you (laughter).

Q. So I can make up whatever answer I want?
HARRINGTON: Yeah, you can. I won’t read it (laughter).

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Taipei Photos

Visit my recently updated website for photos at:

Sheng Ni Kuai Le!! Happy Chinese New Year! This past week has been the Chinese Christmas, Hanukka, and New Year all brought together in a week-long package. Here is an American's guide to surviving the first major chinese holiday.

1. You must clean your house's every corner; every mouse hole, toilet crack and cockroach lair must be scrubbed to shine. This is all done the day prior to new year's eve. It frees your house from the bad luck of the previous year and rids your house of any evil spirits.

2. Do Not clean your house on New Year's Day. Too Little too Late here. This invites a year of bad luck upon your house.

3. All the family's children should be given a red envelope full of perfectly crisp 100 NT dollar bills. 5 bills is expected for every child and should they not receive a contribution to their video game/new cell phone fund, you open yourself to a year of bad luck. If you can't make a contribution because you are already financially down on your luck, '08 isnt looking promising.

4. You are what you eat. Want strong bones? You'd better get some of those soft bones on your plate and chow down. Want healthy blood? Eat that coagulated pig's blood while it's hot.

5. Everyone is more prone to getting sick around the turn of the year. It's a fact: Feb. 5 rolls around and you'd better load up on the vitamins. The remaining bad luck from the old year is going to take one last hard swing at you. Get your vitamin shield up. 3 times p/day with double the daily dosage is recommended on the days leading up to the new year.

6. There is not enough grain alcohol in all of China to calm a stressed out family prior to New Year's eve. Get our your ear plugs and muffs, it's your only defense. If you don't get along with your family, get ready to weather the encore of family hurricaines; you've got six days of card games and sitting down to traditional taiwanese delicacies with them.

Guan Bei!! Zaijian!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Next Posting

I am having some internet troubles and hope to have it fixed by the weekend's end. Check back early next week for the next posting. As of now, my first two events will be in China and Japan begining 3/17. Until then, I will be working to improve my game, my fitness and my sponsorship to be ready for the '08 Korean and Asian Tours. I'll keep you posted as I move through my daily life in Taiwan and my weekly life traveling Asia in pursuit of my dreams.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Final Stage Korean Tour

After making a double-bogey on my 7th hole today, I responded by birdieing 4 out of the next 5 holes to close the tournament with a round of -1, 71. The score was good enough to improve my position from 19th to 7th place and give me fully exempt status on the Korean Tour. I will get exemptions into 16 events with purses between US$350k-600k. All the events are televised live and draw thousands of spectators to every event. Between this tour and the few events I play on the Asian Tour, 2008 has amazing potential.

I am very tired, but too excited to rest now. It is such an overwhelming, joyous feeling to receive improvement in concrete form. 11 months ago, I came into the final round of Candian Tour School in a similar position, on an easier golf course, with a less internationally based field. I needed to play a good round under the final round pressure and I faultered early, lost belief in myself and the negative perception and poor shots snowballed into an increadibly disappointing finish. Final stage of Asian Tour School added a chapter to the memoir of Q-School let downs.

For the first three rounds, I struggled on a golf course with hazards on every hole, but found a way to remain competitive and give myself a good chance going into this final round. After making a double bogey on the 7th hole today, I found myself very close to the projected cut line where I began to faulter 11 months ago at Canadian Tour Q-School. When it occured this week, I kept telling myself everything was playing itself out the way it was supposed to and I responded accordingly: by comming back with four birdies.

Looking back on everything thus far, I see that it is not my swing that has improved dramatically, or my putting stroke, but my ability to live on a shot by shot basis and believe I will find a way to make my plight successful. A year ago, that double bogey on my 7th hole, may have led to a bogey on 8 and then the downward spiral begins. I knew all week, even after the double bogey today, that it was all a test of faith. Now I know that it played itself out perfectly because it accentuates just how far I have come in 2007.

Here is a link to the final results:

This is going to be a great year and you're all a part of it. I've said it before, but can't say it enough: thanks for all the support and love. Over and out.

The first New Hampshire representative of the Korean Tour,