Cutting to the chase: I posted 69 (-2) in the opening round this morning. It was an up and down round needing to save par, after missing the green in regulation on many holes. After taking some important lessons from the Shanghai tournament to the first tee this morning, my initial goal was to build momentum. As with many courses in central Asia, there is no driving range. Standing over driver on the first hole of an important tournament is nerve racking, even with a range warm up. I wanted to get a bunch of pars on my card early and get some comfort under my feet. I had plans to make confident swings to safer positions. After some early, arrant drives, I kept my driver in the bag for the duration of the round. I focused on playing to the safest parts of the fairway, on a course that has out-of-bounds on both sides of every hole on the course. It made my tee shots less stressful, but it also left a few longer approach shots that weren't as successful. Today I was paying homage to the Allman Brothers Band and "was born a scramblin' man."
I'm pleased with my patience and strategy today. It leads me to believe I am learning with every competitive experience. I will continue to build momentum and confidence tomorrow through the final stroke, on the final green.