I've spent the last few days thinking about different mental approaches to various situations in the last event. The one I encountered that was the most alarming was when I stood next to Retief Goosen for the first time. I've seen him before, but it was from an observatory standpoint. I watched him practice at a PGA Tour event on the driving range. Here he was next to me and we were playing in the same tournament. Although it never crossed my mind in pink flashing lights, playing against a player who has been consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world since the beginning of this century is a hop, skip, jump, leap and then bound, from playing state opens back home. That specific message came in the form of the feeling I got at that moment. I didn’t know whether to kiss his ass or try to kick it on the course. I did not let that thought in my mind for the remainder of the event because I felt it was a sign of weakness. That neglect, which I pushed from my conscious thoughts, was a first instinct. Initial reactions are your subconscious views expressed through natural reaction. Whether this view of my standing in the golfing world had anything to do with my tournament results, it certainly gives me something to work towards improving, and that will come with further experience playing against better competition.
At this time last year, I had just missed the final cut at Canadian Tour Q-School, had no tour to play on and was pretty low on confidence by my standard. I would say I've made great strides in a short year and despite a poor performance this week, am exactly where I need to be. I leave tomorrow for Jeju Island off the coast of South Korea for the Tomato Bank Open. I am approaching this event not so much as an opportunity to breakthrough in the Asian golfing world, as a chance to improve and move closer towards the ultimate goal.