Saturday, April 26, 2008

Round 3 and Weather Songs

If there was a song that could be playing over loudspeakers on every hole today, it would have been Bob Seager, "Against the Wind." It didn’t matter if you were downwind, crosswind, or into the wind, you were against the wind. The greens became so rock-hard, that perfectly struck wedges were bounding from the front edge of greens and rolling 40 yards to the back. My best wedge shot of the day came on the last hole. The pin was cut 34 yards past the front edge on a green that was 45 yards deep. The wind howled left to right. I hit a crispy, low shot with as much backspin as I can put on a punch shot. The ball landed around one or two yards on the green and by the time it was finished bouncing and rolling, I was chipping from five yards off the back of the green. The challenge was fun for about 7 holes, and then it became overly exhausting. The Gail blew harder than day 1 today, getting up to 40 miles per hour; nearly unplayable. A poorly struck shot into this gulf stream left you scratching your head.

I shot the same score as day 1 with a triple bogey and two double bogies. The low score of the day was 75, and it is NOT because there is a severe lack of skill in the field. One of the best players in Asia shot an 89 today. Excessive wind accentuates golfer's flaws, multiplying mistakes and making them slap you over the head with a shovel. I've played 4 out of the last 6 weeks in tournaments and during that stretch, my swing has plagued my scores. I've never struggled with hitting the ball in play like this before in my short professional career. I hit a few shots today that made everyone in the group and a few spectators cringe.

Despite these troubles though, I am very encouraged by my chipping and pitching, which has been very impressive this week. It allowed me to make the cut and will allow me to make a paycheck. I have seen some of my potential unveiled in the last 6 months and I know I have the kind of game that can contend for a victory on a weekly basis. These first 6 weeks on tour have been wild and inconsistent and my body and the golf ball are not performing the way I expect. I look at making the cut in three of the four first events, with a malfunctioning golf swing, as hugely motivating. I know that my 'D' game can remain competitive with the many of the tour players out here and can make cuts. When I find a swing in the next stretch of tournaments beginning in three weeks, my 'A' game could make a few players bury their heads in the bunkers.

I think this entire experience, however frustrating it can be at times, will yield something truly special. I will finish this event tomorrow and have a short break, before returning to action next month with a fresh outlook and a scarily effective golf swing. There is still storm to weather, but sunshine is on the way. "Sun, Sun, Sun, Here it comes..."

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