Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Philos Open

I made the day long trek from Taiwan to the northern part of South Korea yesterday for the Philos Open. We are 45 minutes from the North Korean border, which is where next week's tournament is. After taking a bus two hours through Seoul, I was dropped off in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I had been "holding it" the entire ride and couldn't wait to find a place for relief. Most asian countries have public bathrooms in the middle of a town. In my experience, you can't just run into a restaurant and use their bathroom unless you find a KFC or McD's. I ran around from store to store in an effort to find an english speaker who knew the whereabouts of a public hole in the ground. No one seemed to have any clue what I was asking. My golf clubs in one hand, a laptop bag on my back and duffel bag in the other hand, there I was playing cherades, and apparently, not being a good actor.

"Hey! Park Lee-Jong, come check out the goofy foreigner pretending he's sitting on the can!!" I imagine they got a good laugh. When I finally found a place, the feeling was equivalent to making 9 straight birdies!

I am staying at a ski resort, 30 minutes from the golf course. This place is like the Bates Motel on horror pills. Not a sole in the place but me and no restaurant within 15 minutes. Luckily, my bathroom adventure led me into a small Mart where I picked up a few cans of tuna and eggs. In 1762, when they most likely built my hotel room, they invented the stove and threw it in. My diet this week will consist of tuna omelete two-a-days. Protein loading.

This morning, I replied to some questions sent to me by the Union Leader (so look for that back home in the coming week)and rushed off to my practice round. I played with Atonori Tori, a player from the Japanese Tour. Our caddie spoke fluent Chinese and Japanese, but no english, so I was at least able to communicate with a bit of "Zhongwen." An increadibly impressive attribute many asian people have is their language skill. I have met handfulls of people that speak 3 or 4 asian languages. When you've tried to learn one yourself, you have a huge appreciation for anyone able to utilize multiple tongues (my phrasing sounds like an exotic french kiss).

The golf course is short and tight. As usual, O.B. lines both sides of nearly every hole. I am hitting my driver as straight as I did on Borneo Island, when I picked up a victory at Asian Tour Q-School. I drove three-340 yard plus, greens today. I hit all but one faiway and never had more than a pitching wedge left for any approach shot. It was fun. If I am able to take that same dominating, fun mentality into this week, I will surely contend for a victory. My mentality and execution since the last event have improved every day. Today was the most aligned my body has been with my mind since December. If this trend continues, I may turn a vision of walking down the 72nd hole at 20 under par into reality.

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