I started out with a few events on the Cactus Tour. I shot a very rusty 73-76-76 and a slightly less rusty 74-67-75, but I finished in the money both times. At the Symetra season opener in Mesa, I fired 74-70-72 to finish T35th, then 75-73-75 the next week in Beaumont, CA to wind up T31st.
Clearly these results are less than spectacular, but there is always more to the story than the final number on the scorecard. I am putting better than ever thanks to a breakthrough I made in the second Cactus event. I shortened my pre-putt routine, thereby reducing tension and freeing me up to just roll the rock. This led to a nice 67 the next day and 14 birdies (!) in the first Symetra event. I’m currently averaging 3.5 birdies per round. Second, I am finally seeing increased distance through the bag. I’ve gotten about ten more yards with my driver and five more yards with every iron, all of which I attribute to my strength program at Exos. My swing feels strong and consistent. Lastly, my final round of 75 in Beaumont was actually a great show of mental fortitude. It was 40 degrees, drizzling rain, and blowing 20 mph all day long on an already difficult golf course. It took a lot of toughness and great short game to fire 75 on a day when only two people broke par and the field averaged close to 78.
Uncharacteristically big misses off the tee cost me quite a few shots in Mesa and Beaumont, so that is where my attention has been as of late. I was getting “stuck” in the downswing, meaning without perfect timing the ball was sailing offline. I’ve started to create more room on the way through and am confident I’ll be back to the straight and narrow soon. I’m cleaning up a few other aspects of my game as well, but overall everything is solid. I have good feelings about the year ahead! I believe it is just a matter of when, not if, everything comes together at the same time. I am approaching each day and each tournament with total confidence that I have what it takes to win.
I am incredibly grateful to have been surrounded by so many supporters as this year began. My parents became tour groupies, not missing a single shot for three consecutive tournaments. They are my rock. My coach Mike Pinkey took the time to caddy for me on the Cactus Tour, allowing him to observe my game up close for three rounds of tournament play. This lent valuable insight to his understanding of my game and how to make me better. MS, LLC investor Steve Hawley walked back-to-back events in the desert, toughing his way around the golf course on a healing ankle. Investors Jody Olson and Vickie Hawley also cheered me on in Mesa, and Skip and Linda Pierce came out in Beaumont. Seeing smiling faces and feeling positive energy while I’m trooping along out there means the world to me. THANK YOU to each and every person who saw me play- I appreciate every step!
Next up: I fly to Lake Wales, FL this Monday for one week in the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. I will have a couple weeks back in Arizona before I pack up my Honda and hit the road for the season. The middle of April begins a stretch of eight tournaments in ten weeks! GO TIME.
In case you missed it, I announced in February that I have an exciting new partnership in 2015 with Aromaflage. Aromaflage is a brand new, natural botanical fragrance that doubles as insect repellent. I am thrilled to have this product in my bag because bugs are something I see a lot of as I chase the sun around all year long. Aromaflage not only really works in keeping insects away (it outperforms DEET products), but it also smells sweet and fresh. Look for their dragonfly logo on my clothing and check them out at www.Aromaflage.com. I am excited to generate success and buzz together this season!