I am now starting to feel like a real tour player. I have spent each of the last three weeks in a different city, have put 3,500 miles on my car, and am learning a lot about myself and the game of golf. I also have the worst tan lines you have ever seen and never know what day of the week it is (except on Sundays, my day of big business).
The third event of the season, the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay, was another great experience. I stayed with a wonderful host, Sue Morris, in her home on St. Armand's Key. This was just a short 15 minute drive from the course and located only a block from a beautiful white sand beach. Sara Bay CC is a Donald Ross design, and his courses (think Pinehurst No. 2) demand smart play and precise short game. This typically sets up very well to my game, but I just wasn't all the way "on" that week. I still managed a T-32nd finish because I carefully thought my way around the course, missing in the right places and knowing when I should or should not be aggressive.
I spent the next seven days practicing in Kissimmee, FL at the David Leadbetter Academy at Champion's Gate GC. This was the perfect way to spend my off week. I focused particularly on dialing in distance control with my wedges, and I hope to see this pay off in my par 5 scoring.
I then drove up to Charlotte, NC, where I played in the Symetra Classic at Raintree CC. This was another fantastic golf course, but unfortunately my play was less than fantastic. I shot 76-73 and missed the cut by one measly shot. My struggles this week were a result of missed opportunities around the greens. The biggest challenge thus far is learning how to deal with disappointment. Life on tour can really expose mental weakness, so I am working hard on staying positive and being as mentally tough as I can be.
Other than the MC, my time spent in Charlotte has been a lot of fun. Unlike the splotchy, slow greens you might have seen the PGA Tour play in Charlotte the week before, Raintree CC was in great condition. I was also blessed with another awesome host family, Robert and Debbie Austin. Their home was right on the golf course, and Debbie spoiled me to delicious home cooked meals everyday.
I head northwest to Asheville, NC tomorrow morning. I play in the Friends of Mission Charity Classic next Friday through Sunday at the Country Club of Asheville. This is another Donald Ross design, so I really hope to take advantage.
Finally, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to my mom and to all of the other moms out there! Her constant love and encouragement are a big reason I am out here living the dream! Thank you, Mom!