This past week we traveled to Morrisburg, ON for the Great Waterway classic. The tournament was held at Upper Canada Golf Course, about an hour south of Ontario. The course was short and kind of tricky, but if you placed it well off the tee, then it was scoreable.
I got off to a really bad start on my fourth hole. I hit my first shot OB and re-teed my next one into the fairway. I proceeded to hit my next shot OB as well, and made an 8. I just tried to play catch-up the whole day, but could never get anything going on the greens. The opportunities were there, I just couldn't convert. I finished with disappointing 76 and well outside the cutline.
Round two was more solid. I made 5 birdies and no bogeys, which is always a good thing. I really didn't do anything too special. It was just more of a slow and steady round. After making the turn at 1 under, I was thinking it was going to take a 5 under par back nine to make the cut. I was able to make quick birdies on 11 and 12 and I was thinking with a couple more coming in, there was a chance I could play the weekend. I birdied 15 and then knocked it to about 20 feet for eagle on 17. I didn't convert for eagle and missed a 30 footer on 18 to finish at 1 under par for the event. I actually ended up missing the cut by 2 as it went to -3, so at least it made those last couple of misses not sting too much.
Overall, it was a bit of a frustrating week because I felt like my game was in good shape. That being said, even though I missed the cut I feel like I am right there again playing some good golf. The event this week in Peterborough sets up really well for me so I am looking forward to it.
Montreal was only about an hour and fifteen minutes from the tournament, so I drove to check it out on Sunday. I had been wanting to visit Montreal for a while as I have heard some really good things. I got to the city around 2 o'clock and walked around Old Montreal. It is a cool area with a lot going on. There are art galleries, little shops, a farmers market, and a ton of restaurants. I ended up eating at this little French bistro that also has live jazz music called Bistro Modaive. It was a cool little spot and I bet it gets really fun later on as the music gets going.
The whole atmosphere of the city was really neat. It was obviously very French, and like the French, they seemed to take a lot of pride their culture. Everyone seemed really friendly. Especially in Old Montreal, the city had a very compact and cozy feel. On one side you have the water with a lot of piers and everything, and then on the other you have the old cobblestone roads with old francophone buildings. I was only able to spend a half a day in Montreal, but it is somewhere I would really like to visit again. It seemed like the perfect place for a quick weekend trip.
Once again, thank you all for checking in and I will keep you posted on what's next. Thanks!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Just a little over a month after the terrible floods that did over 500 million dollars of damage to the Calgary area, the PGA Tour Canada traveled back to Country Hills Golf Club in Calgary. The course was in great shape, especially when considering it was under water not too long ago. It was playing very firm and fast the first couple of days and then some rain set in for the final two rounds. Overall it was a great week and here is a little round by round re-cap.
This round was truly a huge relief for me. I had been working so hard in the weeks past but my results were still pretty terrible. Coming into the week it started to feel very natural again and I was excited to get back out competing. The round was almost flawless with the exception of two three putts. I hit 15 greens, made five birdies, one eagle and one bogey. I also hit the longest drive of the week on number 10 with a 404 yard drive that led to an opening eagle on my first hole. (downhill, downwind, firm, and maybe a sprinkler). Although driving distance is pretty overrated in my opinion, when my swing is in the right spot and my rhythm is good, I usually hit it pretty far. This drive, to me at least, tells me that my swing is back in a good spot and I can start swinging more aggressively again. I ended up with a -6 under par, 66 and I was tied for the lead.
Round 2 was actually a better ball striking round than Round 1. I hit 16 greens and almost every fairway. The putts just weren't dropping for me in Round 2. I was able to grab a couple coming in and post a -3 under par, 69. This put me at -9 for the event and 3 shots back of the leader. It wasn't ideal, but it was nice to follow up a low round with another round in the 60's.
The wind direction switched and the weather got very cool and wet for Round 3. In perfect sweater weather conditions, scores were actually not too low. I think the main reason for this was because it took a while for players to adjust to the new landing areas and different clubs of the tee. I played solid, with a good short game display as I only hit 13 greens. I guess you could say it was kind of a boring round. A lot of middle of the green looks for birdie and not a whole lot of action going on on my scorecard. I posted a -2, 70 and that actually moved me up on the leaderboard, although my deficit increased to 4 shots.
Weather conditions were pretty much the same for Round 4 as they were for Round 3 except the wind kicked up a couple of mph's. My mindset was to go in and get off to a steady start (the more difficult, into the wind holes) and then see where I was at and maybe try and get a little bit more aggressive. Well, my plan was bad. After looking up on the leaderboard on my fifth hole, people were making moves left and right. I was like 'what!' Personally, I thought it was playing pretty difficult on the last day. I made a bad bogey on the easy par 5 7th and was +1 through 9. The 10th was playing really difficult, straight into the wind. I hit my tee shot in the fescue, my lay-up in the fescue, my third shot in a long green-side bunker, and then hit it to about a foot for par. It was a huge save in my eyes and got me going a little bit on the back. I preceded to birdie the next three and make a little run. Then, next thing I see is that I am only 2 back with 4 birdie holes to go. I really thought I had a chance and I am really proud of the shots I hit on those final 4 holes. Although I couldn't get any of the putts to drop, it was a really good experience getting back in contention and feeling that competitive pressure again.
All in all, this was a great week. The tournament raised $50,000 for Calgary flood relief and every player was talking about how well the course played. On a personal level, this event was really key for me because I played 4 really solid rounds. Golf is a goofy game, and I was about as low as could be a month ago, but with a week like this, it is amazing to see your confidence and mindset can change. Thank you all so much for checking in and keep I'll keep you posted after the next two PGA Tour Canada events in Ontario!
Here are the final results:
Monday, July 15, 2013
This past week I travelled to Fort McMurray, Alberta for my second Canadian Tour event of the season. This time we headed way up north to Fort McMurray which is the heart of Canada's oil production. The course was called Fort McMurray Golf Club and it was a really neat lay-out. It winded throughout the forest and was pretty short which required a lot of precise tee shots.
The first round went pretty poorly from the get go. A quick double bogey on my second hole put me behind the eight ball early on and I could never get it going. Very little went well at all and it led to a first round 80. I'd reflect more on this round, but I would say the score pretty much sums it up.
The second round was a little bit of a different story. We had some really bad weather with high winds and rain and I actually controlled my ball really well. I also had Kathryn, my fiancé, on the bag so that was nice. I shot a second round 74 which obviously wasn't great, but the process of the round was much better. I missed the cut by a mile and now I am just trying to get it going again for The Players Cup which is this week. Johnny Toews is from Winnipeg and is one of the hosts for the tournament so hopefully that can help me get some winning mojo going. Thanks so much for checking in and I'll keep you posted on my results this week!
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Going into the event, my game did not feel too sharp and it unfortunately carried over into the tournament rounds. It was a very nice course, relatively open with a lot of birdie opportunities, but I just wasn't able to capitalize all week. Especially off of the tee, I could not get any rhythm going which is a typical strength of mine.
Unfortunately, what kind of sums up my week was a 4 hole stretch in my first round. I was struggling at +3 but rallied with 3 back-to-back birdies on 13-15. With 16 and 18 as par 5's, I felt like I was in a good position to post a subpar round on a very average day at best. But then, on 16 I blew my drive way right into trouble off the tee and bogeyed the hole. I was able to birdie the last but an even par first round was nowhere near good enough on an easy day. The second round was more of the same, but my swing did seem to feel better on the back nine. A score of 144 for the two days wasn't good enough to make the weekend and so I headed back to Chicago to try and get some work in. The good news is, it was just one event and now I can get back at it in Fort McMurray this week.
Saskatoon wasn't the most happening city in the world. I think I've come to the realization that the likes of Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Fort McMurray aren't going to be quite like Montevideo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. That being said, Saskatoon was still a cool little city and my favorite part was this small, old-school style movie theater downtown on 21st street. It plays smaller production/indie films and had clearly been around for a while. Its called Roxy's Theater and I recommend it if any of you ever happen to be wondering through Saskatoon.
I will be in Fort McMurray this week for the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by Aecon. After that, I travel down to Winnipeg for The Players Cup and then finish a 4-tournament stretch with the Illinois Open at the Glen Club in Chicago. I am looking forward to what lies ahead hope to post some solid results over the next couple of weeks.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
So sorry about the delay! I am behind writing about my last 3 events so I will give you all a quick recap of what happened and also what I have coming up.
I travelled to Pereira, Colombia for the third and final leg of a three week trip down in South America. This event was the Colombian Open presented by Diners Club and it was held just outside of Pereira. The course was very cool. It had a lot of undulation and it was a fun course to play. I got off to a pretty good start in the first round but slowly gave away the momentum and finished with an even par, 72. It was a solid round and I hit a lot of greens and fairways. To be honest, with the way I was playing and stuff, that is all I was looking for. The second round was a bit more of the same. It was pretty dull without any fireworks. I made a couple of birdies but they were offset by a couple of bogeys in the middle of the round. I shot another 72 and I thought it was definitely going to be enough to play the weekend considering I was in a tie for 42nd after the first round. Unfortunately, I was wrong with my judgement and scores went pretty low in the afternoon. I ended up missing the cut by 1 and headed back to the US for some long overdue R&R.
Pereira was a cool city. Unfortunately, because we arrived in a day late and I missed the cut, I really wasn't there for long at all. My friends and I travelled around the city a little bit, but we really only had one traditional Colombian meal. The food was good but it wasn't great. It was also pretty hard after being Montevideo for a week and trying to follow that. As for the city itself, it's a little small and I don't think it really has too much of a tourist market. We are traveling to Bogota in the fall and based on what I heard, I am really excited for that trip.
US Open Locals
I played my US Open locals in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Moors Golf Club and I had to call in the big guns for some reinforcement. I had my coach from Notre Dame, Jim Kubinski, on the bag for this one and it was great to be able to talk through shots just like old times. We played a steady round. 4 birdies and 1 silly bogey added up to a 69 and was good enough to get me into a playoff with 2 other guys for 2 spots. Me and another guy both bogeyed the first hole so we went on to play one more. I hit it down the middle and to the center of the green and he missed the fairway right and then hit it into the left greenside bunker. He wasn't able to get up and down and I two putted for my par, giving me the final qualifying spot. I think getting through this qualifier and being able to do it with my old coach on the bag gave me some good momentum and helped me refresh some of the things that helped me be so successful in college.
This past week we went to Merida, Mexico for the Mundo Maya Open at Yucatan Country Club. The course and club were absolutely fantastic. It was a Jack Nicklaus design and the condition was great. This one of my favorite courses that we have played so far. The tournament for me was really the tale of two Max's. There was the Max that would whip it inside, swing it really flat and make doubles and triples, and there was the Max that actually swung like non-moron and made 23 birdies and an eagle. Going into the week, I had been trying to make some changes and I think that this tournament just reflected the troubles that I was having with them. I know what I need to do, and I am pretty sure I know how to do it, but actually doing it is something completely different. That is why this tournament was pretty crazy because I played some absolutely gorgeous stretches of golf, followed by some not great stretches. I ended up finishing in T20 for the week and it tied my best finish thus far on the year. It was hard to be too disappointed because I gave up 21 shots over the course of four rounds and was still able to finish -4. I think making the amount of birdies that I did proves that my game is moving in the right direction. I think I am starting to get some of my horsepower back that I had last summer when I was playing some really good golf. Hopefully with some good work this week, I can get my game in a good position and finish the first leg of this tour on a high note.
The city of Merida was beautiful. We went downtown for dinner one night and it was one of the coolest cities we have been to thus far. There is a huge courtyard/park in the middle of the town with all of these street vendors selling handmade jewelry and such. The food was great as well. Yucatecan cuisine is really important to the people there and they embrace their unique style. It is different than what you would find in other cities in Mexico and they really try and embrace their Mayan culture into their food. Their proximity to the coast made seafood prominent on most menus, but pork, steak and chicken were also really popular. Overall, with how nice the course was and how cool the downtown area and food was, I would have to say that this trip was right up there with Montevideo and Mexico City for me.
Next week I head to the Dominican Republic for my final PGA Tour Latinoamerica event of the first half. We are going to the Hard Rock Hotel and Resort in Punta Cana for the tournament and it is supposed to be a great week. After that, I head to St. Louis for my US Open Sectional on June, 3rd and then leave straight from there to go Victoria, Canada for my first PGA Tour Canada event. It will be a crazy couple of weeks but I will be sure to update my blog after each event. Thanks so much for following!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
This course was there for the taking. It was only 6,700 yards and the greens were absolutely perfect. Everyone was going to have a lot of opportunities and you just had to take advantage of them. The first round was a bit frustrating. I struggled to get anything going, and I didn't convert from 10-15 feet. Luckily, I was able to get it back to -1 going into the drivable 8th. I hit a great drive to about 10 feet but couldn't convert for eagle. Then, on my last hole, I made a great up and down to save par and finished with a 2 under par, 70. Overall, it was a decent day and I hung in there late to post a sub-par round. That being said, the leader was at -8 and so I knew I was going to have to make a move during the second round.
Unfortunately, I got off to a bad start early in round 2. A bad double bogey on the second hole set me back and I was trying to play catch-up the rest of the round. I really just couldn't get anything going for the rest of the day and I finished with a +2, 74. It was really frustrating this week because I didn't do the little things right. I didn't convert on some easy up and downs and I struggled to make any of the numerous 10-15 foot birdie opportunities I had. It was a bit of a let down and I am just going to have to clean it up for this week in Colombia. As my coach always said, boring golf is a great thing, and I just need to get back into a simpler style of course management and execution to make my play more consistent.
Montevideo was absolutely amazing. It's set right on the beach, the people were really nice and the food was great. Uruguay lies right in between Brazil and Argentina, and both countries are reflected in Uruguayan cuisine. The first night we got there, we went to a great 'parillada' called La Otra. They had traditional Brazilian cuts like picanha and also traditional Argentine cuts like biffe de chorizo and entrecotte. The restaurant had a really cool layout and we actually ended up going there again later in the week. Also, similar to Argentina, I noticed a large presence of Italian food. We went for Italian a couple nights, and this time it was actually really good. I was kind of missing my Italian food fix, so it was nice to have some good pasta last week. Overall, Montevideo was a great city and it had a very European feel to it. It kind of reminded me of Lisbon in Portugal as they both are right on the water and have small-big city feels to them. From what a lot of people have said, Uruguay brings the best of Brazil and Argentina into one country. You have Montevideo, which is this great and fun city right on the water, and then you can drive a couple of hours to Punta del Este for some of the best beaches in all of South America. There are talks that the tournament is going to come back to Club de Golf Uruguay next year so I am definitely looking forward to that.
Looking Ahead to This Week
This week I am in Pereira, Colombia for the 66th Arturo Calle Colombian Open presented by Diners Club. After a 24 hour journey –literally– from Montevideo, I am looking forward to getting back into action this week. It is the last tournament of my 3 week trip and after this I head to Michigan for my US Open Local Qualifier. Then, we only have two more tournaments in Mexico and the Dominican Republic before I start the PGA Tour Canada season for the summer. Thanks for checking in!
Sunday, April 21, 2013
This past week I travelled to Cordoba, Argentina to play in the 82nd Abierto Osde Del Centro. This was my first time in Argentina and my first time in South America. I better get used to it! It was a quick turnaround from the desert in California, but I got here safe and sound late Monday night. Cordoba is also home to Angel Cabrera and he competes in this event every year. Needless to say, after his Masters performance, he was the main talk of the tournament. Everything at this event was spectacular and I can't wait to come back here again.
Unfortunately, my play was a bit of a let down, especially after playing so well in PGA Tour Canada Q-School. The first round was frustrating because I actually had it going for a little bit, but then couldn't avoid some silly bogeys coming down the stretch. I ended up with a 74 and was in fine position after the course played incredibly difficult. Scores were very high, and a good second round would move me to the top of the leaderboard.
In the second round, I picked up right where I left off. The 'easier' front nine gave me problems both days and I just couldn't get it close to the hole to make up for the bogeys that I was making. It was either a 2-putt par, or a missed iron shot with a difficult up and down. I actually didn't make a birdie in the last 27 holes of this event, which is pretty uncharacteristic for me. That being said, even though I scored terribly and missed the cut, nothing about my game really feels off or out of sync. I think this course just didn't set up to well for me, and when I got behind, I tried to push a little bit which just got me in more trouble. My game still feels really good and I am looking forward to next week in Uruguay.
This being my first time in Argentina, I didn't really know what to expect. Cordoba is the second largest city and is right in the middle of the country. One thing that Cordoba is known for is its youthful population and fun night life. There are a lot of universities here which bring a ton of young people to the area. Some friends and I went out after we missed the cut to Nueva Cordoba and it was actually crazy how many people were going out. Literally, thousands of kids were on the streets last night and it was unlike anything I have ever seen anywhere. It was a lot of fun and it was just crazy to see a social life so different from what I am used to back home.
On another note, the food did leave something to be desired for this week. Maybe I built it up a little bit too much in my head, or maybe we just never got the right restaurant, but nothing was too great on this trip. Obviously, the meat in Argentina is its main staple. We went out a couple of times and we got a great steak for under $10. They were really good, but nothing out of this world. Meat is one thing that us Americans do pretty well so it was going to be hard to top what we have at home. The other main cuisine here is Italian food. Across all of Argentina are first and second generation Italians and the country definitely has an Italian feel to it. From the turn of the century to post-World War II, there was a huge influx of Italian immigrants. Millions of Italians came to Argentina and it has left a huge Italian footprint on their culture. Even the way the speak here seems a bit more Italian-esque. The Italian food was good here, but it wasn't great by any means. Oddly enough, I still think some of the best Italian food I have had recently was in Guadalajara!
All in all, Cordoba is a pretty great place. Even though I played crummy, I really like the feel of the city and the whole downtown area. Walking around there was different from any other place I have ever been and it was a great first trip to South America. Tomorrow, I head out to Montevideo, Uruguay which is supposed to be one of the nicest cities in South America. It is right on the water and our course/hotel are only a few blocks from the City Center. Thanks for all of your support and I will keep you posted on my results next week!