Thursday, May 23, 2013
Pereira, Colombia, US Open Local, and Merida, Mexico
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!