Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wyndham Championship - Round Three

It was another solid day with a few hiccups around the greens. After starting with a nice birdie on the second hole, a sculled chip shot from the front of number four ran over the green and led to a double bogey. One over through four, Kevin bounced right back with two birdies in a row and five over his next eight holes. One last bogey came when a bad lie in the rough on the par five 15th forced us to lay up with a sand wedge combined with a tough break when the approach shot finished pin high. From 30 feet and having to play about twelve feet of break over a mound, Kevin had to bring the back fringe into play. He was unable to two putt. If the approach shot finishes a yard or two shorter, it would have been a routine 30 footer for birdie. The bogey was only the third hole over par for the week (2 doubles, 1 bogey) but his six birdies on the day had us finishing with a nice three under par (67), 10 under for the tournament and in a tie for 8th heading into the final round.

Four shots off the lead and many of the guys ahead of us with a lot to play for (PGA Tour status, Ryder Cup selection, etc.) I like our chances. Kevin is playing great so when we keep making the birdies, we're going to have a great chance today. Its going to be fun and I'm looking forward to the opportunity. We tee off at 1:25 with Bill Haas.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wyndham Championship (Greensboro, NC) - Rounds 1+2

After two weeks off, Kevin and I met early Tuesday to start our preparations for the week. I had a "caddies caddie" for the day as my close friend, Dennis Woolard, came out and carried the bag while I walked the course. It was great seeing Kevin refreshed and full of energy after the much needed two week break. We put a full day of work in before a rain shower forced us to quit about 5pm. Wednesday was once again the normal routine with some extra time spent in the bunkers working on the sand game.

The first two rounds was some of the best golf we played all year. Through 36 holes, Kevin has played only one hole over par (16th / round 1) and is seven under par with rounds of 69-64. His stats prove how well he is playing. He is first in greens in regulation, second in fairways hit, and second in approach shot distance to pin. The work he has been putting in with his instructor, John Tillery (JT) is paying off.

We tee off today at 12:35 with Johnson Wagner.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Canadian Open - Final Round

What a day. With so much on the line, knowing a solid final round will ensure his card for next season, Kevin was a stud. No bogeys and six birdies later, we finish the tournament T-9th. Kevin saved his best for last. When I met him Sunday morning, he was still not feeling well but it did not affect his play. He drove the ball great and continued with an unbelievable short game. He finished the week leading all three categories in putting (strokes gained, total putts, putts/GIR) and was about 75% getting the ball up and down all week.

This finish has now moved us to 95th on the FedEx list. This week's event is in Reno opposite the WGC event at Firestone. Not feeling well and with only half FedEx points available, Kevin has decided to take the week off. It will give him two weeks off to recharge the batteries before we head to Greensboro and then make a run through the playoffs.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Canadian Open (Montreal, Quebec) - Rounds 1, 2, 3

As most of you know, we were able to close out the weekend at the John Deere Classic with a T-20th finish. That finish moved us up on the FedEx list to 108 and sitting in great shape with only a few tournaments left before the playoffs. We did not qualify for the British Open last week so it was a much needed week off.

This week, we arrived in Montreal on Monday afternoon and had a light afternoon practice session before a full day of practice on Tuesday. Kevin is fighting a little bit of a head cold that he picked up last week so he decided on a late day practice session on Wednesday. 

The first three days have been pretty solid and improved each day (70, 69, 68). In the windy conditions, the ball striking is a little off as we've only hit about half of the greens in regulation (28/54) but the short game has been great. According to ShotLink, Kevin is 17/26 getting the ball up and down and leads the field in putts/GIR. He ranks second on total putts and fourth in the Strokes Gained statistic through three rounds. The good news is the ball striking has been getting better each day and with bad weather (rain) in the forecast for tomorrow we will need our best stuff. 

Due to the forecast, the Tour moved up tee times and will be teeing off split tees in threesomes. We will be off at 8:25 on number one. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

John Deere Classic - Rounds One and Two

We survived. After opening with a solid first day, we struggled a bit on Friday but found a way to get it in and will be playing the weekend. Thursday's first round had five birdies with one double bogey for a three under (68). It was a solid ball striking day with the possibilities of really going low. Solid putts that were rolling down his intended lines just wouldn't fall as he kept giving himself birdie opportunities throughout day. One lone bad shot on the par four, fourth, put us in a tough position. Two chips and two putts later, we walked off with a double. Grinding hard, he came right back hitting an eight iron to three feet on the very next hole to get the momentum right back. His three under total finished the day in a tie for 24th.

Friday's round picked up right where we left off as Kevin started the day with a birdie. Gusty, windy conditions during the afternoon made the late tee times play difficult but we managed an even par front nine. A few loose shots starting on 10 had us fighting to hang around. Two bogeys with wedges and one drive into a fairway bunker had us two over for the day thru 15 and one shot outside the cut number with three to play. Kevin didn't panic and finished the day making five great swings over the last three holes. An eight iron to 15 feet on the par three 16th, two perfect shots on the par five 17th, and a perfect drive and nine iron to 12 feet on 18. He was only able to get one birdie over the closing three holes but it was good enough to get us to the weekend.

With storms forecasted for Saturday, the Tour moved tee times between 9:50 - 11:50 off of the first and tenth tees. I woke up this morning to a thunderstorm but it looks like its moving out and we should still be going off on time today. Our tee time is 11:50 off number 10 with Chad Campbell and Derek Ernst.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Greenbrier Classic

It was a tough week at The Greenbrier. Even though we managed an even par round on Thursday, we really didn't do anything good. The misses were both ways (right and left) and the short game was awful (5 for 15). Kevin is good enough to get things done when one is off but when both the ball striking and short game are off, it's almost impossible.

Thursday's round was up and down with five bogeys and five birdies but I was extremely proud about how he finished. Struggling early in the round and over par, Kevin showed some guts and fought hard making three birdies coming in to shoot even par (70). That finish kept us in the tournament and looking forward to Friday. Unfortunately, we couldn't getting done on Friday. Missed up and downs and wayward tee shots had us fighting most of the day. We finished the day at five over and had the weekend off.

This was the first of two weeks that Geraldine and the kids are out on the road with me. We stayed in Roanoke, VA this week and had a blast. We were able to do some sightseeing, take in the caverns, go to a water park, play some golf and see an amazing July 4th fireworks show. On top of that, we were able to spend some time with my old college roommate, Lou Masini. We don't get to see each other much so it was nice to have dinner and catch up.

This week, we are in Moline, IL for the John Deere Classic. The family and I flew up yesterday (Monday) and I will meet Kevin today for our practice round. Kevin went home after the Greenbrier and put a work day in yesterday with his instructor at home. With only four events left on the schedule for us and sitting 117 on the FedEx list, it's time to take care of business.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quicken Loans National - 2nd and 3rd Round

Friday's second round was just what we needed. Teeing off early, Kevin was able to take advantage of the conditions and shot a great round of three under (68). For the day, there were only six rounds better and his round moved us well inside the cut line to t-40th after two rounds.

Today's third round started right where we left off on Friday; hitting fairways and greens. Unfortunately, two early birdies were voided by two early three putts and we were even par through five holes. A hooked 8 iron into the par five 6th put us in a bad spot and then two missed up and downs later, we walked off with a double bogey.  Making the turn at two over, things didn't get much better on the back nine putting up three 6's on the card. The first 6 (double) came on 11 after a hooked tee shot led to a chip out. From there, we missed the green with an 8 iron and failed to get that up and down. The next 6 (bogey) came on the par 5 - 16th. After laying it up in the rough, we couldn't find the green. Another missed up and down led to another six. The final 6 (double) came on 18. The second shot (another 8 iron) hooked into the water hazard and another missed up and down after the drop near the green. The final nine (40) left us at seven over par for the day (78) and backing up all the way to 74th place.

Although we were ten shots higher today, we hit the same amount of fairways (8/14) and only two less greens (11/18) from Fridays second round. The biggest difference today was on and around the greens. Those two early three putts along with the missed up and downs throughout the day was the difference. After the round, we spent our entire practice session chipping and putting. We have nothing to loss tomorrow (74th out of 75 players) but know a good solid round will still go a long way. Every FedEx point matters and every position we can move up will help get those extra valuable FedEx points needed to secure his card for next year. I'm looking forward to getting out there early and seeing what we can do. We tee off tomorrow at 8:36 with Jason Bohn.