Sunday, October 19, 2014

Shriners Hospital Open (Las Vegas, NV)

It's been a long week here in Vegas. We all arrived on Monday and took the day off. I headed to the Doctor's office to figure out why I was getting red, itchy, rashes popping up on my body for the past five days. The Doctor ruled out shingles, bug bites, etc. and believed it was a reaction to a flu shot I received the day I left for California. He prescribed me some medication and I've been getting better each day.

Tuesday and Wednesday was our normal preparation. We played an afternoon practice round on Tuesday with Lucas Glover and their instructor, John Tillery. Kevin continues to hit it well so there was just some maintenance work done on the full swing with the majority of work spent in the bunker. We're still struggling with consistency out of the bunkers so he is trying to figure it out.

Thursday and Fridays rounds were played with Sean O'Hair and William McGirt. Kevin played well but we had two three putts the first day for a one under par (70). Friday's round was a bit of a struggle starting out but Kevin was able to make a 12', 17' and 33' putt on the first three holes to keep us even par. He settled down and stayed hot with the putter. He was able to birdie 6 of his last 10 holes including his last four to shoot six under (65). His seven under total had us in 12th place heading into the weekend and feeling great about the opportunity ahead of us.

Unfortunately, the mojo with the putter left us. Kevin struggled a little with hitting a few shots but he absolutely made nothing over the weekend. We could only manage four birdies over the final 36 holes and the 72-72 (2 over) weekend fell us back to T56th when it was all over.

When we finished, I helped Kevin get packed up and he headed straight to the airport to meet Brittany and Kate for an earlier flight home. Our early tee time in twosomes allowed them to change the flight so they would not have to deal with the red eye flight home with Kate. They'll get home tonight and be able to spend the day home before heading out to Sea Island for next weeks event.

This week I was surprised by my great Canadian friends Rick and Beverly from Victoria, Canada. They showed up Friday morning to watch us play and it was awesome having them here. We had some great dinners and it was fun catching up. Rick is also planning on coming to Mexico in a month when we play in Cancun. I'm looking forward to another great week with him down there. As for me now, I'm still in Vegas waiting on my red eye home. I'll be flying back to Charlotte tonight and will head home for the day before driving down to Sea Island early Tuesday morning. It will be another long night but I'm looking forward to seeing Geraldine and the kids for the day.

With Sea Island being close enough to feel like a "home game", I'm also looking forward to seeing some of you all next week.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Frys.Com Open (Napa, CA) - Rounds 3 and 4

It was another solid weekend after making the cut on the number. The overall game improved each day and solid putting kept us fighting when things weren't going well. With rounds of 70-68, we moved up 40 spots and finished the tournament t-21st. A nice way to start the new season.

After the round, we packed up and headed to San Fransico for the night. We are all flying over to Vegas this morning and will take the rest of the day off when we get there. Kevin's instructor is coming in tomorrow and we'll have a couple of full practice days in before Thursday.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New 2014-15 Season (Frys.Com Open - Napa, CA)

After a short six week break, the new season has begun. Finishing last season 104th on the FedEx list, we begin our first "fully" exempt season in Napa, CA for the Frys.Com Open at a new venue - Silverado Resort. Kevin flew out a few days early and was able to play the golf course on Sunday before playing in an off site proam on Monday. I arrived Sunday night and spent the day on Monday doing my course work. We finally met up on Tuesday and had two good full days of preparation before starting on Thursday.

The first two days had a little bit of everything. Kevin fought his ball striking a little on Thursday but made some nice saving putts and managed a one under par (71) during the first round. Today's round was much better tee to green but we left a lot of opportunities out on the greens. Hitting 14 greens, we were only able to convert two into birdies. Two birdies and two bogeys left us with an even par round (72). His one under total left us right on the cut number heading into the weekend.

Sitting on the cut number, we have an early tee time tomorrow at 7:51 with Russell Knox but two solid rounds over the weekend will put us right back into the tournament.

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.