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.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quicken Loans National - First Round

We just didn't have it today. Only hitting half the fairways 7/14) and half the greens (9/18) it was a tough day to score. Congressional is playing long with high, thick rough so ball striking is at a premium. Sitting at five over par through 11 holes, the ball striking started to turn around as Kevin hit the last five fairways and five of his last seven greens. We managed to finish the round at four over (75) and we were only a few putts away from shooting a respectable score. But, as bad as the score may sound, we are still in the tournament with a solid round tomorrow. With the course playing difficult, two over par (73) is tied for 62nd place. Anything under par tomorrow will have us playing the weekend.

After the round, we had a range session and then called it a day. We tee off tomorrow morning at 7:12 so it will be an early wake up call. Good night all.

Update - Memphis, US Open, Baby Kate

Once again, I've failed to blog for an entire month and it has been an exciting month. After qualifying for the US Open on the Monday of Memphis, we had a long week filled with weather delays. Kevin played well considering having so much on his mind that week. With weather delays threatening to push the tournament into a Monday finish, it was hard to maintain focus not knowing how it would all work out. A few loose shots finishing our round on Sunday led to a couple doubles but, all in all, it was a solid week. Happy we were done, Kevin hopped on a plane and headed home for the birth of their child.

Kathleen Grace "Kate" was born Monday afternoon (June 9th) at 2:49pm. Everything went well and everyone was doing fine. Kevin stayed in Aiken until Tuesday night and then drove over to Pinehurst for the US Open. We met up Wednesday morning and worked a little with JT on the range before our practice round. I rolled into town Tuesday morning and spent the day doing course work. The golf course was playing extremely firm and fast and shots landing on the front edge to five yards onto the green were releasing all the way to the middle of the greens. Our keys for the week was all about where we wanted to land each shot on the green, patience, and a solid short game. Unfortunately, an afternoon storm rolled in on Wednesday and we were called off the course after only 12 holes.

We ended up missing the cut but it was still a solid experience. I feel Kevin learned a lot of competing in his first US Open and the experience will only help him in his future major championships. The US Open was our fifth week in a row on the road and with a new baby, he decided to take Hartford off. It was nice to get away from the game and he had a great week being a dad.

This week we are at the Congressional in Washington, DC for the Quicken Loans National. We met Tuesday and had two solid days of practice. We tee off today at 12:12 with Russell Knox and Robert Streb.