I spent the last couple of weeks in Decatur, Illinois, then Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the next events on the Symetra Tour. My housing in Decatur was 30 minutes from the golf course and literally in the middle of cornfields. It was very remote, but really beautiful. And the fresh sweetcorn was amazing! Some of the drives home, after a day at the golf course, were really incredible. The sun was setting over the cornfields and made for some very pretty pictures. My host family was also friends with some farmers down the road who farmed Jersey cows. I couldn’t believe it when they told me and, of course, I had to make a stop by to see some of my friends. Jersey cows are without a doubt the most beautiful cows you’ll ever see. They have big brown eyes with long eyelashes, as you can see in the picture. It certainly made me a little nostalgic and miss home, but it was great to have the chance to see them. I’ve heard of Jersey cows being farmed in North America, but I’ve never had the opportunity to see any in person. This definitely made the week special for me.
I played really steady this week and was happy with my performance overall. I was disappointed with my final round, and not necessarily the score, but my course management and approach to the day. I’ve worked hard the last month or so to try and make golf simple again. Narrowing down my targets, and making sure I give myself as many birdie putts as possible. I was doing really well with it, and then the final round I just tried way too hard to make things happen. The first 5 holes I was aiming straight at the hole and missing on the short side of the green, and giving myself very difficult up and downs. This resulted in being 3 over through 5 holes and very frustrated. I took a moment to try and analyze what was happening to see if I could find a way to settle down and turn this day around. For the rest of the round, I was even par and relatively pleased with that. I felt like I played a lot better than I scored this week, but it just a matter of trying to eliminate the mistakes as there was plenty of birdies. There were definitely a lot of positives to take into the following week in Milwaukee.
As some of you may have seen in the news, there were some riots and protests that took place in Milwaukee on the Saturday night before we got there. I’m not as in tune with safety as I should be sometimes. Probably growing up on an island where crime was never an issue may have made me a little naïve. However, this was the first time I was a little uneasy about going to a tournament. I did some research as to where the riots were taking place and where my housing and the golf course were in relation to this. Thankfully we were far enough away that it wasn’t going to be an issue, but it was still important to use our best judgment while we were there. The Tour staff were very good at keeping us inform of what was happening and the areas to avoid etc., so that made me feel a little more relaxed.
The weather, however, did not have me relaxed! I knew from the beginning of the week it was going to be hit and miss over the weekend. But it was certainly a lot worse than everyone had expected. Thankfully, I was in the morning on Friday and managed to get my round completed, although we did play the first 6 holes in the pouring rain, which is always an interesting challenge. I have this thing about wearing black in the rain, as I don’t like to wear rain gear as I feel it restricts my swing. Well, the last few weeks I’ve worn black and it was supposed rain and instead it was 90 degrees and sunny and I was dying in the heat. So this week, I decided to take the risk and wear light grey shorts and a lime green shirt. Of course it would rain. With as much as it was raining, rain gear was a must. It’s been quite some time since I’ve played in heavy rain and it showed in my first 5 holes. 4 over! Ouch! I just couldn’t get settled in. There are so many things to handle and keep dry in the rain and it’s a complete pain. But thankfully, it let up and I was able to settle down and start making some birdies. 6 in my last 11 holes for that round, in fact. I was on fire and so was my putter. I made 2 great birdies on 17 and 18 to get me back to +2 for my first 9. Then I made a third birdie on the 1st hole, which was a reachable par 5. I holed a 15 footer on the Par 3 third hole for another birdie. Then proceeded to make a birdie on 5, 6 and 8. Had a stupid 3 putt on 7 to finish the round at 1 under par. It was a round of mixed emotions. If someone had told me I’d finish under par after my first 5 holes I would have taken it and run. However, I can’t help but think how close I am to having a really low round. Just need to stay patient. The next 28 hours were certainly a little frustrating. The afternoon wave barely managed to complete 9 holes, so they had to complete round 1 and play round 2 on Saturday. I didn’t tee off for the 2nd round until 5.17pm on Saturday evening. We did manage to play 10 holes, however, I was frustrated with myself as it was getting dark and the rules officials had just blown the horn for darkness. I had 3ft left for Par on the 10th hole and I couldn’t decide if I’d rather putt it then, or at 7.30 in the morning. I decided to go ahead and get it out the way, but I wasn’t as focused as I should have been. I missed it and was a little heated to say the least. Ha ha! I’ve worked too hard on my mental game, to let silly things like that happen. Thankfully, I had my coach to vent to and 10 hours to let it go. I came out and made a good birdie on 11 to make up for it. For some reason, on the 15th hole I started to get inside my head and make some terrible mistakes. For those of you who saw my scorecard, you’ll know what I mean. Doubled 15 and bogeyed 16. I did manage to par 17 and 18, but I really had to work hard for them. Finished the round at +2 and +1 for the tournament. It was a fairly quick turnaround for the final round, but I was ready. It was very windy and the conditions were tough with it being so wet. However, I played really solid. Bogeyed the 10th hole to start my round, which seems to be my nemesis hole! But from then on I made birdie on 15 and 3 to finish the round a -1 and the tournament at Even. I finished T-28th for the week which I was happy with. A low round is there, just got to keep working hard and staying patient.
The last 24 hours have been a little bit crazy. I drove 5 hours to Albert Lea, MN, after playing 26 holes on Sunday. Then I drove 3 more hours to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to my housing. I’m leaving my car there for the week as I am flying to California for my week off to work with my Coach. This will be the perfect time for us to get some good work in, while I am playing well and right before the final stretch of the season. I’m writing this on my flight to Los Angeles. It’s nice to finally have time to kick back and relax after the crazy weekend we’ve had.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the things we work on, and be sure to watch the live scoring next week as it is our second biggest purse of the year. Someone’s dream could come true by winning that event!