One More for the Road
Also, I would like to take a few minutes to thank my sponsors: Saxon Capital; Alpha Golf; 4GEA.com; Accuflex; and the folks at The Golf Channel. None of what I have been able to do would have been possible without them.
My fifth of six exemptions was the Lake Erie Charity Classic at Peak 'n Peek Resort in New York. It went about like the rest of them. The only difference is I had a career changing experience after Friday's (my last) round.
My last nine on Friday, I realized I wasnt going to make the cut and pretty much just packed it in and started whacking driver on every hole and not giving two cents about where my ball went. Im not sure if its just not caring or if its a defense mechanism to take some of the blame off my poor golf. I didnt act like a terd or get all mad; I just didnt try. After signing my scorecard and a few autographs for the kids, Sissi introduced me to a guy from Cookeville (30 minutes from our home town) that she had met on the course that wanted to meet me.
This guy and his fiance had traveled all the way to New York using one of his vacation weeks just to watch me play golf. He also took additional time to watch me play in Richmond making that drive also, but never let me know he was there. He said he didnt want to bother me but just wanted to let me know how much he enjoyed watching me play golf. As he walked away, all I could think about was how I had just played my last nine holes with zero passion for what I was doing. How could I have been so inconsiderate. You just never know what impact you are having on other people.
Even though I shot a million in Lake Erie, the family and I still had a blast. They had tons of activities for them to do during the day and lots of night events, too. The most fun we had was playing night golf -- glow ball Putt-Putt. Me and the girls got paired with the men members of the Foltz family, Jerry and his 9-year-old son, Action Jackson.
Jacksons t-shirt pretty much sums up his worries: IF MOM SAYS NO JUST ASK DAD. Jackson has never heard the two letter word 'no' from his dad. When Foltzy No. 2 figured out he could take his left-handed putter and turn it around and swing it right handed it pretty much became a lob wedge with all-be-danged to the people on the hole in front of us. No one lost an eye and we all nearly peed in our pants the whole eighteen. On the outside looking in, Jerry and his son seem to have a beautiful relationship.
On to the Pete Dye Classic in Bridgeport, West Virginia for my last exemption -- unless I do something special. And nothing special happened. I hit the ball pretty decent for two days but my short game has just completely come unglued. I shot 76-74 and missed the 1-under cut by seven shots.
Heres an example of my putting prowess for the week. During Friday's round on No. 1 I putted claw-style and three jacked from 20 feet on a dead flat putt. Nos. 2, 3 and 4, I putted conventional, feeling the heebie geebies the whole time. Nos. 5 and 6, I putted left hand low and barely shook it in on 6 from 6 inches. No. 7, back to conventional and made a 20-footer that I thought I had pulled 2 feet. No. 8, conventional grip with right index finger pointing down the shaft trying to yipe it in on purpose instead of by accident. Failed. Back to conventional on No. 9, missing about a 10-footer for par -- but looking real cool doing it.
With tons of time to reflect on what has happened in the past year, there have been so many special moments with just a few disappointments score-wise along the way.
* The reception I received in Richmond was unsurpassed. I really feel I made many life-long friends during that event.
* The wonderful note Jason Gore took the time to leave in my locker the first week out and before he became a huge rock star at the U.S. Open. With each tournament, more and more players went out of their way to let me know they were feeling my plight and wishing me well.
* Peter Jacobsen and Sign Boy (Matt Grieser) bringing me up on stage at the CVS Pro-Am banquet acknowledging my success on The Golf Channel.
*The crowd of mostly my old members from Fairfield Glade taking a bus to the Knoxville Open. Sissi counted at one point 93 people watching me shoot 83 on Thursday.
*Getting it up and down on the 18th hole out of the bunker to extend the match and hitting the driver and 5-iron of my life on the 20th hole to one up my buddy DD in the 'Big Break II' final match.
*Getting to watch the video of my families' reactions as they saw the final shots during a party at Famous Daves restaurant given on my behalf.
*And many more special times that I will mention in future writings.
Although my confidence and golf game were badly bent, they were not broken.
My first week home I basically chilled and then regrouped and left for Nashville this past weekend. Sunday afternoon, I played a practice round with my PGA buddies Zeb Patten, Mike Bennett and Kelvin Burgin for the National Club Pro Qualifier at the Legends in Franklin to be played Monday and Tuesday.
The first round I pured it, but continued with my putting woes, shot 1 under and was three shots back, tied for seventh with four spots advancing to the 2006 CPC . Spent the next five hours on the putting green with UT Chattanooga golf coach Mark June. We worked on a good setup and pre-shot routine which I had gotten away from. It paid off big time. Tuesday I hit the ball not quite as well but just swished it from everywhere. I had seven birdies, shot 5 under and won by three shots.
My plans are to make the first alternate a happy boy when I get through tour school this fall and am ineligible for next year's event. In the meantime I am playing in a few Hooters events along with several corporate outings. I hope to come on from time to time to keep you updated on my happenings.
Signed: One of the 40 best Big Break players in the world, Kipper.
P.S. I cant wait for the BBIV to start. I know its going to be a homerun, enjoy the ride guys
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.