Oren Geri's Final Words

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I am not sure how I can put into words the amazing experience that Big Break Indian Wells was and what it meant to me to be a part of this show. First of all, I want to thank Golf Channel, not only for giving me this opportunity, but also for their hospitality and for the flawless and fair manner in which they conducted this competition. I am not one for making excuses but even if I were, I could not come up with one or even a half of one, for my less than perfect play.

I have played many tournaments in my life. Successful or not, I have dealt with all forms of pressure golf has to offer: Playing for a living when money is tight, playing in front of a home crowd, playing in front of a hostile crowd, sleeping on a lead, charging from behind and more. I didn't think that Big Break would succeed in applying a new form of pressure that I haven't experienced yet. Boy was I wrong!  This competition is designed to test you under pressure, to surprise you and to test your shot-making skills under these conditions. Amazing fun! It is nothing short of brilliant and the biggest distraction to me was in constantly noticing how well done all this is.

Watching the show brought back all the emotions that I dealt with on that last day. As hard as I tried to survive, I knew that I didn't have my A-game with me all week. No excuses. It's my job as a golf pro to prepare and be ready, but a recent swing change still felt a bit tough to master. I knew it was going to take a fight. At this point I had already come to know my opponents which sometimes makes it harder. As you get to know these guys, you realize why Golf Channel picked each and every one and these three guys that I played against on those last three challenges were always going to be tough to beat. Still, not for one moment did I feel out of place. I pushed myself hard on every shot, maybe too hard. This game got me talking to myself...

When you're up against the wall, chips are down, club doesn't feel that great in your hands, what’s left is your will. I thought about who I represent. I represent myself, my family, my country and my friends. It is a responsibility. You have to try your hardest and win or lose you have to represent. Simply put- I got beat. It felt bad to come up short on such a wonderful opportunity; I would give anything to have another shot. I am sad today and at a tough crossroads.

I take with me so much from this experience: a great new group of friends, proud moments in victory as well as defeat, memories for a lifetime. As a golfer this was a very valuable experience. Priceless. It has been a long road for me full of ups and downs. Many fewer ups than downs. At 37, with no sponsors and standing at a crossroads, this is exactly what I needed to get myself recommitted to my goals. As I continue to chase “Golf Happiness”, this was a wake-up call. A great reminder that I need to get better and that this is not going to happen by itself. I have to put in the time and effort. On the range (my swing needs work). In the gym (I am out of shape). On the course and off it. Less money games and gambling, more tournament play.

I needed this. With this energy, I am determined to work on my game and planning a tournament schedule for the coming months. Funds and opportunities are low, but I believe that if I can put myself back in the mix, Big Break Indian Wells made me a better golfer and a stronger competitor.
 
The club is already starting to feel better in my hands...Thank you Golf Channel. Y'all haven't seen the last of me.
 
Oren