INSIDE THE ROPES:
The course at Turning Stone was in perfect condition, the greens possibly as good as anything I have putted on all year; although, my putting stats didn't reflect that.
I was reasonably happy and satisfied with my tie for 18th. I hit the ball well and as this was my first game in almost a month I can't complain. I had the last tee time on the first two days and knew that I needed a strong finish to make the cut on Friday. I birdied two out of the last three holes to make it on the number and in doing so knocked out all those on 3 under, which included my mate Michael Sim.
I have been working on getting my backswing steeper as I tend to let it get a little flat at times. I struggled with my putting and putted as bad as I have all year, so I have a lot of work to do there.
OUTSIDE THE ROPES:
This week I shared accommodations with my good friend - and the afforementioned - Michael Sim. We roomed together throughout 2006 on the Nationwide Tour and it was great to be back together again. I arrived back in the States on Friday, September 14th and met up with my coach in Orlando, Florida, where I practiced over the weekend before arriving at the Turning Stone Resort late on Monday afternoon.
Michael and I had a great time catching up and just hanging out together. I spend a lot of my down time on the computer talking to my friends back in Australia and those on other golf tours around the world etc.
On Tuesday, Michael and I had a practice round together in the morning and in the night we went out to dinner with a few of the guys who I have been unable to catch up with during the year, which was a lot of fun. The rest of the week was just spent eating at the Resort most nights and taking it quiet until Sunday.
I have been working hard on putting some weight on and building myself up. I have always struggled to put on weight and keep it on so I am continually working with my trainer to find the right formula to make this happen. Since my hernia operation in June, after which I lost around 10 lbs, I have managed to put on 12 lbs which is a major achievement for me. I have been working at the gym consistently and having three protein shakes a day.
After Michael missed the cut, he headed down to Mississippi to prepare for next week's event and I then hooked up with another aussie mate, Nathan Green, who is from the same city as me back in Australia. Nathan educated me on black jack in the casino - I won early in the week but lost a little on Sunday. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun.
This week I have been overwhelmed by the e-mails congratulating me on my promotion and wishing me good luck - thank you to everyone, I feel very honoured that you took the time to do that.
FROM THE PARKING LOT TO THE FIRST TEE:
I felt so well looked after this past week, from the courtesy car I was provided with on arrival at the airport to the hospitality of everyone involved in the event.
I received some new pants early in the week and as I am only 5'9', my pants always have to be taken up a couple of inches. When on the Nationwide Tour I always had to find someone somewhere to do this for me - not always an easy thing in small towns. This week I asked the Conceirge in the resort if he could advise me on where to take them. He simply said, 'We have a seamstress on hand to do those type of things for you, Sir,' which I thought was amazing. Then when I told him to put the charges on my room account, he said there would be no charge! The pants were back in my room that night. Now that is service!
I did a little shopping at the tournament - my Dad collects golf balls and so I got him one along with a flag. Mum got a set of crystal coasters.
I did a brief Media Conference on Wednesday, which was pretty neat. Though afterwards, it took awhile to walk back to the clubhouse as I was stopped at least three times by journalists wanting some one-on-one stuff.
In the locker room there were at least five or six players (not Aussies) who came up and congratulated me on my 'battlefield promotion;' they didn't have to do that so it meant a lot. I felt very comfortable in my new surroundings.
I played with Rocco Mediate in the final round which was great. I was a little serious on the first tee, but Rocco put me at ease. He was really talkative and loads of fun to play with, and it made me relax totally which no doubt contributed to my good finish.
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