In the 2nd week of April, I played my 32nd professional golf tournament which was an event put on by the APT in Brownwood, Texas. This was the third time I have played in the Brownwood APT, but unfortunately, my experience did not lead to benefit my results. I ended up shooting 79 75 to miss the cut by 16 shots! It was a very disappointing display of golf and a failed opportunity to create momentum for the season, however, there were some positives to take away from the rounds and I have moved on with a great sense of motivation.
As I prepared for the event, all parts of my game were feeling sharp. I had been practicing in the available time outside of work and I felt good about putting my game to the test of competition. I had also felt momentum building from my previous tournaments and I was very excited to step on a bigger stage for the first time this year teeing it up on the APT. For the last 2 years, this tournament was in the latter part of the summer season and the course had dried out from the summer heat. This year, with the tournament in April, the golf course was just turning green and the forecast included cooler temperatures and rain. The course is short with small greens and a very simple layout so I knew the scores would be low regardless of how the conditions played out.
A special part of the week was having my beautiful girlfriend caddie for me! She has been traveling to watch me play in events which means a lot to me and with the use of a pushcart, she was right at my side for the whole experience of this event! It was a lot of fun to work as a team and I believe it was beneficial to my performance as well because she kept me relaxed and at peace in between shots as we strolled the fairways.
I had an afternoon tee time for this first round and as I reflect on my performance I had already missed the cut as I walked off my first hole of the tournament. I missed a 3-foot putt for par on the first hole and any trust I had in my putting was left behind. For the rest of the round, I struggled to roll the ball on line and make any putts outside of a tap in length. My ball striking remained sharp and I set myself in a position to play well, but I did not trust my putting and after 38 total putts for the day and a 79 on the round I was within just 2 or 3 shots of dead last. Ouch.
Going into the second round, I knew I would need to shoot something around 60 to even have a chance at making the cut. I decided to adjust my putting posture before the round and to focus solely on keeping a still head and smooth stroke for every putt. This helped me perform a little better on the greens and I was one under par through the first 9 of the second round. We ended up getting called off for a weather delay that lasted 5 hours before we were able to finish out the remaining holes of round 2. Once play resumed, I was a little loose off the tee and played the last few holes 4 over par to shoot a second-round 75. Missed cut. Failed event.
It is incredibly disappointing to miss-cuts. It's frustrating to put so much work, effort, dedication, and discipline into something without seeing success when it's time to perform. Professional golf is hard and I know this is where a lot of players will lose their desire and motivation to play. The journey is hard and failure is a large part of it, but my motivation to chase my dream only grows. I know my journey in golf is a blessing from God and I am thankful for what I get to do. I know he has provided everything I have needed along the way and will continue to provide as long as this is His plan for me. I know His plan is perfect and any frustration, discouragement, or lack of effort to be a good steward of what He has given me would not represent a true belief in Him. I will continue to put my best effort into my game but more importantly using golf as a platform for His glory.