The past few months I’ve been in a stage I like to call “growing and learning.” My scores haven’t reflected how hard I’ve been working, but I believe my time is coming. I say this because I’ve been getting opportunities lately that have been motivating and have inspired me to practice with the discipline needed to get to the next level.
It started when I got to hang out with Loren Roberts at his Champions Tour event in The Woodlands, TX. It was really fun getting to meet some of his competitors and watching him in preparation for the event. He introduced me to Fuzzy Zeller and told him I was trying to get out there on TOUR, and Fuzzy grabs his genitals and says, “Well go get you some!” That made me laugh but he was right, it takes balls to do this as a career.
Next, a friend, who is a caddy on the PGA Tour, came to Dallas a couple weeks ago for the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament. He gave me a badge that allowed me access to everything. From eating lunch with Seung-Yul Noh, playing golf with Andrew Loupe, talking with Tony Finau. Being inside the ropes added fuel to my dream. I learned a lot watching those guys, from how they manage bad shots/bad rounds to their practice routines. One thing I‘ve added to my routine is the amount of time I spend practicing putting each day. I was surprised how long I saw Sergio Garcia on the putting green. Another surprise was how much golf those guys actually play. Some guys are playing seven rounds of golf a week! I’m sure it changes, depending on their schedule but I saw one TOUR player in particular do it and it didn’t look at all fatigued by it.
Another thing one of the TOUR players told me is there are no SHORTCUTS! “If you want to make this a career you have to be willing to work harder than the next player,” were his words exactly. I told him how I’ve been playing and what tournaments I’ve played in. I asked him what tournaments he played in to get there and he did full seasons on the mini tours to get there. I’ve been picking and choosing tournaments from different tours trying to get there faster and maybe that’s where I have been going wrong. I’ve been hesitant to put that financial investment up because I don’t want one season on a big mini tour to be the end all for me. Like the saying goes, “no risk no reward” right? I’ve been making changes to my schedule for the remainder of this year already.
Last week I played in the Tennessee Open in Nashville as a 1st alternate after qualifying in Memphis about a month ago. I learned a valuable lesson in becoming 1st alternate. ALWAYS STICK AROUND TO SEE IF YOU’LL BE IN A PLAYOFF. I should not have left, I know, but I got in and felt great heading into the tournament. I started off great then hit a mental block somewhere on the back nine. I remember tapping a 4 footer in for birdie on the 10th hole to go -4 for the day and thinking “Whoa.” I hadn’t been in that position in a while in a tournament and it surprised me. As soon as it happened I was ready to post that score instead of continuing to play the next 8 holes. I finished with a 73 on the first day, then 77 the next. I really had to go back and look at the round to see where I had gone wrong after starting so well and it was putting.
Like I said to start I am growing and learning right now. I’m continuing to keep my head high and reach for the stars. With God, influential people and positive people in my life, and always being willing to help somebody else along the way I know that anything is possible.
Tiger Woods if you are reading this it would be such an honor, and privilege to be able to spend time with you on the golf course and to learn from you. I am compared to you all the time, but there is no comparison, if I could do 1/10 of what you did I would call that success for me.