Hello everybody! I hope everyone has had a great summer and if you are like my family, it is back to school time. My oldest is now in first grade and learning what it is like to be at school for seven straight hours.
As for my golf, nothing like going out on your best round of the year. Well, it was my best score anyway, a 66 at the Wyndham Championship. Sadly I missed the Fedex Cup Playoffs this year, but it brought to close a season that taught me many things. First of all, the time put into working on your game isn’t directly reflected in your scores. I spent more hours practicing, played more tournaments and tried some new things, but I never was able to put four solid rounds together and that is really the key. Secondly, looking at my numbers, my stroke average was only 1.3 strokes higher in relation to par than in 2011, my best season on the PGA TOUR. That is such a fine line but makes a big difference when you multiply it by four rounds. Thirdly, I didn’t have any great weeks overall this year. The best four round total I posted all year was 5 under par at the John Deere Classic. Here’s to going low and doing it four days in a row next season! Finally, as always I am comforted by the fact that in my career, I can always point to the valley that produced the following mountain of good play. Whether it was figuring things out in 2010 where I finished 123 on the money list and then came out to win two of my first three starts. Or way back when I lost a big lead on the final day at the Wisconsin State Junior when I was just 14 years old. That motivated me in the years to follow to get better and propelled me to better things in my junior golf career than I could have ever imagined. All the hard work ultimately pays off. It is the patience that can be tested.
One thing of note is that I still am playing out the “Tournament Winners in the past two seasons” category. It is a bit confusing so let me attempt to explain. My first win in 2011 gave me exempt status through 2013 and when I won again in 2011, I gained an additional year of exempt status so I was exempt until 2014. The PGA TOUR Policy Board about 15 years ago felt that winning should always be rewarded by extending your exemption at least a full season, hence why that second 2011 win got me that extra year. Therefore when I won the Humana in 2012, my exempt status was bumped one more year, through the 2014-15 season. The word “exempt” is a bit confusing but really I am in most PGA TOUR events, excluding the invitationals like the Memorial for example and the Players Championship. I hope that doesn’t confuse you all too much but might clear up to some why I am not playing in the Web.Com Finals events these upcoming weeks. As always, shooting a bunch of 68s in a row will get me into all the events I’d like to play, including the Players and the Major Championships.
Business wise, I am soon to close out my first year of a three term on the PGA TOUR Policy Board. It has been educational learning the inner workings of the TOUR, hearing from very successful men of influence in the business world and being the voice of my peers on TOUR.
As for home, I am enjoying the rewards and difficulties of being a father, which are multiplied since I am able to be present in their lives right now during this break. I really see that as my most important job right now, to bring them up to know the Lord. I take Proverbs 22:6 very seriously when it says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from him.” So I am doing my best to show my boys what a compassionate heart looks like, what kindness looks like, what humility entails and ultimately what love does. Some days I do a better job than others; sounds a bit like golf. I wish all of you the best in your life journey, wherever you might be right now.
Have a great rest of the year and watch for me again at the Frys.Com Open October 9th.