I just played in the AJGA FootJoy Invitational at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., and the Dogwood Invitational at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta. I finished T-34 and T-24, respectively.
The FootJoy was a fun but very frustrating tournament for me. My brother Tommy and I drove to North Carolina together in what was a very long road trip. We stayed at Thomas Walsh’s house in High Point, N.C., and we had a great time. Thanks Thomas and family!
But the golf was very frustrating. The course is host to the Wyndham Championship and was in great shape. The greens were new Bermuda greens, which were really firm. When you put firm greens with a lot of undulation, you have a tough combination.
My first goal was to make the cut. The past two years I have not, and fortunately this year, I got the job done! I shot 71-75-75-75. I didn’t play too badly, but I found myself pressing a little too much, and the pressing got me into some trouble. Congrats to Matt Gilchrest, fellow Golfweek blogger, who won the FootJoy! He played solid, and is a great player and friend. He will be going to Auburn this fall and I look forward to a few matches down the road!
Before heading to the Dogwood Amateur, I caddied for a great collegiate golfer, A.C. Tanguay, at the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at one of my favorite courses, Jimmie Austin Golf Club in Norman, Okla. She played incredible and made it to the quarterfinals, losing in extra holes to Doris Chen. I learned so much from caddying for A.C. She played fairly conservatively and shot low numbers. She was aggressive only when absolutely necessary. I also found that I need to talk to myself positively during rounds like I talked to A.C. during the tournament.
After the Public Links with A.C., my mom and I loaded up the car and headed on another road trip to Atlanta for the Dogwood Amateur. I always look forward to competing with the college players. It helps me to realize that I still have work to do, but that I can compete with them. One thing you have to do at the Dogwood is shoot low numbers.
Michael Johnson won the tournament with rounds of 64-69-63-64 (28 under), breaking the previous record by several strokes. I played pretty well and shot 69-75-70-68 (6 under). I just had one bad nine in the tournament, a 41 on the second day. Take that out and it’s a really solid finish.
The first two days I was paired with two good friends, Robby Shelton and Scottie Scheffler. The course was amazing. It was short at less than 7,000 yards, but if you missed fairways your score would definitely reflect it. I got a little too aggressive at the FootJoy, and after caddying for A.C., my gameplan at the Dogwood was to play middle of the greens, play par golf and hope some birdie putts went in. That plan helped a lot. I didn’t have any doubles or higher and I had two bogey-free rounds, on the first and last day. That strategy is something I will definitely put in play all the time now.
Ian Shapiro caddied for me at the tournament. We stayed at his house for the week, which is what we did at the 2012 AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions, too. Ian, his mom Kathryn and his sister Rachel cooked us some incredible food in the Big Green Egg cooker. Ian was my caddy and it was great having him there to keep me calm and to have someone to joke around with. I hope we can do it again! Plus, we have a pretty big rivalry in NBA 2k13 on XBOX. I can’t wait to whoop on him with my Oklahoma City Thunder again!
I learned several things from these tournaments, and at this point in my golf, that is very important. These learning experiences will help me in the long run and help me to achieve my goals.
The rest of the summer is pretty packed for me. I have the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions in Pennsylvania, then the AJGA Wyndham Cup at the Bridges of Santa Fe in Southern California (Go West!), the U.S. Junior Amateur at Martis Camp Golf Club in Truckee, Calif., and then the Junior PGA at Trump National in Potomac Falls, Va., near Washington D.C. I will then finish off my summer at the U.S. Amateur in Brookline, Mass., in mid-August.
It will be a lot of fun the next few weeks! Hopefully, I’ll have some good news to bring you from those events!
Until next time, Boomer Sooner!