Last Updated May 31, 2011 6:52 PM EDT
This is one of the most challenging parts of my job. When you feel like you've done everything right and it will lead to immediate success... and then it doesn't. It's almost like there's something illogical about the conclusion -- it doesn't add up the way you think it should. And when you look for the answer why, the best one is completely unsatisfactory: Some days, you just don't have it.
What do you do then?
Wanting some reassurance, I met up with two PGA Tour veterans. I knew they weren't going to give me any slam-dunk solutions but still, it couldn't hurt to talk to some guys who have been at this longer than me.
First, I talked to Paul Tesori, who caddies for Webb Simpson. I went through my whole prep routine with him and came away with a very helpful piece of advice: Instead of spending all of our time trying to cram to know every detail about a course, my caddy and I should talk more about game play and specific scenarios. What will I do if the wind blows east? Which club will I feel most comfortable with? We need to talk more explicitly about these possibilities.
Then I had lunch with Ben Crane, who's been on Tour for 10 years. Ben asked me what my weekly plan usually looks like, when I arrive for a tournament, when I practice, etc. His advice was simple enough but something that I needed to hear: Take one day off completely every week so that I'm fresh when I tee off.
All good suggestions. I was so fired up that I called my caddy and told him I wanted to go hit for a couple of hours.
The following day I teed off for the British Open qualifying event. Thanks to the threat of three tornadoes, baseball-sized hail, and a six-hour delay, the 36-hole event turned into an 18-hole event. The good news is, I played better than I had for the last seven days. The bad news? I missed the playoff by one shot.
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