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Monday, January 25, 2010

So Long Desert....Hello Pacific Ocean

Well, my first missed cut on the PGA Tour certainly didn't feel like a missed cut. As most of you saw, I finished the Bob Hope Classic at 7 under par and missed the cut by two shots. This was extremely frustrating because I played a lot better than it showed. I just didn't score as well as I should have and left the course each day feeling aggravated. I hit a lot of great putts that rolled over the edge of the cup but never seemed to fall. I am having difficulty adjusting to my new putter. It is very difficult to build two putters exactly the same. I had a back up made last year while on the Nationwide Tour but it doesn't feel the same. There are several variables that come into play when building clubs and sometimes it becomes more of a guessing game.

Last week was a crazy week in regards to the weather in Palm Springs. It rained most of the week and for the FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS, THE BOB HOPE CLASSIC HAD A RAIN DELAY!! That is hard to believe. Welcome to the desert, I guess. The streets were flooded but the golf courses drained well enough for us to play.

I was fortunate enough to have several guests join me in the desert. Beth and Jake, along with her parents, H.G and Carol Yeomans, and my mom and step-dad, Freda and Mike Rountree, came to watch me play golf. They left Georgia with the expectations of temperatures in the 70's and lots of sunshine. However, they were greeted with lots of rain and temperatures in the 50's and 60's. Fun, Fun!! They didn't complain and the rain actually gave us more family time. Jake came to the golf course everyday and was sitting in the stands each morning when I walked to the first tee. It was a great site to see!

I thank Larry and Brenda McNabb for hosting Beth, Jake, and I this week. They have a guest house and it was perfect for our stay in the desert. It sits on the 13th hole of one of the courses we played during the Bob Hope Classic. Jake was able to hit golf balls in the yard as his daddy walked down the fairway. Thank you so much for the hospitality. We are forever grateful and cannot thank you enough.

This week we are at Torry Pines in San Diego. There are two golf courses (North and South Course) with the most difficult one being the South Course. The US Open was played here in 2008 and you guessed it, Tiger won. I arrived to San Diego last night and played the South Course this morning. When I arrived to the course, Rife (my putter company) built me three putters to hopefully match my broken one. I worked all day with the new putters and also made a few changes to my TaylorMade irons. Hopefully these adjustments will end some of the troubles I have had recently with my new equipment. We will see!

Be sure to watch the coverage on TV this week. The views are incredible!! I will take some pictures this week but they won't do justice.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Sony Open and The Bob Hope Classic

I first want to thank everyone for their support last week while I was at my first PGA Tour event in Hawaii. It means a lot to know that people are sitting at work and home, watching my every move. I am grateful for all the kind words and support and I hope you continue to follow my weekly adventures.

Last week was without a doubt, one of the greatest highlights of my career. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to play and compete on the PGA Tour. As I stood on the first tee Thursday afternoon, the thoughts that raced through my head were incredible. I couldn't help but think about the long journey that lead to my first official tee time as a member of the PGA Tour. From my first swing around the age of three to the grind on the mini-tours, I worked a lifetime to reach this point.

I remember when my dad would carry me to the golf course to hit balls along side my brother, Chris, regardless of the weather. I remember when my mother would drop me off at 8am during the summertime to play 36 holes and practice. I remember her returning that evening, only to sit patiently in the car, as I chipped and putted under the lights of the parking lot. I remember being a Freshman in high school and beating my brother (who was a Senior and going to play golf at Vanderbilt) for the first time (in a tournament) to win the Sub-Region Championship (sorry Chris, that one stung, I know). I remember the countless number of junior and amateur tournaments as well as the hundreds of college and mini-tour events. I remember a lifetime of golf that lead me to the first tee on Thursday.

As I stood there, waiting on the official to call my name, I couldn't help but think about the two people who have been there from the very beginning. My Mom and Dad are the reason I stand here today as a member of the PGA Tour. Their dedication and support cannot be overlooked and for that I am forever grateful. I truly believe that my willingness to fight and my refusal to accept failure came from my Mom. As a teenager, I remember her battle with breast cancer. She refused to give up and vowed to fight the monster that threatened her life. She stands tall today, not only as a survivor, but also an inspiration to continue to fight, regardless of the odds. There is no doubt that my laid back personality but extreme competitiveness came from my Dad. Even though he always wore a smile on his face, he hated to lose. His outward demeanor never truly expressed his determination on the inside to win. He was truly my "coach" until the day he passed in 2004. He taught me sportsmanship and the importance of being a gracious loser. He taught me how to learn from my mistakes and use those failures to improve in life as well as on the field.

I also thought of Beth. I cannot thank her enough for being such a loving wife and an incredible mother. My life on the road would be impossible if there was chaos at home. She is dedicated to our family and she is without a doubt, my best friend. She is my heart and soul and I am lucky to have her as my wife.

And of course, I thought about the hundreds of people who have touched my life and helped me throughout this journey. From my brother and sister, grandparents, step-dad, and family, to sponsors, roommates and friends along the way, I am extremely lucky to have each of you in my life. Each of you are aware of the role you have played and I am thankful to have you in my life.

I wasn't nervous but I did get chills on the back of my neck when the official announced for the very first time at a PGA Tour event, "Now on the tee, from Eatonton, Georgia, Blake Adams."

However, as pleased as many of you were with my 25th place finish, I have walked away from the tournament with mixed emotions. While there were lots of positives to pull from this event, I failed to achieve the majority of my goals. I am extremely competitive and I don't like to fail. I set goals every week and I strive to accomplish them. I worked extremely hard yesterday and today to improve on the mistakes I made last week. I will continue to set high standards for myself and I will accept nothing but success.

This week I am in Palm Springs, California, for the Bob Hope Classic. The weather is normally around 75 degrees but for some reason, things have changed. It has rained heavily both days this week and the temperature is in the mid-50's. Our tournament is a Pro-Am format and it begins tomorrow. I will play four courses over the next four days. On Sunday, a cut will be made and the low 70 players will play for all the marbles. It is a great format and I am looking forward to competing against the best players in the world. Hopefully, the weather will improve as the week progresses.

As most of you know, 99% of our tournaments begin on Thursday. However, due to the Pro-Am format and the four golf courses involved, the Bob Hope Classic begins on Wednesday. My original plan was to leave Hawaii around midnight on Sunday night(thats 5am real time!!) and arrive in California around 10am Monday morning. However, things quickly changed on Sunday morning. I was invited to join several players for an earlier flight into Palm Springs aboard a G4. This plane was incredible. It was by far the nicest airplane I have ever been a passenger on and we arrived around 11pm Sunday evening. I had a great time hanging out in a very relaxed atmosphere with Boo Weekley, David Toms, Brian Gay, Harrison Frazar, and Tim Petrovic. It was an experience that I will remember for a long, long time. This earlier flight gave me the opportunity to practice all day Monday. Several of my friends were on my original flight and they got delayed due to the bad weather. Most of them were not able to practice on Monday.

I cannot thank you enough for all the support last week. I received several emails, texts, and voice mails while in Hawaii. I appreciate all the kind words. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed. I seek perfection and I will strive to achieve it. I let several opportunities slip away last week and I will continue to work hard and improve in those areas. I will succeed and I refuse to fail.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Preparation for the Sony Open..

January 11, 2010 will forever stand as a special day in my life. At 7 am, I drove into the parking lot at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Sony Open, site of my first official PGA Tour event, will be remembered as the starting point of hopefully a long and prosperous career on the “big” tour. It has certainly been a long journey but regardless of the route, I am here. I owe hundreds of people a lifetime of gratitude for helping me reach this point and I am forever grateful. Each of you is aware of your role in my career and I cannot thank you enough.

Monday was definitely a great start to my PGA Tour career. I was greeted and welcomed by many friends of old as well as several Tour Veterans. It was a little strange having guys I grew up watching as a child acknowledge my accomplishments of 2009 and offer their friendship. I played my first official practice round with Ryan Palmer and Chad Campbell. Ryan and I were friends back on the Hooters Tour but this was my first encounter with Chad. He was very nice and offered tons of advice on the golf course as well as life on tour. I had a great time and I felt right at home. I practiced a lot on Monday and there was plenty of sunshine. I think the weather was around 80 degrees and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I certainly enjoyed my first official day on the job and I left the golf course excited about the days ahead.

Tuesday brought much of the same activities. I arrived early to practice and play the course again. I spoke with more players that I admired as a child and had a pretty good laugh as I looked down the range. To my left and right were six players ranked well inside the top 25 in the world. There was a pretty good crowd behind us taking pictures. I laughed a bit and wondered if anyone had noticed the redneck hitting balls between these highly ranked players. I am sure they didn’t. But regardless, in my eyes, we all put our pants on the same way. I played that day with Boo Weekley and had a blast. As we stood on the first tee, John Daly and Pat Perez walked up. Again, I wasn’t intimidated by this, but it was weird to see these guys on the same tee box. Boo is a great guy and I met him years ago through Josh Broadaway. They are great friends and were roommates during Josh’s first year on the Nationwide Tour. We talked a lot about hunting and fishing and he offered tons of advice on the course. Boo is very genuine and as you know, what you see is what you get. I laughed the entire time and cannot wait till our next practice round.

Today, Wednesday, was a roller coaster of events and emotions. I was invited to play in a Sony Pro-Am on the other side of the island. The views were incredible. Mountains, waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the beach were in every direction. I began the day with everything smooth sailing and the weather was once again incredible. However, as the Pro-Am began, things were about to take a turn. On the first hole of the day, my bag came unstrapped from the golf cart and fell to the ground. I picked it up and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I about threw-up. My putter was bent and it was well beyond repair. This would be a problem most weeks. However, when you are in Hawaii and your backup is in Georgia, this now becomes a MAJOR problem! In addition, most club reps leave around noon on Wednesday to go home to their families. Luckily, the reps of my putter company (Rife) were still at the main golf course. However, they were only minutes away from leaving for the airport. They searched around and found a shaft similar to mine and drove 45 minutes to my Pro-Am golf course to build me a new putter on site!! Incredible! It is not exactly the same putter as the one before, but it is close, and definitely better than nothing. I am going to the course early in the morning and practice. I have yet to hit a putt with it because I had to give the glue and grip time to dry. Hopefully, it will act and feel similar to the old one.

As I sit here on the couch, preparing this blog, I can’t help but laugh. Throughout my career, I have battled obstacles and adversity. It is only fitting to walk into my first PGA Tour event with something out of the ordinary. Oh well, such is life. I will deal with it and prepare myself the best I can. Thanks for all the support. I cannot wait till tomorrow!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Proud To Be An American.....

Pearl Harbor. What more can you say? When spoken, these two words will touch a special place in your heart. However, when you see this National Monument for the first time in person, it magnifies those feelings beyond belief. I was fortunate enough to walk along these hallowed grounds today for the first time in my life. I didn’t need Hollywood around to add special effects or the glitz and glamour of the big screen. The mighty Arizona, a ship of rusted metal that sits below the water, is a sight that Hollywood cannot duplicate. The visible oil and the image one makes when thinking of the soldiers still trapped below are beyond belief. The huge monument that sits as a tribute with the name of soldiers who lost their lives on that fateful December day is indescribable. And the American flag, waving proudly above the white structure which sits atop the Arizona remains, makes you proud to be a part of this great nation. I thank those of you who have served our country for the freedom we have today. Pearl Harbor is a special place and I walked away having an even greater appreciation for the red, white, and blue.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

They sure are lucky.....

Here are a few photos of a couple of guys that showed up on the 16th hole while I was practicing in Palm Springs, CA, on Friday. As you can see, I got within probably 20 yards of these incredible animals. They are definitely lucky I only had my golf clubs!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Is this winter?

Is it still considered winter if the temperature never gets below 75 degrees during the day?? I apologize for those of you who have snow or ice on your front porch but this weather is incredible. I flew into Palm Springs, California, on Monday evening for a week of practice before I head off to Hawaii on Saturday. I came to California looking for warmer weather as well as a chance to practice and prepare for the Bob Hope Classic. This event is played the week after Hawaii and due to its Pro-Am format with celebrities, it is played on four different courses. I have practiced all week on these courses in preparation for the event and I have certainly enjoyed seeing the sun tan on my arms and face reappear. I have plenty of rust on my golf game but it is definitely headed in the right direction. Hopefully by next Thursday, all the awkwardness and rust will be gone and things will be back to normal. I hope all of you are doing well and please stay warm and safe. I know most of you are surrounded by snow or freezing cold temperatures. Sorry to rub it in, but I have to go and put sunscreen on!! HaHa

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Me? A blogger?

After months and months of refusing, I have finally broken down and become a blogger. WOW! I was very reluctant to create this site because I never felt my weekly activities on the road were worth reading. However, after tons of requests from friends and family, I have decided to move forward and hopefully give you an insight to my life on the PGA Tour. Please sign up to follow this blog on the right hand side if you so choose. This will give me an indication of whether or not this is worth while. Also, I welcome any requests or ways to make this blog better. I am new to all this, but I believe you can also leave comments. Thanks for all the support.