My last post was written a few days before the Transistions Championship in Tampa. This event was located at Innisbrook Resort and once again, the course was in perfect shape. I played and practiced very well during the first part of the week. My practice round on Tuesday was played with Kenny Perry and Josh Teater. Josh and I have known each other since around 2002 and he is a great friend. Kenny and I have become good friends as well and he has taken me under his wing so to speak. I am very blessed to have someone of his stature and experience to play and practice with each week. He is truly one of the nicest guys on Tour and despite being one of the top 10 players in the world, he acts like a normal guy. He lives in Kentucky and is a small town guy like myself. I really respect him and I am very grateful for all his guidance and advice. I was glad that Beth and Jake got to meet him and we all went to dinner one night. He loves watching Jake hit golf balls and laughs whenever he is around him. I cannot wait for the day when Jake realizes how many great players have watched him hit golf balls! Its amazing to think that he is two years old and has hit golf balls at Pebble Beach and four other great venues on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, when Thursday rolled around I didn't play as well as I did at the start of the week. I missed the cut by one lousy shot but I certainly played well enough to make the weekend. I was paired with two great players, Justin Rose and Bob Estes, but once again, I walked away from an event very disappointed.
I went home last week and spent time with Beth and Jake. I checked on my new house and hopefully they will install the cabinets and floors this week. I also went turkey hunting a few times and played golf with several of my friends. I am currently in Houston, Texas for the Shell Houston Open. This course is geared as a warm up event for those players in next weeks field at the Masters. The greens are lightning fast and firm and the area around the greens are shaved down low. The course committee does a great job emulating Augusta National. As always, I have practiced very hard this week and look forward to the days ahead. I ate dinner on Monday with several friends including current U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover. He invited me play a practice round with him on Tuesday and we were joined by Woody Austin. Both of these guys were very helpful and offered a ton of advice on how to attack this tough golf course. I had a blast with them and look forward to playing with them again. After we finshed, I continued to practice and was the last man standing on the practice area. I found myself putting under the lights well into the darkness.
To steal a line from Jim Carey and the movie Dumb and Dumber, I walk into this weeks event hearing him say "so you're saying there's a chance". If I were to win this week, I would be in the Masters next week. The thought makes me nauseous. Not because of nerves or the fear of competing in the greatest tournament on earth, but simply because I would achieve a lifelong dream. I have been fortunate enough to play Augusta National twice and have attended the Masters as a spectator more times than I can count. However, to actually play in the tournament would be ridiculous. Obviously, the Masters is my World Series. I remember as a child, my friends and I would gamble for cokes because we were broke and didn't have any money. The golf course let us charge the drinks to our parent's account which obviously didn't make them very happy when the bill came at the end of the month . However, during every bet, I fondly remember having a putt to not only win a coke, but to win the Masters. I have always dreamed of playing in the Masters and even though this season has been a struggle by my standards, I still have a chance. One good week. That's all it will take and I can walk on hallowed ground as a participant in the greatest golf tournament ever. "So you're saying there's a chance!"