I first want to apologize for my absence on this blog since my disaster trip to Mexico. I have played in two events since my last post and my lack of communication is due to the continued frustration I am having with my game. I am still struggling with my putter and my scores are reflecting this ongoing battle. I have gone through countless putters trying to find a similar weight and feel to the one that broke during my tournament in Hawaii. However, as much as I have tried, nothing seems to look and feel the same. I certainly will not give up on these efforts. The most frustrating part of this ordeal is that my ball striking has been solid enough to play well each week but my efforts on the greens are holding me back. I am missing a lot of easy putts and the opportunities to score well have been slipping away. My statistics on the greens aren't terrible and my rankings on tour are respectful. But as most of you know, I don't accept mediocrity and I set high standards for myself. I have heard a thousand times to "be patient and the putts will fall." However, time is money and opportunities have been lost. I will find an answer and hopefully this is the last time I have to discuss my putting issues.
To backtrack a little, the Phoenix Open was a great experience. The atmosphere was everything advertised and I highly recommend a trip to the desert for those of you who enjoy watching golf. The crowds were enormous and the 16th hole was insane. One guy that I played with, Derek Lamely, made the ultimate mistake while playing the 16th. He took offense to some of the comments from the crowd and yelled back at them. Big mistake! Several highly intoxicated guys got out of their seats and heckled him all the way to the clubhouse. It was hilarious and they really got under his skin. Obviously, the language was not G rated and he only fueled the fire with his smartellic remarks. All in all, the week was very positive but it was my cold putter that led to rounds of 72-71 and a missed cut.
After my round on Friday, I took a red eye home and slept in my bed for the first time since January 1st!! I got to spend the weekend with Beth, Jake and my black lab, Bo. It was great to be home and certainly nice to see how far along the builders have gotten with my new house. I also got to drive my new truck for the first time since I bought it back on December 30th. I canceled my flight to West Palm Beach and drove the seven hours instead. It was a great drive and I certainly didn't miss the hassle of flying.
The Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was another great event on the PGA Tour. The golf course was very difficult and the wind blew hard everyday. This golf course demands great ball striking and it never lets up. Birdies are hard to come by and even good shots can lead to double bogeys or worse. For the most part, I hit the ball well enough to have some pretty low rounds. However, a cold putter made this impossible and the entire week was a struggle. The highlight of week came on my final three holes on Friday. I found myself standing on hole 7 (my 16th hole), needing three birdies on the last three holes to make the cut. I was very frustrated at this point because I was playing much better than my score indicated. I couldn't believe that I was in this predicament and forced to make three birdies in a row on a golf course that refused to yield birdie opportunities. However, I didn't quit. I hit a 6 iron to five feet on the 225 yard par 3, 7th hole. I made the putt and actually got some airtime on the Golf Channel for once. I went to the next hole, a 455 yard par 4, and hit a 8 iron to around 10 feet. When this putt fell, I had a chance to play the weekend. I walked to the difficult 430 yard par 4, 9th hole, and the wind was dead in my face. I hit a good drive and hit a hard 9 iron to around 20 feet. The putt was a double breaker and since I was the last group of the day, the green was beaten up with both ball and spike marks. I watched the putt roll and bounce toward the hole and when it fell in center of the cup, I felt as if I had won a tournament. I couldn't believe what just happened. I, Blake Adams, a man who has battled with his putter this entire year, just made 3 putts in a row!! I couldn't believe it. I had played 15 holes earlier that day and missed every putt and every opportunity I had. All of sudden, the putts fell when my back was against the wall. What a crazy game! I made the cut and felt like I won a million dollars!! I played the weekend and I wish this story could continue with the words of made putts but it wasn't the case. I struggled on the greens but all was not lost. I made a check and I can, and will, learn from the experience.
I am at home this week for a much needed break and family time. Beth and I had our 5 year anniversary on Friday, March 5th, but unfortunately she was at home and I was in Florida. We will celebrate it sometime this week and I am looking forward to spending time around the house. I will practice throughout the week and hopefully work out the kinks in my game. Next week, I am playing in the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida.