Well, Quail Hollow certainly lived up to it's reputation. An immaculate golf course, enormous clubhouse, large and energetic crowds, and a very, very expensive courtesy car made for a great week of golf. As you know, the week began bitter sweet with the birth of my second child, Libby, and the passing of my good friend, Hal Sharpe. My mind obviously wondered throughout the week as I thought about how Beth was handling things at home and how the Sharpe family was dealing with their loss. I tried to focus the best I could but there were times where my concentration just wasn't sharp. I played decently well considering my lack of preparation, sleep, and mental state. I finished the week in a tie for 29th and considering all things, it wasn't too bad. The last few holes at Quail Hollow are extremely difficult and are considered by many to be the hardest three finishing holes on tour. The media nicknamed this stretch of holes "The Green Mile." I entered Sunday's round with nine pars on these holes during the first three rounds. My goal was certainly to play these holes under par but given their difficulty, anything around par would be an improvement versus the field. After an unfortunate bogey on the par four 16th, I entered the long par three 17th. This hole is surrounded by water and the crowds are huge. Most people sit here to watch the wind play havoc on the players and in most cases, the water ends up with a nice, brand new golf ball. I was fortunate enough to hit a five iron to approximately 7 feet, the closest of the day. I made the birdie putt and after a par on the difficult 18th, I walked away from "The Green Mile" even par and unscathed. This was also my first event with Tiger in the field and unfortunately, he didn't play well. Remarkably, he missed the cut in a non-major tournament for only the 6th time in his career!
I am sure a few of you got a kick out of my inability to drive my Mercedes Benz S400 Hybrid courtesy car at the beginning of the week. Well, to save face, I finally figured it out and enjoyed its use during the remainder of the week. However, just to make sure I wasn't completely ignorant, I had several of my family members sit in the front seat and attempt the operate my fancy automobile. To my pleasure, they all failed. So, either we are all ignorant or we just don't belong in something that nice! I would have to say both.
This week has been a blast. I hurried home from Charlotte Sunday night and thankfully made it back in time to tuck Jake and Libby in bed. I played in the Georgia Southern Pro-Am Fund Raiser on Monday at Forest Heights in Statesboro. My team won the entire tournament for what I believe to be, the fourth or fifth time. It was basically a family affair as I was joined by two brother in-laws (Russ Yeomans and Jon Butler), my step brother (Matt Rountree), and my former UGA roommate (Bruce Kelly) who by all accounts, is considered family. I returned home that evening to an anxious little boy who refused to leave my side. Jake has been my shadow this entire week and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Libby has already won my heart and she reminds me of Jake as a newborn. She makes the sweetest sounds and I have only heard her cry one time since she joined us last Tuesday. I am very lucky to have two healthy children and I cannot wait for the years ahead. I am also very fortunate to have such a wonderful wife who takes care of our family when I am on the road. I know it is a difficult task trying to nurture a newborn while simultaneously attempting to tame the wild monkey that is our two year old. I am truly blessed and I cannot fathom how she manages everything. I know I couldn't survive without her.
Next week I will be in San Antonio. To my understanding, the course is a new venue for the Valero Texas Open and it is extremely difficult. Several of the players who live in the area and play the course on a regular basis, say that they rarely, if ever, break par. It is a new TPC course that opened earlier this year and I have heard nothing but rave reviews. I normally play the difficult courses well so hopefully next week's event won't be any different. Regardless of it challenges, I will have plenty of time to tackle it when I arrive. As for now, I am just going to enjoy the time with my family and hopefully the little shadow won't leave my side!