I normally try and update this site on either Tuesday or Wednesday of each week. However, as most of you probably figured out, I did not play last week in Memphis. I basically pushed everything aside so I could spend a lot of time with my family. Other than the one night they flew to Dallas, I had not seen my family in over four weeks!! I finally have been able to spend some quality time with them. Since I left over a month ago, Beth has been trying to juggle life with two kids and I know it has been difficult. Her parents have been a tremendous help and we are very grateful and fortunate to have them just a few miles down the road. My little buddy, Jake, turned 3 on June 7th and he hasn't left my side. Beth told me that for weeks he walked around the house holding a picture of the two of us. She found him several times with it laying next to his dump trucks as he played. She said he would act like I was there playing with him! The thought still breaks my heart and you cannot imagine how ready I was to get home. As for Libby, unfortunately she didn't really know me when I got home and for good reason. I missed four and a half weeks of the first 6 weeks of her life. Pretty sad. And everyone thinks that life on the road is great!
As I told you week before last, the greens at the Memorial were extremely fast on Monday and some of the putts were impossible to stop. Like every tournament on the PGA Tour, as the week progresses, the green speed does as well. I approached Thursday morning's round with two goals in mind. First, I wanted to stay below every hole to insure that I would have a slower and more manageable uphill putt. And secondly, I wanted to avoid having a three putt. Well, on my second hole of the day, both of these goals were officially, toast! I played the par 5 (11th hole) perfectly from tee to green but unfortunately I left my approach shot about 15 feet above the hole. The slope of the green was very gradual and not very steep at all. But of course, it was still downhill. All I wanted to do was just get the ball rolling. I promise you, I just tapped it. As the ball left my putter, it began to pick up speed. And like the Energizer Bunny, it kept going and going and going. It rolled past the hole and when it finally stopped, I had about 10 feet left for par. When my second putt lipped out, my goals for the day went down the drain. As I walked off the green shaking my head, my playing partner, Jason Dufner, smiled and said, "Guess you learned you can't be above the hole!" He went on to say that the greens at this week were faster than the greens at Augusta National! He played in the Masters this year and said they were at least three feet faster. For those of you that don't know a lot about golf, three feet on a putting green is a lot! I later heard Ernie Els say the exact same thing on the Golf Channel. There is no doubt in my mind, that for the first six holes, the greens at the Memorial were the fastest greens that I have ever putted on. It was similar to putting on your kitchen table and trying to stop the ball before it fell of the edge. Unfortunately, on my seventh hole, a huge storm rolled in and the rain slowed down the greens. I finished the day at even par and really wish I could have experienced the greens at their maximum speed.
Unfortunately, a tired and aggravated hip played a major factor in my round on Friday. I spent a lot of time during the week in the rehab trailer with my normal treatment as well as some extra work. Four straight weeks of golf without an off day finally caught up to me and I was feeling the effects. Last year at this point in the season, I had competed in only 6 tournaments. So far this year? 16! I knew my hip was over worked and it needed some rest. I unfortunately was forced to withdraw from the Sectional Qualifier of the U.S. Open. This was extremely disappointing because all I needed was two solid rounds of golf and I could have competed in my first Major. Not to mention that this year's U.S. Open is at Pebble Beach! Oh well. I had to think long term and a 36 hole, one day qualifier, was probably not the smartest thing to do on a bum hip. The good news was that I was going home to see my family and I couldn't wait!
I haven't hit a golf ball since Friday's round at the Memorial and my hip is feeling pretty good. I will ease into practice this week before heading back on the road Sunday. I am scheduled to play next at the Travelers Championship just outside of Hartford, Connecticut. I am really looking forward to hopefully some cooling weather up north! However, as for now, I cannot wait for tomorrow and another day with my family.