When I left Swainsboro three weeks ago, my expectations were high and I was excited to get back to work. Unfortunately, my body and the amount of rust I gathered from my two week layoff didn't feel the same way. I failed to make a cut and I decided to take this week off to rest and rehab my ailing hip and back. As you know, I am extremely competitive and I don't accept failure. Regardless of how my body feels or how much rust my golf game accumulates, I expect to play well each and every week. My body is not even close to 100% and for good reason. I have played in almost as many tournaments this year as I did in all of 2009 and according to my calendar, it is only July. I chose to withdraw from this week's event in Reno, Nevada, at the last moment because I figured my body could use the extra rest. My goal is to be as healthy as I can when the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin in late August and in order to achieve this, rest and rehab are a must. If I buckle down and play well during the Playoffs, I can end my season early and enjoy an extra month or so of the off season. We will see how it plays out. However, regardless of what happens, an aching body isn't an excuse or a reason to play bad golf. I expect to succeed regardless of the circumstances or adversity that I face. Fortunately, I did have spurts during the last three weeks where I felt my game was turning the corner. The only problem was that those spurts were usually interrupted and derailed by either a bad swing or a missed putt. Hopefully this off week will give my body some extra time to rehab and I will be back to normal next week in Canada.
Despite the horrible display of golf over the last three weeks, things weren't all bad. My family was able to join me for the first week in Connecticut as well as the last week in Illinois. I certainly wanted them at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois, but after Jake's week of being sick in Connecticut, I wasn't sure if they would be able to attend. Jake's ear infection was gone but I was still concerned about the pressure the flight might have on his ears. Beth assured me that he would be fine and when they boarded the plane in Swainsboro, Jake was excited and ready to fly to the home of John Deere. For those of you who have never met my wild three year old son, his world revolves around golf, tractors, trucks, and excavators. It certainly is a blessing that his PaPa (Beth's dad) has a great deal of equipment just four miles down the road. He loves riding on his PaPa's toys and I knew he would really enjoy the John Deere Classic. When they arrived at the airport, I was there waiting on them. We loaded everything up and after dropping their suitcases off in the room, we immediately headed to the golf course so Jake and I could hit golf balls. As an added bonus, the roads leading to the golf course clubhouse were lined with every piece of John Deere equipment imaginable. Jake of course begged me to stop the car so he could ride everything. Luckily, he got his fair share of equipment riding. Each year the tournament puts on a player only event at the John Deere Test Site called the Big Dig. They had hats, shirts, and toys for everyone as well as small riding equipment for the kids. Jake has a John Deere Gator at our house and he was by far the expert on the battery operated equipment. However, his biggest thrill came when we were allowed to operate the huge excavator and front-end loader. I really was suprised that they let everyone operate the equipment without a "real" John Deere expert on board. I honestly figured I would see a runaway bulldozer or tractor at any moment! Thankfully that never happened. We had a great time and even though he can ride his PaPa's equipment whenever he wants, he really enjoyed the John Deere Test Site. In fact, he got so many gifts that we had a difficult time convincing him that we had to go home. And believe me, that is an almost impossible task for a three year old who is obsessed with John Deere.
This week I am back home spending time with my family as we move in our new home. We have been anxiously awaiting this week for quite some time. Thankfully all of our furniture was already moved inside when we arrived Sunday night. Jake loves his new "big boy" room and he enjoys giving everyone a tour. Libby is growing up so fast and changing everyday. She laughs and smiles all the time and only wakes up once during the night to eat. Thankfully, she looks like Jake and Beth's baby pictures. I leave this Sunday for the Canadian Open and unfortunately my family will not be attending. I hate to leave them but I know they will be ok without me. I will be gone for two weeks and then I will re-evaluate my health and plan my schedule from there. Hopefully my body will be back to normal and good golf is right around the corner.