The Bob Hope Classic at PGA West in La Quinta, California, is one of the most unique tournaments on the PGA Tour. It is played over a span of five days, involves four golf courses, and pairs one professional with three different amateurs each day. Once again the weather was incredible and the temperature never fell below 72 degrees all week. After landing in Palm Springs around 3am Monday morning, I drove to the golf course bright and early to hopefully correct the mistakes from the week prior. There was definitely a sense of urgency with the first round beginning on Wednesday rather than our normal Thursday start. The short prep week wouldn’t have been as big of a deal except for the fact that my performance in Hawaii was less than satisfactory. I worked hard to improve the dismal iron play that lead to my first missed cut of 2011. I saw signs of improvement and entered the first round with a lot less rust and more confidence than I did a week earlier. Unfortunately, my putter decided to accumulate the rust that fell off my irons. Missed putts and wasted opportunities were a common theme throughout the week. My performance once again fell well short of my expectations but all was not lost. I safely made the cut and greatly improved my ball striking from my tournament in Hawaii. Hopefully I will have a week real soon where one area of my game doesn’t run away and disappear!!
The amateur portion of the Bob Hope Classic is what makes this event special. As I mentioned earlier, I was paired with three different amateurs for each of the first four rounds. I had some great partners throughout the week and I truly enjoyed spending time with each of them. Every one of my partners were extremely successful and powerful men at the pinnacle of their profession. I really enjoyed their stories of achievement and hopefully I can take some of their advice and apply it to my own career. There were two partners in particular who I spent a great deal of time with during the week. The first gentleman, Jay Goldberg, began a very successful career with IBM in 1961 and continued on to form several businesses of this own. He was extremely nice and we had a great time throughout the week. The second and final gentleman, Jim Crane, resides in Houston, Texas, and owns a hand full of companies. He loves sports and Major League Baseball is a huge passion of his for reasons I will let you investigate. Both of these gentlemen were tremendous partners and extremely gracious. If you have time, they are definitely worth a Google search or two!
I spent the week once again at my good friend's house, Mr. Larry McNabb. We had a great time as usual and I cannot thank him enough for the hospitality. On Friday, my college roommate at UGA, Davis Thomason, flew out to the desert and stayed with us at the house. He couldn't get over the perfect weather in La Quinta and I constantly saw him taking photos on his phone. I am sure he was sending them home to rub in the weather! We had a great time together and it was fun corrupting Mr. Larry with our Southern way of life. He will never be the same!
This week I am in San Diego at the legendary Torrey Pines. The tournament is played on two courses, the North and South, and once again the weather is expected to reach 80 degrees with little to no humidity!! The South course played host to the 2008 U.S. Open tournament where Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate in an 18 hole playoff. I have worked hard this week to improve on my mistakes from my first two golf tournaments. Hopefully, this will be my week and everything will fall into place. I made the cut here last year but a disappointing third round score lead to a mediocre finish. All the big boys are here this week. It should be an interesting tournament!