After 3 weeks on the road, I was getting a little tired and knew I needed to conserve my energy. I played one practice round, the proam and practiced very little on the range. I spent more of my time on putting and short game since I know where that is where you score each week. The day before the tournament started, it poured in Asheville so I spent the day with my inlaws at the Biltmore. It was beautiful!! We took a tour of the house, had a delicious meal, and tasted some wine. It was a perfect day to get away from the course and be a tourist. I took the whole day off from golf and it was much needed!
My Uncle used to live in Asheville and set me up with an awesome caddie, Mark Hughes. He has caddied in professional events and is a local teaching professional. He grew up playing the course and helped me tremendously with the greens! After the rain on Thursday, a cold front came through. We played Friday in temperatures in the 50s, wind, and rain. It was miserable but I hung tough and had 7 birdies to shoot 67. It was the most solid round I put together all year and found myself with a 3 shot lead. Plenty of golf left though. On Saturday, I shot 74 and it seemed as if nothing would drop. I made everything on Friday, and absolutely nothing on Saturday. It’s funny how golf can be like that! I finished bogey, bogey and that was a sour taste in my mouth. On Sunday, I made a push for the lead when I was 3 under through 4 and tied for the lead. It was what I needed, but I made several mistakes and fell out of it. I birdied my 17th hole to shoot 73 and tied for 4th. Another top 5, but frustrating to start off so well and not be able to put 3 rounds together. I think I’m struggling with that right now and eventually I’ll put 3 days together and finish on top. It’s all a learning curve!
I had awesome housing this week, thank you Dan and Becky! Thanks to all of the fans and my family for coming to watch. I am so lucky to have such a supportive family who will drive several hours to watch me play. After I finished my final round, I drove 4 hours south to Atlanta to catch a flight at 11pm to Orlando. I had to be at Golf Channel studios at 6:45 and I knew I was in for a short night’s sleep!