After a tough first round at the PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open â€“ mainly due to the front nine – I knew that a strong post-round routine would be key for me. My post-round practice and mental evaluation were all positive, and I spent time thinking about my goals to get me mentally prepared for the next day. That was one of the biggest lessons that I learned from this tournament.
When I got to the range on Friday morning for the second round, I felt relaxed and ready to compete. My warm up was positive and I walked over to the first tee feeling excited to play. I was off from No. 10 to start the day and played a really solid front nine with seven straight pars. I had a bogey on 17 after hitting my approach shot short and wasn’t able to get up and down. Overall though, I was playing much better and this was building confidence and momentum.
On the back nine, I continued to play good golf and made birdie on 2 and 3 to go to 1-under for the day. On No. 6, I had a bogey to bring it back to even for the day.
I was excited to have a really good approach shot on the 18th hole (No. 9) and made the putt to go back to 1-under for the day. It was very rewarding to birdie the last hole both days and really helped keep my confidence high as I finished at 3-over for the tournament.
Having the chance to play in this tournament was amazing. It was a great experience to play with the pros and to watch them prepare and compete.
Some of the biggest things I took away from this experience were that it is not the perfect swing or perfect game that gets you to the PGA Tour. The mental part of the game is so important with how you manage yourself and your game and also just being able to find a way to get the ball in the hole.
And so I will continue to work on my mental skills and strategy at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy as I finish my senior year preparing for the next step in my career.