Sunday, July 31, 2005

2005 NHL Draft

The draft is complete and the Penguins surprised no one by picking future superstar Sidney Crosby with the first overall pick. This kid is so incredibly good already; I won't be surprised to see him in the top 20 in scoring THIS YEAR!

Buffalo really needed a defenseman in the draft and looked to be in good shape when Marc Staal, a Sudbury blueliner, continued to fall towards them. However, the damn New York Rangers swooped in one spot ahead of the Sabres and took him. The next best defenseman was Ryan Parent, who I am not particularly enamoured with, as he's a defensive defenseman and we need a guy who can provide some offense from the back. Thankfully, the Sabres drafted the best PLAYER available in Marek Zagrapan, a highly skilled centre from the Quebec Major Junior League. He looks as if he could be a star if he bulks up a bit.

Buffalo stocked up on defenseman later in the draft and really got a good one in the sixth round in Slava Buravchikov, the highest rated Russian defenseman in the entire draft. The reason he fell so far is because there is a new rule in place that you must sign all European players within two years of drafting them or else they go back into the draft. I guess Buravchikov is going to be a tough signing (still may have army commitments in Russia) so people shied away from him. Regardless, he is a supreme offensive defenseman and hopefully the Sabres can get him signed sometime next year.

Overall, I'm relatively satisfied with Buffalo's draft. I don't like their second round pick much (a German left winger I had never heard about) but everyone else looks decent. Only time will tell.

Day One Update

I shot a 78 in the first round of the club championship yesterday morning, which places me in a tie for sixth place. After today's round, the field of 28 golfers will be cut down to the top 12 and ties so I'm in decent shape to start.

Unfortunately, the leader shot an incredible 66 yesterday, giving him a nine shot lead after round one! That's just great golf! My round started with a bogey but then I settled down and played some of the most solid golf of the year. I parred everything up to the eighth hole, a par five. I ended up going for the green in two and just came up short. However, I was able to get up and down for my birdie to take me to even par on the day. I parred nine to shoot a fine 36 on the front. After pars on 10 and 11, I came to my nemesis hole, a 206 yard downhill par three with water on the left side. I put the ball into the water there at least 1 out of every 4 shots so I bailed out right into a bunker. I hit out to 15 feet and proceeded to three putt for double bogey. I doubled the next hole as well when I got into tree trouble and the collapse was on! Three pars in a row were followed by bogies on the last two for a 42 and my 78 total.

Overall, I'm disappointed in the score but pretty happy with the way I played. I didn't really miss many putts so that's a positive. I'm not really thinking about the cut right now; I'm going to play a bit more aggressively today in an attempt to fight for second place. I figure a score close to par is attainable right now for me and that's my goal.

We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Two More Days...

Club Championship is almost here! I'm even going to practice for TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW! First time for everything right?!

Of course, this all coincides with the busiest two-week stretch at work this year, as my warehouse manager is on vacation out in Western Canada. This means I have to open AND close the business everyday, meaning a workday of 6:45am to 7pm. I missed my baseball game on Monday because of this, which certainly isn't a big deal.

The girlfriend has been understanding as well, which is a relief. I couldn't make dinner on Tuesday but we went for a walk and an ice cream in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a beautiful little tourist town in the region. Last night I joined Jacky and her friend Jodi, who is visiting from Calgary, for drinks at 'The Office' in St. Catharines. Jodi was the last of Jacky's good friends that I hadn't met. Interestingly enough, Jodi is married to a former CFL great who was a three-time Grey Cup MVP. I'm not a big Canadian Football League fan but it's still pretty damn cool!

Which takes us to Club Championship on Saturday morning. 7:39am tee-off time with Ben, Dr. Gary and another guy I don't play with often. This is a great foursome for me, as Ben and Gary are two of the guys that could win this thing and I'm hoping I can motivate myself to stay with them. I'm going to work on my chipping and putting after work tonight to build my confidence there. Tomorrow, I'll work more on the long game.

Toast is also playing in the tourney but doesn't fancy his chances for some reason I don't understand. He's playing solid golf this month and I feel he'll make the cut. As for my chances in the event, I feel that if I play 'good' (77-77) golf, I'll make the cut. If I play 'great' golf (ie: 74-74 or better), I have a legitimate shot at winning. Now, what are my chances of playing good or great, you may ask? Maybe I'm overconfident but I give myself at least a 50/50 chance of making the cut. I'm not even going to think about winning right now: instead, I'll construct a game plan and try to stick with it for at least the first round. I'll re-evaluate Saturday night to determine how aggressive/conservative I have to be to stick around for Monday's final round. The real key will be my short game; if I putt like I did at the Niagara Men's Tour event at the beginning of the month, I'll be fine. If I putt like I did this past weekend, I don't have a chance in hell of playing on Monday.

It should be a fun weekend. I'll likely go into detail about my game plan tomorrow night and post it here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Odds n' Sods

Only five days until Club Championship, the biggest event on my golf calendar and my game has once again gone into the gutter, especially with the putter (ha, that rhymes!).

Tuesday July 19th:
I went without a lunch today so I could leave work early to play some golf with Harris. We got to play the Copperhead Course at Rattlesnake Point in Milton, a pretty spiffy Clublink course. I somehow only got charged 'junior rate' (I'm 32 years old!), which was a paltry $50.00 on a course that normally charges $140.00. Sweet! The course was excellent and I played pretty well, scoring 81 from the back tees, which measure 7300+ yards. I was five over on my last four holes so I just ran out of gas near the end of the day. I've got some pictures of the course that I'll put up soon.

Friday July 22nd:
The NHL Board of Governors ratified the new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association today. Commissioner Gary Bettman also discussed the new rules that would take effect for the 2005-06 season, all designed to open up the game and help increase scoring. The hope is that these changes will make the sport more exciting for the fans; I am in favour of most of the changes (downsizing goalie equipment, moving the nets closer to the back boards to open up the neutral zone, tag up offsides) but still am not sold on the idea of shootouts. I will give it a chance though. After the news conference, the NHL held the 2005 Draft Lottery to see who won the right to select superprospect Sidney Crosby. They counted down in reverse order, from #30 to #1 in order to add some drama to the proceedings. The big 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOO' you may have heard around 4:12pm EDT was probably me crying out when Buffalo's name was read at the unlucky #13 spot. Ah crap. In the end, it came down to Pittsburgh and Anaheim, with the Penguins getting the coveted #1 pick for the draft, which takes place on Saturday July 30th. GM Craig Patrick has already said that they'll be taking Crosby...quelle surprise! As far as Buffalo's pick, I'm hoping Darcy Regier is able to pick up a top defensive prospect; the team lacks a true #1 defenseman and it's a pretty deep draft for blueliners.

Jacky and I saw the movie Spanglish, starring Adam Sandler, on Friday night. It certainly isn't a typical Sandler movie: more of a drama then I was expecting and Sandler was pretty much a supporting character to his Spanish nanny in the film. There were some nice moments in the film but I can't really recommend the movie wholeheartedly; I wasn't a fan of Tea Leoni's performance, for instance...she plays Sandler's mentally unstable wife and I cringed almost every time she was onscreen. It literally was like nails-on-chalkboard everytime she spoke/wailed in this film. Paz Vega, the Spanish nanny, was charming and is quite gorgeous, a cross between Penelope Cruz (says Jacky) and Salma Hayek (says I). Her scenes with her daughter and to a lesser extent, with Sandler, made the film fun to watch in parts. Overall, two and a half stars (out of four) from this reviewer!

Saturday July 23rd:
Brought my pals Deron and Damon out to St. Catharines this morning for some golf. They enjoyed the course, both shooting 96 or so. I was pretty bad, somehow getting around in 78 despite missing a ton of five footers. Not good to lose confidence with the flatstick so close to Club Championship.

Later that afternoon, I went with Jacky up to Burlington to meet her old university roommate Danielle, her husband Rich and their 3 month old TWIN children...along with their very large and rambunctious dog Roxy and three cats. Oh boy...it was hard work just being their GUEST!!! I have all the admiration in the world for parents with twins; the whole night was just non-stop chaos! Fun chaos, but chaos nonetheless! The babies took turns crying the whole time and the dog continually kept getting into things she shouldn't have causing much grief for our hosts, who handled everything with aplomb. Good people and a fun, yet hectic night.

Sunday July 24th:
Today was the least fun I've had on a golf course this year. I hit the ball pretty well, hitting 12 greens in regulation, but just couldn't make a putt to save my life again in shooting an 81, with 39 putts. I kept my composure throughout the round but it must have been painful for my playing partners, one of whom was Toast, to watch me struggle with the five footers. It's so hard to remain positive out there when you can't hit the ball close enough to the hole to guarantee a make. Just a very depressing round for a guy who thought he had a chance to do something in the Club Championship. Very morose, I know. Ah who knows, maybe I'll find the secret ingredient before Saturday.

How could I cheer myself up? Winning lots of money from the tourists at Party Poker! My bad day was to continue, however. Sitting at the same table as Toast, I proceeded to get stung for $100.00 at $25 N/L, my worst ever session online. Talk about biting into my profits! I decided to quit in favour of a long nap before the Panda's 7pm hockey game, which we ultimately tied at six. Of course, I went right back to the well when I got home, joining Toast again for another online Party Poker session. The nap earlier must have been good for me, as I had my single largest winning session right after my worst, profiting $87.00. So all of that and I'm only down $13 on the day. What a silly game!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hockey is Back...Does Anyone Care?

Well I do...kind of.

First of all let me state for the record that I love professional hockey. I'm a huge Buffalo Sabres fan and I've owned partial season tickets in the past. I pay extra on my cable bill for the NHL Center Ice package, which allows me the luxury of seeing any NHL game I want.

All that being said, I didn't miss hockey at all last year. Not one bit. I just found other things to do with my spare time.

I laugh at people who are bitter and mad at the league for the lockout, saying they'll never watch again. Give me a break! Get a life people! Restaurant & bar owners and businesses that rely on the the league have legitimate beefs but that's it.

I'm looking forward to all of the action that's going to start taking place after the ratification of the deal later this week. The draft takes place in a few days and is much anticipated due to the introduction of Canadian phenom Sidney Crosby to the pro ranks. The Sabres, along with the Rangers, Penguins and Blue Jackets have the best chance (6.25%) of getting him in the draft so it should be an exciting day.

I might even get season's tickets again this year! Should be a fun couple months of player moves and free agent acquisitions!

Monday, July 11, 2005

I Need a Nap

The incredibly busy summer continues. In capsulated form:

Thursday July 7th:
I had to battle a fellow named Graeme in the first round of the Newlands Cup. Graeme is a 10 handicap, meaning I'd have to give him seven shots during the match. One of my frequent golf partners Ben joined us for the round. I started off with a bang, nailing a 25 footer for birdie on the first hole to take the 1up lead. It was shortlived, however, as Graeme got a stroke on the second hole and was able to get back to even. I played the front nine in 39 shots, not a terrible score by any means yet I was THREE DOWN through nine. This guy was just playing fantastic golf. Then came the back. I birdied 10 and parred 11 and 12, winning all three holes (even giving him a shot on 12 didn't help him) so we were now all square on 13. He took advantage of his shot there, with his net birdie beating my par. I evened it up with another birdie on 15 but his par/net birdie on 16 gave him the lead again going to the 17th hole. He started throwing up on himself (figuratively not literally), three putting the hole to bring the match to all square. Then on 18, after we both destroyed drives right down the middle, he airmailed his approach over the green and couldn't get up and down, giving me the match 1up. What a tough match...I shoot a 74 and barely am able to get by! Oh yeah, Ben shot a ho-hum 69...boy do I wish I had his talent!

Friday July 8th:
Work sucks right now. Everyone is either a) on vacation b) sick or c) suspended due to violent behaviour (long story). Meanwhile, I haven't had a full week off in almost two calendar years. The Rabid Pandas opened their summer season with a convincing 7-2 victory tonight. I had a goal and two assists in the contest; our team has picked up a few new players and we look really good...maybe a second consecutive championship is in order!

Saturday July 9th:
Played poorly at the club today, shooting a 79. Lost $9.00 out there today to boot. Just hitting it all over the park right now and I hope I can straighten out my driver before tomorrow's Niagara Cup opener at Hunter's Pointe G.C. I took Jacky out to Fresco's for dinner Saturday evening. I had this pretty nice seafood pasta (spaghettini with shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops). We then caught Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the movie theatre. No plot, just a means for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to look good and show off their great chemistry. And that unbelievably worked, as I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Jolie has to be the hottest woman on God's green earth. I had to clean the drool off my chin a couple of times...hopefully Jacky didn't notice! ;) Three stars out of four and recommended if you like the lead actors. Don't go if you dislike them...this movie absolutely depends on you liking these two.

Sunday July 10th:
The Niagara Cup is a local interclub tournament between all of the courses in the Niagara Region. You get put into a flight with two other courses and play three match play events: first one is usually a two-man scramble, second is usually a two-man best ball and the third is singles. I say usually because one of the clubs in our flight, Niagara-on-the-Lake G.C. had to drop out, meaning that only St. Catharines and Hunter's Pointe would do battle in this flight. We've also decided to forgo the scramble matches and just have the best ball and singles events. I was paired up with our young club champion from 2004, Josh. I'd never played with him before so it would be interesting teaming up with him. We were pitted against the top player at Hunter's, Stephen, who also is the points leader on the Niagara District Men's Tour; I haven't heard of the guy he was paired with. Just like Thursday, I started off with a bang. All four of us drove it left, three of us, including me, in the fairway bunker. I hit a pitching wedge from about 115 yards right over the stick to about 7 feet. My partner Josh hit his in there about 25 feet away while the other team hit their shots to about 35 feet each. Josh ends up nailing his long putt for birdie, allowing me to pick up and off we went! We ended up winning #2 and #3 as well...a dream start against guys at their own course. Things started getting out of hand on the seventh hole, when I dropped a 30 footer of my own for birdie for the 4up lead. Josh made a nice par on 10 to give us an incredible 5up lead but the Hunter's Pointe team FINALLY won a hole with a par on 11. Their mock celebration was pretty funny and broke the ice a bit. Josh is an INCREDIBLY quiet person...nice kid but not a conversationalist at all. I was fine with it to be honest...it gave the other team the impression we were here to play and made us a bit more intimidating. Anyway, any thought of them getting back in the match was dashed when I sunk a monsterous 40 footer on the tough par four 13th for birdie to give us the 5up lead again. I missed about an 8 footer for birdie on the 14th (you're welcome Toast!) but we were able to win the match 5&4 with the par. The event awards three points for each match (one for the front nine, one for the back nine and one for overall) so we had locked up two of the points. Unfortunately for us, the other team decided to get hot right at the end of the match to take the back nine point. We were 1up on the back nine on the 17th tee but the unknown player went birdie/eagle on the final two holes to give them the one point. St. Catharines is slightly down after the first event, 5.5 points to 6.5. The singles events take place at our club in August. I was thoroughly impressed with my partner Josh's golf game; very poised for such a young guy. I totalled his score up after the round and noticed that he shot 34-38 for an even par 72. That's just fantastic golf! I was erratic out there but my putter was solid enough for me to post a 76. We also won a skin for the birdie I made on 13 so that was nice too. Hunter's also put together a REALLY great dinner for us (bacon wrapped chicken with grilled vegetables) along with this rich cheesecake for dessert and complimentary booze! Wow! Great day!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Newlands Cup

I have to beg out of work a bit early today to play my first round match in the Newlands Cup Match Play tournament at the golf club.

The Newlands is the overall match play championship at St. Catharines G&CC, open to all male members of the club regardless of handicap. Full handicap is used in this event and my opponent today is a 10, meaning I have to give shots on 7 of 18 holes.

I am the defending champion of this event so I'm looking to repeat obviously. I'm feeling much better about my game these days, especially compared to one short week ago. My short game has really come along and I feel if I stay out of trouble, I should win the match today.

I'm going to be ultra conservative out there today: I'm not aiming for ANY flags today unless I'm inside a hundred yards - middle of the green only. My winning formula has always been to let the other guy make the mistakes; unfortunately, I got away from that formula during my Langley Cup loss from a couple weeks ago.

Should be a nice afternoon! Hopefully better than my hour and a half on Party Poker last night.

I got DESTROYED last night in N/L action. Just throttled. I misplayed one hand that cost me about $10.00 but the rest of the time I just got outflopped by inferior starting cards. Toast came back from his losses to me the night before, making me his b#tch on a number of occasions and singlehandedly taking about $30.00 from me when he flopped QUAD TENS versus my pocket aces. That hurt...a lot. But that's poker for you. Gotta keep my head high and keep playing through the tough spells.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I'm All-In!

Well, Toast was the one who pretty much lured me into online poker so it was natural that he be the one to pull me into playing No Limit as well.

Up until Monday, all of my play on Party Poker had been at the micro-level $0.50/$1.00 Limits. Toast, enchanted by the No Limit game during his Degree Poker Championship adventure, started playing more of the $25 N/L game on Party about a week and a half ago, with great results.

I started my poker playing days playing no limit but my game has regressed quite a bit due to the lack of practice. I'm modest enough to admit that Toast's game is better than mine right now. And he proved it, taking me for about $20 or so in our first night of No Limit. My 'moves' were too easy to predict and he ate my lunch at the table. I ended up losing $35.00 that first night.

Last night was a different matter. I did some reading the night before and knew I'd have to change gears a bit to be able to handle the no limit game. I'd especially have to modify my game almost by the minute playing against a solid player like Toast.

The newfound strategy worked last night, as I made all of the lost money back from him. Actually, on one hand, I went all-in after the flop came down giving me a nut straight to the ace. He knew I hit the straight but correctly called me with his two pairs due to pot odds. Fortunately for me, the straight held up and I took down the relative monster. We try to avoid each other for the most part when playing at the same table but at a six-handed table, these battles become inevitable.

Overall, I made back $28.00 of the original $35.00 I lost the previous night in no limit and am up a pretty substantial margin on Party Poker as a whole (through my limit game).

This online stuff is fun!

Hitch

Jacky and I had plans of catching a flick at the theatre last night but I had to deal with some ugly issues at work and ended up getting out pretty late. We ended up catching a quick bite at Players Restaurant in St. Catharines and then heading to Blockbuster to rent a DVD.

We picked up the Will Smith, Kevin James and Eva Mendes vehicle Hitch. What a fun, entertaining movie this was! Perfect after a tough day at work.

Smith certainly has come a long way from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Very engaging actor and he was very likable in this movie. Same thing with James; he is great with the 'slapstick' humour but also shined in the quieter moments of the movie. Mendes is just SMOKING HOT! Nuff said there!

The final act was kind of stale, as writers seem to think we always need the whole 'Three's Company' routine of having a major misunderstanding come in the way of a relationship. "We need drama!", they must say.

In the end, everyone lives happily ever after, as they always do in these types of movies. Either way, a really fine romantic comedy. Three out of four stars from this reviewer! Highly recommended!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Has it Been Two Weeks?!

Goodness, have I ever been letting down my readers! Here's the mini update:

Tuesday June 21st -
Took the day off work to get the car serviced. They tell me I need four new tires and new front brakes. However, I'm leasing the car and there's only seven months left on the lease. Therefore, I doubt I'm paying over a grand to fix up a car that I'm not keeping. Then I ventured to the Fallsview Casino for twenty minutes to catch Toast playing in the Degree Poker Championship. Looked really cool! Read about Toast's experience at Golf + Poker. Later that day, perhaps fazed because of the service issue, I lose my first round Langley Cup match at the golf club to a pretty unknown player. The Langley Cup is the 0-7 handicap match play championship at St. Catharines G&CC, an event I made the finals in last year but lost. I was incredibly disappointed in the early round loss this year although I'm proud of the comeback I made. I was down the whole match and was 'dormie' after 16 holes, meaning I was two down with two to play. I ended up winning the 17th and 18th to send the match to extra holes but missed another four footer that could have extended the match. Damn, the putting sucks right now.

Saturday June 25th -
My buddy Jay came out to play at the club today. My game is at its low point for 2005: my putting is horrible - at least, my confidence level is in the toilet, and without that, you have nothing. I shot an 80 and I go into a major tournament tomorrow without a putting stroke. At least I had a great dinner at Jay and his wife Laura's place this evening. My girlfriend Jacky got to meet them for the first time and everything went well.

Sunday June 26th -
One of the major events on my tournament schedule this year is the Rolling Rock Open in Bradford, Pennsylvania at Pine Acres Golf Club. Eight guys from our club take part in this annual tournament, a two-man best ball championship. Toast was my partner in this tournament, his first time playing here (and my second). The tournament was a disaster, not only from a personal performance standpoint (I shot an 84 and only contributed two shots to our team score, as Toast shot 76 and our team score was 74) but from an overall perspective. Rolling Rock pulled their sponsorship for an unknown reason. Now, this isn't the biggest deal in the world but last year there were little kiosks set up all over the golf course, with mini barbeques, beer kegs and drink stations to replenish your system. This year: NOTHING. Not even f'n WATER on the course! It was about 92 degrees out, I might add. Toast really was upset about the whole thing and rightfully so: I had talked up this tournament so much to him and Harris (who drove us down and played with his buddy Preston), making their expectations high. Needless to say, they weren't met. At least the golf course still rules as does the ice cream! My golf game is at the low point of my LIFE right now from a competitive standpoint.

Wednesday June 29th -
The Rabid Pandas, my ball hockey team, win the SCBHL D Division Championship tonight! This is our fourth championship since we formed our team in the Spring of 2002. Awesome!

Thursday June 30th -
I've got 'work golf' today. This had to be the first time in my life that I wasn't looking forward to playing a golf tournament and DEFINITELY the first time I had a chance to get out of work to play and really was ambivalent about it. I'm so lost on the putting green that I want to run and hide! Nowhere to hide today, as Scott Paper Limited invited my father and I to participate in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Charity tournament being held at highly esteemed Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville. The Abbey has hosted the Bell Canadian Open on the PGA Tour countless times and this is only my second time playing the course. It's a scramble tournament though so there wouldn't be too much pressure on me in this event...and it provided me with the chance to turn things around. I performed much better today and actually seemed to figure things out on the greens today. THANK GOD! Our team shot a 64 in the scramble format and we birdied our last six holes in the process. What a great golf course! I really enjoy the layout here and hopefully Harris' buddy Preston can get us out here before the season ends.

Friday July 1st - Canada Day!
Ah, a holiday weekend! Putted really well today again and shot a 77. Game is coming around! I won $40.00 in skins today, my best ever performance. Jacky and I went hiking down to the Niagara gorge in the afternoon and just relaxed on a big rock down on the Niagara River, watching the jet boats go by. Great afternoon! We topped it off with an AWFUL dinner at Boston Pizza (our first...and last time at that place) and a GREAT excursion at Avondale in Niagara-on-the-Lake with Deron, Tanya and their newly turned one-year old daughter Mikayla. Great day! I end the night telling Jacky that I might quit the Niagara District Men's Tour unless I do well in Saturday's event at Rolling Meadows G&CC in Niagara Falls. I'm just fed up playing all these golf tournaments and being mediocre. I love golf and I love competition but if I'm just out there shooting 80 all the time, why bother? I just haven't been competitive lately and I absolutely hate it. I need to know that I can play with these guys. If I can't, I should just get out...

Today -
The third leg of the Niagara District Men's Golf Tour from Rolling Meadows Golf and CC. I went to the club early to hit some balls and chip and putt. The short game session goes extremely well: the putting stroke seems to be back. My long game session is erratic to say the least. Oh well, as long as the putting is there, I can put together a score. My group tees off on the back nine at Rolling Meadows and the 10th is a 120 yard par three. Easy par to start. I par the 11th and then make an ALL-WORLD par on the 12th, a 197 yard par three. The hole was playing into a strong wind so I pulled out my three-iron rescue club. Gripping down on the club to play a three quarter shot into the green (I was inbetween clubs), I literally smoke the ball through the wind and hit it 40 YARDS OVER THE GREEN! I end up hitting my pitch shot, from behind trees to within three feet and make the putt. One of my playing partners called it a "one out of ten shot"; I corrected him and said I'd be lucky to get up and down from there once out of 25 chances. I rode the wave, making birdie on the next hole and finishing my first nine with an even par score of 35. After a couple bogies, I proceeded to birdie my 14th hole of the day to get back to one over for the day and really thought I could win the event. Alas, I missed a pretty routine birdie putt from 12 feet on the 15th and then had my only brain fart of the day on the 16th, hitting my four iron into a hazard and making a double bogey to end my chances of victory. In the end, I shot a fantastic 74 today and ended up with my first ever top ten finish on the Tour!!! I finished 6th today and made the prize table as well. It was really cool today: a lot of the guys knew I was down about my game (I told the organizer of the event about possibly leaving the tour because of my poor performances) and they came over and congratulated me for the round, telling me that I definitely belong out there and that my game is good enough to win events.

It's funny how quick things can change in golf. A few days ago, I was so down on my game that I contemplated leaving tournament golf. And then today, I put together a round so good that I can't remember the last time I felt so satisfied about my game.

Should be an interesting day tomorrow. Golf, of course, in the morning and then I'm taking Jacky to a family barbeque in Burlington. It will be the first time she's meeting my father's side of the family. Looking forward to it!