Grinding Hard in Greenville!

I’m checking in from about 20,000 feet on my way from Greenville to Springfield, IL. I had an exciting week here at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, finishing 15th in a rain-shortened 54 hole event and moving back up to the 23rd position on the Web.com points race. Even more exciting were the 20 birdies I tallied- if we had been able to play a fourth round, I’m sure I would have beaten my birdie record rom Sarasota!

There were a slew of thunderstorms moving through the southeast this week, and because of that play was halted several times with hours and hours of delay. We were lucky to even finish 54 holes, with another storm breaking out shortly after the conclusion of play! (Unfortunately that meant missing my Sunday night flight and two other flight cancellations on Monday morning…).

I was 11 under par and in 5th place through two rounds, where we played the Cliffs Valley course and Thornblade club both. My putter was practically unconscious (I worked really hard on my speed control following the poor showing in Raleigh) and I totaled 140’ of putts made in the first round at the Cliffs. I took advantage of the par5s, playing them 7 under par for the first two rounds. 

There was definitely plenty of offense, but the four bogies I made in the final round were what held me back from another top 10 finish. I didn’t hit enough fairways to attack a few flags, and my mid/long irons were not shaping as consistently as I would like. My swing coach is coming in this week to Springfield to help iron out a few kinks in the golf swing, and we hope to be competing again late on Sunday for more points, birdies, and a high finish!

This is a really busy stretch this season- I am planning to only take two more weeks off for the remainder of the season (Wichita and Springfield, MO) which means I’ll have played 13 out of 15 weeks to end the year. I’m starting to miss my own bed!! But more than anything I’m excited to grind hard and see if I can lock up a PGA Tour Card these next few months.

Thanks again for your support, and buckle up!!

Maverick

Raleigh / Columbus Update

Checking in with a few updates here, first from Raleigh’s REX Hospital Open at TPC Wakefield Plantation and some bonus golf in Columbus at the US Open sectional qualifier. Unfortunately, there was not much success in these two endeavors, missing the cut in Raleigh and failing to qualify for the US Open. However, there were some positive trends and my work is starting to pay off in a few ways.

TPC Wakefield Plantation was in the best shape I have ever seen it, due to one of the driest springs on record. Last year we were navigating rivers flowing through every fairway, and this year conditions were firm and fast. I actually hit the ball pretty well this week, but continuing a trend from Chicago, the putting and short game did not cooperate as much as I would have liked. I hit nearly 80% of my greens in regulation, which was well above my season average of 62% (ewww!). That is a positive, and I am continuing to try to sharpen my ball striking as the summer goes on.

 

Missing the cut meant I got to fly to Columbus a day early, where I practiced at Brookside CC Sunday morning and played a round of golf at Scioto Country Club (Jack Nicklaus’ home course growing up) to prepare for the “longest day in golf”. I was exempt through local qualifying for the US Open by virtue of being top 500 ranked in the world, but unfortunately didn’t finish as strongly the last 11 holes to advance through sectional qualifying. 

 

Scioto CC was one of the best courses I have played all year, and with long rough it was a true tournament test. I also snapped a picture of it from the air flying to Greenville, SC for our next event. I needed to play my last 11 holes in 3 under par to qualify for the US Open, but an untimely double bogey on the 8th hole at brookside and a bogey on 9 effectively ended my chances. That being said, I started off the second round with two birdies and an eagle in my first four holes to give myself a chance!

 

I am starting to see positive signs with my golf game, and feel like good golf is right around the corner. Good scores come and go, and I just need to stay patient until they do come around.

Thank you all for the support and encouragement, and more importantly for your generous support of Curriki. People ask me every week what it is for and I cannot wait to tell them all about the amazing things we are doing with Birdies for Education!!

My best,

Maverick

Glenview/Chicago Recap

Hello from the Windy City!

Unfortunately it was a short week in Chicago. I finished the first two rounds at one over par, to miss the cut by three shots. I made seven birdies, but a few too many bogies. On the bright side, those seven birdies have brought us to 174 on the season. And a special thank you to everyone who has honored their pledges and sent in their donations either via check or through the “my account” portal on the B4E site. I sent in mine last week, and we all really appreciate it at Curriki!

The Glen Club was a great Tom Fazio design, though it was very water-logged with the constant thunderstorms over the week. It also means this was the last go-around for my now-brown shoes… But with the dark skies and bushes, the fourth hole had a definite feel of a Scottish parkland course!

The positive takeaway from that week was that, after two weeks at home hitting a LOT of golf balls, my golf swing is improving quickly and it was the best I had hit the ball tee to green in a long while. Still a ways to go, but it was a definite improvement. My short game and putting went MIA for some reason though

A highlight of the week was ordering my deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s and then driving towards Lake Michigan in hopes of “seeing something cool”… and I was pretty floored by what I found! There was a beautiful lookout over a public beach, and the perfect weather made it even better. However, I did not waste any time going back to Lou’s to pick up my pizza!

Thanks again for all your support. Please watch for my Raleigh recap shortly. I was t-2nd at one point last year on Friday, so I know it’s a golf course I can play well at!

Nashville Update

Our weekly Birdies for Education update is that I tallied 14 more birdies the week of April 29 at the Nashville Golf Open, bringing the total to 167 on the year and a total of over $201k raised for Curriki. Unfortunately my birdie production has declined slightly as of late as I finished tied for 60th, but I can promise that I am working hard to make more birdies and fewer bogies!

After missing the cut in San Antonio, my caddy Travis and I flew to Nashville a day early to play a 9-hole golf course called Sweetens Cove near Chattanooga, and it definitely did not disappoint. It is a top 100 golf course in the country (despite only being 9 holes), had some of the most interesting and fun hole designs I have ever seen, and even had two holes cut in every green so that you could play it twice. As crazy as the greens were, it felt like two different golf courses! And for just $40, the greens fee is every bit as understated as the entrance sign… It was really a treat to play.

The Nashville Golf and Athletic club, where the tournament was hosted, was very different yet interesting as well. It was a pretty extreme golf course, and the toughest walk of the year. You get a bit of a sense of the scale of the elevation changes by looking down the 7th hole… And the first green was one of the crazier greens I have ever played. It was only 9 steps wide, with a bunker right and sloping into the water on the left. And we had to hit our approaches from 170+ yards.. I holed a bunker shot for birdie on the first hole of the tournament here!

But the best part of the week was getting to stay with Peter and the Webb family. Peter is my agent, but between the upstairs soccer games with Reins and Addison and Brooke’s protein pancakes (see @kbstyled on Instagram to find the recipe!), I had a fantastic week off the golf course.

For those who have pledged, thanks again for all your support, and please continue to spread the word about B4E!! For those who have not yet pledged, an exciting part of the season is coming up–Raleigh, Greer, and Springfield, and a busy July and August.

Prattville and San Antonio Update!

It was a quick few weeks here on the road to kick off the busy stretch of the Web.com Tour season. The week of April 15, we were in Prattville, AL for the Robert Trent Jones Trail Golf Championship, and the week of April 22 we played Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio. I finished T37 in Prattville, carding 16 birdies and an eagle, but unfortunately missed the cut in San Antonio despite making 12 birdies in two rounds.

From a golf perspective, what plagued me these past two events were “Big Numbers”- I made a triple bogey during the first round in Prattville on the 17th hole (but made two birdies and an eagle to get my average back under par for that hole :). And in San Antonio, I made a 13 (yes, a 13) on the 13th hole…. I lost four consecutive drives right in the tall grass on Thursday. I still managed to shoot a 75 though! And just to rub a little salt in the wound, when a playing competitor hit his ball in the right weeds on Friday, we found my first two balls, both in playable position, within two minutes….

The highlight of the Prattville week was the fresh batch of Curriki towels that my caddie Travis brought- I’d say they look great on the bag!! And from San Antonio, Briggs Ranch quickly became my new favorite course on the Web.com Tour. Each hole felt isolated in the middle of nowhere, and it was one of the more peaceful, yet exciting golf courses we have played. After missing the cut, I joined my parents for dinner at the San Antonio Riverwalk, which was one of the most unique places I have ever been. The river is no more than 20 feet wide, and goes straight through the city with sidewalks on either side, lined with restaurants, and massive cypress trees and buildings rising above both sides. Plus, we enjoyed a great San Jose Sharks win!!

Thank you all for your support. I am really excited that the Web.com Tour is going to bring added exposure to our efforts. Their communications and marketing teams are putting together content and looking at ways to help leverage the Tour to get more involvement and awareness of what we’re doing here!

It’s back to the range for me, going to work on debugging my golf swing and get back to basics. The great news is that my short game and putting are better than they have ever been!

Stand by for my Nashville update.