Career High Finish Again!

by Scott McNealy

A slower start than hoped for on Thursday and Friday led to a major charge up the leaderboard for Maverick on the weekend.  His last 27 holes had him eight under par.  Not sure anyone was better.   But time ran out and he secured his best ever finish on the PGA Tour with a t5 finish.  And the second best round of the day at 68 on a cool and blustery day that showed why Pebble Beach as a major tournament venue.

The excitement was off the charts.  A birdie on his second hole of the day on the 11th got things going.   But birdies were hard to come by everywhere.   In fact, finding the greens with the wind, firm surfaces, and very fast greens was beyond challenging.   Short game and especially putting became paramount.   And Maverick saved par numerous times with what he called “easily my best round of putting ever.”    Quite a statement from what I consider to be one of the top putters on Tour. 

Par save after par save let to a monster drive on the Par 5 second (his 11th hole).  A long iron to the back of the green set up this eagle putt.

Eagle Putt!

And later, he drained this putt on the par 3 7th hole.   Epic deuce on an epic hole.

Birdie on Famous Par 3 7th Hole

This final putt was maybe his most rewarding.   A bogey free round in those conditions was truly incredible. 

Maverick drains a par putt on the last hole!

A week off.  Then he heads to Puerto Rico and then to Florida for the swing through the Sunshine State.

Thanks to Maverick for all of the thrills and birdies.  And especially to all of you out there supporting him and his quest to raise $1m for www.birdiesforeducation.com

I am going to stand down from blogging for a while.  Back to my day job making a difference in K12 education with Curriki.

Scott

New Best Career Finish at Torrey Pines!

In my second of back-to-back weeks to start the year, I finished 15th at Torrey Pines for my best finish yet as a professional. And while this was great, it came on the heels of the best two days of ball-striking and worst two days of putting I can remember as a professional to start the tournament!

Torrey Pines

I opened the week with a solid one-under-par 71 on the more difficult South course (site of next year’s US Open), where the notorious Torrey Pines rough was on full display. I hit the ball beautifully, particularly with the driver, taking the 6” rough all but out of play. I just couldn’t get a feel with the putter though, and aside from making two putts from 10-15’ on the last two holes, I made nothing outside of 6’ all day. Despite all this, I had the 11th best round of the day on the South course, and was sitting in 50th place.

The second round on the North course was much the same, only shooting -1 despite innumerable birdie opportunities. At the end of the round, I was tied for 51st, outside the top 100 in putting, but leading the tournament in fairway %.

To start the third round one the South course was much the same, I tapped in for a nice sandy save on the 10th hole and 3putted for bogey on the 11th. But on the 12th, I figured out a tiny setup change in my putting, and made a crucial 7 footer for par. I followed it with a 20 footer for birdie, and then I was off to the races. On the back 9, my driving was just a fraction off and I played more from the rough than the previous two days combined; however, on the heels of a putter that ‘finally’ woke up, I shot a 3-under 69 and jumped 30 spots to t21.

The final round felt like a return to “normalcy” for me.. I hit the ball well but not perfectly tee to green, and very efficiently cleaned up any messes with the putter. I hit two awesome shots leading to a 2putt birdie on the 13th, and made a great birdie on the 16th hole making an extremely fast 6 footer. Two more pars to finish my tournament left me in solo 15th position, moving me back up to 71st in the FedEx Cup and with my best finish yet.

Maverick visits the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar
Maverick visits the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar

Another cool thing I got to do was visit the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar and sit in the cockpit of an F-18… I got to spend 10 minutes in a flight simulator, where the plane was surprisingly easy to fly, but even more surprisingly difficult to land. I attempted an aircraft carrier landing but ‘only’ missed high by about 100 feet. Better than missing low!!!

My next event will be after a week off at the AT&T Pebble Beach.

Thanks for all your support!!
Maverick

Kicking Off the Year in Palm Springs!

Hello everyone from the first event of 2020!

Well, it was supposed to be my second, but a bad bout of the flu kept me from going to the Sony Open… which may have been a blessing in disguise, as the winds were upwards of 40mph and I got a few extra days to prepare for the 3 golf courses in the “golf dome” that we call La Quinta!