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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Welcome to the second installment of "Postcards from Parker."

I'm writing to you from Scottsdale, Ariz., after a whirlwind week at the Sony Open in Hawai'i, my first event as a PGA Tour member.

I can't thank the fans of Hawai'i enough for their support and the people at the Sony Open for giving me the opportunity to play in such a great event. From the very beginning of the week, with all of the local television and radio interviews, I knew it was going to be a special experience.

It was a thrill to host Inside The PGA Tour for The Golf Channel this week, because it gave me a chance to show the viewers all of the beautiful sights of O'ahu.

Obviously, it was a disappointment to miss the cut by a shot, but I was really excited for Tadd Fujikawa and found myself cheering him on over the weekend.

With Dean Wilson and myself now on the PGA Tour, and with golfers like Tadd and Michelle Wie excelling at such a young age, everyone involved with junior golf in Hawai'i should be proud.

Now I'm back in Arizona, going through a month's worth of mail, and starting to get into the full swing of getting back to work for The Buick Invitational next week by getting on the range, working on some of the mistakes I made last week, and making sure that I don't miss the next cut by one shot!

Join us as we take a tour on the PGA Tour with Parker McLachlin, a former Punahou athlete. McLachlin earned his PGA Tour card for the upcoming season. He joins Castle alum Dean Wilson as the only Hawai'i golfers on the PGA Tour. McLachlin will write his impressions on events that he's just completed and tournaments that are upcoming on his calendar.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

It has finally set in that I am on the PGA Tour. Ended up playing a couple holes with a guy who Monday-qualified. I thought back to last year when I Monday-qualified and years before when I was trying to Monday-qualify. I thought, "Wow, I don't have to do that. Cool."

The grandeur of it all. It's the PGA Tour, the Big Show, the place where every aspiring golfer wants to play and there's only 125 guys that get to keep playing each year. It's a small club and it's tough to be a part of, but I'm a part of it for this next year and hopefully many years to come.

We didn't set any main goals for the year that were too result-oriented. A lot of the goals were more process-oriented. Things like continuing to improve in greens in regulation and driving accuracy, continuing to manage my time away from the golf course better, manage my practice time better.

Being among those considered for rookie of the year is probably the main "result" goal because if you are in that category you've had a really solid year and done a lot of things really well. All the others are "process" goals.

The year on the Nationwide Tour has really prepared me to deal with the events of the week and space out my practices throughout Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. To understand how much rest I need to get to be prepared for Thursday through Sunday.

It's hard, especially here. All the different things tugging you each different way like hosting "Inside the PGA Tour" this week and doing different TV shows like "Leahey and Leahey," doing different interviews for local news stations. Every day as I'm going from the putting green over to the driving range they are stopping me and asking for an interview. I need to plan that into my schedule, whereas on a regular tour stop I'll probably be anonymous and walk right to my range spot no problem.

Obviously the autograph seekers — that's an awesome thing but you need to have a pen in hand and be ready. Just the passers-by who stop you for two or three minutes and say, "Congratulations, so excited to see you play." I'm taking the time to talk to each and every one of them because it's not going to happen anywhere else. I'm trying to enjoy and savor it. I think it's pretty special that people are so excited. They are really genuinely rooting for me.

As I'm walking from the clubhouse to the course eight or 10 people will say, "Hey Parker," and shake my hand. It's a huge difference from last year. If I talked to 10 people last year at this tournament, maybe two would know who I am. This year it would be like eight out of 10.

There are a lot of people that paid attention to Q-School and the media coverage pertaining to Q-School. There's a lot more people that recognize and want to wish me well, so I'm really taking the time to say thank you. It's a long day and you've got to do it with a smile. For other guys who have been out here 20 years, it's old hat or they don't want any part of it.

But this is my first year. It's something that's really, really exciting to be a part of and I've just been grateful for how much people are supportive.

I also remember coming out to watch Michelle Wie when she first played here and it was a huge deal. People were really excited about her playing. But I think people are getting used to it, in a good way. I think it will be really electric if she can play on Saturday.

I think her wrist is hurting her a little bit. I would have thought she would have healed in the offseason. I hope she has some time off after this.

Her misses aren't as bad as they were a few years ago. She hit some fairly loose shots a few years ago and now she is much more together, a much tighter game. That's the biggest difference.

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