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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Greetings from this week's EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Texas.

Last week was my first time in New Orleans and it was one of the more cultural experiences my wife and I have had on the PGA Tour so far. We saw the sights and sounds of the famous French quarter, listened to some great jazz, ate a lot of really great food, and spent quite a bit of time observing the devastation that happened from Hurricane Katrina. It's been nearly two years, and it's amazing to see how the water wiped out the entire community.

Last Tuesday, my wife got together with some other PGA Tour wives and helped build a home in the New Orleans area through Habitat for Humanity. The group was a part of Harry Connick Jr.'s plan to build homes for musicians who lost their places in the devastation. She had a great time.

Golf-wise, I played the first few rounds of last week's tournament with Kyle Reifers, who was the leader in the clubhouse after the first round. The second round the TV cameras were out with our group and it was really cool to be in that situation where the cameras are on you for the entire 18 holes. I know it was a good thing for me to experience, and I'll be able to take those experiences with me when I'm in the lead of a PGA Tour event soon. I played fairly well last week but just didn't quite make enough birdies. I feel like my game is going in the right direction and I'm very encouraged about this week.

Now I'm at the Byron Nelson Championship. It's the first year the tournament has commenced without Byron, who passed away this year. Yet his memory is definitely living through this tournament. Apparently there was a tradition here where Byron always shook players' hands after everyone's round was over. It's unfortunate that I won't get to experience such a great event, but his legacy is well documented here and I'm very excited for the tournament to start.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Greetings from New Orleans and the Zurich Classic.

Last week, some of you may have seen my scores (81-78) at the Verizon Heritage and wondered what happened. Here's the story behind the scenes: with the way the priority system works on the PGA Tour, my "category" is at the low end of the totem pole. All that really means is that I have to wait and see if I can get in to a certain number of tournaments.

Last week, I was not planning on playing because I was the 14th alternate on Monday morning. Usually, between 4 and 8 guys withdraw per week. So I wasn't planning on playing. Wednesday morning - while I was in Arizona - I received a call saying that I had moved all the way up to the third alternate. I started scrambling to get my stuff together, caught a flight from 3:30 p.m. flight from Phoenix to Atlanta. Then I had to connect in Atlanta to get to Savannah, GA. From Savannah, I would then drive Hilton Head, South Carolina, home of the tournament.

I was supposed to arrive at 1130 p.m. on Wednesday. Instead, I got into Savannah at about 12:30 a.m. As it turned out, the rental car company I had my reservation with in Savannah closed at midnight. After about 20-30 minutes I figured "I've got to get there" and I jumped in a cab (Hilton Head is about an hour north of Savannah).

As the cab driver starts putting my stuff in the trunk, I noticed that there was another person - an older woman - already in the cab. I didn't have much of a choice at this moment, so I jumped in the cab. Only then did I find out that we had to drop off this woman at her house...which was thirty minutes SOUTH of Savannah.

After dropping off my fellow passenger, I then settled in for what was now my (lengthy) drive to Hilton Head. 1 1/2 hours and $75 later I got to my hotel room in Hilton Head. After finally checking into my room at 3 a.m., I set my wake up call for 5 am…I arrived at the golf course at 6:30 a.m. and started waiting to see if I was going to play. Once I got to the course, I found out that I had moved all the way up to 1st aleternate. It's really weird feeling showing up at a golf course not knowing if you are even in the tournament or not, because you're trying to get warmed up and focused, but you aren't even sure if you're going to play.

At 8:30 a.m. the cross-country trip was worth every second, because I found out that Justin Rose had withdrawn from the tournament and I would be filling his place…I hadn't seen an inch of the course, so I decided to go and walk the golf course and actually see it. I took my yardage book, with me, walked a bit of the course, came back, had some lunch and was off on the first tee around 12:30.

As for a caddy, I just found a guy who was hanging around there looking for a bag and used him. It was pretty funny, because I felt like a zombie out there. After the round, I was completely wiped out. Since I was working on about two hours worth of sleep, I got back to the hotel, ordered room service, and fell asleep before the food even showed up at my door.

Even though I didn't play very well and miss the cut I take this as a great learning experience because I was able to see the course for next year's event. Also, just the opportunity to get two more rounds in me in PGA Tour conditions always helps. It was unfortunate that it took so long to get there, but had I not made that trip I would have been sitting at home kicking myself.

Now I'm in New Orleans, getting ready for the Zurich Classic…It's nice to get back to a normal week of preparation. My wife and I have been taking in the sights and sounds of New Orleans. I met (New York Giants quarterback) Eli Manning last night, and Peyton and Archie Manning were with him at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert. They were playing for charity, and for the opportunity to help rebuild New Orleans…It's been a great week so far, and we look forward to sharing our experiences next week!


Thursday, April 5, 2007


After a few weeks off it was nice to get back on the PGA Tour and into competition at the Shell Houston Open. Outside of the Sony Open, this was one of the better run tournaments.

One of the highlights was that I met former President George Bush in the player dining area Friday. My wife and I came in to eat lunch, and sat down next to a big table in the corner. As we were eating, I looked over to the next table and noticed security guys standing around. We were wondering what was going on. Next thing I know, there was George Bush eating. After he finished, he came over and introduced himself to me. I introduced my wife to him, and he brought Barbara Bush over and said "Now, this is my silver fox." I had to smile. That was cool.

As far as the golf went, I played well and made the cut. It was good to make a cut after missing a few. I think with each tournament and each four-day experience you build a little confidence and feel a little more comfortable in the environment.

Most of the week I kept getting called Adam Scott. It must have happened seven or eight times. Everyone kept saying, "Thank you, Adam" to me after I signed their stuff. Then, of course, Adam ends up winning the tournament. Now I'm thinking there are a lot of fans who had me autograph their stuff during the tournament and think they have a hat or a program signed by the winner.

After the tournament, we did a one-day trip to Atlanta for the NCAA National Championship. Our morning was spent visiting the headquarters of my agency, and participating in a photo shoot for some of my sponsors.

This week I'm back in Arizona, doing a photo shoot and Tips Segment for GolfWeek. I'm looking forward to the experience. I'll also be watching the Masters with high interest. If Tiger doesn't win, I like Aaron Oberholser and Brett Wetterich as my sleepers.

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