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POSTCARDS FROM PARKER - MAY 24, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007

As Seen in the 5/24/07 edition of The Honolulu Advertiser

Aloha again from Hawaii. I'm back home again, relaxing after playing in the AT&T Classic in Atlanta.

As some of you may have seen, this past weekend (Tie for 16th) was my best finish so far on the PGA Tour. I actually started the week in Atlanta by spending most of a day filming a new segment called "Tips From The Tour with Parker McLachlin". It's a new video podcast that I'm doing where I've filmed 12 different "tips" for all you amateurs golfers out there. Over the next few weeks and months, you'll be able to download these videos on ITunes, YouTube, etc. I'm really excited about this being another avenue for me to connect with all of you back on the Islands, and I'll have even more information on that in my next Postcards.

But now, back to the good stuff. Coming into last Sunday, I was at 2-under par for the tournament and in the middle of the pack, but I knew that I was playing well because I had made a lot of birdies over the first three days. Knowing that I was going to take the next two weeks off, I really wanted to leave everything out there on the golf course and put the pedal to the medal. So I went out to the first tee with the mindset of being aggressive and making the most of my round.

I got off to a great start, making birdie on holes 3 and 4, and then making eagle on the par-5 6th hole. If this had been a few months ago, I would have started to look at the leader board and worry about where I was in the field. But I have learned a lot over my first few months on the PGA Tour, and now that I'm much more experienced I decided not to take a look at the leader board the entire round. I knew that I was moving up with each birdie that I was making, but I just told myself to keep grinding, to keep staying aggressive, and to keep striking the ball well. That mentality really helped keep my round going, as I finished with a bogey-free final-round of 66.

I had to catch a flight immediately after my round, so I wasn't aware the final scores on my flight westbound to Phoenix . The PGA Tour has a system where they "text message" the players their final position and the amount of money they win. When I landed, I opened up my text message and it said: "Tied for 16th, $81,000." I did a double-take when I saw the number, and then I thought, 'Not a bad week at the golf course.' That's the most that I have ever made in one tournament.

My perception not only of the PGA Tour, but also of my game, is starting to change. I'm starting to see now that the sky is the limit. Over the past few years, when I was playing on the mini-tours, the most you might be able to win is something like $20-25,000. And that's if you win a tournament. Now, to make $81,000 with a tie for 16th? It's pretty amazing. I'm starting to feel the pressure of each putt, and I'm starting to embrace it. To already have four Top-25 finishes this season is great. But now I'm looking to being in contention on the weekend.

With that said, I'm also looking forward to enjoying these next two weeks off. On Saturday the 26th, I'm going to be doing a junior clinic at Waikoloa Beach Resort, one of my great, local sponsors. I'm going to host a free clinic on the Kings' Course driving range from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, followed by a putting challenge with any junior golfers out there. The public is invited to attend and admission is free. Waikaloa has always been a big contributor to junior golf programs in Hawaii , and I really can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to going out there and helping the junior golfers of today.

I'm also really looking forward to attending the graduation of Spencer, my brother, who is off to Stanford on a volleyball scholarship. Congratulations, Spence.

Mahalo,
Parker


 

POSTCARDS FROM PARKER - MAY 10, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Aloha,

It's great to be reporting to you from my real home as I'm back in Hawaii for the first time since I participated in the Sony Open. Last week I tied for 34th at the Wachovia Championship in North Carolina and returned home this week to get a little rest and relaxation before heading back to the east coast and the AT&T Classic next week in Atlanta.

What a great experience last week! The crowds in North Carolina were outstanding. They had really big galleries that lined each side of the fairways and I received an ovation as I walked to every tee box and to every green. It was an experience that felt very similar to the 2004 US Open at Shinnecock Hills. The people of North Carolina sure appreciate their golf and it was a fun week to be inside the ropes giving them something to cheer about.

The golf course was one of the best I've played on the PGA Tour, only in it's 5th year the Wachovia sure has catapulted itself into elite status. Quail Hollow Country Club is a big reason for that early success and it's evident by the great field it's a favorite for us players. Seeing that I was 15th alternate as the week started and then got in as the last person in the field, it was great to take advantage of the opportunity to play in the same field as 29 of the Top 30 players in the World.

Many of you may have seen me last week on the CBS golf coverage and wondered exactly what I was doing playing the last hole without my shoes on. Well here is the story, my playing partner Bubba Watson dropped out due to injury on the third hole so I played most of the entire final round by myself. By the time I got the 18th hole, it had taken me 4 hours, 45 minutes and it was difficult all day to get into any sort of a rhythm because I was waiting on every shot. After hitting my ball into the creek that runs along the left side of the green, I decided to play my ball out of the water without my shoes on. Since I had to catch a flight back to Phoenix that night, I figured I'd save some time by not putting my shoes back on. I grew up in Hawaii practicing barefooted anyways, so I figured why not? Little did I know that it turned out to bring a lot of exposure for me and maybe even gave America a glimpse into my roots.

Having been out on the PGA Tour for half a season now, I've found that I'm not quite as awestruck as before. I've played in the same events as guys like Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, and Vijay Singh, and having some success has really boosted my confidence and I look for that to continue.

Since it's hallway through the season and I'm back in Hawaii, I figured I'd answer a lot of questions that fans seem to ask:

My Favorite Hotel on the Road: The Houstonian (Shell Houston Open)

Favorite Course on PGA Tour So Far: Quail Hollow (Wachovia Championship). It made you think all the way around the course. The greens were so fast and true.

Favorite Hole on the PGA Tour So Far: 16th Hole at the FBR Open. The Par 3 with 100,000 fans. Fans either want a great shot, or one where they can boo you. Either way, they are happy to be there. I hit a shot to six-feet and the place went nuts. Then I missed the putt and everyone booed me. It was amazing.

Most Memorable Shot: Hole in one, first round, 3rd hole on the South Course of the Buick Invitational (my 12th hole of the day). It was really the shot that started my year. I had missed the cut at Sony and I was playing on the South Course and through 11 holes I wasn't really making the most out of my game. I got to the hole at 1-over par and was getting the feeling that the field was going to leave me behind. Then, to make an ace and go from 1-over to 1-under turned my entire round into really great score. The next day I shot 5-under and finished in the Top 25 that week. I think that shot really jumpstarted my entire season.

Shot You Would Like To Have Back: Hitting my second shot into the water hazard on the 72nd hole last week was tough, but I wish I had that next chip back, because I would have selected a different club and hit it closer to the pin.

Best food: New Orleans (Zurich Classic of New Orleans). The charbroiled oysters were great.

Favorite playing partner: Will McKenzie. There is never a dull moment with that guy. We played a couple practice rounds together in Phoenix last week. He's just a very happy-go-lucky guy with a laid back, Hawaiian style that I like.

Hardest hole: No. 10 at the Honda Classic. It's a 500-yard Par 4 that is converted from a Par 5. If you miss the fairway at all you've got a 90-100 yard third shot into the green. I think I got up and down the first day, and the second day I made bogey. I started on the 10th one day, and it's really tough to start any day on a 500-yard Par 4.

Favorite sightseeing place: Tie - Mexico (Mayakoba Golf Classic), and New Orleans (Zurich). Both very unique places.


 

POSTCARDS FROM PARKER - MAY 3, 2007
Thursday, May 3, 2007

Last week I felt really good going into the week at the EDS Byron Nelson. I played really well the first few days and made the cut.

I had a few bad holes on Saturday and Sunday to push me a little further down the leaderboard than I wanted to, but I was pleased with the progress I've made and it's always nice to play four rounds instead of two.

On Sunday, I headed back to Scottsdale, Ariz., after I played because I was the 15th alternate for the Wachovia this week in Charlotte, N.C.

I figured that I had no chance to get in because everyone raves about the tournament, the course, and how they treat the players. For example, every player gets a Mercedes Benz during the week.

Monday I was notified that I was now the fourth alternate and thought "I better get out there." So I took a red-eye to North Carolina on Monday and got in about 6 a.m. on Tuesday. My clubs, however, didn't.

I figured I would get some spare clubs from the Titleist tour van and smack it around on the golf course. So, on Tuesday, I walked out on the first tee, with a set of rental clubs basically, and standing there is the current Masters champ Zach Johnson.

Johnson was with Stewart Cink and the two of them were nice enough to let me play nine holes with them.

My clubs showed up Tuesday night, and I made it in to the tournament field. From looking at the golf course, it's going to be one of the best tests of golf all year besides the majors. The greens are firm, fast and very tough. It will be quite the test. I'm going to guess that 11-under will win, but I don't think a ton of guys are going to go under par all four rounds.

The top guys in the world are coming over for the Players Championship next week, so they all want to prepare for that by playing this week.

It's cool to play a practice round and look over and see Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan playing in a Pro Am together.

The atmosphere and the buzz is very exciting, and people out here are looking forward to a great event. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that I get to drive a Mercedes Benz all week, too.


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