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POSTCARDS FROM PARKER - AUGUST 29, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aloha,

First, before I delve into the details of last week's roller coaster ride in West Virginia, I want to talk about the re-launch of my website, www.ParkerMcLachlin.com. Over the past 5-6 months we've been working really hard to produces a site that continues to make it even easier for you to follow my progress. Now, you'll be able to see some really great stuff on there, including new interactive video tips, a running blog, and photos from the Tour.

Last week was a week to remember. Going into Thursday, I was really focused on going out and winning the golf tournament. I showed up on Thursday morning after a great few days or preparation and I was excited to try out my new 'aggressive' mindset, so to speak. On Thursday, I hit some really quality shots (hit 17 of 18 greens) and made a few long putts. Before I knew it I had shot the easiest round of 63 of my life. I've shot some low rounds before, but that 63 just felt so simple and so easy. It was the way golf should be played (laugh).

I just kept telling myself 'it's a long week and 63 will only get you so far.' I just told myself that I had to go out there on Friday with the same mindset and keep the pedal to the metal. I played a really nice round of golf on Friday, but it was not without some memorable moments. On the 14th hole I was in the bunker and I asked my caddy "how far to the hole?" He said, "I need to call a paramedic. I can't make it." It was stifling hot, probably 100 degrees without any wind at all. I was so focused that my first words were "Okay, I'll guess I'll get my own yardage on this hole." After realizing the severity of his heat exhaustion, we called over the paramedics and got my caddy some help. (I heard that there ended up being 4 caddies per day that went down.) Without much else to do, I just grabbed a guy out of the gallery. I asked him if he wanted to come out the last 4 and a half holes and he said 'sure!'

I said to him, "I don't know if you have caddied before, but the best thing you could do is just lay low and be incognito.'

So he says back to me. 'I just don't want to say anything that screws you up.' I turned to him, chuckled, and said, 'That's exactly what I mean. Let's just not talk about golf.' So we spent the last 5 holes just talking about his job. (He wasn't too bad, because I ended up laying the last five holes in two under par.)

My caddy had some kidney failures so I wasn't able to use my regular caddy again. Instead, I used one of the caddies that caddied for one of my playing partners on Thursday and Friday. His name Rick and he had actually lived in Maui for 20+ years so we ended up working well together and turned in a solid round.

Sleeping on a Saturday night lead is interesting. I ended up just sort of talking on the phone to people I knew Saturday night, and getting a lot of rest for Sunday. The weather was so hot that it was tough to really do anything other than relax. My gameplan the entire week was to stay aggressive, and with a seven-shot lead you almost think that you can ease off the gas a little bit and put it on cruise control. When I look back on it now, I should have continued to keep making birdies and keep playing the golf course, as opposed to playing against the guys in my group. Rather than me dictating the situation, I let the situation dictate me. That's something that I am going to take with me the next time I'm in this situation. In my mind, this is exactly what the Nationwide Tour is for. A mistake like that can cost you $1 million on the PGA Tour, but a mistake like that is not quite as costly on the Nationwide Tour. In my mindset, this is exactly why I came to this tournament in the first place. I wanted to get in the mode of winning a tournament, I wanted to learn how to deal with a Sunday lead. That mission was accomplished. This was an invaluable lesson that will serve me greatly on the PGA Tour where it really counts.

Starting next week, I'm heading back to Hawaii for 12 days and I'll be working on my game on the Big Island for the next couple of weeks at Waikoloa. If any of you want to catch me practicing at Waikoloa, come on by!

Mahalo,
Parker


 

POSTCARDS FROM PARKER - AUGUST 23, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Aloha,

Last week I played in the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina and I knew that I had to finish in the Top 20 to get into this week's Fed Ex. I played really well - shooting 3-under par for two days – but this is the PGA Tour and 3-under par last week didn't make the cut.

I started out strong on Thursday, but I tot a tough tee-time on Friday going out with the last group. To make matters worse, there was a 2-hour rain delay, so I wasn't able to tee off until about 4 p.m. on Friday. The things I'm working on with my swing have come together, thought, and I'm in the right place. I'm a lot more consistent right now and I'm at a point where I'm feeling great about my game.

I feel so good on the golf course, so I don't want to rest. Because I'm not participating in the Fed Ex Cup, I had two options: go home, or go play at this week's Nationwide Tour event. I've decided to come out to the Nationwide Tour event here in West Virginia, and that's where I am writing to you from right now.

I have to say that coming back to the Nationwide Tour is like returning back to your first high school reunion. When you come here to play the Nationwide Tour event you get a grasp of just how good things are out on the PGA Tour. The courses on the Nationwide Tour are just different. The quality is not quite as high as it is on the PGA Tour. The golf course is just a little bit more forgiving. I played a practice round yesterday with Tyler Williamson and as we approached a tee box we were discussing if we should hit a 3-iron or 3-wood off the tee. (That's a natural discussion that two players would have during a practice round of a PGA Tour event.) But then when we arrived at the tee box, we realized just how wide the fairways are on the Nationwide Tour, and we both pulled out drivers. Coming back this week has made me realize that there is a lot more strategizing that goes on during a PGA Tour event.

At the same time, I'm now taking the mindset that I want to come out here and win this week. I think it's been a while since I've really, really believed that I can win and it's great to be a place mentally where I know I can win.

I think this is probably the only Nationwide Tour event that I will play. I may play the event in Oregon, but as of right now I think I'm going to take three weeks off – including a return trip to Hawaii around the first of September – and then get ready for the PGA Tour's Fall Finish, which is seven straight events.

Thanks for all of your support, and I can't wait to check back in with you real soon!

Mahalo,
Parker


 

POSTCARDS FROM PARKER - AUGUST 9, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007

Aloha,

I'm back in Phoenix area after seven weeks on the road. It's funny to say this, but I think my more enjoyable week was the week I spent in Washington, D.C. at the AT&T National as an alternate where I didn't end up getting into the tournament. It was special because it was the first time I had ever been to our nation's capital, and my parents were able to see Washington, D.C. with me.

I made the cut this past week in Reno, and I'm continuing to learn each and every week. Going through swing changes in the middle of the season is something that was needed to be done, but that means that I have to go through a few weeks here where I have to swallow my pride and not hit the prettiest of shots. As many of you amateurs know, it challenges you mentally when you initially don't trust your swing in competition. But the last three weeks I've really felt like I've seen the improvements with all of my ball striking, and I know that I am ready for that breakout week.

Ideally, it would have been nice to have spent this past off-season working on my swing, but I didn't really have that option. Now, though, with my changes, I feel that my foundation much more solid. It's not so much that I'm changing my swing. It's more about changing my setup.

I've tried a few different things throughout the year to get ready for competition. Sometimes, I'll play 18 holes Monday, nine holes Tuesday, and play nine more holes on Wednesday before the Pro Am. Sometimes, I'll just put on my running shoes and walk the course on Wednesday to get a better feel for the set up. Because of my success last year on the Nationwide Tour, I think I developed a good system where I know that I have to have a good routine every week. It's important to realize that you don't have to go out and play 18 holes every day in the practice round. You always want to find a way to have a full tank of gas for Thursday.

I'm looking for a Top 20 next week at Greenesboro. I feel that with a Top 20, I can move into the Fed Ex Cup, which starts in three weeks.

The PGA Championship is this week at Southern Hills. For my pick of the week, I'm going to go with fellow rookie Anthony Kim. I think this is his second major of the year, and I think it's all about if he can hang in there mentally. He's been playing well recently, and I'll be looking out for him.

Mahalo,
Parker


 

POSTCARDS FROM PARKER - AUGUST 2, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007

Greetings from Reno.

I'm here at the Reno-Tahoe Open after a productive week at the Canadian Open. I had a great first two days in Canada and really started to putt well. I've noticed that my driving distance has gone up considerably over the past few weeks, and it was interesting to see my name in the Top 10 in driving distance. Making the cut last week gave me a lot confidence. I had a great first two rounds, and after my 67 on Friday I really started to feel like I'm turning the corner with my game on the PGA Tour.

I saw Tadd Fujikawa here on Monday and Tuesday, and it's great to see him out on the PGA Tour. (Tadd is playing in the group behind me, just like at this year's Sony Open.) I think Tadd has been practicing here for a little while and I expect - and hope - that he plays well. This is his first PGA Tour event as a professional, and I would like to see him get off to a nice start.

Seeing that we are out here in the hills near Lake Tahoe, Calif., you notice that your golf ball goes about 7 percent farther. The PGA Tour is very aware of the fact that guys like me are hitting drives in the 310- to 320-yard range, so there are a lot of par-4s here that are in the 490- to 500-yard range.

This is my seventh straight week on the road out here on the PGA Tour and it's nice to be back on the West Coast. I've got a lot of family and friends out here this week, and that has really provided me with a boost of confidence.

When you are out on the road so long in front of so many strangers, it's always nice to be able to look across the green and see family members. My comfort level is really strong on the West Coast. I'm sure part of that is due to the fact that I grew up in Hawai'i and played college golf at UCLA.

I hope you all have a great week, and I look forward to checking in with you next week.

Mahalo,

Parker


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