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Postcards From Parker - Feb 28, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008

Aloha from Scottsdale.

This officially completes the "West Coast Swing" of the 2008 PGA Tour season and it was a great experience for me. Out of the seven events on the West Coast I only played in four, but I had solid finishes in each of the four tournaments and now find myself 64th on the PGA Tour's money list.

When I measure my West Coast Swing last year against this year's, there is a noticeable difference in the improvement made. I'm moving in the right direction and continuing to get better. I'm at a point now with over $245,000 in earnings that I can set my schedule a little bit more because I have a better status.

One of the things I learned last year is that when you play every single tournament you find yourself at the mercy of the PGA Tour schedule, and you don't have much control of your own schedule. Having been around the block once before now, I'm able to remember which courses, and which cities, I like going to. That's why I've decided to skip this week's Honda Classic and get ready for the PODS Championship and (hopefully) Arnold Palmer's tournament, the Bay Hill Invitational.

I have felt a lot more comfortable in my second go around. That's because nothing is "new" this year and everything is more familiar. I don't have to learn new golf courses every time that I play, and I remembered places on the golf course over the West Coast Swing to hit it or not to hit it this time around. All the course knowledge, etc., and the city knowledge that I gathered last year have proved invaluable for this year.

I remember last year it was very windy when we played in Mexico, and in order to compete there I had to alter my swing a bit. What that did, however, was tweak my mechanics a bit, which ended up throwing me off for the next few tournaments.

This time around I learned that I should take this week off, and get ready for a tournament like PODS, where I like the course and the city, etc.

Before I go, I do want to congratulate my little brother Spencer, who I know is playing tonight against Hawai'i. He had 18 kills against No. 1 ranked BYU last week, and then 16 kills the second night, helping Stanford in the upset.

Thanks to all of you on the Islands who have been nothing short of incredibly supportive of my brother and me.

I look forward to checking in with you after the PODS Championship in two weeks.




Postcards From Parker - February 14, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008

Aloha from Scottsdale.

We just wrapped up the AT&T Pebble Beach Celebrity Pro Am — my third event this year and it turned out to be a great week.

The weather was incredible and I had a lot of friends and family that came into town for the event. My dad (Chris, who had suffered a stroke in California but is home now) was able to walk the golf course three out of the four days and I posted another top-15 finish this season, which is always good.

Last year, I felt like I played really good golf on the West Coast Swing and finished anywhere from 18th to 25th. Now I feel like I'm playing mediocre golf and I'm finishing inside the top 15. I actually just went to the doctor today and he told me I've been battling bronchitis for the past six weeks. To know that I was still able to score well even though I wasn't 100 percent physically was a nice boost. I'm on some antibiotics now, so I'll be much better for next week's tournament.

Last year I felt like I had to play my best golf to even be close to the top 20, and now I'm a lot more comfortable with my name being on the top of the leaderboard more often.

It takes time to develop that mentally. Seeing your name up on the big lights is not something that comes naturally, so I'm getting used to that, but I've become much better dealing with it.

This past week at the AT&T I had a great time playing with my amateur partner, Jim Rohr, who is the CEO of PNC Bank in Pittsburgh.

We were leading the tournament after two days and ended up finishing third. It was quite a thrill for both of us to be in contention as team. Ironically, Jim is the younger brother of Thom Rohr, who is President of the Waikoloa Land Company, one of my sponsors.

I've got to tell you about the atmosphere Saturday at Pebble Beach. The electricity on the golf course is pretty unique and special. Since there was a full field of movie stars and celebrities, there is a tremendous amount of crowd participation involved, so when you make a birdie the crowd goes crazy.

To the normal PGA Tour pro, that means understanding that the round was going to be over 6 hours long, and that you have to stay mentally focused for quite a long time.

When it's all said and done it's a fun tournament. And of course, it doesn't hurt when you have Pebble Beach and the ocean to distract you every once in a while.

I'm very optimistic going to Mexico next week to play in the Mayakoba Golf Classic. I had a great tournament there last year and my wife and I love to get involved with the local Mayan culture when we're down there, as it's one of our favorite stops of the year. And yes, I'll be bringing my fins and doing some body surfing in the water!



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