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Postcards from Parker - July 31, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Aloha from Reno,

I never thought I'd be writing this postcard, but here I am.

I made the last-minute decision to come to Reno to play this week and I feel absolutely great. This is actually my sixth week in a row playing, but I came to the decision earlier this week that I wanted to stay out here on the PGA Tour and get my game into the best shape possible. Sometimes, after just a few weeks, your body tells you that it's time to take a week or two off.

For me, this week was supposed to be a relaxing week in Arizona. Instead, after a really nice week in Canada at the Canadian Open, I flew back to Arizona on Sunday night thinking that I would be off this week. At the last minute, I changed my mind and flew up here to Reno yesterday, where I checked into the tournament, played in the pro-am, and am now getting ready to tee off this morning!

It's rare that I do something like this (enter a tournament at the last moment), but this is part of the process I have learned since joining the PGA Tour 18 months ago. Your body tells you if you can play, and my body told me earlier this week that I was feeling good and that's why I'm here in Reno. Plus, as many of you know, I love playing on the West Coast.

Michelle Wie is here and we're already talking about grabbing dinner together this week. I would have played a practice round with her on Tuesday, but I had yet to arrive at the golf course! I'm still hoping that I'll have the opportunity to be paired with her on the weekend. Would anyone be interested in a final pairing this week of myself and Michelle? That would get the TV ratings up in Hawai'i!

I look forward to talking to you next week, when I recap my experiences in Reno. And, of course, I'll recap my dinner with my wife and Michelle.




Postcards from Parker - July 24, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Aloha from Canada!

Last week was my fourth week in a row on the road, and unfortunately I missed the cut in Milwaukee. I went into the week with high expectations and some lofty goals. When those goals were not materializing, I ended up getting frustrated and missed the cut.

Sometimes when I miss a cut, I feel the need to use the next two free days to practice and really work on sharpening my game. Other times, I just need to spend that time away from the course, not thinking about golf. Last week was one of those weeks.

Kristy and I went to a movie Saturday and saw "The Dark Knight". Then we went bowling with two other couples. I probably haven't been bowling in at least five years, so needless to say it was amusing. We all had a great time. Sometimes you just need to be away from the course to clear your head.

Sunday, our flight from Milwaukee to Toronto was canceled, so we spent another night in Milwaukee and ended up getting to Canada later on Monday. I usually like to leave a tournament Sunday night, get to the next destination and get situated. When you fly in on Monday and spend half of the day traveling, your body doesn't quite feel the same. But those things happen, and you just learn to roll with the punches.

Now we're in Toronto and there has been a lot of rain. On Monday, we got almost five inches. They closed the course on Monday and canceled everything going on there.

While we're here, we'll get to do several fun activities. Thursday, Kristy and I are going to take in an Eagles concert because I tee off late on Friday. Apparently, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are playing tennis about an hour from where we are, so if we get some free time, we might go check that out.

This trip brings up a really neat story, too. Last year, after Q-School, Kristy and I went on vacation to Bora Bora to get away and relax. We met a couple who were there celebrating their 80th birthdays. They were this incredible couple who were actually Holocaust survivors. We started chatting with them, and they ended up inviting us to dinner. At dinner, when I told them I played golf on the PGA Tour, they told us how much they love the PGA Tour.

They gave us their contact information and told us to get in touch when the tour came to Toronto. Last night, we went to dinner with them and had a wonderful time. That is one of the great things about being able to travel so much for a living. It allows us to reconnect with all of these people we have met.

I'm looking forward to a productive week ahead, then a couple weeks of much needed rest.




Postcards from Parker - July 17, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Aloha from Milwaukee,

Playing in a tournament that runs against a major championship isn't fun. I want to be in the major and I want to be competing against the best.

Do I feel like I'm at an advantage playing against a "weaker" field? It really doesn't matter if it's a great field or a weak field. You still have to play good golf. What does matter, though, is if we are playing in a tournament with or without Tiger Woods.

I remember this being a really good golf course. It's a public course, kind of like Torrey Pines. We play a lot of TPC courses and country clubs, and this is one of the very few public courses that we play. I appreciate playing public courses, as you all know I grew up on public courses. It's like having a tour event at Ala Wai, the course many of you know I grew up playing. The city and county of Milwaukee runs this place, and that's very unique out on the PGA Tour.

My goal is to be in the top 70 of the money list and I'm looking for a good finish this week or next week, which would get me into the PGA Championship.

A lot has been made out here recently of Kenny Perry winning three of the last five events but then "passing" on playing the majors — the U.S. Open and the British Open. I think with Kenny, he started out the year with a game plan to make the Ryder Cup. That was his goal because it's in his home state of Kentucky. He got so single minded and focused on doing that, that the major championships (U.S. Open, British Open) were not part of his plan. For Kenny, the plan has paid off. He's going to be playing in the Ryder Cup, which is his dream. At 48 years old, with the opportunity to play for your country in front of your home fans is going to be very exciting for him.

What's impressed me about Kenny is that he committed to Milwaukee a long time ago and didn't want to bail out on the tournament here. I think that's admirable. Even though he's probably the hottest player in the world right now, it's cool that he's staying in the states and putting on a show in front of all these fans here in Milwaukee. To Kenny, it's not about the money and the fame. He set out to make the Ryder Cup team and he's going to accomplish that goal. He still shows up at the pro ams on Monday, even though he's the hottest player in the entire world right now.

While I'm playing this week on the PGA Tour, my British Open pick is Aaron Baddaley. Aaron has the makings of a young star on Tour, and Australians have always done well at Royal Birkdale. While this postcard is coming to you from Milwaukee, I'm hoping that next year's postcard at this time comes to you from Great Britain.



Postcards from Parker
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Aloha from Moline, Illinois!

We're in the middle of a road trip that will last several weeks. Last week I finished tied for 27th in the AT&T National in Washington, D.C., which is usually hosted by Tiger Woods. It was disappointing playing without Tiger this year.

Kristy and I ate dinner with fellow Hawai'i golfer Dean Wilson last Wednesday, and he ended up tying for third in the tournament. So I'd like to think that maybe his good company at dinner had something to do with his finish. I felt like I played some solid golf and I really felt like I found my stride. The more tournaments I play, the more I am able to find my rhythm and keep my momentum going.

Last week was the first time PGA Tour players took mandatory drug tests. About a half dozen players were chosen at random, but I was not one of them. It's interesting to hear people's responses to being drug-tested and to hear about how the process went. I still feel like it's one of those things where golfers have always policed themselves. It almost seems silly to think that one of the guys on Tour would ever try to cheat or get an unfair advantage. But with the state of steroids and illegal substances in other professional sports, golf had to follow suit.

I'm really looking forward to the next three weeks. My next big goal is to try to get into the PGA Championship. Entry is based on the PGA Tour's money list from last year's PGA Championship through this year's RBC Canadian Open. The top 70 will make it in. I'm in the mid-to-high 70s range, so the next few weeks my goal is to make some good money with a couple solid finishes.

This week we're at the John Deere Championship. This week's golf course, TPC Deere Run, sets up really well for me — it's very visually appealing to the eye. I'm really excited this week and see myself having a good finish. I'm looking to playing my best golf of the year in the next few weeks.

Mahalo, Parker

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