Wife Wednesday: Easter, Our Real Reason for Celebration

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Hi all,

I can’t believe May is upon us. The past couple months have absolutely flown by. Although I have loved every stage of Hughes’ life, the age he is at right now (6 months on Friday) is SO FUN. He is no longer a needy newborn who requires our attention most of the time; he has learned independence and does a great job playing by himself. We are really starting to see his personality shine. He is laid-back, goes with the flow, and babbles/ giggles/ smiles all.the.time. He doesn’t miss anything that happens in a room and is constantly moving and jumping. I could sit and watch him all day long, particularly when he doesn’t think I’m looking. He is so funny to me and seems to learn something new every day. Anyways, this post isn’t about Hughes but I thought I would give you a little update.

We celebrated Easter in Hilton Head this year. It was a little different not being home and going to church, but it was an Easter I won’t forget. Every year, there is a sunrise service on the 18th green at Harbour Town and tour pros help lead the service. Chesson had agreed to be a part of it a few weeks prior. Due to the weather delays, the service was in jeopardy all weekend because if every player didn’t finish their Saturday round, they would have to finish early Sunday morning thereby making the 18th hole not usable for the service. Luckily everyone finished right at sunset on Saturday and it was a tough finish for Chesson. He was in the Top 5 going into hole #18 and triple-bogeyed. He was pretty bummed Saturday night and candidly, not as excited about getting up at dark Sunday morning to go lead the Easter service.

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I wasn’t all that excited about getting up so early either, but felt it was important to support Chesson and celebrate the most important day in the Christian faith!  6:30am came quickly and we both dressed and slipped out of the house (leaving H sleeping). It was cold and overcast and I wondered if only a few people would show up. As we were driving into the course, we could see people walking and biking onto the property in droves. They slowed filled in the grandstands of 18 and some musicians started playing worship songs. By the midpoint of the service, there were probably 1000 people gathered to celebrate. A couple of other pros, Ben Martin and Richard Lee, read Scripture and did a responsive reading, then they had Chesson come up and talk about his faith, why Easter is important to him, and offer some encouragement to the crowd.

I couldn’t help but think that 12 hours earlier, he was standing in the same spot making a triple bogey, and now here he was talking about how temporary everything on earth is in light of eternity and nothing that he does on the golf course defines him. It was one of those moments that is ingrained on my heart because we both believe that God has given us the platform we have right now for a reason. Although Chesson is quite outgoing and gets a lot of attention for his funny nature/ finger snap/ “Sun’s out, Gun’s Out”/ overall goofiness, we hope they also see the parts of us that really matter. (Or at least of him. I stay more out of the spotlight, which I’m totally fine with :) ) We have had a lot of reason for celebration in the past year, but none of that compares to the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and forgiveness of sin, fulfilling God’s plan for the restoration of all of humanity, freely given to all who believe!

After the service, we had a quick breakfast together in player dining, just the two of us. Most of the only other people in there were the pros who had woken up to come to the service (Stewart Cink, Cameron Tringale, Jordan Spieth to name a few). We don’t get a lot of quiet moments together during a tournament, so it was a nice way to wrap up the morning before going back to the house to see our little man… who was still sleeping! Although it was a different Easter morning that I’m used to, it was a great one.

I hope each of you had a wonderful Easter celebration, and that it consisted of more than dyed eggs and chocolate bunnies… although let’s be real, the white chocolate Reese’s eggs are heavenly. But in all seriousness, our prayer is that each one of you would understand the real significance of Easter.

Blessings,
~Amanda~

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Wife Wednesday: How Life with a Baby is Different When You Live on the Road

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If Hughes could talk, this is what he would tell you about his life on the road…

Starbucks warms my bottles

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Hotel sinks are Mom’s dishwashers

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Desks are my changing station

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My bath tub blows up

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Hotel pillows are my Bumbo seat

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My stroller doubles as a laundry cart

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Every flight attendant thinks it’s my first flight

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I frequently chaperone my parents’ dinner dates… in my pajamas.

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My nursery is usually in the bathroom

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The stroller bassinet is my crib

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… but sometimes I sleep in the car seat

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— or the hotel bed

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… and occasionally an airplane seat

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… then sometimes I nap on the beach

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… but there’s no better sleeping spot than Mom or Dad

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Most importantly, although my life might look different from most babies, I’m just as loved, well-adjusted and thriving, no matter where I am!

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Back in the Saddle

Hey Everyone!

It is nice to get back into the swing of things down here in Hilton Head. This week we are in South Carolina for the RBC Heritage. This is our first tournament of the year that we have been able to drive to so it was a breath of fresh air to pile everything in the car and head down i-95 yesterday. We had to go to Chapel Hill for some tax stuff so It took us a little bit longer to get down here than normal. We also had a couple of stops to add to the time, but that is okay because I don’t mind spending a little bit more time in my new TRUCK!

Yes, thats right, I am really embracing the redneck side that I have been trying to develop and I broke bad and bought me a truck. I am in absolute love with this thing. While we were in San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open they gave us a Ford F-150 to drive for the week. This was the first time I had ever driven a truck and it was so awesome I had to go and get one myself. I went up to Capital Ford in Raleigh and had my man James Moss find me a F-150 Raptor. He was able to get one to me a couple of days before we left for Hilton Head. Amanda wasn’t sold on the whole idea of me getting a truck but after a couple of days with the Raptor she has come around. Personally, I think she looks pretty hot stepping out of a truck especially with her new hair cut. She’s a hot mom for sure. Boom, brownie points.

IMG_0346 IMG_1147I know, she is gorgeous.

It has been a long time since I played Harbor Town, but a lot of the holes came back to me as I was playing my practice round today. The weather was absolutely perfect, but I was exhausted after the first nine. Taking two weeks off from tournament golf will do that to you. I will have my sea legs back by Thursday.

Since the win has given me some security, I have been able to make some short term goals to keep me hungry and focused. The current short term goal is to get inside the top 50 in the world by the end of the Memorial. That would qualify me for the US Open in Pinehurst. As much as I would have loved to play in the Masters this year, I think it would only be fitting for my first major to be in Pinehurst. Especially since I spent so much time playing there growing up. So that is what I will be focusing on these next several weeks.

Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be brutal so I made sure to get a lot of my work in today. I was a little rusty out there on the course this afternoon but had a great practice session after the round. I am excited to get things rocking and rolling this week.

Birdies,

Chesson

Wife Wednesday: Halftime

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Helping Mom unpack… sort of

Hi all,

I didn’t intend to skip last week and post late today… sorry about that. I try to have my posts up by 8 am on Wednesdays and I’m staring at 11pm, but hey, it’s still Wednesday! Much like our tax returns that probably won’t be postmarked until the 15th, we operate right up to deadlines more often than I would like. (Side note: Did you know PGA Tour players file 25+ tax returns every year? We have to file in every state where we won money. Our poor accountant.)

Anyways, we have been soaking up being at home these 2 weeks, although the break looks very different for me and Chesson. For him, this is down time. He’s been hunting, watching tv marathons, car shopping, and meeting up with friends, along with some light practice. For me, it’s crunch time to catch up on bookkeeping, financial matters, household odds and ends, bank trips, spring clothes swaps, errands, and every other thing I’m not able to do while traveling. I’m definitely still fitting in time with friends and going to my favorite restaurants, but I work more when we’re at home and Chesson works more when we’re on the road (obviously). As for Hughes, I think he loves being home. He sleeps better, has his own room, and has all his toys that he never sees. Poor guy has been stuck with the same 4 small, travel-friendly toys so far this season and here he has the swing/ bouncy seat/ Exersaucer/ and box full of toys. He might be a little sad to leave.

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Tried food for the first time while home. Sweet potatoes!

Speaking of getting back on the road, I titled this post ‘Halftime’ because we are pretty much at the midpoint of the season. Chesson will play roughly 30 events this year and he’s got 14 under his belt so far. What an incredible half-season it has been! To have a win, 3 Top 10s and be 27th on the FedEx Cup Points is more than we could have dreamed and we are so thankful.

I’ve had a few people ask me how the PGA Tour/ traveling with a baby/ living in hotels/ being away so much lifestyle has compared to my expectations. I can honestly say that I love it and it’s not much different from how I thought it would be. I certainly don’t love every minute of it… moments where Chesson taps in for double-bogey, where Hughes decides to announce his hunger to everyone in player dining, or where I’m folding clothes at 11pm in guest laundry are ones I could do without… but at the end of every day, I love that we are living out our dream. I love that I get to see Chesson play. I love that we are doing this together as a family. I love that Hughes is growing up with so many different experiences. I love that we get to try so many new restaurants and meet so many people. It really is fun and if we are fortunate enough to be on Tour for a long time I hope that we never get calloused by it.

We are heading to Hilton Head this weekend for the RBC Heritage tournament and are excited to be driving! I think I might spoil Hughes and pack a bunch of his toys since we aren’t having to check bags. We’ve heard great things about Harbour Town and it will be fun to be there over Easter.

Alright, off to fold laundry. Washing bottles and folding laundry is the common denominator in my daily life, no matter what city I’m in.

Blessings,
~Amanda~

P.S. I got my hair cut while home, courtesy of my BFF who also happens to be an incredible hair stylist… I like to call it my “Mom-cut”. It’s been long since 7th grade so I decided it was time for a change. For you Raleigh folks, Stacie owns The Parlor and you should definitely go there. She cuts Chesson’s hair too.

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Wife Wednesday: Deep in the Heart of Texas

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Hey there!

We’re in San Antonio, which I’m told is now the 7th largest city in the US. We got here late Monday night after some flight delays from Orlando and we LOVE where we are staying this week. TPC San Antonio is at the JW Marriott Texas Hill Country Resort, so it’s another week where everything is on site. This place is HUGE and beautiful. The pool is surrounded by a giant lazy river and 2 large water slides… I think there are probably 1000 loungers around the pool deck just to give you an idea of its size. The resort and restaurants here are great, and I can tell you on Friday what I think about the spa!

Chess had a pretty tough finish on Sunday. He played great for 63 holes and said he just ran out of gas on the back 9. He started the day where he needed to be to qualify for the Masters but finishing 26th was not good enough. As disappointing as it was, it’s the nature of this game. Chesson said he learned from it and moved on pretty quickly. We still have a goal we hope to accomplish and we’ve only got this week to do it. He needs a good finish in order to move high enough in the world rankings to punch his ticket to Augusta.

It’s a little cool so far, but the weather is supposed to warm up into the 80s later in the week. Today, we are going on a behind the scenes tour of the San Antonio Zoo. The tournament (Valero Texas Open) arranged it for the player families. When I called to RSVP, they asked me the age of my child. “Umm… 27,” I laughed. Chesson is a bona-fide animal lover, and I can promise you he will be at the front of the pack with the 6 year olds at every exhibit.

Regardless of the outcome of this week, we are heading home afterwards and not playing Houston. We are looking forward to being home and enjoying some time in good ole’ Raleighwood.

Thanks for keeping up!

Blessings,
~Amanda~

P.S. My little cutie turned 5 months old yesterday. I could eat him with a spoon.

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Hanging in there!

Hey everyone,

Just dropping by to thank you all for your encouragement this week. Chesson is playing awesome and really feels great out there–minus the cold I gave him :) Thankfully, it has passed and it didn’t seem to affect his golf. He’s somewhat ‘in the zone’ at the moment and hasn’t had the chance to post. Bay Hill is a special place and we are fortunate to have had 3 great rounds so far. Tomorrow morning we will probably do the same thing we did this morning: eat breakfast in bed and take Hughes to the pool. I can’t think of anything more fun or relaxing. Who knows what tomorrow holds except our Heavenly Father. It will be a great day regardless.

Happy Sunday,
Amanda

3 minutes from the “Inside the PGA Tour” episode featuring Chesson

In case you didn’t get to tune in to the Golf Channel when it aired a few weeks ago, here’s 3:30 from that episode. Check your DVR to see if you can catch the full episode on repeat!

(Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X617pjPY_yU if you can’t view the video above.)

#HadsCorner Team

Wife Wednesday: Sleeping Through the Night and Morning Drive

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Hi all,

So this post really has nothing to do with Hughes and his sleep schedule, but for those of you who are parents, I think you can probably remember when you started getting a “full night’s sleep” again… which really is a relative term. It’s definitely a 6 hr, half-sleep-so-I-can-still-listen-for-him kind of rest, and not the pre-baby sleep-until-whenever-I-want, but hey, celebrate the small things right?

Anyways, we are in Orlando this week. If you’re a golf fan, this means Bay Hill. If you’re a kid (or my mom), this means Disney World and Universal Studios. Luckily, we are experiencing some of both. We’re staying at a gorgeous resort hotel by the Universal parks. My parents were down here with us for a few days and we took advantage of their presence by getting away for quiet dinners, 2 nights in a row! We take Hughes to dinner with us occasionally, but it has to be planned around his schedule and it isn’t nearly as relaxing as going alone. Most nights, we end up ordering takeout. I’m sure none of you order takeout as often as we do, but when the time comes, California Pizza Kitchen is pretty high on our list. You can place your order online (bonus #1) and it’s usually ready in about 15 min (bonus #2). Not to make you all think I’m a health nut, treehugger type, but I’m obsessed with their Quinoa and Arugula Salad. It has sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and feta cheese, and it’s one of my top 3 favorite salads. We had CPK last night before bible study and man oh man is that salad killer.

We have found a pretty good routine out here on the road, and while it’s great for us personally, I don’t think I have all that much of interest to blog about. We pack everything up on Sundays, travel to a new city, and unload everything. Mondays and Tuesdays are usually spent playing a pro-am or practicing (Chesson) and unpacking/running errands/exploring/resting (Amanda and Hughes). Tuesday night is Bible Study and Wednesdays are pretty light when we try to do something together as a family. Thursday through Sunday is the tournament and then we do it all over again. It is totally exhausting but fun and I’m glad we are all here for each other.

The past few weeks have been more fun because of Chesson’s great play! When Daddy’s happy, everyone is happy :) It goes without saying that when you play professional golf for a living, you bring work home with you every day. When golf is good, everything is more fun, and when golf is bad, it’s more of a struggle to maintain a good attitude. I say “more of a struggle” because that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay happy and positive, it just takes more effort. Golf is a roller coaster and you just have to ride the highs and lows. Thankfully it has been a good past few weeks for the Hadley family.

We are happy to be in Bay Hill at Arnold’s tournament. I haven’t seen Arnie yet, but Chesson ran into him yesterday and was pretty starstruck. He is such a first-class man and we are excited to be down here for his event. Chesson is hoping to get a picture of him with Hughes, so if it happens, we’ll throw it up here for you all to see. After this week, it’s off to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open.

Several of you have asked whether Chesson is in the Masters. As of right now, the answer is no. He needs to be ranked in the Top 50 in the world at the end of the Valero and he is currently 59th. That means he has 2 weeks to work his way into the Top 50. If it happens, great, and if not, we will certainly enjoy an off week in April.

Lastly, Chesson will be on Morning Drive on the Golf Channel this morning. Apologies for the last minute notice, but if any of you are around your TV, he will be on the show sometime after 8:30am. (It’s a live show so I’m not exactly sure what time they’ll bring him on, but we’re getting to the studio at 8:30 this morning).

Hope everyone is having a great week! Catch you next week from the Lone Star State.

Blessings,
~Amanda~

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Wife Wednesday: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

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Hi everyone!

I’m scheduling this to post late so that everyone has the chance to read Chesson’s post. I realize that you all would much rather hear from him than me as his writing is far more entertaining :)

Oh man, what do you say after your husband wins? Wow… Thank you Jesus…

So, as you know, going to Puerto Rico was a tossup for us. We had been committed for months, but Chesson was so frustrated with his playing after the first round of Honda that he told me to cancel our flights and our hotel and make plans to go see his swing coach in Atlanta instead. Thankfully, I’ve been with Chesson long enough to know that sometimes he makes emotional decisions that he later reneges on. I didn’t cancel any of our plans and we had a sort of gut check that night. (Similar to the one after the first stage of Q-school in 2012, described here) He played beautifully on the weekend and we headed to Puerto Rico with “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” (to quote our favorite tv series ever).

I watched his back 9 on Thursday and was thrilled to see him looking so calm and back in his rhythm. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I was out there for his full rounds. I couldn’t stay away, he was finally back to looking like the old Chesson! I knew he was back after watching him play hole 14 on Thursday. He snap-hooked it off the tee, luckily having a good lie short of the hazard, then hooked his approach into some bushes, having to take an unplayable. Many players, including Chesson for the greater part of the last several months, would have been ticked off to have hit 2 such bad shots. Yet watching him, you would have thought he was middle of the fairway, middle of the green. He was so calm and collected, like it didn’t phase him. I mentioned how impressed I was to him afterwards and he said, “Yeah I wasn’t worried because I knew how good I was hitting it.” That’s one of those intangible aspects of golf that you wish you could bottle up and save for a rainy day, but it comes and goes. Thankfully, it came for 4 straight rounds last week and it was fun to watch!

For those of you curious to know what our life looked like before and after the round, I’m afraid it’s pretty anticlimactic. Chesson didn’t finish until around 6pm Saturday and we had to go refill our rental car with gas. He said he wanted a “good dinner to get ready for his round” and when we passed a Wendy’s, he announced that was where we were eating. Yes, my husband’s definition of a good dinner is getting a big plate of chicken nuggets and french fries. We spent some time playing with Hughes that night and went to bed relatively early.

Sunday morning we woke up, had breakfast together and packed up all our stuff. We also prayed together as a little family of 3. I prayed that God would give Chesson peace, confidence and favor, and we also prayed for the other guys. There were a lot of guys in the field last week who don’t normally get to play out here and they were facing a lot of pressure to have good rounds on Sunday to gain more status. We know what it feels like to face that kind of pressure and prayed for them to have peace as well. You always want to win because of your good play, not because other people around you collapse. Chesson didn’t eat very much, but neither did I. Excited nerves do that to you.

The whole day I walked and prayed. Honestly Chesson was so composed from start to finish. He didn’t look like a rookie out there and he didn’t make nervous mistakes. He stayed in his rhythm and hit good shots all day long. I was debating all day whether to leave and go get Hughes or to stay and watch him. If he did win, I certainly wanted Hughes to be a part of the celebration, but I also didn’t want to leave! I ended up leaving after hole 16 to get him. He had JUST fallen asleep so I woke him up and jumped in a van back to the course. The road cuts between 17 green and 18 tee and I made the driver stop so I could watch Chesson. He was walking off 17 green and his standard bearer had him at -20. He had birdied 17! I was so pumped for him. We watched him hit on 18 and when he instantly picked up his tee, I knew he liked it. They hurried me to the 18th green where Hughes and I waited for Chess to get there. I tried to stay in the shadows during his walk to the green and subsequent chip shot, all the while the cameramen were trying to get me to get closer to him. Hello, he’s got enough on his shoulders right now without his wife and newborn son standing right beside him! :) Hughes was groggy from being woken up, but thankfully didn’t make a peep the whole time. He was mesmerized by the crowds and grandstands. Once Chesson tapped in his birdie, we headed for the green. It was such a special celebration and a moment in time I will remember forever. (True story: Growing up, Sunday was always my favorite day to watch golf with my dad. I didn’t really care to see each shot, I just wanted to watch who won and his family run on the green to celebrate. I was always so bummed when the network ran out of time and didn’t show that part!)

We posed for 1,284 pictures after the round, stayed for the trophy presentation and subsequent speeches, and Chesson gave interviews in the media room. The now famous picture, the one of Hughes sitting in the trophy, was probably the 1000th one taken of us. I half-joked that we should put Hughes in the trophy and Chess was all for it. We never imagined that would be the image that spread like wildfire. His agent flew in and surprised us on the green and he was there to help navigate the chaos. He made sure we were shuttled to the airport in time to catch our flight… which was 2 hrs later! It was a direct flight from San Juan to Tampa and seriously half of this week’s field was on that flight. Turns out, it was 3 hours delayed, so we all hung out in the San Juan airport until 11pm. We found a sports bar that was open and Chesson enjoyed a celebratory dinner of… wait for it… chicken fingers and french fries.

Fast forward to 3am and we finally collapsed in our hotel room in Tampa. They were replaying coverage of the round on the Golf Channel but neither of us wanted to do anything other than fall into bed. Poor Hughes was such a trooper. He slept on me in the airport, in our empty seat on the plane, and then went back to sleep when we got to the hotel. He and I both were in recover mode on Monday!

Yesterday Chesson took the day off and we hung out as a family. We went shopping and had a nice relaxing dinner together at our resort. I feel like the win is already so far away and we are back in our routine. Chesson is looking forward to this week’s event and we are setting new goals for the remainder of the year.

As always, thank you all for following this journey with us. Part of what makes our life fun is the ability to share it with so many people, both the ups and the downs. We appreciate your comments, texts, tweets, and most of all prayers. Catch ya next week!

Blessings,
~Amanda~

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Boom Baby!

What an absolutely incredible week. I still cannot believe that I have won on the PGA Tour. I think it would be more believable if I had been playing well for a while and had been knocking on the door, but I haven’t and it just came out of nowhere. I definitely knew that my game was good enough to be out here, but I thought that I would have to pay a little more dues before getting into the winner’s circle. Instead, I just blacked out and went on ahead and got it done. God is good my friends and I am not sure why he chose me, but I am grateful and humble. I hope that people look at this win as a gift give from Him instead of something that I went out and did by myself. This wouldn’t have happened without God’s allowance.

I know from my last post that you guys got a little glimpse of the beginning of my week, so I won’t bore you with those details again. We will just dive right on into the good stuff. The filet mignon if you will. Nailed it.

Thursday, I went off int he morning and started the stripe show early. Hit some great shots to get comfortable and settled into the round. I didn’t make any birdies to start, but I was able to stay patient and got the first one on number 5. I finished off the nine well with birdies on 8 and 9 to turn in three under. Probably one of the best nines I had played that year. Everything was starting to line up from the driver to the putter. I finally felt like it was BACK. I played the back nine in one under with a couple of bogeys and three birdies. I was extremely pleased with my round because the wind was blowing and it was playing difficult out there.

The next day I teed off late and I was a little nervous/anxious because I wasn’t sure if I was going to play well again after my solid first round. Playing well consistently hasn’t been a trend this year. I haven’t really felt like there was a tournament where I hit it really well from start to finish. My feelings were relieved because I hit it so stinkin’ good the whole day. I made 7 birds and and eagle on the way to a 7 under, one shot out of the lead.

The third round I was in the final group and was really excited about getting out there because I knew exactly what was going on with my game. My swing thought for the week was to stay tall and it was producing the results. This could have been the best ball striking round I have ever had. I didn’t make a single bogey and made four birdies through my first six holes. I only made one more birdie after that, but was inside of 15 feet every hole except for one on my final 12. Only made one putt. I was pretty frustrated after the round because I felt like I left about 5 more shots out there, but was still in great position to win.

I entered the final round with a 1 shot lead. I was so nervous but from past experience I knew what had to be done. Because this course was playing easy, I would have to get out there and make some birdies to have any chance. I got off to a great start and never looked back. I had the nastiest little chip in on number five that could have easily been a bogey. I just kinda knew that after it went in it would be my day. Danny made a little run at me the last couple of holes, but I was able to hold him off with birdies on the last two to secure the dub. Having two putts to win from three feet on the last is a pretty cool feeling.

This win means so much. Especially being a rookie out here and getting a win. This takes a ton of the pressure off and guarantees me the rest of this year, next year and 2015-2016 on the PGA Tour. We are in Tampa this week getting ready for another tournament. Its really weird because our lives have changed forever, but nothing has changed. We are the same people, keeping the same routine, just at another golf tournament. Looking forward to getting back out there again this week. Gotta get it while the iron is hot. Boom.

Birdies,

Chesson