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  • Writer's pictureKeynan Fanslow

2017 US AM Qualifier

Today was one of the best days of golf of the entire summer for us. While we came up just short of qualifying for the only available spot, the game was something to be happy about. I haven’t played golf that solid for the entire year, and it is a great sign moving forward in the summer swing. For a 36 hole day in 95 degrees, it was a test of not only skill, but also endurance. Coming into the event, I knew scoring needed to be low, but I was not exactly sure how low it would take. Personally, I felt as though 8 under par would probably give me a good chance, and I did one better than that goal, which happens rarely in golf. Nothing but positives from the event, it is still somewhat puzzling to look deeper into why we were able to really find something over the last couple of days.

My record in US Am Qualifying has never been stellar, but trying my luck over in Idaho seemed to work to my advantage. Falconcrest is a great facility that I have played several rounds at during my tenure at NNU. The Idaho State Amateur was also held there this recently. The course had some damages during the rough winter, and it was not necessarily in its best condition, but a fair test nonetheless.

While my game has not been in the greatest shape, this day was certainly different. This summer has been a crazy one, and not necessarily in the best way for my game. Golf is not a game that is sympathetic towards one who does not have their best focus, balance in life, and of course, skill. It takes constant work in order to be prepared for tournament golf and the practice routine has been sporadic at best. Scores have been both good and bad, but recently, I have been more at ease. Finishing my MBA helped free up some mental energy and give me some more time to work on my golf game. After shooting one of my worst rounds in Eugene a week earlier, my confidence in my game was still high. This confidence helped prepare me for the test at Falconcrest, and I did not let fear take over at any point during the day. The fact that scoring was going to be low helped my mindset, I think, knowing that a carefree and aggressive game was going to be the only way to get it done.

With the help of some friends in Oregon and hours spent on the range over the past week back in Idaho, my game was actually feeling good going into the qualifier. The course sets up well for me, and I had played a great round during my unfortunate short experience at the State Am in June. These good memories helped me feel relaxed. Some of the hole locations were also in similar positions from the State Am, and it made me feel even more comfortable on the greens. Every golfer knows that without making putts, good scores can’t happen. The putter was working extremely well during the qualifier and I had switched to a putter I used to win a tournament a couple of years ago back in Washington.

Finally, the mental aspect of my game was still my strongest asset. My attitude was awesome for the entire day, while we were all getting exhausted from the heat, I was able to maintain a great focus level throughout. Having a good attitude on the course seems easier some days compared to others, and I think my playing partner helped me out a lot. It was only two of us during the round, and it was really an enjoyable grouping. He was not playing his best golf, but was still a pleasure to play with.

I have been praying to hand off my fears and worries to God throughout the day, and He was certainly with me. It would have been easy to have a lack of confidence after the most recent struggles with my game, and I can tell my game and mentality is maturing, because I felt more confident than ever. My desire to continue the pursuit of golf is still burning strong and appreciate the texts, calls, thoughts, and support from all of my friends and family. Looking forward to keeping everyone updated on more golf soon!

Results from the tournament:

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