Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Joey D talks Augusta and Double P's T4th finish

I wrapped up my last blog by letting everyone know there's a huge difference between 'competitive fire' and being dubbed a 'hot head'. I want to delve into that here with a new blog. I didn't want to take away from the blog where we focused on big finishes by my guys Jason Gore and Ryuji Imada

I've heard some chatter about my horse Pat Perez and his choice to flip his ball into the water after the 72nd hole on Sunday and we need to clear a few things up. 

After playing a brilliant final round, where he was +2 after four, PP battled back with four birdies over his next eight holes. Two strokes off the lead, he had a legitimate shot with six to play and he remained two back going into the final hole. 

Pat's second shot on the par-four 18th came up a few feet short, barely clearing the rocks. He chipped out, sent his third shot towards the back of the green and just missed a thirteen footer that would've given him third place outright.

The miss cost him six figures and some FedExCup points, which could come back and get you down the road. Look at Davis Love III, who PP knocked out of the Masters with that final bogey. Pat's one week 58th to 48th jump in the World Golf Rankings dropped Love out of the top fifty and out of Augusta, barring a win at the Shell Houston Open this week.

One stroke would've helped DL III at the Honda a few weeks back. It would've been the difference between T13th and T9th and it wound up costing him (roughly) eighteen FedExCup points, about $55K and arguably a guaranteed spot in the Masters entering this week.

Some folks mistake competitive fire for temper, which couldn't be further from the truth. Pat isn't the kid he used to be. He's far from it. He's a professional. He's a PGA Tour winner that knows he belongs out here. He plays golf week in and week out at an exceptional level and has absolutely zero fear of competition.

I'm not sure what the television audience saw, but everyone at Bay Hill caught Tiger Woods throwing his club down in frustration on a few occasions. Again, not out of anger but out of the sheer desire to win -- as you saw when he dropped that final birdie on the 72nd hole.

This is the PGA Tour. This is golf at its highest competitive level. Guys get caught in the moment. They'll throw a club. A ball or putter will wind up getting wet. In a game of millimeters, it's passion, people.

These guys really are the most amazing athletes as they're required to be the gentlemen of sport. Even if they keep that up 99.9% of the time, they're still going to have those moments where their passion and desire to win overcomes them. Anyone who doesn't understand that simply doesn't "get" what these guys go through on a tournament to tournament, day to day and hole to hole basis, competing against guy equally as talented who want it equally as bad.

PP really earned that T4th finish this past week. I got the call Monday after he got to Orlando, "JD, let's get it on. Let's get going. I want to tear it up." First thing Tuesday morning, we're in the trailer, it's on and I'm getting 110% after his week of active rest.

Again it was about explosive strength. For those who missed it when I said it in the past, Pat Perez is pound for pound one of the strongest, toughest guys on Tour and he's a tremendous athlete.

Working with the PowerBandz, kettle bell, dumbbell work, heavy medicine ball -- all movements to keep his body explosive. Both in the morning and evening, separate workouts where we focus on his flexibility and once again, it paid off. From 23rd early on and right up the leaderboard - again - thanks to consistency in the fitness trailer and on the course. As a coach, this kid continues to amaze me.

Johnny Miller talked about it throughout the broadcast, stating over and over that statistically PP can get the ball in the middle of the club face more times than anybody he's seen in a long time. A few years back Arnold Palmer called Pat one of the best ball strikers the game has seen. Perez is the truth.

I'm headed to Augusta this weekend, meeting both Pat and Ryuji on Saturday to get next week started a few days early. This is Augusta and it deserves a few extra days of preparation. That's what it takes if you want to be where these guys are at.

More from the Masters next week. - Joey D.


Blogger Kevin said...

It's great to see passion in the athletes. Who wants to watch a bunch of 'stiffs' play without any emotion. In what other sports is that expected?

Likewise I love to see some celebration when they win or make a good shot. It's great to see that the pros have the same feelings, whether good or bad, that we do on the golf course.

Nothing says it better than a huge smile or throwing a club down in disgust.

Hit Long Drives

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stumbled across this blog recently and love what I'm seeing here. I'm familiar with Joey D from his days on the bag with Vijay and it's great that he finally has a voice here.

His take is spot on and it's refreshing to hear someone who not only knows what they're talking about, but does so in an unapologetic manner such as this.

Keep up the great work, guys.

Rich Roth
Wellington, FL

11:56 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Imagine a tournament without emotions. Pretty darn boring. These guys are playing to win. This isn't a second grade soccer tournament where everyone goes home with a trophy.

8:39 AM  

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