Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012, 7:13 pm
Lawrence bounces back to earn first paycheck
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By Tom Johnston, email@example.com
Everyone makes mistakes in his or her life. How you bounce back from those and learn lessons from them can make overcoming them a little easier.
The same can be said about the game of golf, at least in David Lawrence's book.
The 22-year-old Moline native admitted to learning a lot about himself and the game this past week when he competed in his second NGA Pro Tour event to earn his first pro paycheck in Florida and second overall in his budding career.
Lawrence finished in a tie for 9th in the Bridgestone Winter Series event at Shingle Creek Golf Course in Orlando, Fla. How he got there was a bit of a ride worthy of one of the amusement parks in the area.
He opened with a 6-under 66 in what he called benign conditions and was tied for second. In what he called "a tough scoring day – windy and cold,'' he struggled early, but rallied for a 77 to make the cut and ensure himself a paycheck. He then rallied with a closing 69 -- the second-best score of the round and finish at 4-under 212, just eight strokes behind winner James Vargas, who cashed $10,110.
"I made 14 birdies and an eagle,'' Lawrence said of the three-day event. "That's enough to win. It lets me know that I have the firepower to compete.''
In that tough second round, he also found that he has the willpower.
"I went off early and it was cold and windy and got off to a rough start,'' Lawrence said. "I had bad breaks on 2 and 3 which led to a bogey and then a double. From there, I really tightened up and started making defensive swings as if I was trying to protect something. Before I knew it, I was 8-over through 11 holes."
He carded a 43 on the front 9 -- a 9-hole score he jokingly said he hadn't shot since probably high school.
The bad breaks were unusual, to say the least. He ended up in the lone bush near the green on the par-5 second hole and turned a potential birdie into a bogey. On the par-4 third, he said he pulled his tee shot that ended up directly behind a clump of palm leaves and couldn't advance the ball. When he tried to move the palm leaves, his ball moved, costing him a penalty stroke.
"I lost my edge mentally," Lawrence said. "I was playing good golf, and should have realized that, but I got defensive and started going a little backwards. But I bounced back and made four birdies on the back and grinded out a 77 and made the cut by a couple of shots at 1-under. ... With the exception of that nine, I played as well as anybody out there."
He is playing again this week in an event at Harmony Golf Preserve in Harmony, Fla. He also is trying to get himself settled into his own apartment near his new home course of Grand Cypress Golf Resort in Orlando.
He continues making strides in his pro career and now has a little different perspective on his game after showing some grit last week.
"It's huge,'' Lawrence said of the lessons learned. "It shows me that I belong out here. It was a really good field and I was right there."