I flew up on Saturday and the number on the plane’s tail was 143 RL, which is my first home address – 143 Pattonwood Drive – and then my initials. And on the tip of the plane there was a big W, so that was kind of a good omen. It made us chuckle. After getting situated, I went out for dinner along with my son, Matthias, and my agent, then relaxed.
After waking up early on Sunday, I got to the golf course around 7:30. They were just getting registration set up, and I was the first player to check in. I got to sign everything right next to Rory McIlroy’s name, and then I got to take the first divot out of the driving range. I went out and played nine holes with my caddie, Todd Luigi, and my coach, Tom Willson. There was nobody around. At the turn, Danny Balin joined us. We got to do a lot of work and hit a bunch of shots.
The rest of my family came in on Sunday.
I didn’t sleep well last night, which is strange, but I guess it’s all the excitement. The crowd started to build on Monday. There were tons of people out there watching. I got to get used to playing in front of a crowd again.
I planted a couple of seeds about playing with some big names, and got a call today from (St. John’s coach) Frank Darby and he got Keegan Bradley to set up a game with Dustin Johnson and Jason Dufner for Tuesday at 8:30 in the morning.
I talked with some of the New York writers Monday, and then a writer from Titleist. A lot of people recognize me from the shot (I holed out in a playoff during the PGA National Professional Championship to get into the PGA Championship), which is really cool. Even some of the tour players have come up and talked with me about it, and some of the people in the gallery have yelled to me about it, which is really cool.
After I played, I practiced for a while. I chipped and putted, worked on my short game. I’m as good as I can be right now under the watchful eye of Tom. I’m getting comfortable. I forgot how big the crowds get at majors. My fellow New Yorkers have been really cool. Van Silver, who caddied for me during the PGA at Whistling Straits and at Q school, came in Monday and marked the course. He also caddies for Loren Roberts and has been part of like 30 majors, so we’ll go out Tuesday and get to work.