Home Care and Hospice First Tee blogger: Alex Phillips

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September 01, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

Also blogging from the Homecare & Hospice First Tee Open is John Louie from The First Tee of Monteray County. To read his blog, click here.

SUNDAY PM

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Today was the best ending I could have asked for after such an amazing week. I played with Bob Simpson and Ron Abelmann again, and we were joined by Jamie Youree. He is from Fort Worth, Texas and can hit the ball a mile. I wish him all the luck in finding the right college after his graduation this year. The Core Values Cup was so fun with those three as my playing partners and our 62 was a pretty decent finish out at Del Monte.

I am sorry to have to say that this is my last blog from the 2010 First Tee Open (I would say last ever, but maybe I will be lucky enough to be asked back as an alumni player in the future *wink wink*). But I would like to take this time to say 'Thank you' to everyone who has made this tournament possible. I would like to thank Homecare & Hospice, the headlining sponsor this year that came in to make the 2010 tournament possible. The PGA personnel, as well as The First Tee personnel that helped to plan the entire event. Everyone in the Media room that made me smile every time I walked into the room for my blog, including, but not limited to, Ms. Laura Orlen, Chris Seely, Cathy Wagner, Phil Stambaugh and Nancy Seely. Overtone, the new vocalist group that was our entertainment during our Friday dinner. My host parents, Brad and Mary Carl, you guys were fantastic and I hope we keep in touch. All of the amateurs that make this event possible, especially the ones I was paired with, I hope we keep in touch and I wish you all the best. Pebble Beach, for allowing this tournament to take over the golf course and basically the resort for the week. Del Monte Golf Club for allowing our play at their historic venue. All of the volunteers, this event would not be possible without the time donated by all of the volunteers; the scorers, the signbearers, the parking lot directors, the shuttle drivers and everyone else. Also the professionals. This event definitely would not be what it was without them, and especially Mr. Keith Clearwater. He was amazing to play with and has helped my confidence level going into college, I am going to keep working and maybe one day you will see me on the LPGA Tour! I hope I didn't miss anyone, and if I did, my sincere apologizes (I probably just couldn't spell your name!) and I am thanking you now, everyone who had a part in this event deserves a thank you.

And my final shout out goes to my parents. Mom and Dad you are the best parents I could ever ask for, I already miss you and will continue missing you throughout my time at school. I love you both more than anyone could imagine, you have given me everything.

SATURDAY PM

Yesterday's round at Pebble was just fantastic. Our amateurs were so nice, Bing Lantis and Kevin Wolf were just great to play with. And Keith Clearwater is one of the nicest guys -- he wasn't playing very great but was still helping to read our putts -- just a great person. He seems to truly believe in my game. He told me numerous times I have the technique to make it at the next level (like the LPGA!) and after our round he took me to the chipping green because he thinks that if I can chip and pitch as good as I should that I'll be shooting mid-sixties like it's nothing. The chipping lesson was great. I can't thank him enough for his time and I can't wait to get to practice the new technique he showed me.

We finished Pebble at 71 (-1) and were ready for Del Monte. We teed off of No. 1 today at 7:41 a.m. with amateurs Ron Abelmann and Bob Simpson. First hole I ripped a drive down the middle, put my second shot on the green...and three putted. That set the tone for the day, as unfortunately neither Keith nor I could drop a birdie even though we were both hitting the ball just fabulous all day. Finally he made two in a row and I sunk one on 18, but we finished with another team 71 for an overall 2 under finish.

Keith Clearwater was seriously the nicest pro. I cannot express how thankful I am to have gotten paired with him for this tournament. He gave me his contact information so if I have any golf related questions I can ask him, it was so nice of him to offer that and he will be a great resource for me in the future as I continue to grow as a player. My parents also got to know his family as they were in the gallery together, and they were as nice as Keith himself.

Tomorrow I am going to be playing in the Nine Core Values cup, unfortunately our putts not dropping cost us the "cut" as a team, but I am excited to play in the morning in the scramble tournament at Del Monte.

Today's shoutout goes to two people that have helped me get to where I am today, Matt Pendola and Gus Jones. Matt has helped to train me in the gym to give me the core strength to keep up my game and Gus has helped to hone my technique as my swing coach and Keith said my swing is about as good as they come.

Until tomorrow!

FRIDAY AM

Yesterday was great! I played my practice round at Del Monte and it was just a fun round. I was paired with two other juniors, Asia and Brett. Brett took off after nine so it was just my future roomie and myself. We had a great time, made me realize how much I can't wait to start college with her!

I loved Del Monte -- the history of the course is so interesting and it's fun to play. After the round I saw Keith Clearwater on the putting green. He seems so excited to play with me and together I think we are going to make a great team this weekend!

I can't wait for my round today, teeing off on number 10 at 12:11 p.m. local time (3:11 p.m. ET). I woke up super early and now I have almost two hours to warm-up, oops! But I really need to work on my lag putting anyways, and what a great place to do it. Pebble's practice green is one of the nicest places in the world to putt. I love it.

Today's shoutout goes to all of my friends back in Reno, especially Laura, Adam, Kelsey, Savannah and Dom. They have always been great supporters of my game (even when I had to bail on plans to practice). Love you all!

I'm going to go warm-up then head out to the 10th, watch for me on TV (I'm wearing all red - red pants, shirt, red shoes everything, I look pretty awesome if I do say so myself). Wish me luck. I need some birdies today!

Until next time!

THURSDAY AM

Last night was another spectacular evening put on for the participants. We got to spend the evening at the Beach Club, an amazing venue right on the water. Dinner was provided and we got to mingle with all the players. I finally got to meet my pro, Keith Clearwater, and I absolutely cannot wait to play with him Friday. He came just to meet me as it was his birthday and he already had other plans (Happy Birthday Mr. Clearwater!). But my friend Donna was right, he is very easy on the eyes. The speeches last night were also fantastic, speakers like Tom Watson, Tim Simpson, Joe Louis Barrow (CEO of The First Tee) and others gave great talks on the Nine Core Values The First Tee stands for. One of the speakers was Maj. Silkey from the US Navy. There are a number of military personal that are playing in this tournament and it is amazing to meet the people that have given an oath to our country. We thank you all for your dedication to this great country. America would not be what it is today without our armed forces.

I'm off to play a practice round now, wish me luck on dominating Del Monte!

Another shout out goes to Chris Davis, a First Tee participant out of Chicago. He was here last year and said it was a life changing experience (Gary Player actually got on him to change his physical fitness and he took it to heart, I'm proud of him). We all miss you here Chris and hope you get a second chance next year!

Until next time!

Wednesday PM Driving up to Pebble Beach Golf Links brings back great memories. If you read my blog last year you know that I was paired with Gary Player, PGA Hall of Fame golfer, and Patty Sheehan, LPGA Hall of Fame golfer, was my caddie. It was a great experience and I cannot express in words how thankful I am to be able to come back to this tournament. I would like to give a thank you now to The First Tee for this opportunity, Home Care and Hospice for their sponsorship of this event, and everyone who had a hand in planning this tournament.

Since last year I have had some great experiences outside of The First Tee. I played in my first U.S. Open Qualifier in Carmel, Calif. and finished top ten at the California Women's State Amateur played at Spyglass and Poppy Hills, I graduated from high school, and I signed with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, to play for the team, I finish this tournament Sunday and I start practicing with my team Tuesday!

Back to the idea of great memories, I hope this year has many more in store. I just picked up my caddie, Harrison Taylor (I call him Country because of his accent) from The First Tee of Brunswick County in North Carolina. I met him at the PLAYer Advanced Academy, another great First Tee opportunity I was able to participate in earlier this summer. He is currently attending the Hank Haney Academy in South Carolina. Country's a great guy I just really hope he's a great caddie! After grabbing him from the airport we, along with my mom, drove over to Pebble to register, went out to the range for some practice and now we are going to go get ready for the Pairings Party to find out who my pro is, I can't wait to meet him!

And my first shout out goes to my sister, Corey, miss and love you lots Big Sis, and her volleyball coaches back in New York, they were my biggest fans last year and will be watching again this year!

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday AM Last night was another great experience. The dinner was just fantastic and the company was great. Peter Jacobson, even though he won't be playing this year, came down to honor his commitment as the emcee for the pairings party. Just like last year, he was a fantastic host and made the evening special. He even called me on stage when my name was called! He was fantastic and I, and I think I'm speaking for all of the junior contests with this one, would like to thank him for last night.

When I was up on stage with him as the thirty second contestant to be called I was really excited to see Keith Clearwater's name come up beside mine. He is a BYU graduate, won twice on the PGA TOUR, and my sources say he is a great guy. I think we are going to have a good chance to make the Saturday "cut" and I can't wait to meet and play with him on Friday. We play at 12:11 at Pebble Friday with amateurs Bing Lantis and Kevin Wolf and then Saturday at 7:41 (that's early!) at Del Monte with amateurs Ron Abelman and Bob Simpson, can't wait to meet my amateurs either.

I am heading over to the Pebble driving range now to warm-up for my 11:00 practice round at Pebble Beach, I'm so excited to play this amazing golf course again!

Second shout out goes to my great friend Sean Corneil in Colorado, miss you lots Smurf and you better be watching me this weekend!

Until next time!

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