The last time Michael Letzig was at a PGA TOUR event, he was tired from playing too many weeks, he had too many swing thoughts in his head and he was in the midst of shooting 83 -- with one triple and four double bogeys -- and would eventually suffer a DQ.
That was at the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Two weeks later, life is much better for Letzig.
Having arrived at Muirfield Village as an alternate and not expecting to get into the field this week, Letzig grabbed a spot when Charles Howell II withdrew on Monday. Letzig made the most of his opportunity Thursday, shooting a first-round 5-under 67 that has him firmly placed near the top of the leaderboard.
"I kind of came here with nothing to lose," Letzig said. "Just very fortunate to be able to play here."
One of the problems for Letzig lately is that he's played everywhere. He went through one six-week stretch making five starts, and he said he was only home for two days during his only week off. Struggling for results this season, Letzig didn't want to take time off.
"I've been playing so bad that I kind of told myself I would continue to play until I played well," said Letzig, who has yet to post a top-20 finish in 13 starts this year. "That's the worst way to do it. ... I don't know what I was thinking. I've gotta learn the hard way. It's so exciting to play here, it's hard to stay home."
As he continued to wear himself down, it all came to a head that Thursday in Dallas. Working on his swing that week, he kept trying to correct things. As he remembers now, "I couldn't take a club back. I was so out of it."
Taking last week off, Letzig finally got some rest. His swing certainly was much better Thursday, as he hit 13 of 18 greens and 9 of 14 fairways. And of his 24 putts, he needed just six in the last five holes.
"I putted very well," Letzig said. "I made three putts over 20 feet."