His sports psychologist tells him to breathe and “have great vivid memories of great shots," Jay Williamson says.
The 42-year-old veteran says his brain just gets a little too active, though, and Williamson starts feeling a greater sense of urgency. He puts pressure on himself to play well, and he says that eventually manifests itself in his hands.
"It's not my game, it's my nerves," Williamson said. "I just can't keep my nerves under control. I'm getting older. It means too much. I'm not really in the fantasy world anymore. I'm in reality. I can't get out of it.
"... I feel like for the first time in my life I've got a little bit of a time limit on what I'm doing. It's all part of getting a little bit older. I just have to figure out a way to deal with it better, to be honest with you."
Things are looking up, though, after Williamson opened with a 65 at the Wyndham Championship -- after making an ace during one of his practice rounds – to finish one shot off John Rollins’ lead. He has made his last eight cuts, too, and that stretch includes a tie for eighth at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Wesson.
"I've actually been playing better," Williamson said. "... I know what I'm doing out here. I just try to need to try to put four good ones together. I really haven't done that this year. I'd put three together if you look at my scores. Three here, three and a half, but I haven't been able to put the four together."
Williamson put a new driver -- the TaylorMade SuperFast -- in his bag this week and he says it's paid off with some extra distance. He has eight new irons, as well.
"It's a little bit funky, I guess you can say, that I can come into a week and have all these new clubs," Williamson said. "But at the end of the day it's still just golf and I've done this long enough now to know that I know I need to get my act together this week."
Williamson, who ranks 147th in the FedExCup, actually would have been tied for the lead had it not been for a bogey at the 18th hole. But he hit 10 of 14 fairways and every green, so there were a lot of positives on Thursday.
"I would love to be honest with you to go to New Jersey next week because I think that's a good course for me but you know what? If I don't, I've really given everything I could this year to get back in the game," Williamson said.
"I've had great opportunities almost every week except for maybe Turning Stone to have a good finish and I just do something -- I have a bad nine holes or I make a double coming in like I did in Canada. I do things to get me off track.
"Hopefully this week I can just keep going and put the pedal to the metal and keep it going." -- Helen Ross