Bisconti Diary: Polishing before the opening bell
Greg Bisconti, a PGA assistant professional at The Saint Andrew's Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., is one of 19 PGA Professionals competing this weekend in the 88th PGA Championship. Bisconti makes his debut in the Season's Final Major after his first appearance in the 2006 PGA Professional National Championship. This is the second installment of a daily diary he is writing for PGA.com.
I went out early today and played a few holes to get a better feel of the course. I jumped around to a few holes that I thought would be the toughest for me and then went to the range for a few hours. The toughest holes for me are going to be Nos. 2, 13 and 17, all of which are par-3s, plus Nos. 11 and 18, a pair of par-4s. On the non par-3s, I wasn't comfortable the first couple days with where my drive was landing and I wasn't sure whether I needed a driver or a 3-wood.
I tried a few different scenarios out there today on a few holes. For example, I hit two drivers on No. 11 and it didn't work out so now I know that I need to hit a 3-wood on that hole. On No. 18, I worked with the guys in the TaylorMade van and they set me up with a driver that has more of a draw so I feel more comfortable on No. 18 tee.
I played the holes over the water a few times, because you can't play them enough to get a feel for the right iron.
I don't have a specific plan for the tournament. Over the past three days, plus the one round that I played a few weeks ago, I have developed a level of comfort with the course. I know that I am going to hit a lot of 3-woods and I am definitely going to try to keep it in the fairway. From there I am just going to continue practicing my putting and my tee shots.
Over the first three days, I have not felt any nerves. I am not sure what tomorrow morning will bring when the 88th PGA Championship starts for real. I think the first tee shot in the practice round the last three days has been pretty settling as far as getting used to it, so that is good. I don't know how aggressive I will be tomorrow. I am going to try to keep it in the fairway and to try to keep it out of the rough because then you are struggling to just make pars.
Driving is the strongest part of my game and keeping it in the fairway is the key to success here. Driving sets up the hole and from there its just irons and putting, which I feel good about.
The greens have gotten a lot faster over the past three days, particularly today.
It's exciting to play in my first major championship. I don't know what to expect, which is probably a good thing. I haven't played in any PGA Tour events and I haven't tried to qualify for any PGA Tour events. To me right now, it feels like a regular golf tournament. It might change at 7:10 tomorrow morning, when I tee off on the first tee with Steve Flesch and Anders Hansen. I think not knowing what to expect will be a definite bonus for me.
Bisconti's 16-year-old son Kevin, is caddying for his father this week. He offers a quick perspective from the final practice round at Medinah:
It has been a lot of fun. The experience so far has been awesome. The course is beautiful.
I couldn't pick a better course to start my first caddying experience on. I caddie back home most home the tournaments he plays in. I am trying to get a feel with what clubs he hits in certain situations and I am getting a better understanding on what he thinks he should do better. I hope to keep him as calm as possible.
This tournament means a lot to both of us. It may not be showing right now, but it is definitely underneath. There is a higher magnitude of how powerful this major is as opposed to other tournaments.