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Rollins Blog: Course is in great shape, and so am I
In this edition of his blog, John Rollins writes that he's feeling good about his game and is impressed with Southern Hills so far. He's hoping a strong showing will give him a boost toward both the Presidents Cup and the FedExCup Playoffs.
Editor's note: John Rollins has been writing a blog periodically for PGATOUR.com. He's playing in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills this week, and he found time after his Wednesday practice round to file this edition.
TULSA, Okla. -- I feel good right now. I just haven't gotten what I expected out of my game the last couple of weeks. I felt like I was playing pretty good over at the British Open. Obviously, over there you can never tell with the weather -- you can catch a bad wave or a bad stretch and it can be really tough -- but I played pretty good. I just didn't get the scores out of it that I had hoped.
It was much the same in Canada. I played great in the pro-am and did a lot of good things in practice, but then the tournament came along and I missed by one. I just never got any putts to go in. I still feel like I'm swinging good. I just have to get some putts to fall and get some momentum to go my way.
I'm looking forward to this week. I like this course. It's a lot like Colonial Country Club. It feels like Colonial on steroids. It makes me feel like I'm home again, just out kind of there practicing and playing a round. It's just a great golf course in great shape. It's going to be a pretty good challenge this week with the heat, as well as just a major championship.
I'm used to the heat, though. I'm from Richmond originally and it's hot and humid there. I just called my dad to wish him 'Happy Birthday' and he said that they were topping out at about 100 degrees there, too. This is the kind of stuff I played in during the summer when I was a kid. I've typically played well in the heat, too. You just have to keep drinking water and carry a bunch of towels with you to dry off and try to stay in the shade as much as possible. So the heat will add to the challenge, but I think the course suits me.
I consider myself a good driver of the golf ball. This is the kind of course, just like Colonial, with all the tree-lined fairways and all the tight doglegs and things like that, where if you're driving it well, you're going to play pretty good. You've got to keep the ball in the fairway in majors and I feel like that's a strength of mine right now. The greens are fairly soft because they've got to keep some water on them from the heat and humidity. But I'm sure they'll dry up as the week goes on. It's fun. It's just a good track. So it will be a good week.
There's a lot going on this week, too. The Presidents Cup, I'll just say right now, is at the top of the list. We're one week away. I'd love to be on the team. It would be an honor for me. I feel like I could contribute to the team. I feel like I'm doing a lot of good things right now, but like I said, it's not really showing in my scores. And here I am 11th in points coming into the PGA again. It's kind of like last year -- deja vu all over again. Last year I finished 11th in the Ryder Cup standings and I didn't get picked. It would be special for me to make the Presidents Cup team.
It's kind of funny, at the beginning of the year, it was almost like I didn't think about it because I was so focused on trying to get into the Masters and the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and all these other goals. Then all of a sudden you do that, and you put yourself right in position to make the team.
That's really been my focus the last couple of months now -- to try and get a spot on the team. And hopefully, if for some reason, the gods aren't on my side and I don't make the team, then maybe Captain Nicklaus will feel like I'm a big enough asset to make me a pick. We'll just have to wait and see. I have to play as well as I can this week and try to win a major championship. If you do that, good things will happen.
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I'm going to take next week off to try to get ready for, hopefully, a four-week stretch in the Playoffs. I'm 14th in the FedExCup standings right now. I'd love to have a big week here to get in a little bit better position, but if not, we'll go into the Playoffs and give it all we've got for four weeks. Then I probably will have a week off, hopefully, in preparation for The Presidents Cup, and we can go up there and win the Cup in Montreal and bring it back with us.
I may play two or three more tournaments in the fall -- maybe the last three in a row. We'll have to see. First, though, come the Playoffs. I'm in good position right now. They say, mathematically, if you're going in 15th or 16th or somewhere in that range or better, you have a good chance of winning the FedExCup because it tightens everybody up and the points are obviously double at each event. So a good week right off the bat jumps you up so high that you have a really good shot at it.
The first Playoff event is The Barclays, and I really like Westchester Country Club. I lost in a playoff there once, so I'll try to rekindle some of the magic we had that year. If we pull it off for the 9,000 points that goes to the winner, we'll take it and move on. It's exciting to have a chance to win $10 million. It's nice to win $1 million, but $10 million, well, that's awesome. And it would be a lot of fun to say you are the first FedExCup champion. It would be something different -- something no one else will ever be able to say. So it's going to be interesting to see how it pans out.