Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Off we go!

Lest you think I have forgotten about my blog (I haven't written one since after Thailand), I won't sugar coat it or make excuses...I have been procrastinating. The truth is that I just kept forgetting to do it. However, I do have an excuse for not writing one in Hawaii...I didn't have internet! But now I am back with a vengeance and have decided to write multiple blogs a week so as to document in more detail everything that goes on, and it is a lot let me tell you. I have also decided to write more often during the week to make writing these blogs seem less daunting since for some reason they all turn out REALLY LONG.  This is not by design but it seems that I have more to say every week than I though I would (probably more than you people wish I did). So lets get everyone caught up on our lives up to now...

We spent Christmas with my parents, brother and sister in Fairfax, Virginia. We went and saw "A Christmas Carol" musical at Ford's Theater (the theater where President Lincoln was shot) in Washington DC and Michael and I went to a reunion of my club soccer team, the Vista Firestars, who I played soccer for from 8-19 years old. Some of you may also remember that during this stay we had planned to recreate Hogwarts Castle in gingerbread form and participate in a couples Wii MarioKart tournament. Well, the MarioKart tournament never took place so I am deeming Michael and myself winners by default as it was our idea...better luck next year guys! However everyone really got into the gingerbread house building, which took a total of 7 hours to complete (though most people dropped out 3-4 hours into the project, my Dad and I saw it all the way to completion). The house was actually a complex of buildings architected by my sister Emily, including the Great Hall (on top of which Harry and Voldemort are engaged in their final battle), Dumbledore's tower, Hagrid's hut, dormitory towers, the Astronomy Tower, the Greenhouses, and the Owelry(with sprinkles on top for owl droppings. There is also a Black Lake, Forbidden Forest, Quidditch Pitch, various magical creatures scattered about, and many of the book's characters in action. It takes up our entire 6 foot x 3 foot table if that is any indication of the magnitude of the project. Below are some pictures of what I can only describe as organized chaos.

For New Years, we were in Birmingham...and went to 9pm.

Just after New Years (Happy 2012 everyone!), Michael and I traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii to spend some time with his Aunt Katherine, Uncle Steve and cousin Daniel before the start of the season. Michael practiced some and we learned to surf. More accurately, Michael stood up once on the board and promptly fell off (but we put him on the foam board so he wouldn't get injured so no harm done), and I had a hard time even staying sitting on the board, often falling off for no reason at all. However I did have to fight off a large shark that struck me from below sending me flying into the ocean at one point. I used my board to beat it into submission and flip it over (a trick I learned to immobilize sharks from a 10 year old Hawaiian kid) so the only injury was a very large bruise on the back of my calf...well the bruise is real enough (and I am very proud of it too as it is reminiscent of my soccer days!) but I honestly have no idea where it came from...probably one of the many times I got flipped by a wave that I couldn't get ahead of because I was turned in the wrong direction. In truth, we encountered no dangerous marine life, as my brother who lives in Miami likes to call it, of which I was very grateful...Hey I watch Shark Week.

After the visit to the Big Island, Michael and I were in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii for Michael's first tournament of the 2012 season, the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club. We stayed with a wonderful couple, Bruce and Linda Soll who live about a mile from the golf course, which is a big deal since everyone else stayed in Waikiki about 30 minutes away. Before the tournament started, the PGA Tour Wives traveled to a local charter school (where the teachers and children are only allowed to speak in Hawaiian as it is becoming a dying language and the state is trying to bring it back by teaching it to children). We received a beautiful welcome of singing and chanting in Hawaiian and were given leis made from flowers and tea leaves, and hand written thank you notes from the children. The children taught us how to hula dance and shared some of their games with us, including throwing a pointed wooden spear at a shaved palm tree trunk, a form of checkers where the winner is the last person who is able to make a move, and a game that is a mix of soccer and bowling where you throw a round stone through two sticks in the ground 50 feet away. After the games, we filled the kids backpacks with food to take home. At the end of the day, the school's principal thanked us for "preventing hunger for one more day." She said that these children and their families don't look to the future and worry. They only strive to prevent hunger each and every day. Be thankful for what you have and give to those in need.

On to the golf! We had very low expectations going into this tournament as Michael was hampered with illness, injury (he hurt his ribs right after Thailand but is all better now thanks to his personal physical therapist, your's truly), poor practice weather, and a number of other obligations so he didn't get much practice in between Thailand and Hawaii. Overall, you could definitely tell Michael was a bit rusty, but again his putting is what saved him and he made some spectacular long putts all 4 days. Michael finished T-6, moving him up to 111th in the World Golf Rankings, 16th on the Money List, and 16th on the FedEX points list. Overall it was a surprising but good start to the season!

On Sunday night after the tournament, we took a red-eye flight from Honolulu to Palm Springs and so here we are in Palm Springs gearing up for the Humana Challenge at PGA West. We are staying in a beautiful house this week with two other players, Travis Watkins and Lee Janzen, and the guy who is going to lead the tour Bible study this week, Brad Payne. The format for this tournament is very different from all others. This week the players will play 4 rounds, on 3 different golf courses (La Quinta Country Club, PGA West Nicklaus Course and PGA West Palmer Course). There will be a cut after the first 3 rounds and then the final round is on Sunday. This tournament is a pro-am, meaning that the groups are made up of 2 professionals and 2 amateurs. Michael is playing with Briny Baird this week, a very nice guy and veteran who he also played with during the tournament last year. We are very excited about this week since Michael has never played these courses before.  He should be able to learn a lot which is the most important thing every learn and grow!

Since this blog is already longer than intended (as usual), I will close with two quotes that I found on Pinterest (I just joined this week and am already addicted). The first is "Faith in God includes Faith in His timing." You must have faith that God will bring all things around for your own good. They may not be when or how you want them to be, but He knows WHAT YOU NEED and WHEN YOU NEED IT. So don't worry. Worrying is a loss of faith and adds nothing to your life. We often ask: Why can't I hear God? Doesn't He hear my cries for help? Why doesn't He intervene when I ask? The second quote I found is a very powerful one..."The Teacher is always silent during the test" Sometimes God decides NOT to intervene on our behalf and remains silent. This isn't because He is punishing us for some wrong we did. God never punishes; He only teaches. When He doesn't intervene when we want Him to, it is either because we are not asking at all, we are not asking for the right things, or He is testing our faith in Him. It may be that His silence IS the answer to the problem because He has something even better planned for the future. God will never give you more than you can bear, but He will always give you the strength to get through it no matter how painful it is. I know from personal experience it is very hard to praise God in times of pain, adversity, financial hardship, work issues, whatever...But that is when He deserves the MOST praise. If He brings you to them, He will bring you through them and you will be a stronger person because of them. Never lose faith and give praise for ALL things good and bad. And know that even though He doesn't always answer, He is still watching you and will never cease to love you. Have a great week everyone and God Bless!!!


Well, Michael and I have returned from the future and are now back on American soil. And let me just say, the future is very bright...I have the sunburned shoulders to prove it.  (Yes I wore sunscreen Mom!!!) We are beginning our 4 hour layover in LAX, en-route by plane to Atlanta and then by car to Birmingham, and I figured this would be a good time to write my blog about our trip to Thailand this past week. I will admit, I am a little confused about what time and day it is right now so if the writing is actually better than past blogs, don’t worry it’ll be back to normal next week!
I know most of you are really excited about this week’s blog because I actually have some golf to write about! And boy is it a doozy! But before I get to that, I’ll give everyone a quick recap of the early part of the week to build the anticipation. We left on Friday morning, Dec. 9, to drive to Atlanta and flew 4.5 hours from Atlanta to LAX, had a 3 hour layover in LAX, and then had a 17.5 hour flight from LAX to Bangkok, arriving on Sunday, Dec 11 at 6:30 am local time. We sat in Business class on Thai Airways which boasts seats that turn into beds, personal TVs, nice cushy pillows and blankets, and three full meals. I watched 6 movies and slept for 4 hours, and Michael watched 3 movies and slept for like 11 hours (typical man). Of course, that meant that when we arrived, I had to take naps all afternoon while Michael went to the golf course to practice. 
We stayed at the Westin Hotel in Bangkok in a suite, with a huge breakfast buffet, nice gym, and spa. It was awesome. There were even bath salts and free bottled water (which is good since we were told not to drink the water). We had a driver all week (whose name I never could pronounce) and a personal car since Michael was a sponsor invite to the tournament (which is actually an Asian Tour event). We were so excited that our friends Jonathan and Claire Moore were also in Thailand for the tournament, since Jonathan is on the Asian Tour and Claire is his caddie. They showed us how to use the Skytrain, which takes people all around the city, and took us to a night market and a huge mall (Bangkok is full of enormous malls with 6-8 stories of small shops all disorganized into endless mazes of tourist traps.)
Bangkok itself is absolute chaos. It is a city where every square inch of space is taken up by something (high rise, sidewalk booth, taxi stand, stray dog, street market, puddles of unknown fluids) and lane lines and car turn signals are just for decoration. There were not only taxi cabs, but also motorcycle/Vespa taxis where people would just hop on the back with the driver and take off for their destination while applying makeup or talking on their phones. If it were me, I’d be holding on for dear life cause those guys just weave in and out of traffic (which is AWFUL in Bangkok). Apparently all lanes of traffic (even shoulders and the opposite side of the road) are fair game for cars, as long as there is no one in them and you get back to your side of the road when there is an oncoming car. The amazing part is, I didn’t hear one honking horn because that is just the way things are there, and there were no accidents. Michael pointed out that no one in Bangkok talks on the phone, eats, texts, applies makeup or reads their IPADs while driving, so there is one thing we Americans can learn from the Thai.
We did learn some Thai while we were there (hello, good-bye, thank you, quiet, no camera), but unfortunately I can’t write it here since amazingly Apple doesn’t have international characters on their keyboards...I have sent them a memo. We were unable to do too much sight-seeing since Michael had to practice before the tournament and I was too scared (and warned) not to go out by myself at any time of day. But overall, we had a great trip and more importantly learned how to travel halfway around the world and still be able to function when we get there. So without further ado...
This was the inaugural year of the Thailand Golf Championship and we both agreed that the tournament itself was extremely well organized and efficient, much like a PGA event. The golf course Michael played, Amata Springs Country Club, was quite a difficult course by his standards. It demanded solid shots and could easily punish you if you weren’t on your game (evidenced by the wide range of scores). 
Michael played his first two rounds with an Australian, David Gleeson who has played on the Asian Tour for the past 14 years, and a local Thai guy named Prayad Marksaeng (don’t ask me to pronounce that). Michael shot 69 (-3) with 8 fairways hit, 14 greens in regulation, and 28 putts on Thursday morning (or I guess Wednesday night/Thursday early morning for you avid fans watching the coverage), and shot 66 (-6) with 11 fairways hit, 13 greens in regulation, and 25 putts on Friday afternoon. For those of you who don’t understand the statistics, don’t worry I don’t understand them either. Basically it means that Michael was struggling with his tee shots, but putting on an absolute clinic in putting and around the green chipping. Those first two days, it seemed everything within 10-12 feet of the hole went in and he had many a long putt to save par. After two days of work, Michael found himself tied for second place with Charl Schwartzel (who won the Masters this year) and 11 shots behind Lee Westwood (who is the #2 player in the world and evidently played a different course for the first two days...but not really)
So on Saturday, Michael played in the final group with Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzel, the two highest ranked players in the field, and both really nice men according to Michael. It was amazing to watch how he handled himself. I saw no evidence of nerves or fear, just his normal quiet, cool, calm demeanor. Michael shot 69 (-3) on Saturday (beating Lee Westwood’s +1) with 12 fairways hit, 14 greens in regulation, and 28 putts, showing that no matter who his playing partners, Michael was still able to play consistent golf. If Lee and Charl were looking for a crack in the armor, they didn’t find one and of that I am most proud. Michael was able to play well enough to hold off surges from Guido van der Valk from the Netherlands and Simon Dyson of England to stay in the final group on Sunday.
On Sunday before the round we had breakfast at the course with Charl Schwartzel and his caddie. It was really neat to sit with someone so well known and realize that he is just a normal person like us. Michael was so excited to get another chance to play in the final group with two exceptional players. He shot a final round 70 (-2) with 8 fairways hit, 13 greens in regulation and 28 putts (the most notable on the island green on 17, with 18 feet for par to maintain his position on the leaderboard). He finished 3rd in his first professional tournament in Asia in a field packed with major champions, top world players and guys just like Michael just trying to get their names out there. I think he accomplished that this week.
To put the 3rd place finish into perspective, Michael had almost no preparation for this tournament. Since the PGA season ended 7 weeks ago, our time has consisted of completing our move and unpacking, traveling to Arizona for Thanksgiving, and setting up our new apartment. To top it off, Michael was sick during the 2 weeks before the tournament so he basically went into the week blind without a full week of practice. He had to put his full confidence and trust in God all week.
It is such a pleasure to watch him grow and learn every week and I can honestly say that no matter the outcome, I have seen Michael learn something new about his game every tournament. This week, Michael learned that he can adapt his game and his mental attitude to an international setting, which will allow him to play well all over the world. He also learned that he can compete against the best players in the world. 
We are so excited that God provided us with this unique opportunity. Both Michael and I believe that God was instrumental in this weeks accomplishments, especially with the lack of preparation Michael had beforehand. He wasn’t quoting a memorized bible verse  all week like the McGladrey earlier in the year, but Michael says he felt a sense of peace all week. John 14:27 (New Living Translation) says “I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Even when God does not seem to be overtly working in your life, He is still there in some form. God does not work in big miracles or huge displays of power. He often gives comfort and support silently behind the scenes and it just takes a bit of awareness to realize it. 
We realize that because of this amazing finish, more doors will open for Michael’s golf career. We hope to use whatever new opportunities God provides as ways to teach more people about Him. I pray that everyone reading this may find peace in the chaos of their own lives, just as Michael and I found peace in the chaos of Bangkok. We love you all, God loves you all, and we hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!


Happy belated Turkey Day!!! I say belated because like the rest of the country, I have been in a food coma since Thanksgiving and have only just emerged. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and found much to be thankful for. I know Michael and I are very thankful for God, each other, family and friends, our cat Bubbles, Reese’s peanut butter cups, our big screen TV, our new king size bed, celery (Michael only), my apple cutter (it saves so much time!), Alabama football, Celestial seasons Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea, the movie The A-Team, and Krista’s caramel pecan pie (YUMMY!)
On a more serious note, Michael and I are so thankful for our own personal relationships with the Lord and for the sacrifice of his Son. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, New International Version). We have hope in God’s promise that if we believe in Jesus Christ, we receive the FREE gift of eternal life. We know that what we experience here on earth will never come close to the riches of heaven, and so we continue to glorify God and give Him praise until he decides to call us home.
Our Thanksgiving in Arizona started in typical fashion...chaos. I like to compare it to battle. Michael’s mom Beth was the general and the rest of us minions were her soldiers. Roll Call: Michael, Rachel, Zach (michael’s brother), Krista (Zach’s wife), Eric (Zach’s friend, and may I say a VERY picky eater), and big Mike (Michael’s dad). Michael’s cousin’s Dawn and Oliver conveniently opted to arrive later in the day after most of the work was done, though they brought some tasty snacks of their own to make amends ;) . 
Having so many people in the house caused much uproar and excitement for the three miniature dachshunds (Auggie, Lady, and Max) throughout the day. I don’t think there was a spot on the carpet that wasn’t marked with their excitement! Though Beth had us running on all cylinders by 10 am. Seriously, I bet we could walk into any restaurant in the country and run the kitchen like a well oiled machine under her leadership. The menu included Turkey with gravy and stuffing (which big Mike forgot to take out of the bird for the actual dinner...oh well), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans (made by yours truly), homemade rolls, corn pudding, salad, canned cranberry sauce (I blame Zach), cranberry compote, and raspberry jello mold. Dessert included an assortment of delicious pies homemade by my brilliant sister-in-law Krista: Pumpkin, Apple, Pecan, and Caramel Pecan. Except for the pecan shell found in my slice (I blame Zach), everything was wonderful, though only Michael was able to sample the apple since the dogs ate the entire thing when we weren’t looking (though they left us the leftovers in the yard later in the night). Suffice it to say, the entire evening was a huge success with only minor mishaps, and everyone gained the requisite 5-10 pounds.
The description of our Thanksgiving week would not be complete without introducing one of the most amazing people Michael and I have ever met. On Tuesday afternoon, Michael and I had a fabulous lunch with our friend and one of the groomsmen in our wedding, Geoff Hill. Geoff told us about his lovely girlfriend Courtney, and how anxious she was to meet us that week. Well, on Friday night we finally got to meet Courtney and shake her hand, as she lay in a coma on life support at University Medical Center at the University of Arizona. Courtney was hit from behind by a speeding car at 2 am on Thanksgiving morning. She suffered significant injuries and doctors told her family and Geoff that she may never wake up, so they made the difficult decision to let her go to God.
However, these details are not what I remember most about meeting Courtney. I learned that Courtney was 23 years old (celebrated her birthday earlier in the month at Peter Piper Pizza), worked at a sushi bar, and was looking to go back to school for psychology and media arts. She loved gushers, country music, Michael Buble, and her pink pig named Pudgy who kept constant watch over her in the hospital. She would light up a room with her smile and bubbly personality, but tell off a stranger for smoking in a restaurant. Most importantly, I learned that Courtney was a true and unfailing Christian. This was evidenced in her final moments when her family and Geoff discovered that at age 20, Courtney had gone to the DMV to become a full body donor. This meant that if she died, her entire body would be donated to other people needing organs, tissue, bone, and fluids to live. 
The bible says “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” (John 15:13, New Living Translation). Courtney took this one step further...she was asked to lay down her life for strangers she had never met. Because of Courtney’s sacrifice, doctors were able to find numerous recipients for her body, including her heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and liver, and they continue to search for more individuals in need. Praise God for the quick work of the hospital to locate so many recipients, and even though it may seem odd, I thank God for giving the person who hit Courtney the courage to get out of the car and administer CPR until the paramedics arrived. If that person hadn’t, none of this would have been possible.
The bible also says that “Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” (Isaiah 57:1-2 New Living Translation). God explains that sometimes he takes good godly people from this world to spare them a life of difficulty because he loves them. In John 13:7, “Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” (New Living Translation). We must trust in God’s purpose and plan, even when we don’t understand it, because God’s timing is perfect. He never makes mistakes.
Though Courtney’s death has brought sadness and pain to so many, we can take comfort in the idea that because one person checked a little box at the DMV, many more lives were saved. Courtney’s heart is still beating and giving life. Her lungs are still filling with air. Her kidneys, pancreas, and liver are still working to keep balance within a body. In many ways, Courtney is still alive in those recipients, just as Jesus is still alive in all of us. 
She is a true disciple of Christ, giving her own life so that others may be saved, just as Jesus gave his life so all who believe in Him are saved. I pray that those of us who met Courtney will always be thankful for her amazing life. I pray that Courtney’s family and Geoff may find peace in Jesus Christ and the overwhelming love of God, and the promise that they will see Courtney again someday in Heaven. And I pray that we may all give thanks each and every day for the people we love because you never know when God will decide it is time for them to join His eternal heavenly family.

Rookie Year

First, I want to thank everyone for such wonderful feedback from the first post! I love reading all the comments/texts/emails/words of encouragement and it has given me hope that this will not be an enormous flop. That being said, if you want to bash, criticize, denigrate, condemn, lambaste, pour scorn on, or otherwise defile my posts, feel free! I love any kinds of feedback, and differences of opinion will make this blog all the more interesting and challenging to write!

Apparently I have developed a zealous wave of inspiration with this blog, making it very easy to come up with ideas. I already have the titles for the next 8 posts (though nothing written yet). However I warn you not to expect this level of productivity to continue. I will write when I have something interesting to write about...That being said, I guess I will devote my second post to recapping Michael's rookie year to make sure everyone is on the same page going into next year. I know many of you reading this already know it all and if so, you can do what you do in series books where the second chapter is always devoted to re-introducing the main characters...skip to the next chapter to get into the good stuff. For those of you who have no idea how my life changed from a career in Physical Therapy to a career as the manager of a professional golfer, read on...

First off, Michael earned his PGA Tour card this past year by making it through the final stage of Tour Qualifying school in December 2010. Now, most of you reading this probably have no idea what that means...and to be honest I am still a bit fuzzy on the details. All I know is that it involves lots of rounds of golf played over several months. If you finish well enough in the stage you are in, you move on to the next stage, with the ultimate prize being a PGA Tour card if you finish in the top 25 in the last stage. Well, this is exactly what Michael did (Yay!), so instead of continuing his stint on the NGA Hooters Tour, he catapulted to the tour that everyone thinks of when I tell them that my husband is a professional golfer (which makes it much easier to explain, believe me).

Instead of going through every tournament giving a play-by-play of every shot and club used (which I am sure some of you die-hards would love, but will just give me a headache), here it is in a nutshell: Michael played in 25 PGA tournaments and 2 Nationwide Tour events (the tour below the PGA tour). He had 2 Top 5's, 5 Top 15's, and 7 Top 25's (this is based on my own limited research so if I am wrong about the stats please correct me!). He made 17 cuts and missed 10 cuts (there are 4 rounds to a golf tournament and after 2 days the field of players is cut in half and the top half continue on to the weekend). Overall, he finished 98th on the Money List, with the top 125 players keeping their PGA Tour cards for next year. The general goal of this year was to keep his card for next year...Mission Accomplished.
A recap would not be complete without introducing two of the most basic Christian beliefs that got us through this year of ups and downs. The first comes from Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." The second comes from Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight." When Michael first came to me with the idea to quit my job as a Physical Therapist at Children's Hospital of Alabama, I was petrified. How could he ask me to do this when the year had barely started and we weren't sure how it would go? This was in February and Michael's year hadn't exactly gotten off to a stellar start. What if he didn't keep his card for next year? How could I leave a job I loved, working with some of the most wonderful people I had ever met, after only 5 months of work? How could we plan for and be certain about the future? I am sure many of you are faced with questions similar to these when a situation arises that you are uncertain of. Whether it is a career change, move across the country, relationship issues, whatever, you want to cover all your bases and make sure you have a back-up plan, NOT act impulsively or leap too quickly. 

Well, I am here to tell you that sometimes, that is EXACTLY what God wants you to do and that is certainly what God wanted us to do. After much prayer, asking God to show me the right answer, I finally realized that there was no answer because HE was the answer. It was not Michael I had to believe in (though of course I have never wavered in my belief that he will succeed), it was GOD that I had to believe and trust in. I needed to trust that God had a plan for us and our year, that he had plans for us to prosper and not be harmed. I needed to trust in God with all my heart and not rely on my own understanding and knowledge. Once I was able to submit my life to Him and not rely on my own insight, it was easier for me to make the decision to travel with Michael. For Michael, the decision was easy. Have your wife with you every week supporting you or only see her for a few days every 4-5 weeks? Bet that would've made for a good first year of marriage, huh? We learned early on that life out on the PGA Tour can be very lonely for those players and that is why most of the wives travel if they are able. 

For Michael, these two Christian beliefs manifested through his struggles on the golf course as well. Playing on the PGA Tour not only involves playing against the best players in the world. We also had to get used to the travel every week, staying in a hotel and flying everywhere, dealing with the media, the fans, and all the hype, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle eating out for every meal, and for Michael the added difficulty of trying to learn new golf courses every week playing against players who know these courses like the backs of their hands. Not exactly a recipe for success for a newbie like Michael and that is why he had to trust in God so much this year. He realized about halfway through the season that he was trying too hard to play well and not just letting whatever was meant to happen...happen. Michael realized that he had forgotten about God and was trying to figure it all out himself. When Michael was able to give his life up to God and let God lead him in the direction of His plan (not Michael's, not Rachel's, not anyone else's), all the daily stress of the tour was completely taken away because Michael knew that the outcome of the tournament was already pre-determined by God and he had nothing to worry about. 

The fact is, God has already planned out every detail of your life before you were even born. He has already planned your successes and failures. He already knew how this rookie year would go for me and Michael before we even started. And the fact is, no matter how it ended up, we knew that God had our best interests at heart. Whether Michael kept his PGA card or was sent back down to the Nationwide or mini-tours, we knew that God had an ultimate plan for our good and not to harm us. One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 5:3-4 (NIV) "Not only so, but we also REJOICE in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." When Michael shot 10 over in his first round at the Sony Open in Hawaii, when he missed 4 cuts out of 5 tournaments in a row in the middle of the season, when he had to deal with difficult playing partners or missed the cut by one stroke at the Barclays when the cut line moved up at the last minute, when he was in the lead going into Saturday in Canada and then bombed on the weekend, when he had the lead on Sunday at the McGladrey and then bogeyed the final hole to miss the leaders play-off by one stroke; though difficult situations at the time, we look back on those moments and rejoice in them because Michael will be a better player because of them. Do not be anxious about what is happening right now. Trust and believe and hope that it will work out someday.

As we look forward to next year, we hope not only for success (which will come in its own time), but we hope for more struggles, more difficulty, more opportunities for failure because these are the moments at which we must truly rely on God and his ultimate plan. We hope that we are able to keep the big picture in mind and simply praise and glorify God everyday we are out there. And we hope to inspire people everywhere we go in the belief that they are not alone in this world. We all have someone looking out for us, trying to help guide us in the right direction. You need only to give up your pride and ask for it...