Hilton Head Island resident Chris Epperson is playing in his first Heritage and his first PGA Tour event. He shares his experience with a daily diary, as told to reporter Stephen Fastenau.
They had generators and lights lighting the driving range when we were warming up this morning, it was so dark. I did everything normal. It feels different when you get carted off to a hole and all that. Re-starts are the worst. I started on a par-3, you never start on a par-3. You just start out not feeling as comfortable. And that was disappointing. I'd rather hit a driver off the tee than an iron to a small little green.
I lost my momentum. And I just missed some putts today. I didn't make any. And there were some makeable ones I missed.
I got a bad break on No. 5. I hit a great flop shot, landed right in front of the pin and just released and left me 30 feet. I three-putted and that just took the wind out of my sails. That's a very birdie-able par-5. I bogeyed No. 7 again. I had some birdies early and gave them right back and parred every hole on the back nine.
I just have to get better with my putting. My stroke's fine. My speed's pretty good. I'm having trouble getting it on my right line. Reading greens is giving me trouble. Once I get that figured out, I'll be fine.
This is what I want to do every week. I want to play the best golf courses with all the best players and compete. That's what I love doing, is competing. It gives me something to look forward to when I finally get my break. This was a break. I didn't take advantage of it. But it was a break. I need that break where I have status. That's what I need, is status. Because I know once I get out there, I can play with them.
I have to go down to Valdosta, Ga., today or Sunday and play a Nationwide qualifier at the South Georgia Classic. It will all be the same. You just have to go low. That's all you have to do.