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Postcards from Parker
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Aloha from Los Angeles.

I'm wrapping up a three-week tour in California at the Northern Trust Open. I'm excited to play at Riviera Country Club. It's widely regarded by Tour players as one of the best courses on the PGA Tour.

This will be the last event in my "Birdies for Juniors" campaign. Through the first five events, I've racked up 65 birdies. With the help of Waikoloa Beach Resort, that translates into $6,500 for the Hawai'i State Junior Golf Association. I'd like to say a very big mahalo to everyone else who has signed up to donate to such a great cause as well. Hopefully, this is a great foundation for next year's "Birdies for Juniors" program, as well as our community efforts for years to come.

Last week, at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, it was a nice change to be paired with another pro and two amateurs. It's something that always makes Pebble Beach such a fun event. Plus, it's exciting to have golf as a medium to connect with CEOs, celebrities and other professional athletes.

As I mentioned last week, I was paired with Doug Mackenzie, a venture capitalist and one of the founders of Radar Partners. It was incredible to talk to him about his role in the development of things like Google and Netscape.

The other players in my pairing were Phil Mickelson and Charles Schwab. Charles is of one of the most down-to-earth individuals I've met, especially considering his success.

This was the first time I had been paired with Phil in tournament play, aside from a practice round at the U.S. Open in 2004. It is interesting playing with a guy like him. You just want to watch and learn. It's amazing what that guy can do with a golf ball.

Any time you're paired with a player like Phil, you want to try to take things they do well in their game and implement it into yours. So it's a delicate balance between watching and learning, and remembering to stick with your own game.

The past few weeks, I've been struggling with my swing and have been working to find it. On Friday and Saturday, I started to find it. I shot the low round of the day, a 68, on Saturday, which was a huge confidence booster for me. It's those tiny morale victories that help you get back on track.

If you're in front of the TV today at 12:30 p.m. (Hawai'i time), be sure to check out Jim Rome is Burning on ESPN. I'll be Rome's guest correspondent during the show, which should be pretty cool.

Mahalo,

Parker


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