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My Shot

2 Gloves, 1 Mind

Continued (page 3 of 3)

All golfers love warm, sunny days. But sometimes, when I'm back home, I welcome a day when it's pouring rain and it's impossible to go to the course and practice. Not many things make me happier than a rainy day and an "NCIS" marathon on USA Network. I can knock off six hours straight of them.

My favorite movie is "Caddyshack," which I've seen a hundred times, easy. During the AT&T at Pebble Beach, I was at the practice range not far from Bill Murray. He sees me and yells, "You're wearing two gloves!" He comes over and introduces himself, and he watches me hit a couple of shots. I notice Murray's wearing two gloves, too--a pink one and brown one. He asks, "So what type of gloves are you playing?" I tell him Callaway rain gloves, but how when it warms up I switch to leather. He nods knowingly, in a "Yep, we good players..." kind of way. My pro-am partner, Chris O'Donnell--who has an important role in "NCIS: Los Angeles," by the way--noticed how excited I was to meet Carl Spackler. Chris kept calling me "D'Annunzio" the whole pro-am.

It's hard to have close friendships on tour, because players have wives and families. We're in the same places but headed in different directions.

I'm president of my own corporation, so to speak. When I'm out playing, it's all about me trying to perform and win a golf tournament. I think most players' wives understand that, but trust me, not all of them do. My wife, Erin, is one of the wives who understands. There are a lot of weeks when I love having her out there with me. But there are also weeks where I'm struggling to find my game, where I need to concentrate 100 percent on it. I'm grateful she respects that I sometimes need to be off by myself.

The most pressure I've felt might have been the four times last year my luggage--clubs and clothes--didn't make it to the tournament along with me. It wasn't the end of the world, but it was a like a carpenter reaching for his hammer and not having it there. Each time I drove to the mall and bought some clothes, then went to the course where the equipment guys prepared to get some clubs together for me, just in case. All four times my clubs and clothes got there, but it made me die to fly privately.

Here's my goal: I want to make enough money to fly privately so when my 4-year-old son, Tommy III, gets older and starts playing team sports, I can go catch his games during tournament weeks. See, every generation wants the next generation to have it better than they did. My father wanted a better life for me than what he had, and my purpose is to make all things possible for my boy.

Little boys are very active, and Tommy went through a spell where he'd jump on me when I least expected it. It was downright dangerous, him coming out of nowhere and landing on me full force. I had some muscle trouble around my rib cage last year, and one time Tommy accidentally kicked me in the ribs so hard I wanted to cry. What did Tommy jumping on me teach me? Patience.

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