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Maverick McNealy shot the best round of his career after receiving "talking to" from girlfriend, according to this PGA Tour report

October 14, 2019

Sam Greenwood

Relationships are often cited as the root of a golfer's woes. The significant other insists you spend more time working on the house and less on the driving range. A buddies' trip to Bandon Dunes is foiled because you had to visit their family's vacation home in Michigan. Even might even get put in a bad frame of mind heading to the course with a simple, "For how much you play, you'd think you'd be good" remark. There's a reason love is a four-letter word, after all.

But in the case of Maverick McNealy, his better half … well, made him better Sunday, at least inside the ropes.

McNealy, the former World No. 1 amateur, had made the cut at the PGA Tour's Houston Open yet was out of contention after a 74 on Friday and and 73 on Saturday. McNealy bounced back on Sunday though with a seven-under-par 65, the best score of the day that vaulted him 29 spots up the leader board for a T-17 finish.

After his round, McNealy attributed the weekend contrasts to a simple notion. "Got a talking-to yesterday on the phone," he told the PGA Tour's Mike McAllister.

A reprimand delivered by an LPGA star—McNealy's girlfriend, Danielle Kang.

According to McNealy, Kang instructed him to do three things during his final round: Avoid sneaking a peak at the leader boards, be stronger with his "mental score card" approach and say two positive things to himself after every shot. Clearly, the instructions worked; the T-17 was his best finish is 22 career tour starts.

Along with his work with coach Butch Harmon, McNealy feels like he's in a good spot with two tournaments remaining on his fall schedule. "I’m really excited about the way I’m trending,” he said.

And he should be thankful for having a special someone to keep him on the right track.