Maverick McNealy fired his career-low round on Tour on Sunday — a seven-under-par 65 at the Houston Open — which was good enough to launch him 29 spots up the leaderboard into T17, the best finish of his young PGA Tour career thus far.
But it turns out that his final-round push necessitated some extra motivation from afar. After struggling to a third-round 73 on Saturday, McNealy told the PGA Tour that he received a “talking-to” from girlfriend Danielle Kang, an LPGA veteran who has 30 career top 10s and two victories on her resume, including a major championship.
“[Danielle] wanted me to do three things [on Sunday],” McNealy told the PGA Tour. Turns out, the advice she gave him is just as useful at the recreational level as it is for the pros.
The first directive? Avoid looking at the leaderboard. “I intentionally did not look at a single leaderboard today,” McNealy told the PGA Tour.
The second? Give each and every shot his full attention and focus. “I did that with my 95% of my shots today,” McNealy said. “I only had two shots that I wasn’t fully focused or in the zone or committed on, so I was really happy with that. If I can keep it to two or less, it’s going to be a good day.”
And the third? Focus on two positives after every shot. “It was a very positive day out there for me,” McNealy said.
McNealy is playing his first full season on Tour after earning membership on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, while Kang is looking to defend her title at the Buick LPGA Shanghai in China this week.
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