Speirs through his heart

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

Fresh off one of the biggest disappointments of his career as a touring golf professional, Adam Speirs is already thinking about the perfect remedy.

"Part of the hangover cure from Q-school might be to get back at it again and play a couple of events," said Speirs, who is back in Winnipeg after a 17-hour drive from Norman, Okla., but is heading to Chile later this week for the first event of the 2009 Canadian Tour season.

"That will help me look forward instead of dwelling on it. Obviously, you've got to learn from it and everything, but it's over and it's not like I had a bad year.

"I had the best year of my career this year. That's how I have to look at it."

Speirs, who celebrated his 30th birthday last week, was among those competing in the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School at the Deerwood Golf Club in Kingwood, Texas, and things didn't exactly go as planned.

TOUGH START

There were 21 spots available to advance to the final stage, assuring players of at least gaining status on the Nationwide Tour.

Speirs, who plays out of St. Charles, got off to a tough start in the opening round -- which stretched into a second day because of a rain delay -- and finished 18 holes with a 2-over 74.

As Day 2 continued, Speirs essentially shot himself right out of contention with a 7-over 79 that included one birdie, 11 pars, four bogeys and two double-bogeys.

By the time he signed his scorecard, Speirs knew he was in big trouble.

"I just played terribly," he explained.

Speirs bounced back with a 3-under 69 that featured four birdies, 13 pars and one bogey, leaving him with a sliver of hope going into the final round.

"It was nice to make a couple of putts and know that my game is still there," said Speirs, who won his first Canadian Tour event at the Greater Vancouver Charity Classic in June and finished 13th on the Rolex Order of Merit money list with nearly $33,000 in earnings.

"It was just very disappointing to not show up with an A-minus or even a B-plus game to give it a go. I just need to truly believe in myself a little more. That's where I am right now. I have worked on that the last couple of years and its shown in my golf, but I've got to continue to keep believing in myself.

"As I improve and get older, the window gets a little smaller. I had a great year and I was playing great, but it didn't surface for me at the right time. I was mentally prepared to get it done, but there was a combination of tentativeness and physical flaws in my swing last week."

A final round of 77 left Speirs 11-over and in 72nd spot, 15 strokes back of where he needed to be.

"Because you're competitive, you think of shooting a career-best round of 62 and getting in, but as the day goes on you know it's not going to happen," said Speirs.

"It was an exhausting final day and it couldn't end soon enough. It was disheartening when you knew you didn't have a chance."

CHECKLIST

The disappointment of a poor showing at Q-school notwithstanding, Speirs is already looking forward to playing even better golf during the 2009 season.

Although he won't prepare his annual checklist until he returns home in December, Speirs has a good idea of what he'd like to accomplish.

"I want to qualify for the U.S. Open, probably win twice on the Canadian Tour and try to finish in the Top-5 on the money list," he said.

"I want to lower my stroke average and try to play in a few more Nationwide Tour events."


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