IRVING, Texas - Looking back at Ryan Palmer's track record at the HP Byron Nelson Championship -- one made cut in his last seven appearances -- it shouldn't come as a surprise that when the Texas resident showed up this week, swing coach Randy Smith had an outside the box idea up his sleeve to get Palmer thinking differently about the course.
He put a new set of irons in Palmer's bag and pulled a page from the Phil Mickelson-Jim MacKay book, giving Palmer's caddie, James Edmondson, free reign to call all of the tee shots for the week.
Putting complete trust in his caddie, Palmer fired an opening-round 5-under 65 on Thursday, and followed it up with 3-under 67 on Friday to stay near the top of the leaderboard at the midway point of the tournament.
By allowing Edmondson to pick the club and and the spot off the tee, the new plan has allowed Palmer to put more time and effort into other aspects on his game, like his chipping and putting that have been questionable over the last couple of weeks.
"I just let him lead the way," Palmer said after Friday's second round. "I keep surprising myself with how calm I am with the way we're doing things, you wonder why you don't do it every week. This is a golf course where I've struggled in the past, so it's nice to get up there and hit the shot, and if I miss it, it's on me."
It's a wonder more players on tour don't try this out when their game is going south. With the amount of trust players put in the caddies, you wouldn't think executing the plan would be difficult -- especially if you could produce the same results Palmer and Edmondson are having this week.