It has been a little while since my last blog so I guess it's time to catch you all up on what has been happening.
My last post had me in Japan but unfortunately that tournament was cut short due to me having kidney stones after the first round. I felt the pain coming in the evening and by 10:30pm I was strapped into an ambulance heading for the local hospital. Not ideal at any time as kidney stone pain is excruciating, but particularly poor timing in the middle of a tournament and in a foreign country where I don't speak the language!!
Through much protesting they finally gave me some drugs for the pain and sent me home. This was ok til the drugs wore off the next morning and I took myself back to the hospital where unfortunately the queue to be seen was a mile long! After assessing the situation and knowing the severe pain I was in it called for immediate action. Make a scene to be seen where my thoughts! I channelled the lead character off a tv show "Burn Notice" and did what he suggested to me subconsciously. I stood up and increase the volume of my moaning and groaning and when that didn't make much difference I fake collapsed to the floor and lay motionless like I had passed out with the pain! In seconds there was a trolley bed there and they were whisking me away for scans etc!! Great work MG!
The scans revealed two of the little suckers, one in each side with the left one causing all the problems. After some more drugs and a supply to hopefully get me home to Australia, they sent me on my way. I made the journey home ok and in fact for the next week had no pain at all. With the Fiji International the following week my prospects of playing were improving. That was until I saw a specialist on the Friday afternoon. She said there was no way I should be going to Fiji with this stone on the left side and best case would be to have a stent inserted to make sure nothing really bad could happen whilst I am away. My problem with that is that my body and stents don't really agree, after having one a couple of years ago and knowing the pain associated. Still if I wanted to go to Fiji, this was my only option.
The doctor actually managed to laser the stone during the operation but due to swelling from the op, he decided to insert the stent to help with that swelling process. As I predicted the stent was horrible again and my trip to Fiji was a very tough time physically. I was in constant pain and the drugs they had given me although helping, also caused some other symptoms not condusive to good golf, headaches, nausea, blurred vision and the shakes. As you can imagine I didn't go too well and couldn't even really enjoy myself in that beautiful place. That was a real shame as my wide Rach had come over to enjoy some sun and water and fun with me kid free.
On returning to Aus I had to wait a few more days before the stent was removed bringing instant relief!! It's amazing how a 25cm foreign object inside you can cause so much discomfort and pain, even though it's designed to be there. With that behind me it was time to try and catch up on some practice and some fitness work as I was seriously behind in both areas and the Qld Open was on the following week.
Brookwater was once again hosting the event and once again it proved to be an excellent test for everyone in the field. I was certainly under done physically and golf wise, but the time out had given me time to stop and evaluate just what I was doing and what needed to change in order for me to really go up to the next level. I am not going to share all the secrets of what I came up with but I can say that most of the changes were mental shifts.
I applied them to my game for the Qld Open and shot rounds of 75,72,72,71 to finish at 2 over and in a tie for 21st place. It was a very solid week and something to build on given I was using some new ideas and principles. If I can continue to build on that I will certainly feel I am progressing forward well.
So this week finds me back in New Caledonia for the Sth Pacific Open Championships at Tina Golf Club. The course this week is a little wet due to some serious rain over here last week. Because of that the PGA staff will have to play "lift, clean and place" meaning we can clean the mud off the ball and prefer the lie within a club length as long as you were on the closely mown section of the course. I think it's a good, smart decision. The greens are pretty good this year for a course without a lot of money and in general the course is set up pretty well.
So far my practice has been solid and with each day I am doing more and more things better. I have been working hard on my putting and chipping as the grass is pretty unpredictable around the greens here. I am adopting all of my new principles here again this week and without wanting to blow my own trumpet I feel like this could be a really good week and a win could be on the cards.
One thing I have learnt the past few weeks is that you never know what life is going to throw at you so putting my all into everyday and enjoying the life I have has become so important to me. Putting smiles on faces of those around you is joyous and makes each day even more worthwhile.
I have added some photos of the course and also hopefully a couple of videos, if they work. Ben, they are for you, it's a start anyway!!