Sorry for the delay in posting the results from yesterdays 2nd round. I was a little disappointed last night and it was also my birthday so we went out for dinner. Unfortunately I missed the cut by one shot......aghhhh!!
I started the day ok on the front nine although I was a little scrappier than the first round. I was still playing ok but just hitting a few shots just off the edges of greens and so had a few simple up and downs but not birdie putts. It was very windy from the outset which wasn't great given we teed off at 7:10am. So as you can imagine after 9 holes it was really blowing. I turned in 1 under thanks to a perfect chip on 9 that went in the cup at perfect speed.
The back nine however proved very difficult in the conditions and I just couldn't buy a birdie when I needed it most. I bogied the 12th from a poor chip from the front of the green and then on 13 saw my 10m chip shot role perfectly into the hole, disappear only to then suddenly reappear coming back towards me and stopping 2 inches towards where it came from. David was already celebrating when it went in......unbelievable. Those are the sorts of things that happen in golf and certainly are there to test us. I bogied the long par 3 14 and then when my tee shot on the par 3 16th landed ten feet short and ten feet right of the hole only to finish by catching a slope and feeding down it to some 75 feet from the hole with a near impossible putt, all seemed lost. A bogie there, but a great drive down 17 set up a chance which I missed and then 2 drivers down the last with a short pitch left me 15 foot for birdie. When I hit it I thought it was in only to see it break sharply at the death to catch the lip and spin out.
So there is the story of missing by one. It was very disappointing given that I played a lot better this week and if not for the biggest horseshoe of a lip out of my life I would have made it. What I have been working on in the last few weeks has shown signs of returning to my form from last years Q school, which is really encouraging. I will be putting my head down and bum up and trying to get better at the things I am good at. I will be back up hear in July for an event which I will have to qualify for and maybe a challenge tour event too. Then I think I will play an event in Yeppoon on the Troppo Tour before hopefully getting into another couple of events up here.
The journey contin
I played in the afternoon today and it was certainly a windy afternoon. It was also 32 degrees up here today so that with the wind made for slightly unpleasant conditions. I played nicely though today and with a little luck it might have been a little better. I played a fairly impressive first 13 holes and was one under par, with 2 three putts. The greens are tough here with very large slopes and sometimes you can just be unrewarded for hitting the green. On the 14th, a long par three straight into the wind today I hit a great 3 wood onto the green only to see it catch a slope and send it away from the pin an extra 30 feet. So a 70 foot putt followed and unfortunately I three putted it. A good birdie on the next followed by a par on 16 and an awesome up and down on 17 left me at even par playing the 18th on my front nine. I had 219 left to the par 5 18th and hit a cut up 3 wood but pulled it a little and found the greenside trap. No shot from there with the pin and had to settle for par.
The front nine which was my back nine today started well with a birdie and 3 pars. Then on the 5th I hit it just right of the fairway and drew a really average lie. In talking to David I decided against the 5 iron he was suggesting having the feeling I may get a flyer. So I hit 6 and it did fly, I thought it was perfect but was just a little hot and it ran through the green and down a slope over the back. Not only did it run down the bank but ended in a horrendous lie and I couldn't get it on the green. A chip and a missed putt and suddenly from nowhere with not really any bad shots I had made a double and all the great work over the previous 3 hrs was gone. I made par down the next and bogied the 7th before hitting an amazing 3 iron on the 8th, a par 3, to 4 foot for birdie. The 9th was my worst shot of the day off the tee and only the 25 foot downhill putt saved my par there.
So all in all it felt like the round that got away today, 1 over with a couple of 3 putts and a double from nowhere. I am playing well and will go out tomorrow and do it again. Process process process and enjoy the journey!!
Hi all, I'm back in Japan and this time it is for the Mizuno Open, Gateway to the British Open. It is a regular tour event that acts as a qualifier for the British Open as well. It would be a great week to find some form of last year and earn a ticket to the British Open!!! Have to dream and believe!!
This week is true British Open style being played on a links course in the city of Fukuyama south of Osaka. The course itself is a good test as it seems every week up here is. It is quite long and unlike the true links courses of Europe this one is quite wet due to rain and there are no real "run up" options due to the wetness. Length in the par 3's is again evident as in practice I have hit a 3 wood two 3 irons and a 6 iron into the 4 par 3's. A week of pars there and you are doing very well as not only are they long holes, but they have extremely demanding greens as well. The greens are amazing here, they are the biggest greens I think I have ever seen and many of them have not one but multiple elephants buried underneath them, making your ball control and knowledge of where to hit it so important. Being a links course will be great for the Aussies as the Japanese typically don't play that great in the wind and in fact the last few winners at this course have come from the foreigners not the locals.
My own practice and play this week and the couple of weeks leading in have been mixed. I had a rough time getting it right back home in the first week off, before the hard work felt like it was finally starting to pay off last week. I have practiced well up here and feel as close as I have all year to hitting the ball like I did at finals last year. I'm not sure if it is the reason or not but David Rushmore or "Dashmore" as my kids have named him is here this week and he caddied for me at finals. I have spent plenty of time and effort soul searching back home and feel as though I am in the best mental shape of the year too. David knows where I was last year and is doing a great job of trying to recreate that calmness and enjoyment of what we are doing. I have practiced well today and am looking forward to tomorrow. Don't forget you can follow the live scores online at www.jgto.org and when you get there click on the english converter in the top right of the website and you should be then able to follow the scores. Check back in tomorrow night to get the low down on my day, looking forward to writing some positive stuff down!! Check out the photos from the course
I had a great day today. Still this course is by far the most difficult I have ever played. I have averaged around 47% of fairways hit in the two days and that ranks me in the top half of the field. Incredible!! I have never played a course where you stand on the tee and think to yourself " I have to smash this and hit it dead straight too, otherwise I can't reach the green." It was an incredible place and you definitely needed some luck when you found the rough.
I went out today with a great attitude and a positive mindset. I had worked on some things with my coach last night and I was able to carry them through 100%. Although I didn't get the score that I was looking for I was very happy to produce some really quality out there. I think without seeing it it will be hard for people to understand how hard the course really is. The fairways were 20 yards wide and an unbelievable challenge to even hit!!
Anyway it was a break through moment today with my mental game, i think the good result is only just around the corner now.
Go the Qlders!!
What a tough track. I had a very tough day out there today. Teeing off at 7.50 it was about 10-12 degrees and raining. Not fun particularly on a course like this with fairways 20yards wide and brutal rough and greens. I had a disappointing day shooting 11 over after turning 4 over. It was such a battle out there with any missed fairways basically meaning a wedge out as the rough was so heavy due to the rain. I drove it poorly today too so that made things worse. At the end of the day I was beginning to ask myself questions of "am I good enough to be out here and why am I out here?" I didn't have the answers to those questions until late in the day when checking the scores I saw that Ryo Ishikawa ranked 51 in the world shot 12 over. The course is brutal and combined with the weather today and the pin locations, with only a handful of players left on course to complete their rounds, there are 3....yes 3 players under par in the entire field, with the low score being 3 under. Incredible.
So although I had a tough day I must remain positive and look to learn from a day like today. Mentally I am struggling a bit but have just chatted to my coach for an hour or so and he has helped me to put things into perspective. Although I am wanting to achieve right now and am working hard at my game, reality says that it is a long distance race to become a better player not a sprint. I know I want the results now and by not getting them it puts more pressure on me to perform, but I am going to remain patient and continue to learn, bank knowledge and improve in the coming weeks. I have had a tough start to tour life, life away from family and friends on the other side of the world, enduring earthquakes, bad weather, poor golf and difficult courses. What it has done though is steel my resolve to make it and be competitive out here. I may not be enjoying it at the moment, and let's face it no one enjoys failing at what they are trying to achieve. Champions however are born out of turning failures into motivation and learning experiences with the hunger and burning desire to do better next time and overcome the hurdles life throws you.
Nobody said this was going to be easy....time to work harder!!
Catch up with everything from the tour as I let you know about the course, conditions and my thoughts and feelings on how I am playing.....also some cool stories from the tour!!