Well it was a new day and I went into it with a good feeling and confident it was going to be a good day. As I mentioned yesterday life is about the story of your life and I had great hope going into today. I shot 3 over which only puts me 12 behind the leader!! Funny stuff!! I can't believe anyone could shoot that sort of score around that course. He had one eagle and 7 birdies, one of which was a two putt birdie on a par four that I also birdied but hit a 2nd shot from 118m out. He drove the green!!! All I can say is the wind must have turned as we played it into the wind.
My day didn't start well, a trend I am not enjoying this year. My first shot of the day hit a tree on the corner of the dogleg and resulted in a lost ball....great start. Given it was the first hole of the day I wasn't too worried about it, made par with the second ball and moved on with a double bogie on my first hole. I played nicely even though I wasn't hitting driver straight enough to get many of the narrow fairways. 7 hole later and 3 birdies saw me 1 under playing the 9th. I hit another good drive I thought, but it found the rough. That is the problem with playing up here and the hope I have of qualifying through q school for next year, having one practice round is really tough. You get the wind of the day in your practice round and when it blows the opposite way in the tournament it is tough to get your lines right off the tee. I hit a few drives today that I thought were perfect only to see them finish in the rough for that very reason. I got a massive flyer out of a horrendous lie in the rough, and I had actually taken more club thinking it wasn't going to come out at all. That left an impossible chip shot and even though I played an amazing shot that had the gallery mesmerised, I missed the extremely fast 9 foot putt for par.
I have to say that 3 unanswered bogies around the back nine were frustrating. The first was another flyer from the rough on the 12th after missing a golden chance on the tough 504 yard 11th where I hit a great 5iron to 5 foot. Two great hits on the par 5 13th saw me car the water with my 3 wood for my second shot only to see my ball land on the fringe and bounce into the rough only 5 metres from the pin. A real bad break saw the lie impossible and it only left me with one shot, to explode it out like a bunker shot. Putting for birdie from twice the distance I just was was incredibly frustrating. Par it was and off to the long 263yard par 3. I hit a great 3 wood into the heart of the green only to 3 putt it up the tier for a really soft 4 and move to two over. Two pars on the next two saw me at the tough par 3 17th 2 over. I hit a pretty good 4 iron onto the right fringe but failed to get it up and down across the width of the green, a second soft bogie of the tournament. I played a perfect final hole leaving about 20 foot for birdie up the slope with a little left to right. I hit a great putt only to see it lip out at 90 degrees to the right. As hard as I fought out there, not much went my way on the back nine.
I am positive going into tomorrow. I feel I could shoot a low one around there, my wedge game is in great shape, just need to drive it a little better to give myself more opportunities. As I said yesterday I was going to enjoy doing what I do for a job, I was in the fight all day and will be again tomorrow. Learning all the time and will grow on what I learnt today. Tomorrow is my day I am going to own it and dominate the course. Patience and game plan execution will see it happen
Well I am back in Japan this week for the Toshin Golf Tournament. Monday was a very long day of travel, which is slightly unusual for my trips up here. I set out from home at 6am and arrived at midnight in Japan which is 1am in Brisbane. On landing in Osaka I had a train journey to forget. Multiple changes and multiple stops, not a good combination in a foreign country. The sad news of the day was that when I was in Cairns, I heard that there had been a Typhoon hit just south of Osaka, with over half a metre of rain falling in half a day and possibly up to 50 people dead. Japan is suffering this year, as is lots of other parts of the world with the weather. Fortunately there is no sign of the typhoon now and it isn’t raining. Fingers crossed.
I am excited to be up here this week after many weeks thinking I was going to get a start only to miss out by less than a handful of people for 4 tournaments in a row. That has been frustrating but it was nice to be home and play some Sunshine tour events and put some time into my game, not to mention my family. I was fortunate enough to celebrate ten years of marriage to my beautiful wife Rachel and also got to enjoy the “Dads Night” at Jonte’s prep and also Celebration Night for Jack and his grade 1-3 buddies!! I missed them both last year so it was a nice treat to be able to go to both of those this year, not to mention being home for Fathers Day!! I also got to see off a mission team from my church that was heading to Africa for some amazing work over there, investing in the lives of people who have nothing. Two of my best buddy's were going so it was nice to see them off from the airport as they no doubt go on a life changing trip.
Japan never ceases to amaze me, on the train on Monday at 9pm, it was packed with school kids, and I am talking about primary school there as well. I couldn’t begin to imagine Jack or Jonte in a few years getting on a train at 9 o’clock to head home from school on their own. Quite incredible. At least they know where they are going!!
This is the first event for me in a fairly solid period of golf. I am playing here, then heading back for the Brisbane week of the Sunshine Tour where I get to defend a couple of Pro Am wins from last year, Indro and Royal Qld. I would certainly love to defend both, particularly RQ as it is the richest one day pro am on the calendar in Australia this year, playing for $60000. After that week I am planning to head back up here to Japan for a Challenge Tour event over 2 days and then back to Brisbane for some more pro ams in early October before heading away for 3 weeks on the Australian Tour. I have 2 events in WA and then the NSW PGA in Wollongong. I am looking forward to getting stuck into it, starting this week!!
The course this week is the Toshin Lake Wood Golf Club and as usual it is long, tight, has thick rough, hard undulating and fast greens and as an added bonus this week it is hilly!! Just the norm for the Japanese Tour. I am however looking forward to the week and feel like the time is right for me to be here. In reading some of the stories coming out of the African trip already it is easy to realise that nothing that happens to me on this tour is bad. I could have the worst day and play terrible, have 85 and miss the cut but it all pails into insignificance when you hear about a million people living in a rubbish tip in Africa with nothing. One thing they have in abundance is hope. We have to live in hope and remember that every day we are alive we have a choice. I tell my kids regularly that each day they have a choice to be awesome and a choice to be helpful to others, to make a difference. We all have that choice, each one of us has a story, our own story that is being written by us right now. What is your story looking like, if you don't like it, then change it, you are the only one who can do that. I put my hope in God, that is the best place for it I reckon.
I will give you some more info on the course tomorrow and update how I went in round one. I will be having a great day regardless and making a difference in somebody's life tomorrow. Invest in those around you. Make sure you check out the photos and take note of the par 3 length on the tee sign. The photo after it is the actual hole, it's a monster!! Remember when you get out of bed and at many times in your day you have a choice!!
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!!