Simply put, golf tournaments are 72 holes and unfortunately this week I made it to 64 holes before having a bad stretch. I shot 5 over the final 8 holes of the tournament which was a really disappointing way to end what was a really solid week. The worst part about it when you get to the pointy end of the tournament is that it costs you money. Had I parred the last 8 holes I would have made almost an extra $9000. Frustrating.
My week was a good one though with there being a few firsts. It was my first European Tour event, the first time I had made a cut in a 2 million dollar event, Nathan was on the bag and did a great job first time out, I beat a Masters Champion, I made the cut in an Aussie tier one event and most importantly I left my trip West with a profit!
There were lots of other positives from the week. Encouragingly I did all of that whilst having a really bad week of ball striking. There were glimpses of my normal standard yesterday and I played some solid stuff on Thursday but other than that I rated my long game at 5 out of 10. The great part of the week is that my short game was great and putting wise I ranked 3rd in putts for the week...not bad. I have been really working hard on the putting routine and spent a lot of time on the short game facility this week and it paid off. Trying to find the balance between it all is the challenge. Progression as a professional golfer is what I am trying to achieve and I think that being able to make the cut this week with my B/C game is a very positive thing. Getting your A game out there is the goal but that only really happens a couple of times a year.
I am home for a couple of weeks now to spend some time with the family and then off to Stage 3 of Japanese Q School. I will see Kev on the coast a little in the next couple of weeks before hoping to secure my place in Finals for Japanese Q School. The game isn't quite there but it will be before I head north!! Thanks for following again and I thank everyone who sent messages of support and encouragement of
A glorious morning greeted Nathan and I at the course this morning for the third round. I was very excited about the day after the stress of yesterday.
Supercoach Kev had sent me some swing advice based on the swing I had emailed him. Modern technology is awesome with the ability to video my swing on my iPhone and email the swing to him. Making a slight change helped me feel a little more in control of the ball and head to the first tee with a little more confidence.
That confidence transferred to the course as I felt much more at ease today over the ball. Scoring wise it wasn't happening though with two bogies in my first four holes. The first of which was on the first hole where my approach shot pitched jut near the hole but I spun the ball back off the green and then down a hill. My pitch shot lipped out but I missed the downhill four footer for par after misreading the break. Faultless golf continued for the next three holes before I hit my first putt too hard on the fourth and subsequently missing the par save coming back. So two over through four holes and feeling like I hadn't done much wrong.
Nathan said not to worry as I was hitting the ball great so to just be patient and the birdies will come. I birdied the next and then had chances on the final four holes but none of the putts would drop, reaching the turn at one over for the day.
Birdies at ten, thirteen and fourteen helped me arrive at fifteen, the par five at two under par. I hit a great drive and had 211m to the pin. I decided to go for it but just leaked the shot to the right and found the green side water. A great up and down saved par and sent me to the tough closing holes in a good spot and good frame of mind.
Par on sixteen was followed by a bogie on the seventeenth before facing the daunting eigtheenth. I hit a great drive and was left with a six iron in to a pin tucked just over the front right bunker. My shot in looked superb but came up just short finding the deep bunker. With the pin only about 3-4m over the lip. Walking up to the green I said to Nathan that I just needed a good lie and hopefully an upslope to help stop the ball. We got that and I then said to Nathan "this is going to be a crowd pleaser!" The last hole has a big grandstand which was full on the Saturday. I played a great shot nearly holing it before tapping it in for par.
So a solid day and I went from tied 47th to tied 34th going into the last day. Hopefully my best round of the week to come!!
I am sorry but this is going to be pretty short and sweet. I am writing at 10:15pm and am playing tomorrow morning in the third round. That is the exciting part, I have made the cut in the biggest tournament I have played in!!
Today, to give you a little insight, was a very tough day in many ways. I wasn't playing that well and the wind was swirling and its also cut day. I started at 2 under and then after a couple of birdies found myself at 4 under. A tough wind gust sent my ball long of the green on 12, my third hole, where I was left with an impossible shot and a certain bogey. From there it was a slow slide down a slippery slope. I turned in 1 over and after a bogey on the 2nd hole all of a sudden found myself at even par for the tournament.
The pressure on a Friday afternoon when the cut is looming large for you is enormous. I had 7 holes to go, arguably the toughest 7 hole stretch on the course and here I was, one maybe two shots inside the cut line. Every shot was going to be crucial from here to the end and would require me to give them my all. The problem was that I wasn't driving the ball that well and as a result of that the pressure on my iron play was building and it was starting to crack. Basically I had my C game out there with me and I really needed my A game. It didn't arrive but fortunately my A+ short game did. I got up and down from everywhere coming in and on the last green I had a 45 ft putt right across the top line of a ridge in the green before it was to break hard left down the slope and try and stop somewhere near the hole. I was now one over and the cut line was two over. But going through your head in this situation is this....."I need to two putt because if I three putt I will be on 2 over, but what if the cut comes in over the course of the next hour and a half and you miss.......better get this job done.....no pressure at all!!" I hit a great first putt but still had a 4 foot downhill right to left breaking putt to stay on one over and be safe. All the work I have been doing on routine paid off as I simple went through the process and routine and pulled the trigger on the putt and watched it go into the centre of the hole! The relief was enormous as I realised I had made the cut and the tough day was over. There were some casualties out there this afternoon with the main names missing the cut being, Charle Schwartzel, Nick Cullen, Kim Felton, Stephen Leaney, Craig Parry, Johan Edfors, Matt Griffin and Adam Crawford just to name a few tournament winners that won't be playing over the weekend.
I am looking forward to the weekend now and hoping to go low!!! I feel like I have two low rounds in me and I will be aiming to hopefully crack the top 20 by Sunday afternoon!! It is all before me and I have been waiting and practicing a long time for this moment so I am ready and can't wait!!
The day started early today with the alarm going off at 4:45am for my 7am start. I am not a fan of the alarm going off at that time of day but I guess going to play golf for a living is the best reason. So the routine began, early morning time spent in prayer, praying for those God placed on my heart this morning. That finished I did my spiky ball stretching and activating to try and get the body up and running. By 5:15 I was out the door and on the way to the course. At the course I had breaky and then went and saw the physio about my foot which was quite sore yesterday. He gave me the all clear and thought I would be fine.
From there I headed to the range where I spent 20mins hitting chips, pitches and bunker shots before heading onto the range proper. Having already warmed up and stretched at home I simply hit a few key shots on the range. I work on shapes predominantly and go from my sand iron to my driver. I wasn't feeling that good on the range today to be honest, struggling with the club getting a little stuck in behind me a little on the downswing meaning that I was always going to struggle with my ball striking today.
That was exactly how it panned out on the course. I struggled all day generally to hit the ball the way I like with a series of average shots being intertwined with some quality ones. I started with a couple of solid pars before hitting my approach on 3 to a foot for an easy birdie. A sublime short side bunker shot on 4 saw me save par before a couple more pars, 1 under through 6. I birdied 7 and then just missed birdies on 8 and 10 before making birdie on 11. That took me to 3 under and I wasn't really even playing that great although my mental game was certainly on, big time.
I played the next few holes well but couldn't buy the birdie before a bad drive at 15 ended up costing me my only bogey of the day. Composure was perfect despite the set back as I expect that I will make some mistakes so simply moved to the next shot. I was a little scratchy on the closing 3 holes but managed to make good par putts on all three to finish the first round in 2 under par.
After golf I went to the range to work on the swing and in fact put it on video and sent it to my coach and within the hr he had responded and given me some advice on what was happening. So with that in mind I am looking forward to tomorrow and hope my A game shows up. If not
The Perth International is here and I am looking forward to the week. It is being held at the Lake Karrinyup Golf Club here in Perth. The course is in fantastic condition with the fairways being some of the best I have ever seen anywhere in the world including Augusta National for the Masters.
I am playing well and have been doing my best during the couple of days on the course this week to come up with the plan on how to tame the course. I believe I have a good strategy in place and am looking forward to taking care of my processes and plotting my way around.
The course itself has a good mixture of shape and elevation and greens that will require precision placement of the ball or else the putting will become very difficult. Shot shaping will be critical to place my ball in the right parts of the fairway to be able to access the pins. There are several blind tee shots as well this week so the work done in practice rounds and notes made in my yardage book will also be paramount to success this week.
It is a big week on the Aussie Tour this week and it will also be the first event I have ever played on the European Tour as this is a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour. Subsequently there are plenty of players from the European Tour here this week with Paul Casey and Masters Champion Charle Schwartzel making appearances. Bo Van Pelt and Jason Dufner are also here and looking to dominate whilst in Australia too. I am looking forward to mixing it with these lads and getting my share of the $2 million that is up for grabs. It would certainly be a great week to have my A game show up although with the work I have been doing with Kev and Karl I am getting better at scoring with my B, C and D games too.
Nathan McIntosh is making his debut as a Tour Caddy this week and he has been enjoying his time mixing it on tour this week. I have been enjoying my time with Macca this week and look forward to working with him a few times throughout the summer of golf. Check out Lake Karrinyup below......
The wind wasn't as bad in the final round but the problem was that it was coming from the opposite direction. I was hoping for a cracking final round but unfortunately I never really gathered the momentum you need when you are chasing a low score.
I started well enough but bogies on 4 and 5 halted the early progress and although all pars and a birdie on the 9th started to turn things I could only manage even par around the back nine.
I finished another solid week in a tie for 16th and certainly took the opportunity to have a really solid hit out before this weeks Perth International.
I played some holes at Lake Karrintup this afternoon after arriving in Perth. The course is in unbelievable condition. I even likened the fairways to that of the one and only Augusta National. They are unbelievable!!
I am really looking forward to the week and can't wait to take a few scalps hopefully. Nathan McIntosh arrived today for caddying duties and he is very excited about the week ahead too.
Make sure you check in tomorrow for some course photos!!!!
Well the last two days have added to the first round. What I mean by that is that the course and conditions have been incredibly difficult. The wind has been crazy and making golf one very difficult proposition!!
I shot 4 over yesterday in the second round and actually played really well. I got a club wrong on the 14th hole when I was 170m out. The wind was coming from the right and maybe helping a little bit. I was in a wasteland area which is basically hard sand. I decided on a 6 iron when it was a 5 iron distance for me. I made a great swing and watched my ball take off on a perfect line for the pin. Unfortunately that was as good as it got with my ball sailing over the pin and over the green. It came to rest next to a tree, in the wrong side leaving me with no shot. I hacked it towards the green but came up short. That left me with a very difficult chip shot and I played a great shot but missed the 8 foot putt making a double bogey. The wind is so tough that club selection. Is crucial and if you misjudge the wind or get a massive gust of wind when you hit your shot, it can end badly.
Today I felt really good in practice and took that onto the course. I played great today but as I have done every day I hit one bad drive and it cost me. Today it was a double bogie on the 12th. I also had a couple of three putts butt on this course it is possible as the greens are so undulating and often the option of playing to the centre of the greens leaves you with a very difficult putt.
I made 5 birdies though which is the best of the week and hopefully a pointer to a bogie free round tomorrow and plenty of birdies.
I am 9 behind the leaders and 6 behind third place. I truly believe that if I can get to even par, which requires 6 under then I will have some chance as it is possible for the anyone to shoot over par around this place. Strangely I really want the wind to blow as that will increase my chance of the leaders coming backwards a little.
I'm looking forward to the day!!
What an incredibly tough day it was out there today. It was pretty warm but the big factor was the strong wind blowing. It was a very tough challenge even trying to hit a shot from 100m onto the green let alone trying to get it near the pin. Several times even with a wedge in hand I had to play away from the pin as the combination of down wind and firming greens meant playing safe for the middle was the best option.
I literally was exhausted by the end of the round and felt like I had been in the ring for 12 rounds ducking and weaving Mike Tyson. In boxing terms I think I came out as a points decision winner signing for a 2 over par 74. I took a couple of hits but did my best to get through relatively unscathed. I am tied 14th after day one with the leaders coming from the morning field. I am hoping to make my morning round count tomorrow although the weather is predicted to be not great in terms of the wind again tomorrow.
My patience and attitude to the day out there today in trying conditions was awesome. Nothing got me down and I committed to the processes and routines all day and on every shot. 16 pars and 2 bogies was my day, birdie free but I played really well. If I can do that tomorrow and make the odd putt things should be all good going into the weekend. Looking forward to the challenge tomorrow.....see you then!!
Here are some photos of the course. It is a desert course and so anything off the fairway is in the red dirt you can see. It is a Graham Marsh course, whom I met today, and it is a very good test of your game. Plenty of skill and talent required out there from tee to green and then on the greens with the greens being a serious test of your putting skills.
I played the pro am today and we actually won so I am hoping that is a good sign of things to come. I have been billeted this week with a nice family at the last minute so my prize of a Titleist Stand bag went to the 16yr old son who is a keen golfer. He was pumped!! I am looking forward to the tournament and feel like I am hitting the ball quite well. It is just about hitting it on the grass this week, literally, no dirt!!!
A change of schedule this week sees me in WA instead of China. After the events in New Caledonia where I had some kidney issues, Rach and I decided that China wasn't a place I wanted to be if my kidney issues flared up again.
So a change in schedule means that I am teeing it up this week in the WA PGA Championships at the Kalgoorlie Golf Club, Gold country. I haven't been out there before but from all reports the course is a very good one. It is designed by Graham Marsh and they were wanting it to eventually rank in the top ten in the world for desert courses. I am looking forward to playing it tomorrow. The picture to the left was sent to me today by one of the boys already there, better hit some fairways this week!!
My week at home and preparation leading into this week has been somewhat average. Kidney problems early in the week meant no practice but then I did have a 2 day pro am to play on the Gold Coast at the end of the week, Friday and Saturday. I played quite well despite zero balls being hit since the previous Saturday in New Caledonia. I managed to shoot -6 for the two days and finish in a tie for 4th place. A solid result and a few dollars in the bank.
The big news from last week was the finalisation of a new sponsor. Cricks Noosa and Jeep have come on board for the next 12 months. Cricks Noosa is a car dealership in Noosa and together paired with Jeep will provide me with a car to drive around for the next 12 months, a Jeep Cheroke and also they are providing me with clothes from Cutter & Buck which have their logo's on them. So if you are in the market for a new car and are thinking of buying in the Jeep, Dodge Chrysler range, give me a call and I will put you in touch with someone who can help!! I am looking forward to being a part of the up and coming car brand in Australia over the next 12 months!!!
So a busy day tomorrow playing the course in Kalgoorlie early before the Pro Am. Such was my late entry into the event that I wasn't included in the pro am field. Also my late entry and change of plans meant a late arrival into Kalgoorlie and as I write this I am still not there, instead sitting in the Qantas Club in Perth. I am playing at 11:30 on the Thursday which sounds perfect to me after a solid day out there tomorrow. I look forward to bringing you the tournament news throughout the week. I will be looking for my own little piece of gold out there this week and importantly a good week of good health and pre
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!!