After opening rounds of even and 3 over in a cyclone on day 2, I then shot 4 over on day 3 in very windy conditions leaving a lot to do in round 4. My foot had been a constant pain in the butt and when I left the padding at home on day three a makeshift pad was made by Oliver and myself and fashioned under my foot. It did get me through but without doubt I wasn't producing my best. Oli mentioned to me that it simply looked like I was struggling to turn onto the left foot through the ball. Probably true given the discomfort and that it was week three of battling through this poorly timed foot injury.
On day four it was simple, I needed to perform at my best and hope that my best would be good enough. I made the slightly unconventional step of deliberately not strapping my foot and deciding that today was all or nothing, no strapping, no hindrances and no excuses, just head down and have a red hot crack. I am happy to say that when my game was under the pump and I needed to produce a good round under pressure, I did. I played great and only missed 2 greens in regulation around the tougher King course. I managed up and downs on the two missed greens for pars and added 4 birdies on the other holes. A 4 under par round was quality but unfortunately the calmer conditions meant the cut line went a shot lower than predicted, I missed by 1 shot. What is worse, missing by a shot or missing by 10? Most golfers at any level have endured a "one shot" story and this was the week for me to have one of mine. I am disappointed to have not played to the level I know I can but also excited at the fact that I was able to produce a really solid round when I needed it most under the pump too.
Sammy Eaves is making his first finals experience up here and he has a slightly different story to tell. Starting the day on the same score as me going into day four, he played the Queen course and when he had three holes to go he was 4 under par, the same as me....probably thinking that he was close to the mark but pushing for more. He found the green on his 3rd last hole but his birdie putt ran by the hole. He missed the par putt and all of a sudden found himself needing to birdie at least one of the final two holes if not both. The 17th hole for him was a par 3 playing long, a 3 iron for him. He hit a great shot but late in the day with the sun at a funny angle and the green slightly elevated it was hard to see how close his shot was. I think he wanted to hit 4 iron but his caddy suggested it was a 3 iron. When they arrived at the green to no ball near the hole and no pitch mark either they were wondering where the ball could be. They found the pitch mark, demolishing the back of the cup and his Titleist ball was sitting pretty in the bottom of the hole!!! A hole in one!!! The amazing thing was that he had hit one in practice on the other course that was actually hanging over the hole for a 1 also, the closest thing I have seen to a one!! What an amazing time to have a hole in 1 and take him to -5 for the day. He made par on the last and made the cut on the number!! How cool is that story!! Go Sammy! We are currently waiting to see if he kept his form going today and give himself a chance to make the final 35 to get his card.
So year 2015 is almost done now, all that remains for me is time with family, a week at the beach, catching up with friends and family and celebrating the birth of Jesus, a significant time for me and my family with our faith. May the end of the year and the festive season be a blessed one for you all and I hope and pray that 2016 is an awesome on for all of you!! I look forward to the season ahead once I have had a small break. I have finished the year in the best position ever for me on the Aussie Tour which means I have every start on the Aussie tour next year as well as most starts on the One Asia tour as long as it goes ahead. I will probably have a crack at Challenge tour up here again next year too. Lots to look forward too.
A massive thanks to everyone who has helped me out throughout the year, you all know who you are and no matter how big or small I truly appreciate it. Thank you especially to my amazing wife Rachy, she has been an incredible mum to our kids and both wife and supporter for me all year long. It is a tough gig for her and certainly some success this year has made it slightly more enjoyable for her I hope. Thanks everyone, Love you all!!
Merry Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season!