Friday, cut day!! Tournament golf is played undoubtedly in two parts by 90 percent of the field. For those fortunate enough to be at the top of their game and such the leaderboard, it's not, but for the rest Friday carries it's own unique pressure unlike any other day of the week.
Pro golf is a tough gig, you work hard all week and unless you can negotiate the Friday cut there is no pay! There aren't too many other jobs out there where you work from Monday to Friday and depending on how well you work, you may get paid.......there is also the added component that if you work well, some weeks you still don't get paid as 60 other guys may work better and you are still on the outer!!
Today, around a tough course, that Friday challenge was always going to be a tough and relentless one. It wasn't going to ever let up until you managed to negotiate the difficult 18th hole.
I started solidly with good chances on the first two holes for birdie but under estimated the amount of break on the first and had a massive horseshoe lip out on the 2nd. After my tee shot went long on the 3rd it left me a terribly difficult shot that I failed to get right and despite a great putt it still managed to lip out also.
Some days on course I find my job very tough and today was one of them. I hadn't done much wrong and it seemed like everything was going against me.....or so it seemed. My headspace was filling up with those sorts of negative thoughts and I really struggled to release myself from them today and get back on track. I went into my own little world trying not to talk as I knew only negative stuff was going to come out. I too like everyone else in this world was having a bad day at work.
After some great ball striking over the next 5 holes I managed to miss all my birdie putts, get one ball up and down for par from and impossible position and missed a pretty straight forward 8 foot putt for par. So I stood on the 8th tee with the very real challenge of "Cut Day" looming large as I found myself at 2 over par for the tournament and plenty of the course stroll to play. A perfectly played two shots into the 8th and I finally converted a putt for a much needed birdie. That was quickly erased though when I found a fairway bunker on the 9th. The disappointment this week for me is the way the bunkers have been prepared, leaving large groove marks in them making it virtually impossible to get a good lie. A wedge out and another to the green but a missed putt returned me to 2 over with 9 to play.
I knew I was playing well and hitting the ball well but the scoring just wasn't happening. I didn't change anything on the back nine, gather the info on the shot, come up with the plan and execute the shot. I did it reasonably well, making birdie on 10, pars on 11, 12, 13 and 14 before a great drive and a solid three wood on the par 5 15th set up a nice birdie. I negotiated the tough 16th with a par before playing a beautifully controlled half 9 iron into the 17th and making the 14 foot birdie. The last hole is challenging and with the wind picking up left to right made it even tougher. My drive found the rough and my second the fringe of the green with a long putt up the green remaining. I misjudged the speed and ran it buy some 15 feet. Fortunately thr putt was exactly the same as the hole before and I made it to save par and be in the clubhouse at -1.With massive relief at turning a tough start and a poor mental game into a positive result and another cut made, I can head to the weekend in a tie for 19th and have a red hot crack at moving up the leaderboard. I'm looking forward to a better result this weekend than last week. s