I am exhausted as I sit and write this blog after a long hot and tough day out on the course at Royal Pines. It was again very windy out there and it was a true test of your ability today.
I arrived at the course a little earlier than normal today and was treated with a tour through the TV Production truck where all the magic happens to bring an event like this to the millions of homes around the world watching. It was mind boggling and so confusing but thankfully they are the professionals and they know what they are doing. So many screens and buttons and levers and dials.....all coming together in perfect harmony to bring the golf to the masses. It was a great insight into the "behind the scenes" stuff that goes into a tournament week.
Practice again went well although I was certainly feeling the pressure a little today. I was a little nervous and the crowds despite being big on Thursday and Friday had swollen again. With my long game tuned up and ready to go, I hit the putting green prior to my tee off. Being off in the 5th last group meant that most of those 10 guys were around and it was good to have a look around to see if you could gauge how the other guys were feeling. I said hi to Adam Scott and wished him well for the day before a few minutes later he asked me if my putter was anchored. This led to an interesting discussion regarding the rule change and methods that we both might use down the track when the ban comes into place. I also caught up with Adam after the round and had quick chat to him about a mutual friend who lives in the states and also what he thought he might serve up at the traditional Champions Dinner at Augusta next year. (The Masters Champ gets to choose the menu)
Today I can honestly say that it was the best I have played for the week without doubt. I had worked hard on the range and got myself into a good place mentally out on the course. I played exceptionally well throughout the front nine but the last hole I missed a very makable par putt meaning I made the turn in 1 over. The back nine didn't start too well as somehow my birdie putt on 10 stayed out of the hole before my first errant drive of the day found an ugly spot and a bogey. I was now 2 over and had a very tough final 7 holes in increasing wind. I managed to par the next 3 holes but after pulling my tee shot on the 15th left and what I thought was into the water, I thought I had blown the last real birdie chance coming in. Fortunately my ball was up and I managed to hack it out down the hole, the photo above is the 2nd shot on that 15th hole. I found the green for my third and once again I managed to make a putt for an unlikely birdie on the hole.
The last three holes really only presented one good opportunity for birdie and that is the 17th, the short par 4. I did however play a great shot into the par three 16th first and although I hit a great putt, the ball managed to stay out of the hole thanks to a 90 degree lip out!! 17 I made a meal of and was lucky to get out of there with a par before I headed to 18. Back into the wind this was going to be a tough test. I smashed my drive and hit a great cut 4 iron onto the green, pin high. Despite hitting a great putt and it looking the goods, it slid by leaving me at 1 over for the day and 3 under for the tournament and in a tie for 12th going into the last day.
It has been a really solid week and I am keen to finish it off with a low score tomorrow and be the clubhouse leade
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!!