I took a little while to settle thanks to some wide shots which I actually believe are because of the inability to hit any woods on the practice range. The range isn't long enough to allow it so it is making it tough to start on the course in rhythm with your driver and 3 wood particularly when you need to use them on both the first and tenth holes. Once I settled and got into a little rhythm I was able to convert on the 6th for birdie but gave it back on the 9th with a missed putt costing me a bogey and meaning my outward 9 holes was an even par 36.
The back nine seemed to feel a little better for me and with birdies on the 13th and 16th I was a couple under for the with the tough 17th and 18th to play. The wind which had been coming from the north bringing some warm and humid morning conditions had died off and felt like it was actually switching direction. I risked a little on 17 taking driver and was rewarded with a perfect drive. My second shot however was fractionally offline and I was left with a very tricky 3rd shot. I could only manage getting it to around 7 foot. Luckily for me I have just installed a putting green in my new pool area at home and the putt I was left with was exactly like a putt from one of my holes to the other on my new practice green. With that knowledge I simply put it on autopilot and poured the putt into the hole. The 18th saw another perfect drive but much to my disappointment I drew a sand filled divot in the fairway. From there we were happy to find the heart of the green and two putt for par for a solid starting round. I hit an amazing shot and actually had a really good look at birdie from around 12 foot. I hit a great putt but it just had a fraction too much speed and hit the top lip and spun out. So a solid 2 under par round was done and dusted, a great way to start my first Masters at Huntingdale!
My day wasn't done yet however. I had an hour with the physio working on my troublesome foot before some putting fine tuning and then a trip to the commentary box for Channel 7's coverage. It was my debut on tv commentating and despite feeling very unsure of what I was meant to be doing, I really enjoyed myself. It was either sink or swim in the comm box as I was placed in headphones with microphone attached and introduced as a guest commentator. Wondering when to speak, I soon found out when the lead commentator Peter Donegan simply pointed at me as the next player came onto the screen and away I went. It was a really cool experience as along with hearing my fellow commentators in my ear as they spoke there were multiple other voices speaking as well telling us things all the time, like when the next ad break was coming, who was going to be next on screen, when we were crossing to the on course commentators etc. Cool fun that's for sure and to get off air and see my sister in law post a photo of herself watching the golf along with comments from my wife and other friends say they were watching too. The funny thing is that they haven't done that when I'm just playing, it took me to get into the commentary box!!! Hopefully they are now hooked on this awesome sport!!
For those of you who may have missed this during the week, check out the link below from the Australasian Tour media crew!