My putting coach Cameron had made the trip down this week to watch me play and had given me some feedback after the first round in regards to my putting so I was keen to spend some time on the greens to put his ideas into practice. I went straight to it and worked on it for about 45 mins before heading to the range. My range time today was also good as I felt like I had found a little more rhythm and was hitting my shapes with a little more ease today.
Teeing off the tenth today was tough as it is a long par four and as I mentioned yesterday there are no drivers allowed to be hit on the range and this hole particularly requires precision and length. I ripped it down the middle and my day was away. After pulling my second shot a little left I knew that it was going to be a little long. As I walked onto the green I mentioned to my caddy it would be good if the putter got a little hot today. Low and behold my 30 foot putt on the first rolled straight in the middle! The second hole I also made a birdie putt but this time due to the sublime 8 iron I had hit to 6 inches.
The next couple of holes I wish I could have over as a pretty poor missed green on 12 saw a bogey and then a poor tee shot on 13 left my ball in a bush with no option but to take an unplayable penalty. This is where I see a big difference in my recent play, normally I may have been unhappy and had a whinge about my luck but on this occasion I simply took my unplayable drop and worked out the next shot. I hit my wedge to about 6 feet and calmly drained the putt. With the feeling like you have dodged a bullet I hit a great drive down the next hole and managed to rip a three wood into the green side trap on the par 5 14th. A regulation up and down for birdie and then a great tee shot not the next hole set up another.
I was playing well but this course requires that from the first til the last. You can't afford wayward shots as you usually pay the price and for me that happened on the 18th. I hit a poor drive and despite doing everything right down the hole I made a bogey. Still it was a solid opening nine holes of 2 under par moving me to 4 under for the tournament. My back nine holes started poorly as I found the trees off the tee on my tenth hole, the first. I managed to manipulate my ball into the green side trap and this time saved par. From there I played great golf all the way to the clubhouse and despite hitting some quality iron shots and some great putts I only managed 3 birdies. Still that was very solid and my 3 under to go with the 2 from my front nine left me nicely placed heading into the weekend just 1 shot back.
My shot of the day was a 5 iron into the par three 5th hole, a shot I never used to be able to hit that well and also a shot that I have been encouraged to hit by my new coach Cameron. He has encouraged me to hit my favourite shot instead of the shot that it would appear to be the right shot at the time. For example on this par three the pin was cut on the right side and would suggest that a left to right fade shot might have been the shot to hit. For me I felt like the right to left shot was the more comfortable shot so I went ahead and hit it. To see the quality and shape of shot soar off the club was cool and one of the better iron shots I have ever hit I reckon. Hopefully there are plenty more in the bank of shots and putts for the weekend ahead!!