Two weeks ago I went to Sydney to play at the Lakes Golf Club in prep for the Aussie Open and thanks to friend Nick Farr Jones, I played with him and Steve Waugh, Greg Matthews and a few other guys. It was a great day and great meeting those guys. So this morning I decided to message Steve Waugh to see if he had any tips for me regarding dealing with the nerves and the pressure of the day that lay ahead. I set off for my run and within a few minutes my phone buzzed letting me know I had a message. I looked down to see it was from Steve. No more than a minute later it started ringing, it was Steve. Upon answering he said "G'day mate, I sent you a message but then thought, why don't I just ring him, so here we are?" We had a great chat about nerves and what the day ahead meant and how both he and the Aussie Cricket side used to deal with certain things. It was brilliant and I certainly felt at ease, what a nice gesture to ring and impart some extremely valuable knowledge for me. Thanks Steve!!
It got me thinking too, that I was right where God wanted me to be and had planned for me to be. Earlier in the year I was paired with Nick in the NZ PGA and two weeks ago met up with these other high profile sportsman. As I was running I came up with the thought that I was paired with Nick to allow me to meet these others that were going to be able to help me through not only this week but in the weeks and months ahead. To have the resources that I have in front of me is totally awesome, thanks God!!
So the crazy day at the course began at around 11:30 with the whispers of "there's Matty Guyatt" following me around the clubhouse as I made my way to the locker room. I didn't even make it there before I was asked to sign some autograph's and was also stopped by a couple of lady members for a chat. I knew it was going to be like that but nothing really prepares you for it, it's great fun though. After going through my warm up and stretches in the locker room it was off to the chipping green and range. For the first time this week for me there was a gallery about 2-3 deep at the driving range, people just wanting to see you hit balls!! So surreal it was to be one of the last on the range and looking along to see Ian Poulter and Adam Scott as the last 3.
After the warm up it was off to hit some putts before heading to the tee. People everywhere and even walking from the range to the tee was challenging with so many people around. Luckily I have the Sarge on the bag and he looked after things. A few minutes putting whilst Adam teed off. With about 6 minutes to go I asked Sarge(my caddy) if Adam and Ian had gone as there was a mass of people around the first tee. When he said yes it hit me that they were there waiting for us to tee off. I walked onto the tee amongst the masses, so weird, such a strange feeling knowing people have paid to come and watch me play golf. I got my driver and headed to the back of the tee where I started chatting to the spectators who were leaning over the advertising boards. This was my trend all week, to interact and nothing was going to change now!! My name was called by the loud speaker and after a great round of applause I teed the ball up and my day was about to begin. I simply went through the routine and flushed it down the middle and I was away!! A solid 3 iron and a great 50m pitch to a foot and a half and I made the dream birdie start.