I don't really quite know where to start. The last two days have been an absolute buzz, really quite surreal. Less than 32 hrs ago I was teeing off in round one of the Aussie Masters. It was 11.20am and I was standing on the first tee, feeling my usual nerves I feel when teeing off in a big event. I was prepared, I played well in practice and also played really well in the pro am. But as always every day when you tee it up, you never know what is going to happen.
I started well, a par and a birdie before a par and a bogey to be even par through the first 4 holes. It was a solid start and I was hitting the ball well. Birdies at my 5th, 6th and 7th holes got the round going and after a near miss on the 8th for birdie I rounded out the 9 with a par for a 3 under 33. The back nine started well with a birdie on my 10th hole, the first, and then straight pars all the way to the 15th where I made birdie. Birdies at 16 and 17 left me at -7 for the day with one to play and a crack at the equal course record. I hit a decent shot into the green and had a putt at it but unfortunately missed the putt and had to settle for par.
After signing my card and not even having the time to pinch myself to see if this was real, I was taken straight to a tv interview with Warren Smith from Foxsports. This was a new experience for me, I have seen it done many times before with other players over the years but now it was my turn. I think it went well but to this point still haven't seen the interview. I was then taken from there around to the media centre where things went to a whole new level again. Inside the large marquee there were desks with computers and reporters everywhere. They were told that I was in the building and that the interview would be starting in a couple of minutes. Up onto a stage and taking a seat in the bright lights the reporters filed in and the interview began. For about ten minutes I was asked questions by all different people about my round, it was fun, it was a great debrief for myself from my day, it was confronting, it was emotional. I was asked about my coach Kevin and his wife who has bone cancer and struggling day by day. It was emotional. The real madness though was when I turned on my phone to the multitude of messages of support and encouragement. Thanks everyone.
After what was an amazing day sleep last night wasn't going to happen to well I thought, and I was right. From 3:30am I woke and was buzzing, my mind racing a million miles an hour. Frustrating as I wanted to be asleep as long as possible as playing early after a late tee time is always tough with limited rest in between rounds. Off to the course we went at 5:15am once again with anticipation and excitement about what the day might hold. It was windy and cold, not good, thinking that it was going to be a tough morning.
By the time I warmed up and an was on the first tee, the wind had settled and I managed to get through the first 7 holes without too much wind playing havoc with my golf. I had made a fast start and was 3 under through 7 before a par on 8 and after a brilliant 5 iron onto the 9th green I managed to role the putt in for a 4 under 32 on the outward nine. It was unbelievable and I almost had to pinch myself to see if my 5 shot lead was for real? Walking onto the 10th tee which is right near the clubhouse, I was greeted by a few "cmon Billy" and "go Billy!" calls. There used to be a shop here in Melbourne called Billy Guyatt's that sold white goods. In my radio interview on SEN they told everyone on air that they were going to be calling me Billy from now on, obviously they have a few listeners as people in the crowd were calling me that!! Funny stuff.
Two pars and then my first missed green for the day and my first bunker shot for the tournament, only to find a horrendous plugged lie. I played and amazing shot but just pushed a little hard for the par and ran my putt past. I was left with too much to do and missed my putt, making a double bogey 7. Despite the disappointment I moved on to the next tee and next shot. A solid drive and second shot and a perfect putt saw me role in a birdie to get one back. Unfortunately I bogied the next hole with another 3 putt and then made pars on 15 and 16 before a birdie on 17. Two great shots on 18 left me with a makable birdie chance to get to eleven under par. I missed it and signed for a 3 under par 69, making that 10 under for the two days. I was leading by a couple and that managed to stay throughout the day and into the third round. After my round I had the same press commitments to go through which today, knowing what to expect, I enjoyed and I think did a better job of.
Off home and the barrage of emails, tweets, facebook comments and messages kept me busy for a while before I decided that I needed a break from it all and went to the park to kick the footy around. It was another fun day and I am looking forward to the day tomorrow, fun first and golf second!! For the record this website has normally 50-100 hits per day with today reaching just under 2000 by the end of the day!! Cool Stuff.
Hope you all have foxtel to watch the golf tomorrow, and I hope I don't let anyone down!!
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!!