I shot rounds of 3 over and 1 over which was solid but not good enough to make the cut. Steven Conran, a regular up here on tour for many many years said he could not believe the cut was as low as it was given the course and rough height. I played only ok with my good stretches of holes not yielding enough birdies and then my poor shots too often resulting in bogies. In saying that my wedge game and short game generally stood up in the difficult conditions around the greens.
As difficult as it has been on tour so far up here missing my first four cuts, I am learning each event and hopefully adding something to the experience tank each week. This week the encouragement is that I feel as though my putting starting to really feel a lot more natural on the quicker greens over here and I am certainly starting to understand the break of the greens with that pace also. Encouragingly I also still feel as though my game is far from its usual standard. I feel like I am driving the ball at about 50% which is putting far too much pressure on the rest of my game.
Today the weather was very average, rain again and there is a typhoon on the way(northern hemisphere name for a cyclone). I went to the course to do some practice but when I got there and saw the rain tumbling down I changed my plans. Golf has been tough for the last month so I decided to just have some fun out there in the rain and bring some enjoyment back to the game for me. I did some putting work then challenged Brett my caddy, who is a pro, to an 18 hole putting competition providing me with some competitive work. I gave him a touch up. After that I headed to the pitching area where the real fun began. From about 70 metres in the rain to a green slightly sloped from back to front I purely went back to my junior days of just seeing how far back I could get the ball to spin. It was great fun to see the ball pitching and then ripping backwards. A bucket of those followed by some long 50m bunker shots spinning those as well. Great fun and just what I needed, and the session was finished with a chip in competition against Brett, he lost that too!!
When we arrived back at my bag under the shelter outside the clubhouse there was a bunch of about 15-20 kids gathered for the junior clinic which had just been cancelled. I told Brett to head inside to my locker and get some balls for me to sign and give to the kids. So arriving back with the balls I signed one and gave it to the first little kid and then they just swarmed over to me, but politely lining up and waiting for their ball. After everyone had one I spoke to the Japanese Tour Official and then he told the kids if anyone wanted a hat signed to come up. So up they all came and hat signing and shirt signing went on for all the kids. Classic, they don't know me and I haven't done anything up here yet but they just love all the Pro's on tour. The official then announced to the kids who I was and I guess asked them to thank me for my time with them, as I got a big round of applause. Good fun and a great way to end my day!!
So onwards to next week which will be a massive challenge, the toughest course of the year!! Looking forward to the challenge, will this be the rise of the