Back to Japan for the next three weeks. There is a problem though, I turned 40 this week so not as young as I once was and not sure how I will handle it.
This week we are joined by a few ok players from around the world, Poulter, Dufner, Schwartzel, Hoffman and Senden to name a few. Yesterday afternoon I was practicing around the putting green and Dufner and Charlie Hoffman were doing some putting at a nearby hole. A young Japanese lad putted into the hole they were putting to. When Dufner got the balls out of the hole he look at the young guys ball. He says to him "hey is this your name on the ball? You've got your name on your ball!" With his American accent. With that Hoffman comes over for a look as did their caddies. The shy young guy whose ball it was nodded. Dufner says "oh that's cool, I want my name on my ball, how do I get that, how do I get my name on my ball?!" At that point one of the caddies says to the young kid, "hey man, how many majors have you won to get that!!!" At that point there was laughter all round!!! It's one of the unique things about the Japanese tour, they do things and have equipment that nobody else in the world has! It's cool, well the Duff thinks it is anyway!!
The course is very typical for Japan, hilly, very hilly, good greens for the most part and tight. It isn't long though like most tour venues and felt like low numbers might be out there.
My game is continuing to evolve and change for the better. I am continuing to improve my right to left play and have to say am working hard on the putting front with some exciting confidence coming. All of that sounds great doesn't it, and it is but with improvement and change also still comes some poor shots whilst you are gaining absolute trust and confidence in the change, check Tiger Woods out for confirmation of that fact! The other challenge is that I am hitting the ball new distances. Even though this is exciting, I am still learning those distances too! This unfortunately leads to some inconsistencies and some disappointment on the scorecard.
Today exactly that happened. I played some quality golf and hit some shots beyond my former ability which is exciting. I also hit a handful of poor shots and a handful is probably 5 too many to hit! I paid the price for my poor shots and missing a couple of makeable putts and hey presto I shoot 4 over. Golf is such a demanding sport, again ask Tiger, we work out butts off just like he is I'm sure and do all the prep work leading into an event. Then we get in the moment and things sometimes just don't pan out. I was talking to another of the boys earlier today about this and he missed the cut in the last event by a shot, a single shot. He missed the fairway on the 35th hole and found the water with his approach, he went on to make a triple bogey 7 and miss by that 1 shot. For the best part of 9hrs of tournament play he was making the cut and in fact in a pretty good position in the field. All in the space of 15mins he hits a couple of poor shots, makes a poor decision and he's out the door. Here's the part that makes what we do really tough. He makes no money for the week but the reality is that he has spent money to be here in Japan. It's not just the loss of that money though, with even a double bogey 6 he plays the weekend and even if he finishes last makes a couple of grand.....brutal, unfair, tough, why would we do it, unpaid work! When your form is out that happens every week, and it's at those times we wish we where like the AFL or NRL boys, we can be on the bottom of the ladder still getting paid our $250k a year!! How good would that be!
So tomorrow is the next day in this challenge. An opportunity for me to learn more but more importantly to put a good score on the board. To restrict the poor shots and make the most of my quality ones. Make the bad better and the good more frequent!!
Enjoy the photos from my week so far!!