Sat was the worst for me, I wasn't able to even go to the range before the round to warm up as I just felt that bad I had nothing to give before the round had even begun. I did my warm up on my spikey balls and with my stretching bands in the locker room in between rocking and breathing my way through "contraction like" symptoms from this kidney drama. I have discovered that blood clots do form and act like little kidney stones and although far easier to pass than a a kidney stone they are seriously painful all the same. So on Friday and Saturday I had that going on before I even teed off and lasting throughout the front nine each day. The good part about it was that as soon as you pass them, you do tend to feel a lot better quite quickly. So after nine holes each day I certainly started to feel a little better and the constant pressure from my kidney to my bladder from my right side started to ease, not disappear, ease!
On top of that, yesterday was so cold it was a joke. I am a Qlder and the cold is something we don't ever have to experience!! Yesterday was colder than today and raining, and that photo above is this morning when we were teeing off.....check out the "feels like" temp under the temperature heading!!! It was freezing and with the rain yesterday posed a serious test for the entire field. After a roughish round 2 where I really struggled with fatigue and shot 3 over, the 3rd round was meant to be a day where I could get back into the contest. I played brilliantly in the conditions and shot even par which did move me up the list considerably on such a tough day. With one day to go I needed to probably make up 5 shots to make the cut and secure my Japanese Tour Status for next year.
This morning I rose for the first time without a dull ache in my kidney or bladder area. I was slightly excited that I was at least going to be able to get a fair crack at it. Everything was going ok but the warm up on the range let slip a few little signs to me that my pain was on its way and it wasn't going to be a pain free day. Still, I was determined having come this far this week that I was going to give it my all. I started well with a birdie at the first but gave it back at the 2nd after my tee shot ended up with mud over half the ball resulting in my second shot flying weirdly over the green to the right. I failed to get it up and down and subsequently lost the shot I had picked up on the first. Pars on the next 2 holes was followed by a majestic 50m bunker shot to 2 feet and a kick in birdie. 3 more pars found me at the 9th hole with an 8 ft birdie putt to turn in 2 under. As was the case for most of the week, it caught the lip and spun out leaving me at 1 under for the nine.
I figured with nine holes to go I needed at least 4 under maybe 5 to have a chance. Dave and I were playing the course in 3 hole blocks which meant we needed two blocks of 2 under and one at 1 under. This was achievable and we set about doing it. I parred the 10th and hit a great drive down the 11th, the par 5. After waiting for the green to clear I went for the green and hit probably the best 3 wood of my life. Still as I write this I am not sure how the ball didn't go in the hole for an albatross because when we lined up the pitch mark and where the ball ended up, it had to have looked in the hole as it rolled to its resting spot 2 feet behind the hole. Anyway it was an easy eagle and we were on our way. Unfortunately the next hole kind of summed up the whole week. I hit a great drive but struggled to get the club right for the approach shot. All week we had a massive struggle with how fare the ball was going. Some shots would go nowhere and others would go normal length. With the cold the ball goes shorter as a rule but sometimes that rule just went out the window and that is what happened on the 12th with my 9 iron sailing straight over the flag but long of the green. I made bogey and finished the corner at 1 under which meant I needed a strong finish. I played the final 6 holes the way I had all week, hitting the ball well and having birdie putts on all 6 greens but only made 1 of them, on the last. By then it was all too late and as I walked to the clubhouse I had that sinking feeling at a Q School where you know you are just short of the mark. I had shot 69, 3 under in the final round but as I thought going out there, I needed 5 under.
So having fought so hard even just to play this week after an op last week, to fall just 2 shots short was heartbreaking especially knowing that my ball on day one that hit a cart path and bounced out of bounds cost me 3 shots!! The positive is that I have hit the ball well, my mental game continues to strengthen and that I can head to the Aussie Open and Aussie PGA with some confidence after the final round. I look forward to them both and only hope that my health is like it was today at worst, but hopefully better!! Thanks as always for having a read and don't forget to enjoy your next game of golf!!