Round 1 is always a crucial round in a Q School. You always like to get off to a solid start and not feel like you are chasing from day one. There is officially 29 spots on offer this week to get through to the final stage the week after the Aussie Open.
The weather today was actually a little on the chilly side but the good news was that the predicted rain that was supposed to come didn't so we just played under cloudy skies for most of the day. My day started solidly enough with a couple of rock solid pars and a great drive down the third. A miss club into the green meant I came up short and unfortunately wasn't able to get up and down for par. My next three holes were really scratchy, missing fairways and greens and making life very difficult for myself. I managed to save par on 2 of the 3 holes but moved to 2 over thru 6 holes.
The scratchy golf continued for the next 4 holes but thankfully no bogies. I was nice and relaxed but just wasn't in the groove today and every shot seemed like a bit of a battle. Mentally though I was in a good spot and I reassured myself that I was bound to make two bogies at some stage this week so it was nice to get them out of the way early!
The problem was that I wasn't really giving myself too many good birdie chances but I knew they would come also.
The 11th was the first and then I managed to back that up with birdies at 13, 14 and 16 to round out the day with a respectable 2 under par. The absolute highlight of the day for me was on the 14th. I had played for a flyer (when you are in the rough, you can sometimes get a trampoline affect due to grass getting between the ball and the club face at impact, making the shot go much further than normal.) on a couple of other occasions in the round but both times the ball actually came out really softly instead of jumping. On this occasion I decided that I didn't think it would jump but boy did it jump. The ball went right to the very back of the green, one of the most undulating on the course. The problem was that the pin was tucked underneath a big slope right at the front of the green making my putt near impossible. I had just birdied the previous hole to get back to even par so was little disappointed to think I was really about to make a bogie straight away. I believed a two putt would be outstanding from 100 foot, and would be happy to three putt at worst. I hit my putt and was immediately happy with the line and speed given that the last 20 feet was straight down a big slope. In fact the only thing missing from this putt was a giant swinging boot or a Ferris Wheel to putt through!! Anyway the ball reached the slope on a great speed but started to gather pace down the hill. It looked like it was going to go about 7-8 feet past which I was very happy with, that was until the hole got in the way and boom, in she went!!!!! That is the longest and most difficult putt I have ever holed in a tournament in my life, surely everything else will be easy from now on!!
So a solid day today in round one and I am in touch with where I need to be. I think if we continue to have favourable weather that it will be a low number required to progress this week. One thing is for sure though, the pressure always starts to build as the week goes on!! I look forward to the ongoing challenge of this week and will embr
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!!