This week is true British Open style being played on a links course in the city of Fukuyama south of Osaka. The course itself is a good test as it seems every week up here is. It is quite long and unlike the true links courses of Europe this one is quite wet due to rain and there are no real "run up" options due to the wetness. Length in the par 3's is again evident as in practice I have hit a 3 wood two 3 irons and a 6 iron into the 4 par 3's. A week of pars there and you are doing very well as not only are they long holes, but they have extremely demanding greens as well. The greens are amazing here, they are the biggest greens I think I have ever seen and many of them have not one but multiple elephants buried underneath them, making your ball control and knowledge of where to hit it so important. Being a links course will be great for the Aussies as the Japanese typically don't play that great in the wind and in fact the last few winners at this course have come from the foreigners not the locals.
My own practice and play this week and the couple of weeks leading in have been mixed. I had a rough time getting it right back home in the first week off, before the hard work felt like it was finally starting to pay off last week. I have practiced well up here and feel as close as I have all year to hitting the ball like I did at finals last year. I'm not sure if it is the reason or not but David Rushmore or "Dashmore" as my kids have named him is here this week and he caddied for me at finals. I have spent plenty of time and effort soul searching back home and feel as though I am in the best mental shape of the year too. David knows where I was last year and is doing a great job of trying to recreate that calmness and enjoyment of what we are doing. I have practiced well today and am looking forward to tomorrow. Don't forget you can follow the live scores online at www.jgto.org and when you get there click on the english converter in the top right of the website and you should be then able to follow the scores. Check back in tomorrow night to get the low down on my day, looking forward to writing some positive stuff down!! Check out the photos from the course