That photo is what we faced standing on the first tee in the final round. It's a par 5 and it requires precision off the tee with a hazard left and trees right. If you can manage a straight one a birdie or eagle is waiting with the green reachable in two.
Before my start I was fortunate enough to have a chat with New Zealand golfing legend Sir Bob Charles. He was an interesting guy and we chatted about the modern technology in golf and his thoughts on it. He hates it and still loves to use steel shafts as he prefers the weight in the club still. He also chatted about the ball and how it doesn't spin anymore unless you have big power. A great little pre round chat!
Today my job was simple, make as many birdies as possible to try and post a good score with bad weather forecast for the afternoon. That meant it was time to go for broke, go for everything and try and attack in every hole. Now this can go either way, it can work and you shoot well under par or it can go the other way if you are a little off, missing on the short side a lot and bogies become a real possibility.
For me it was somewhere in between, 2 birdies on the front nine were matched with 2 bogies before once again attacking on the 8th and missing it on the wrong side meant a double bogie 6. So two over playing the par 5 9th wasn't ideal and when my attacking 2nd shot found the water I was in a spot of bother. I made a miraculous up and down for par and decided talking to my caddy on the way to the tenth tee that we would continue to attack!!
A par at ten and two incredible par saves at 11 and 12 followed by a brilliant chip shot on 13 to set up a tap in birdie. As has been the way all week I made bogie on the very next hole giving the shot straight back....so frustrating!! The 15th was a driveable par 4 and today I crushed my drive and found the green with a great drive. I two putted for birdie and then hit a quality 6 iron into the par 3 16th and made par before a great birdie on the par 5 17th.
So after all that drama I stood on the 18th tee even par for the day! What a merry-go-round!! I smashed it down 18 and had an 8 iron to the tight right pin location. It is a very tough pin to get close to but I hit a great shot to about 6 feet. Before I got to putt one of my playing partners had flown the green and was waiting for a ruling. This meant I could have a chat to a few of the people in the gallery. The weather was seriously closing in and I asked them how many of them were going to hang around when this weather hit! To my surprise they all were going to stick it out!! As the ruling was taking place I saw a guy eating some pizza, after telling him that looked good, given it was freezing cold again, he offered me a piece from the box and I obliged!! It was a great piece of pizza. He told me I needed to make my birdie putt now.....which I did for a great birdie par birdie birdie finish to my week! That gentleman earned himself a signed glove thanking him for the pizza!!
So a solid week this week although with some better putting it may have been even better. My week wasn't done though as I had a guest spot on the live web stream of the tournament as a commentator during the closing stages of the tournament. I really enjoyed the opportunity to commentate and think I went ok! Hopefully some more opportunities to come there!
So it's farewell to Queenstown again, one of my favourite places in the world!! Until next time!!