Round 3 was all about trying to put myself in a position to have a chance on the final day. Overnight the top 29 players were on a score of 4 under so with me being on even I needed to try and make up some ground. If you double the 4 under that means that maybe by the end of tomorrow I would need to get to 8 under. Certainly an achievable target, it just required a little bit of solid thinking and quality golf.
I set out today with the "My Kitchen Rules" game as my number one mental game, but I added another mental game to it. I added 3 hole corners, meaning I was going to break the course up into 3 hole lots. Doing this really helped me to see that the 8 under I required in two days was certainly not out of reach. Given that I had 12 three hole corners still to play over the final two days, if I could play them all in 1 under par then hey presto......12 under and safely through to finals.
So my plan was set and I also adopted a Captain Confident attitude in practice this morning. I went a little overboard with it when I was warming up with Ryan Haller actually and at one point I said to him that I was hitting it that good that I could hit this 6 iron off one leg with a little draw down to the 180 yard marker.....I hit it perfectly with that little draw straight at the sign....met with much laughter from Ryan and myself. He even put a ball up in a tree branch near the chipping green whilst we were killing some time due to a fog delay and we played a shot nearest the pin. He had an airswing and took out the branch but I managed to hit a brilliant shot onto the green, once again met by loud laughs from us. The Japanese are so quiet so it is quite funny when we are being loud and laughing around the place, they look at us like we are complete nut cases!!! We probably are!!
Finally after the fog lifted I was on the tee. I smashed it down the middle with the confident attitude on hand that I had been mucking around in practice with. The reality is that I can hit every shot in the game and I probably should carry that confidence with me a lot more often. When I got to my ball I looked at the shot and thought, "surely I am going to hole this shot!" From 117m I hit it straight at it, pitching 4 feet short and finishing 3 feet for an easy birdie. I carried that attitude with me all day and it worked for the most part.
My corners game and kitchen game worked a treat today. I scored my highest score on My Kitchen Rules and as for the corners I had 3 one under corners, 1 at level, 1 at one over and 1 at two under giving me a final score of -4 for the day and getting myself into that position I was chasing at the start of the day. I will have a chance tomorrow and hopefully I can score that 1 under/corner target and I should be sweet.
The highlight of my day today was a flop shot I hit on my 17th hole to save a par. I have been working only last week with Murray Lott on my short game and to be honest it has a long way to go still but today I hit one right and he would have been proud of hit himself!! I was on a severe downslope with about 5-6m of rough in front of me before a metre of fringe grass and 5-6m of green all downhill to the pin. Basically it was not a good spot to be. One of the shots Murray was teaching me last week was this exact shot so I just trusted and played the shot. The key was that I made several practice swings until I felt like the "dish" I was serving tasted ready to put on the dinner table. I then served up exactly the same dish with my shot and hit it to 3 feet, a remarkable shot that is right up there in my memory of great short game shots for me.
So one day to go people, hopefully I can do much the same tomorrow and get across the line, even if it is in the 79th minute, Queensland style!! Thanks for your thoughts, comments and prayers, much appreciated everyone!! The good news too is that regardless of what happens tomorrow, next week I am teeing it up in the Aussie PGA on the Gold Coast!!!! Get there to
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!!