The final day was always going to be tough with 30-35 knot winds predicted! I woke early for a final day kayak fishing expedition but was met by strong winds and waves at 6am. A quick message to my mate saying the kayaks would have to stay dry and back to bed for another he or so of sleep.
Unfortunately when I rewoke an he and a half later, the wind hadn't died down at all, in fact it was stronger! The Tina Golf Club is situated right on the ocean so there is no protection from the on shore winds whipping the coast!
My day was an interesting one in prospect. I felt I had been playing well all week but usually my bad shots have cost me and my putting has been solid but just simply not converting my chances. I was too far back to win but had a good chance to consolidate a top ten position with a good day in the wind.
I started well today, holing two 15 foot putts in the first 3 holes to make a fast start at -2 thru 3 holes. Further birdies at 4 and 7, 8 with one bogie saw me turn -4 and really looking to push hard all day. After a solid 4 iron into ten I was left with a long long putt for birdie which I unfortunately 3 putted for a pretty soft bogey. After a par at 11 I also bogied 12 and it felt like my day was beginning to unravel in the strong wind on the exposed ocean holes of the back nine!!
I hit a sublime shot into the par three 13th and converted and when I found the green in two on the par 5 14th and two putted I had erased those two soft bogies! A good birdie on 15 and a good drive down 16 left me in a good spot to attack and push for more! At this stage I had no idea where I was placed and simply had an attacking mindset believing I needed to continue to press for more birdies. If only I knew my position.... I hit a wedge trying to knock it close and unfortunately I got a flyer from the broad leaf grass we are playing on here. The second I looked up I knew it was flying and sailing over the green. Over the green on 16 is bad news, and although I found the green with my third I was no where near the hole. I left my approach putt just short and disappointingly missed the next...arghhhh double bogey 6. I say again, if only I knew I was third outright at that moment in the fairway I would have played so much more conservatively knowing the threat of 16 and 17. Unfortunately I three putted 17 as well, somewhat uncharacteristically today as my putter certainly was a weapon for me not against me today.
A perfectly played last hole saw me at least close out with a birdie on 18 but the disappointment of 16 and 17 dawned on me when I saw he leaderboard beside the 18th green. It was a day to remember in a way, a closing round in extremely windy conditions making 9 birdies and eventually finishing a solid tied 4th, my best result for a while.
I always love playing here in New Cal, my host family are exactly that, family and look after me like I am one of their own. My good buddy Kiki also looks after me and this year took me fishing too!! He is a legend and he actually played well this week finishing tied 37th, a great week for someone who hasn't been playing that much!! Thanks to all of them, they have a special place in my heart!
Home for a week now to see my awesome family and then it's off to Fiji for the Fiji International, feeling good about the game. Before that though I team up with my coach Murray Lott for the Qld PGA Foursomes championships on Wednesday!! Cmon Muz!!
Thank you also to all of you who send me messages of support or support my family when I am away. Weeks like this wouldn't happen without you all in my life so a big heart felt thank you to you all.