There were not many options for getting to last week’s venue, no quick options and certainly no cheap options!!
But there wasn’t a route that was going to stop me getting to Mauritius after the successful week in Morocco.
After landing at Gatwick 6am Monday morning, feeling pretty tired after slim to no sleep on the flight from Morocco, we then had to hang around for 14 hours.
Thankfully my manager, Duncan Maxim from MB Partners, lives quite close by Gatwick, so he looked after us for the afternoon which sure made the wait a lot easier.
So we had a 12-hour night flight direct to Mauritius, where it was crucial I got a good sleep. That’s never easy, but I think I did pretty well!
After arriving in ‘paradise’ at 11.30am, we got the transport and headed straight down to the course for an afternoon of light practice and some physio on my sore shoulder!
Wednesday was my only chance for a practice round, but you had to tee off before 8am if you wanted to play 18 – so not the lie in I was hoping for!!!!
The course was pretty long, a lot less demanding on the eye compared to Morocco, but with a 30mph wind at times it was a severe test, especially with lots of cross winds!!
The greens were also so different – big slopes, lots of grain – and combining those with the wind we knew it was going to be tough!
My swing felt good and off the back of last week I had some confidence, but I’ve played this game for long enough to know that it can bite you in the a**e when you think you’ve cracked it!!
Round 1 I played solid enough, a very strong wind all day and some flash showers made it tricky … But I got it to -2 on the 17th tee which was a very good position!
On the score card this hole looks simple, 157 yards, a few bunkers surrounding it … but nothing too daunting and it looked pretty spectacular really!
But when the wind gets up to 40mph off the sea and you realise the green has no flat points it soon becomes tricky…
… and you soon see why guys are making numbers on there!!!
I hit a shocker out right, hit the cart path, got stuck behind a tree, had to play my hybrid club left handed and in the end made an ok 5!! But a bounce back birdie on 18 and the round felt OK, I guess, shooting level par!!
That put me in around 24th place … In round 2 it was a similar story, some decent golf, but again a double bogey set me back after a torrid time with some volcanic rocks and I signed for +1 (73).
The average score in round two was 75.5.
Surprisingly that moved me up the board to 17th … And then even more surprisingly in round 3, I shot +2 and moved up again to 14th …
It was tough although round 3 felt slightly easier but the scoring obviously proved it wasn’t!
Again, I made my compulsory double bogey and apart from that played a lot of good golf, especially down the stretch which plays very tough!
Hopefully in round 4 I was going make a leader board charge and keep the mistakes off the card!!!!
I didn’t keep the mistakes off … Again it was tough! But a shocking double bogey down the 4th set me back and I struggled to find any momentum!
Thankfully some decent golf down the stretch again and a birdie on the last meant I shot 76 (+4) but this time dropped down the leader board into a tie for 34th!
In the end an average week but overall I have to look at the bigger picture and say what a fantastic three weeks it has been!!
To set my stall out in Madrid as a bit of a warm up and finish 4th on the CT, and then have a great week in Morocco, and add more money to the OOM this last week is exactly what I needed to do!
And with the re-rank in my category looming after the Austria event, it has already done me a world of good!!
Challenge Tour Madrid T4th
European Tour Morocco T5th
European Tour Mauritius T34th
Mauritius life and travel …
When travelling the world playing golf it’s sometimes very not to get a taste of the life in each country, you go from airport to hotel, hotel to the course and that’s it!
But this week was maybe a little different, me and Steve really saw Mauritius on both sides of the spectrum!
The official hotel was €230 a night! And that was a deal … I’ve been told it’s normally $800 a night!
But being typical Yorkshiremen we weren’t paying that!! Our money was going to last!!
We found real ‘luxury’ – well not quite – we found a bed at £45 each for the WEEK! And only 15 minutes from the course …
You soon got the feeling that Mauritius is a very poor country and if it wasn’t for tourists then not a lot of money would come through the island, bar the sugar cane trade!
Again, thanks for all the messages throughout the week, it’s been fun! I now have two weeks at home as my category won’t get into Ireland or Wentworth … But I will then be back in action for Sweden and Austria for which, after a few sessions with my coaches Mark Pearson, Mark Baber and Rachael Tibbs, I will be raring to go!!
Bring it on!!!!!!