How amazing has the Olympics been … And the Paralympics has not even started yet!!
The Hanson household has been seriously glued to the television for every single sport going; my elder daughter has been so excited shouting for Team GB too, it’s just been incredible to watch, and great to see her so excited about sport!
All the Olympic athletes are unbelievable and don’t get anywhere near the recognition they deserve! There are many sports in the world like Football, NFL, Baseball and even Golf where they earn super money and fame … But I’m sure the effort levels from some of these Olympians is by far superior to any of those sports and it would be great to see them walk away with more than just a medal!
The gymnasts, the cycling, the swimming, the running, I just can’t imagine the pain barriers these athletes go through for sometimes what can only be described as a ‘pat on the back’ in comparison to what a Premier League player would get for scoring the winner in a game!
We just can’t get enough of Team GB at our house! And to think 20 years ago in Atlanta, Team GB were not even in the top 25 of the medal table!!
So back to the Golf…
It feels like I haven’t played for ages … After the Scottish Open I had two weeks off, then after the King’s Cup in Thailand I had another two-week break!!
So to only have one competitive week in 5 weeks through the middle of summer seems strange, but that’s just the way the events have been scheduled this year and how they have fallen with the Majors and the new addition of golf in The Olympics!
So I was really keen to get going and hopefully have a good run of events in Europe!
It was back on board with Jet2 last week and off to Prague from Leeds/Bradford!
The Czech Masters is a great event and one I played 2 years ago on the European Tour and this year should be more fun!
On the flight out I was joined by Steve (Caddy) and fellow Woodsome members Phil Shaw, and Steve, Sheila and their son Greg Selbie.
I can’t thank Phil enough for wanting to join me this week, to experience life on Tour behind the ropes will be fun for him but for him to help towards my costs of flights and the official hotel is a huge gesture!
And again I must also thank the Selbies for also wanting to help towards some Tour expenses and also support me this week, it’s always great to have friendly faces around when on Tour!!
On landing we were then joined by the one and only Mark Baber. (Mind Coach) Mark flew in from Stanstead and was with me for the week to keep up the good work we have been putting in back at home, especially the fantastic work we have recently been doing on the greens!
So Tuesday was a standard practice day – we arrived at the course, quick bite to eat, completed my pace putting drills, dispatched a quick basket of balls and got out to play the course!
I really like it, and have fond memories of a good week here back in 2014!
Wednesday there is no play on the course, so it was just a case of working through my ‘prep’ to-do-list and getting set for day 1!
Like I’ve already said, it’s great to have support when you’re away at events so as well as the friends I’ve already mentioned, I was also joined by some really good friends of mine who have been behind me from day 1!
Michael (Veggie) and Jackie Appleyard from Bradley Hall and Mike and Lin Ockenden (past Crosland Heath members).
Both Michael and Mike are both ‘ex European Tour’ caddies, having both travelled with me and caddied on Tour in Austria and Prague respectively!
So after a lovely meal out Wednesday in the fabulous Prague, I was all set for round 1!!
DAY 1 ROUND UP
My game really is starting to feel good again, there are still some areas that need fine tuning (there always is) but it feels something good is around the corner!
On day 1 I was two under through 12 and in cruise control, or so it felt! A three putt on the long 3rd hole, then soft bogeys on 5 and 7.
And then to top it off I three putted the 8th, my 17th, and ended up shooting 74 (+2)
That put me down in around 90th position and fighting to play the weekend – pretty disappointing after what felt like I was showing potential!
DAY 2 ROUND UP
It’s always nice to get off to a fast start, whether you’re in contention or fighting to make the cut!
A perfect tee shot down 1, I played up just short of where I wanted be … and from there I spun my ball back off the green into the water! A good up and down from 90 yards I made bogey and definitely didn’t get the fast start I was hoping for!
That start got even slower when I clipped a branch on the 4th off the tee, found the hazard and compounded my error into making a double!
That was ‘weekend golf’ getting away from me and I was now +5 total thinking level par would probably make the weekend!
Work to be done!
I parred 5 and 6 … And felt I needed to nick a birdie before I ended the front nine and the 9th was probably my best chance.
A solid par down 7 … But then the 3 shots of the day that changed my momentum … A great drive down 8, a 5 iron from 200 yards to 15ft and a birdie putt that never left the middle! #gameon
A text book birdie down nine and I was in with a fighting chance!
On 12 it felt like make or break! I had 270 to the flag on the par 5 … Water short of the green, it needed a good hit but it was safe left of the green.
That’s exactly where I bailed out but a great up and down from the rough and the charge was on!
I holed out nicely for par on 13, 14, 16 and then felt two birdies were a must!
I took the aggressive play down 17, which gave me the best chance with the approach shot for birdie. 17 is probably one of the toughest holes out there, and I then hit a quality 6 iron from 193 to 7 feet.
Putt missed … Argh!!
It felt like game over, but you never know …
Again we went for the super aggressive play down the last, I don’t think many players would have reached for the driver … But I hit my best of the week …
After working out the yardage I called it to Steve: “It’s a perfect yardage, I could hole this!”
100 yards, slightly down breeze, full lob wedge!
To see it pitch 3 foot past and spin back shaving the hole to a decent applause from the crowd was great!
I knocked it in from 3ft to get back to +1 for the tournament! But still thinking it had probably missed the cut … We then ended up having a 7 hour wait to find out we had made the cut on the mark!!
What a crazy game, but what a great feeling to get that reward for not giving up, knuckling down and making those clutch birdies coming in!
Everyone was delighted and dinner sure tasted sweeter that evening!
DAY 3 ROUND UP
It really was a round that could have been! I know that’s so easy to say, but cruising to -4 through 11 holes I was on a charge!
We set out that morning to be aggressive, and takes shots on! With the prize fund this week and the sheer number of people making the cut you needed a couple of 66’s to make an impact on the OOM!
But at the same time every penny counts!
So, standing on the middle of the 12th fairway the par 5, we decided to take the shot on from 270!
It was down wind, and a good three wood had enough to cover the water … I slightly miss hit the shot and it bounced back from dry land into the water!
A bogey was not the end of the world, but a shocking shot into the next led to another bogey and then the round just seemed to spiral away from me!
A poor display on the greens over the last 4 holes and I very disappointingly shot 73 (+1).
I know this is hindsight and you could say this every round, but if that ball on 12 had stayed dry I would have possibly moved to -5, kept my momentum, and maybe pressed on!
But it wasn’t to be!
So we moved down the leader board a little and that only meant one thing!! Less time in bed Sunday morning! Nooooooo!
DAY 4 ROUND UP
After a third 4.30am alarm in a row, we got the 5am shuttle bus to the course in torrential rain! It looked to be set in for the day and we were in for a shocker!
But to be fair the weather was fine for playing once we teed off at 7.45.
I felt to play pretty steady and in the end signed for 74 (+2) but again there were plenty of positives and I know what I need to work on next week!!
Again it was great to finish with a smashed driver down the last, a nice wedge and a solid 12ft putt for birdie! It makes lunch taste sweeter and you finish the week on a positive note!
74, 71, 73, 74 (+4) T77th
Again a huge thank you to all my friends who came out to support me this week, it’s been fantastic to join you all for dinner each evening and have you out on the course screaming and cheering at every par I made!
For me it’s now onto Denmark to meet the family and get set for another week on Tour at the Made in Denmark event at Himmerland Golf Club!
After playing the event in 2014 I can’t wait to experience ‘Himmerland Hill’ again!!
Blog again soon – Chris!
“Fancy an evening out with friends, colleagues or clients…? How about coming to the Ryder Cup event I’m part of below…”
Would be great to see many of you there!