I didn’t play well in Belgium and there is not much more to say really; it was a shame, as the course suited me on the eye from the start, very tree lined and playing quite tricky. But after a few poor tee shots early on I lost a bit of commitment and trust to some shots.
I battled hard in round two and pushed for the big result, trying to make eagle down 17…but in the end I missed the cut which left me searching for some answers.
The good news was I felt I found them.
So, it was onto Wentworth for the first Rolex event. I was pretty excited to go back too; I played the PGA Championship last year and the event sure lived up to the expectations.
This year I felt more prepared, I knew the course now, felt I was starting to turn a corner after ‘finding some answers’, and was really looking forward to the challenge.
Laura was with me for support which is always great, she also has so many friends on the Tour and it’s nice to have her walking the course with me.
Unfortunately, in round one there was nothing really to cheer about for 17 holes; I was four over par, struggling away on the scorecard and not really making huge errors, just letting the odd shots slip away.
The 18th is a good chance, but also tricky if out of position. I played it perfectly; you have to hit at least a 20-yard cut around the corner to give yourself a good chance of going for the green.
I then hit a five iron to around 20ft and rolled it in for eagle – what a bonus and that gave me a fighting chance Friday to make the cut!!
I was near enough last out Friday. 3.10pm is a later than normal tee time due to the one tee start (like The Open), so killing time in the morning is always tough as you never want to do too much, but you don’t want to just do nothing and waste the morning either.
I did some laundry in the local town, had a quick swim, then headed up to the course for an hour’s practice prior to lunch.
I was up for it, I played pretty much perfect stuff, or should I rephrase that, I managed my game perfectly and through 12 holes I was three under and -1 for the tournament.
I felt the cut would probably be level par, so I was back in the tournament.
15 is a pretty horrible looking tee shot to me, I was a little scarred from a poor shot there last year, but after a good one this year in practice and a great one in the first round, I knew what I had to do.
But today wasn’t the day; I hooked it left, had to lay up short of the green and made a bogey. There are then three good chances to finish but a bit of a miss on fourteen and maybe the wrong shot on 16 led to another bogey.
In the end I needed that eagle up 18 again - another perfect drive and an ok second shot into the green, I made birdie but in the end it wasn’t enough.
Gutted to miss the cut again, as nobody wants to miss the weekend at Wentworth. But that’s golf and you have to just pick yourself up and go again.
The great thing is that it was back to back Rolex events, so I was Italy bound for the next one and the fabulous Lake Garda!
Wentworth was a great test, firm and fast greens, and amazing condition, but this week’s venue couldn’t have been more different. They didn’t have the weather prior to the event they wanted, thunder storms and rain led to a super soft course, which made the fairways wider due to no run or bounces off line, also the greens were like puddings, so not quite as much imagination was needed and that also led to the greens not being quite asgood as they hoped!
I was cruising along nicely through 9 holes on two under and the game felt in control, but some poor bogeys and a loss of momentum down the back nine meant I had to birdie the last for level par.
Again, slightly on the back foot after round one, meaning a challenge Friday morning to make the cut and get back up the leaderboard. I played some good stuff, made some good birdies and gave myself a chance coming in. I missed the best chance on 16 and in the end finished the day -3 and unfortunately missed the cut again by one shot.
I was left a little frustrated, working hard, feeling I’m making improvements and not getting anything from it.
From there I was scheduled to have two weeks off, missing the event in Austria, but after some persuasion from the team I managed to get an invite back into Austria, where hopefully I could turn a corner and maybe change my luck a little.
I’ve played the event three times at this course, I know the place quite well and have a top ten to my name there; it’s always firm and when windy can get very tricky.
The only difference this year was that it was the new initiative of the Tour – The Shot Clock Masters!!
Each group had a ref with them, every shot got timed and if you didn’t hit your shot within the allocated time you received a penalty shot on that hole. No one was sure what was going to happen, how the event would pan out, and how many people would be handed penalty shots.
I think I speak for most players when I say I was a little on edge for the first nine holes, I had one eye on the stop clock and one on my shot.
I played ok, settled into the round but could only post level par, that left me just inside the cut line so it was ‘game on’ Friday.
In the end the cut fell at +2, which I guess was due to the tricky afternoon wind. But for me it didn’t matter in the slightest.
After a poor front nine I somehow eagled my 10th (1st) but from there I fell apart, that hasn’t happened in a long time, but everything became tough and it felt like the golfing gods were swallowing me up. I wanted out of there and just couldn’t find that fighting spirit I seem to find 99% of the time.
I let myself and my team down, and no one is more disappointed than me!
So, another early bath for me, and missing cuts sure doesn’t get easier!!!
I’ve now got that much-needed week off to regroup, work hard, give my head a good shake, sort out a few off-course things, and come out fighting for the middle of the season!!!!
Bring on the challenge!!!