After some positive signs in France I was really excited to tee it up again in the next Rolex Series event – The DDF Irish Open, hosted by The Rory Foundation.
This year it was at Portstewart, just down the road from the soon-to-be Open venue of Portrush.
I’d heard great things, especially about the front nine and how spectacular it is, and also how great the local area is with their love for the game!
Whenever you play in the UK, the fans are world class, they appreciate good golf and cheer anyone from any country, it’s great fun!!
So last week was no different – nearly 100k came through the gates Thursday-Sunday and seeing them lining the fairways and perched up high on the huge sand dunes was an amazing sight!
And I also had my own amazing support team around for the week…. #TeamHanson was out in force!
Laura and the girls were back on the road for Ireland and are with me this week in Scotland!
Then my Mum, Geoff and Pat Newton, Super Sue Kaye, Doreen Sutcliffe, Nancy Lightowlers, and Michelle and Tony Booth flew out Wednesday to cheer me on!
Also, my good friends David and Julie Murray, from an hour down the road at Galgorm, were up to support for a few days, and David actually sorted out a house for us for the week, which we rented in Portstewart, which was perfect – we can’t thank him enough!!
I’ve known David now for over six years and he’s been a true supporter; he actually took one of my fave pictures of all time when I won on the Europro Tour at Galgorm in 2011!
I was really looking forward to playing the Irish Open. As I’ve mentioned, I believe in my process and can see many signs of my game going in the right direction.
But just staying patient is tough!
But Wednesday afternoon I signed off on all my practice and was ready for round one the following morning, all was going to plan!!
Or so I thought…2am Laura was up sick, 3am Jessica was up sick, and Jess then continued every half an hour to visit the toilet…
I ended up sleeping next to Olivia and after a pretty disturbed sleep I was up at 5.30am to get to the course for breakfast!
So, to keep my focus, play pretty good despite no sleep, I was pleased to shoot 70 (-2) with only one blemish on the card down 17.
I then had the perfect time for round 2 (2pm), so sleep was needed. In bed by 8.30pm, I got some hours back and felt fine in round two. Again, I posted 70 (-2) for a total of -4 which in the end only sneaked inside the cut line by 1 shot!
As ever, it was a pretty tough school and I was happy to be around for some more homework over the weekend!!
Saturday morning, I was up at the club for 5.30am…second group out!
After a decent breakfast, I soon started to feel like it wasn’t digesting! I didn’t eat anything during the round and that is not like me at all!
After a double bogey, bogey finish for level par, I soon went off to see the kids in crèche to take my mind off it…
But I hadn’t been there long when I had to make a dash, it was daddy’s turn…now I was sick!! I headed straight back to the house, got to bed at 2.30pm Saturday afternoon and, bar an hour wake up, I slept through till my 5.30am alarm Sunday morning! (14 hours sleep)
I felt rough Sunday morning, managed to eat some breakfast but then didn’t eat for the whole round. After a few huffs and puffs I got the first few holes out of the way… then it’s amazing how some decent shots start to make you feel better!!
Maybe that’s what the doctors should prescribe!!
Climbing the leaderboard in events is always key, but in the Rolex Series they are huge, every shot could be massive OOM points!
Through 8 holes I made 8 pars…
Then Laura turned up – she had dropped the children off in crèche and come out to join #TeamHanson in support!
I was under pressure now: no sulking, look like I was enjoying myself whilst not making birdies and not shout and swear…I’m sure you all know how tough that is!
Somehow Laura brought some luck; I made 6 birdies in my last 10 holes and also managed some revenge on the 17th, making birdie there too!
I really played good and that shot me up the board to 21st when I had finished…but in the end I happily had to settle for T36th, which was great as I had started the day around 60th, and had just quadrupled my OOM points tally from the position I started the day at!!!!
A great morning, and happy Chris, as always a happy Steve, and a super happy #TeamHanson!!!
That was a prime example of a patient round of golf and one that I knew was coming sometime soon!!
So, some more progress made, but that’s all forgotten now as a fresh week starts again at the Scottish Open, time to prepare for the next challenge and embrace it all!!!!
Oh – and smile!!!
Again, a huge thanks to everyone who came to support during the week!!!