The Italian Open

After a disappointing Dunhill Links, it was nice to know I would be jetting off back to a course where last year I had some success! Golf Club Milano in Monza for the Italian Open and another cash-filled Rolex Trophy event at an extremely important time in the schedule!!

It was make or break week for many players, and a very clutch time for me too!! Lots of guys needing huge weeks to keep their playing rights for next year and with tenth place paying around €100,000, it was the week to do it!

And if I quickly flash ahead to Sunday, plenty guys did it…Gregory Havret on the brink of losing his card for the first time in probably 20 years secured it with a €65k cheque.

Max Kieffer needed to perform and did!! Matt Wallace needing a huge week to improve his category and did, winning €297k

Also Marcus Fraser who has struggled all season banked €251k and wrapped up his top 100 spot!!! Impressive stuff, and as they say in the sporting world, it takes some big balls to do that, well done guys!

My week ended up being pretty frustrating; I felt after Wednesday I had got my game in a good place and Thursday played very nicely. My approach play was world class.

Rounds of 68, 70 (-4) only saw me scrape through to the weekend on the mark as the scoring was good, and with Soomin Lee making birdie on 18 he knocked everybody on -3 out for the weekend and, from a selfish point of view, nicely reduced the cut to 65 players, which is the perfect number!

Had Soomin made par, the cut would have stayed at -3, an extra 18 guys would have made the cut and then with the new rule, that would have meant a round three cut and a watered down prize fund!

So, with the money on offer this week it was definitely the weekend to shoot two 65s.

I got it to a couple under in round three through 7 holes but too many stupid mistakes and very poor mental attitude cost me and level par wasn’t the round I was after!!!!!

It certainly wasn’t the weekend to waste shots, I was determined to make up for it in the final round. I have wasted too many opportunities this year and need to improve on this to be a much better player!!

So how did round four go? After that last paragraph it should have started well but it didn’t!!! The difference from playing early compared to after lunch was massive, by midday people were going for the first green in two with irons…at 8.30am it was cold, misty and you couldn’t get near the green in two.

I hit a decent drive, a good lay-up, then wedged it to 12ft – sounds good? It does until I three putted giving a shot away on the first!!!!!! What an absolute idiot, to put it politely!

An 8 iron to 6ft on the second and a 6 iron to 5ft on the third meant I bounced back strong and after a few more good approach shots I ended up shooting 68 (-3).

Relatively happy with my round, I hoped to climb a few places, but with everyone making birdies everywhere I only grabbed two extra places and moved up to 50th.

My Rolex series performances haven’t been great, but it was still a much needed €23k on the OOM…there are not many weeks you win a cheque like that and move down in the Race to Dubai (93rd)!

So, with one counting event left in Spain before the ‘end of the season’, it’s important I stay focused, I have goals I still want to achieve and pushing for a place in Turkey is high on the list!

It’s a field size of 78, and with many players who may choose not to play it could fall further down the list, so let’s fight for every penny at Valderrama and see where we are Sunday night!!!

On another note, I must say a huge thank you to Phil Shaw (Woodsome) for his amazing support this week in Italy. Phil enjoyed his trip to Prague last year so much he wanted to support me at another event. This week he cheered me along for 72 holes, joined me for dinner all week, and we had a great time, first class company!!

Then Friday, extra support appeared, Richard Sykes (Woodsome) was out with work in Milan and joined Phil on the sidelines to cheer me along!!

I can’t thank you guys enough for the support, hope you had a great time!!!