The Nordea Masters

So, the week started early due, sadly, to missing the cut at Wentworth, but I stayed around to practise on Saturday and then headed down to Walton Heath Sunday to see the course prior to US Open Qualifying Monday morning.

With it being 36 holes Monday I didn’t want to do too much Sunday, so I walked the Old Course with a wedge and putter, and then after lunch set out to walk the New Course.

After three holes, a rain storm brought us in and we called it a day, deciding to play the New Course ‘blind’ the following day.

I had decent tee times in the second to last group, so no need to set that ‘killer’ alarm clock! “Phew”

The courses were great – heathland, loads of heather like Crosland Heath, and decent greens, it was going to be fun!

Starting on the New course I missed two chances early on, made a poor bogey on the 3rd and battled around, finally pulling the shot back along with another getting to -1!

A crap bogey around the turn but a perfect eagle on 14 saw me finish -2 for round one!

It’s pretty much all or nothing in these events, and especially with the heavy rain Sunday night it made the course a lot easier, so we expected the qualifying score to be at the least -8!

I think through 9 holes I was level par, and the clouds were getting darker, I joked to my playing partner “if it rains are we going in?”

And from that moment I went birdie, birdie, eagle and all of a sudden, I was -6… the challenge was still on!

We got on to 16 and didn’t even realise it was a par five… I hit driver, 7 iron onto the green, and walked off with birdie to get to -7….

Birdie, birdie finish maybe?? Sorry, not this time sports fans, as a bogey on the tough 17th soon stopped the dream!

But over all a positive day, the best I had driven the ball all year, I just didn’t get my share on the greens or that’s how it felt!

So, a long day Monday, time for the third hotel in three nights and back up to Heathrow airport to get some sleep before that ‘killer’ alarm I mentioned and a 6.30am flight to Copenhagen!

It was Sweden (Malmo) this week for the Nordea Masters but we actually flew to Copenhagen in Denmark and had courtesy cars across the bridge and straight to the course, again a fantastic service from the Tour and Promoter!

A bit of practice, then out on the course for a practice round… 7700+ yards this week, so a long battle and after some rain and strong winds it soon became longer and longer!

It’s a great track, mostly through the woods, but then out to sea for 4 holes down the coast!!

Rooming with Sam Walker and Marcus Armitage in an apartment this week, we headed out for dinner then got back and hit the pillow.

Wednesday was planned to be the normal preparation day, but after shocking winds all day and being bitterly cold, there wasn’t much practice anyone could do.

I got a nice surprise Tuesday, though, Laura’s mum and dad are out with the family in Spain and suggested that she came out to Sweden to watch, so she did, her parents looked after the children and Laura flew into Malmo Wednesday afternoon.

So back on the 1st tee again Thursday afternoon, and after 8 holes it wasn’t the start I was after (+3). It was playing pretty tricky for everyone; the scoring wasn’t great and I stuck at it… I then made 4 birdies in five holes and got to -1, which also moved me inside the top 20.

I had some momentum and some confidence back, but as most of you know as golfers, that’s when this game bites you in the a**e the most!

Double bogey, bogey, par, bogey, par finish to fall straight back to plus 3 and back down the leaderboard to where I was after nine holes!

All that bloody hard work and let it go, very frustrating!

Day two I played much better overall but couldn’t buy a birdie! I shot 74 (+1) to miss the cut by three shots!

Again, a tough week to take – the only saving grace was that after a full day of practice Saturday to put a few things right over videos with Mark, we then managed to fly back to Spain to see the children!

Now that felt good, I’ve not seen them for nearly three weeks and I wasn’t supposed to be going back for another week, so it was a big surprise for them when they woke up Sunday morning and daddy was home for two days before flying back out to Austria!!!!!!

I can’t wait!!

It is the dream job, and I’m very lucky to do what I do, but I’m looking forward to being a dad for at least 36 hours and forgetting where the clubs are!