The Rocco Forte Open

So we did it… We made the move!

And as anyone who has moved house knows, it’s never plain sailing. For us everything nearly went to plan, and after a week we were settled; the kids are into an amazing school and we have enjoyed some quality family time together!

Our location is great – Saturday evening I strolled 100 yards from my doorstep to the par 3 course, played a loop, then wandered down to the short game area to do some more practice….

It felt right, I’m so excited and really looking forward to what practice and structured preparation I can do in these ideal surroundings!

During the week my coach Mark Pearson also came out for the day, we did some work on the range then headed out on a buggy to the course with Trackman and transferred those feelings from the range to actual swings – a great exercise and something we have never had the time or chance to do!

So, as a family we are settled and everything feels great, the downside…I had to leave them there!

With the move coming sooner than expected, the travel plans for the family changed and I now have four weeks on the road by myself!

Sicily – Rocco Forte Open

Wentworth – BMW PGA Championship

Walton Heath – US Open Qual (1 day)

Sweden – Nordea Masters

Austria – Lyoness Open

This will be my longest time away from them; I’ve never done four weeks, so it will be a tough stretch but hopefully it will work out ok!

So Sicily bound via Stansted from Malaga, and a new little adventure for me from the start…

How to get to Malaga airport? The best route ended up being a taxi to the bus station in Marbella, then a direct bus to the airport…pretty easy really and cheap enough!

That meant a long travel day Monday for a European event but I won’t have to do that too often and after a good sleep I was buzzing to get to the course and see what it had in store…I’d heard good things!

The resort was spectacular, the views amazing but with no wind it was very, very scoreable!

And the scores in the first two rounds proved just that! The greens were soft and slow and there was no rough to be seen anywhere.

Guys were shooting 9 and 10 under for fun!! I didn’t quite see that and shot 70 (-1) in the first round…way off the pace and needing a low round to make the weekend!

My stats showed I was playing decent, two bad swings cost me in round one, so a patient day in round two and I knew I could post a number!

But, again, no real wind or elements to protect the course, so another day of everyone making birdies.

I played decent though, and stats showed that, but relative to the field I didn’t make anywhere near enough of my chances to compete near the top this week!!

And in the end I made a shocking bogey down my last hole, the tenth, to miss the cut by ONE!!!!!

Shooting -4 for two days and going home certainly reflects on the standard of the golf but also the set-up of the course.

A hugely disappointing feeling and then to top it off I had my first internet ‘troll’ abuse on twitter, not a nice feeling, but one to learn how to ignore as I’m sure the better you get the more haters you also seem to get!!

You’ve only got to ask Poulter about that…

So, how do you turn this negative into a positive, as there is no point dwelling on it… it’s golf, stuff happens, worse things have happened, and the reality of it is that it probably happens more often than not.

So here goes…

  • I’ve got an extra two days to prepare for Wentworth
  • Some good practice Saturday in Sicily
  • I didn’t have to play in the 30mph winds on Saturday and lose my swing feelings
  • I got to Wentworth early feeling fresh and managed to play 12 holes Sunday afternoon before the circus of the PGA Championship starts

How exciting… My first BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, the flagship event and the first of the new Rolex series!

This is stuff that dreams are made of. I came down to this event on my way to a Challenge Tour event three years ago thinking β€˜wow, this is incredible!’ So to now see my name on the entry list makes everything over the years feel very worthwhile!!

Let’s have a fun week!!!!