The task here is simple:
Finish as high as I can against the other 240 players.
The higher I finish, the better my playing category will be for the 2017 season ahead.
After last weeks 9th place finish at The Players Club and with practice going well, I was full of confidence going into the event
I was selected to tee off the 1st hole on the blue course and after all the great build up, I got off to the worst possible start I could think of.
My tee shot found the heavy rough in front of the pond on the first fairway and a terrible lie meant I could barely move the ball. When I played my second shot it barely moved forward, but moved just enough to now put it in the pond!
I took a drop, played up to the green, chipped on and two putted out for a 7 and was +3 already, I was gutted!
A couple more pars, mixed with a couple of bogeys and I was +5 though 9 and already in trouble.
Onto the back nine and a great birdie straight away on the 10th, bogeys on 11 and 13 gave me another set-back before a great shot into the par 5th – 15th left with an easy two putt birdie.
Three more pars and I was done for the day with +5 (77)
Playing the Red course today and regarded as slightly harder than the blue so it was going to be a difficult day to go very low and get back in contention. I was determined to put up a good fight though and see how the day panned out.
This time I was starting on the back nine 10th hole first
A silly three-putt bogey on the 10th was followed by five straight pars, before a birdie on 15 got me back to level for the day, three more pars and was out in 36 level par – but still +5 for the tournament.
On to the front nine (my back nine)
I found trouble off the tee and caught the trees down the left, a chop out sideways and missed green and I had made a double bogey 6, now just needed to hang as best I could and try to drop no more shots.
Unfortunately I went on to bogey the 3rd and the 5th before making pars to finish the round off and come in with a +4 (76)
77 + 76 was 9 over the tournament – the cut came at +3 so I was 6 shots outside the line.
Here’s my scorecard for the two days:
I was really disappointed with a couple of errors especially as I had been in good form and the practice was going great and even the week before had recorded a top ten finish.
So my playing category for 2017 will be 14, the same category as 2016, during which I played in nearly all the EuroPro Tour events, so I will be looking to do the same this year.
My positive from this event is that I have maintained my playing category, and but for two holes that cost me five shots, things may have been much different. The fine margins of professional golf. Last year I was happy, this year I am disappointed…which just means progress is being made.
In the weeks I am not playing on the EuroPro Tour I will also play the Jamega Tour; as well as playing in the qualifying day for the The Open.
Thank you as always for all your messages of support and good wishes – here’s to a great 2017 season