02 January 2015
I’m writing this in the air on route to the Beko pro am in Turkey, a great 3 day pro am played over the Gloria courses in Belek. This is a great event to be part of, a good competition but also a nice relaxing week after a long tiring year on the road.
This year has been again a nearly year, playing some really good golf at times but not quite consistent enough throughout the year. I started very slow even though I was playing good golf, I just couldn’t seem to put it all together for 4 days. Later on in the year I managed to play more consistently especially on the main tour finishing 3rd in Denmark, which I feel with a bit more luck on the greens I could have challenged Marc Warren a bit more than I did. However that finish put me up high enough on the order of merit to gain a category for the European and Challenge tour for 2015, all be it a very similar position to 2014, I feel the work I have put in this year is definitely paying dividends in my fitness and golf swing, so I’m feeling very optimistic about 2015.
The last few events I played in 2014, the Wales Open and Hong Kong open didn’t quite go to plan. 50th in Wales and missing the cut in Hong Kong, and unfortunately not getting in the Perth International the final event, for the 6th time of the year getting to 1st reserve, very frustrating. I then had Tour school to prepare for, the finish on main tour order of merit sent me straight to the finals and the way I was swinging the club I felt very confident in doing well, but tour school is a brutal tournament and people can play well and go home with nothing. My preparation went well and with experienced caddie Richard Hill on the bag I felt good, opening up with a 68 -2 was a nice solid start, even though I felt I left 4/5 shots out on the course. The next day on the stadium course started much the same way, starting on the 10th tee I was 2 under after 5 holes and going along nicely. The next 8 holes I played great golf, I had 8 puts inside 12ft, 7 for birdies and 1 for par and I missed them all! Getting no reward for great golf I think I got a little frustrated and tried to force the issue a little taking on the wrong shots at the wrong time. I finished with 3 straight bogeys to shoot +2 and move back down the field. The next day went pretty much the same way, with chance after chance just missing the hole even though they all felt like good putts I just couldn’t get the pace of the greens. I went straight on the putting green with Richie and tried to find something for day 4 as I was now outside the cut and with the tougher course to play the next day something had to happen. The few little changes made the night before took effect and all of a sudden the hole looked like a bucket, opening with 2 near misses for birdie, I then preceded to go,eagle,birdie,birdie,birdie,birdie,birdie and get back into the tournament I ended up shooting 67 -5 for 3 under total now only 3 shots of card place with 2 rounds to go!
The 5th round again started quick and I got to 2 under early on. I played very solid for the rest of the round in windy conditions to finish 71 -1 4 under total and now only 2 shots of the pace as the playing conditions were tough. I’d been in this position before and felt both sides of the coin in years gone by, so I definitely didn’t want the bad feeling come end of round tomorrow. I slept very well and went into the round very confident of getting my card, which showed again with my opening 6 holes of -3 to get into the card positions, my momentum was halted on my 7/8th holes with 2 bad swing resulting in 2 bogeys, but I was still well within reach of a card. Although I played some really good golf on the back nine, again the ball would just not drop for me and I ended up shooting 73 +1 for a -3 overall total, 3 shots shy of where I needed to be. When you add 3 shots up over 6 rounds it’s hard to take, and that horrible feeling of just missing out is not a nice place to be.
I’ve taken stock of everything over the last few weeks and there were definetly positives to take out of 2014. I still have a lot of playing privileges for 2015 and my desire to compete is still as strong as ever. I have quite a rigorous fitness plan to do over winter and plan to come out all guns blazing next year to try and get that quick start I didn’t have this year.
Once again I have big thanks to give for the continued support of John Andrews from John Letters golf, whom I have now been associated with for 7 years. Also to the my new management company Elton Gidney for their support and hopefully a few more partnerships for 2015, watch this space. A big thank you goes to my wife Deb for her unrelenting support I could not do this without her behind me and the love of my kids Jack and Hallie, I’m a lucky man!
Anyway hope you enjoyed my end of season blog and hopefully will have lots of great stuff to write about in 2015!
Happy golfing and keep practicing!