The Australian Masters 200- My trip
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After the excitement of a 14/14 fairway and 16/18 greens second round of 69, Saturday's 3rd round was a bit of a downer. I made a decent enough start being level par through 11 holes, but made my first bad swing for the week on hole 12 and set off a run of bogeys that I couldn't turn the tide on.
I felt the wind shift on my second shot on 12 and didn't step out and change clubs and proceeded to ease a 7 iron that became all hands as I was frightened to hit at the ball and stopped my body and pulled it left into a dead spot where I had to play away from the flag and accept a bogey. That was followed with a 3 putt on 13, 14 & 17 where I lost my speed of the greens and misjudged approach putts. So round 3 closed out in disappointment with a 5 over score.
The final round was played in difficult conditions with wind blustering the course. I got out of the gates slowly, probably because of a saturday round hangover, with 3 out of position drives on the first 3 holes and resulting bogeys. I played solidly from there however and a nice eagle on the 72nd hole to finish off was nice. A 73 on the final day was no disgrace but didn't gain much ground.
All in all I was quite pleased to jump out of the pro shop and fly across the other side of the world and put in a competitive performance without much practice or play time over the past year. I learned a lot about my game again and just playing has actually got the competitive juices flowing again where I would like to put in the effort and get back out and play some more events and give myself some options to play tournament golf again soon.
My ballstriking was very good for such a long layoff. I didn't hit many poor shots at all and really hit my spots well for the majority with my tee shots and iron approaches. I never recorded worse than a bogey on any hole, which is a feat in itself on such a demanding layout as Victoria GC. My bunker play was great and my chipping was decent. I holed out quite nicely from inside the 6-8 feet range. The only main difficulty I had was approach putting and I believe that was just from the fact I hadn't played much golf and especially not on fast greens.
Lots of positives to be taken from the week and I look forward to what the future may hold again soon. Was a lot of fun.
thanks for all the wishes.....now I gotta get back to diggin in the dirt myself...
Day 1 saw the morning players get the better of the conditions. Only one afternoon player made it to the top 10 at the close of round 1.
I was second last group out on Day 1 at 1.12pm and certainly had the toughest conditions. That's tournament golf however and you have to play all 18 holes and do your best.
I hit the ball quite well in round 1 but the combination of a strong wind and greens that dried out made scoring very tough. Getting the ball close enough to the hole just to 2 putt was a challenge in the conditions.
I had some good stretches of play but started with 2 bogeys and finished with 2 bogeys for a 4 over par 75 in round one.
The second round today gave me an earlier 8.15 tee off time and the course was more accessible although still tough when you put your ball in the wrong position to approach from.
I played great today hitting every fairway and hitting 16 greens in regulation. I managed a 2 under 69 which dropped me to 2 over par for the Championship and inside the cut line. I also have some confidence in store for the remaining two rounds because of my solid ball striking and some good short range putting (inside 6 feet)
Seeing I haven't played an event for 12 months I am more than pleased to have performed to this standard so far and look forward to trying to claw my way farther up the scoreboard over the final two rounds. It has been a lot of fun to go out and play tournament golf again and hit the ball so well. If I can get a few putts to drop from outside the 10 foot range I can see a nice weekend on the horizon...
Hit them well wherever you may be....
Today I set off for Australia to compete in The Australian Masters Tournament.
The Masters is one of my favourite events and has been very kind to me.
I won the event in 1993 and in 1998 as well as having a runner-up finish in 1996 and a 4th place finish in 1992 and 2004
I look forward to keeping the 'Dirters' up to progress with my quest for a 3rd title on December 15-18 at Victoria GC in Melbourne.
I will give some thoughts and upload some pictures and videos so you guys & gals can get an up close and personal look at the lead up and playing of a professional event.
Hope you enjoy and stay tuned!!!
Had a game around The Australian Golf Club on Tuesday. Fantastic golf course. The course, which is Australia's oldest golf club, was in great condition and played quite long.
The weather in Sydney this week has not been the best unfortunately. December 1 marked the first day of summer in Australia but alas the weather so far has been more winter than summer. Reports say it is the coldest start to a summer in the area since 1951.
While lucky enough to not have rain affect my game at The Australian Golf club on Tuesday, I wasn't so fortunate today. I had a game lined up at The Lakes Golf Club which was the recent venue for The Australian Open a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the round was a no-go because of persistent rain.
I managed to play a full round yesterday at Twin Creeks and will be heading out there again tomorrow to put some more work into my game in a final preparation for next week's Masters Tournament---weather permitting!!!
I leave for Melbourne on Sunday and get a nice bed at Mum & Dad's house, which will make things comfortable.
The game has been in good shape, so I am just refining things and getting as much match practice as I can by getting out and playing holes.
Australian golf events have betting odds for winners and places...which is always fun. I have bet on myself to win the Masters event on three different occasions.
1993- when I won at 50-1....that was a nice dividend...and more fun than receiving the winner's cheque !!
1998- when I won at 35-1...another nice dividend...
2004 at 100-1....when I was leading by 1 shot with one hole to play and unfortunately made a mess of the 72nd hole to finish one shot out of the 3 way playoff and end up in 4th place
So 2 win out of 3 'bets' and a near miss....
This year I am/was posted at 500-1.....needless to say I had to have a stab at those odds... If I come through I'll buy the first round of drinks for everyone !!!!