Highs Fives And Senoritas

Posted: 26th October 2010

Two weeks have gone by since the remarkable high of the Dunhill Links and a top ten finish, and the first of those was spent in the delightful Algarve for the Portuguese Masters.

Confidence is a funny thing, the way it comes and goes like the wind, but I arrived at the Victoria golf club and popped straight out for 9 holes and made about 5 birdies in an hour. Excellent.

Wednesday was similar when my pro am team came second which was great fun for them. One of the journalists from Golf World happened to be paired with me, Peter Masters. Nice guy he is too and he played like a star off of six. but when I hit the par five 12th in two and he wanted to high five me for it  I had to draw the line and explain to him that what little street cred I have on tour would disappear in an instant if someone saw me high fiving in a pro am, especially for my shot.

Still what do you expect from Golf World, anyone who knows anything about golf surely knows that Golf Monthly is the way forward, they have some great columnists I reckon.

Anyhow on to the main event, and I got off to a slow start on Thursday when after 14 holes I was only seven under, that is  an average of one birdie per two holes which is not really acceptable at this time of year but you have to take what you can get I suppose!

Joking of course, not about the score, just my attitude to it, I was delighted obviously. I started with four birdies, just missed on the next two then found another on the second my eleventh, then eagled five. God it felt nice to get off to a start. Three putts on six and a bogey on the seventh halted my progress and in the end 5 under was a good start but it promised so much more. Hell it’s nice to be able to say that at least.

A 68 on Friday left me in touch with the lead and in the top ten again and I had every confidence that the weekend would be a great one. Thoughts of victory were rightly in my mind.  How wrong could I be, Saturday was the worst I have felt on the greens for years,  only a day after feeling the best ever, what a game it is. Shoddy putting left me with a one under 71 and the same followed on Sunday.Such was the quality of the scoring I finished on 11 under par and 27th place, a credible finish but certainly not what I had hoped for.

Monday was spent at a new course called Larrangal near Quinta do lago hosting the Financial Times Business Championship grand final. My sponsors Jaguar are a co- sponsor of the event and I had a great evening and day with the finalists. All seemed to go well except for the entertainment, which turned out to be Q and A with me.

For some reason I had decided to fly home to Gatwick on Easy jet arriving at one in the morning to sleep and then return to Gatwick to fly to Spain on Easy jet at 3 the same day. Strange decision and one that left me shattered on Wednesday for the pro am in the company of three lovely Spanish senoritas. They were a right laugh, not that they spoke a word of English, however through body language and all sorts of mumblings it was decided that between us all we were useless, but happy.

The ladies thought they had come second to last but that was a white lie, bottom of the pile was our true position. Maybe this was an omen. As tired as I was, room service was the only option for me as I arrived back to my digs at 7.30, alas in Spain, in this hotel, the kitchen did not open until 8 30. No dinner for me then but ten hours sleep helped me feel refreshed for Thursday.

I was not so refreshed after finishing double bogey, bogey for one over mind you. Down right ratty would be a better description and when faced with the same dining timetable problem, and with an early start to come, it was a chicken kebab in bed watching a movie about euthanasia.

Not a great night to be fair but at least I got a laugh when I told the wife about my evening and she asked which country in Asia were the kids from.

So to today as I write this onboard another god forsaken Easyjet flight to Gatwick. The day brought frustration and not much else. A poor six iron to my first hole cost me a shot and it took until the tenth to get it back, after which I promptly gave it straight back again.

I bounced back on the third with a lovely 8 iron to 7 feet then hit a three wood plum against a tree on the par five fourth to give it away once more. I hold the fourth responsible for my missed cut. On the fairway both times I made two sixes, which is, in my mind, a disaster. Well maybe not a disaster to be fair, more of a shame I guess.

Valderrama next week, I think I am right in saying the last time I played there I finished third in the tournament and third in the order of merit. I am looking forward to it, till next time then, thanks for reading.


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