Today was the start of qualifying for me for the 2011 Open. I played at The Mere a lovely course not far from Manchester. I started the day at 8.33 with my Dad as caddie, both feeling good about what was to come. A 73 is what did come at the end of the round and 1 shot short of the mark. Being so close to the mark did mean that I am now a reserve for The Final Qualifying so if people start to withdraw for one reason or another I could still find myself playing for a spot in this year’s Open.
I start the round by giving myself chances for birdie on the opening 3 holes but none dropped and three steady pars, on the 4th I misjudged my approach and ended up missing a 3 footer for par, +1 through 4. Two more good chances came on the next two but tentative putting saw me walk away with par’s then after a slightly strong approach on the 7th left me with a simple chip down the green which I didn’t commit to and from there I watched my 8 foot par putt slip by then the return slipped by too and a double bogey. Then the par 8th saw me hit a great 5 iron to about 15ft this time I was too aggressive and after shaving the hole for birdie I missed the par putt coming back and now +4 through 8. I again hit the ball well the next few holes just shaving the hole for birdie’s on 9 and 10 before one dropped on 11, I again threaten the hole on 12,13 and 14 before another one dropped on 15 and I was moving in the right direction again. A bogey came at 16 to put me back to +3 I committed to being as positive as possible on the last two. A poor approach on 17 left with me a little too much to do, though the birdie try did threaten the hole from range.
Onto the final hole an interesting par 5 around the mere, I played aggressively off the tee with driver and that left me with a 6 iron into the green and from there I hit a nice shot in to the green but it ran past the flag upto the back of the green which left me with a wildly swinging right to left, I made a good effort at it to leave me with a tap in. Walking off I knew I had probably missed by 1 not something you want to feel. But I am very happy with the way I am playing and I will continue to work on the same things and the scores will start to follow. Now onto the Europro event starting at Longhirst Hall, Newcastle on Wednesday.