It has been nearly two months since my last competitive round, which was Q School in Spain. Even though it was a lot colder, it was great to start playing again.
The event was a 2 man team betterball stableford with a medal round for the pro’s. My partner was good friend Martin Wainman, a 12 handicapper from De Vere Wychwood Park.
We started our round from the 1st tee at 9.15 this morning at after a good drive into the middle of the fairway, I hit a 9iron from 142yds short of the flag. I would run my birdie try just past the flag and have to settle for an opening par. The second is a reachable par 5 and after a slightly pushed tee shot, I was struggling to reach the green, I hit my second to within 85yds of the flag into a divot and so could only play sensibly to the heart of the green, I would be tentative on my first putt, which left me with 4ft for par which I pulled, so making bogey on a straight forward hole. The third and I pulled my tee shot on this par 3 which caught a bank on the side of the green and shot the ball further away from the hole. With not much room to play with I decided to try and bump an 8 iron through the rough and up the bank, it didn’t quite react how I thought and ran out past the flag to around 18ft, from here I two putted for par. Two good shots down the third gave me an outside look at birdie which I would leave in the jaws. A further two good shots up 5 left me with 20ft for eagle and I hit a putt that seemed destined for the bottom of the cup only for it to somehow stay above ground. At least a birdie and back to +1 for the round. A pulled tee shot on 6 and I had 18ft for birdie which again would slide by and an easy par. On 7 I hit a good tee shot taking some of the corner off this dogleg, a poor approach would leave me with a long birdie try, which I left just short and a tap in again for par. 8 was playing long today into a cold wind and with a back pin position, but a good tee shot left me in good position and from here I pulled my Hybrid second just into the rough around the left side of the green. My ball nestled down and I found the grass behind the ball was actually frozen, which didn’t leave me with any room for error. I didn’t quite get to the back of the ball and so left myself with a long putt for par which only just crept by. The good shots 9 followed by 2 putts meant I was out in +2.
A good tee shot down 10 gave me chance to attack which I did hitting a lovely pitch over the top of the flag, unfortunately it skipped out to 12ft and the try for birdie stayed up on the high side. After two good shots down 11, I decided to attack the flag which was positioned just over a bunker, I hit what I thought was a great shot and which in fact was very nearly a great shot only for it to land on top of the bunker and bounce back in to the bunker. I would fail to make up and down from here and that would mean another dropped shot. A good tee shot on the 11th left me with 15ft for birdie which a big swing on it, I gave the putt to much pace and it stayed on the high side as it passed the hole, I would go on to knock in the return for par. A good tee shot down 13 followed by a pitch to 6ft and I had a good look at birdie which I would roll into the centre of the cup. Then onto 14 and today this long par 4 was playing into the wind and after a good drive and a hybrid I had another look at birdie from 18ft which didn’t carry enough pace up the hill and missed on the low side. 15 would see me drop a shot after a good drive, I hit my second a little long and right, from here I would 3 putt for bogey. Three solidly struck shots down 16 would leave me with a chance for birdie the putt just stayed on the high side. A poor tee shot off the side of the green on 17 left me with a simple up and down, but I didn’t give my chip enough and had to hole a good putt from 8ft for par. I would then hit two good shots into 18, but the birdie slipped by on the low side, when it looked in all the way.
So I finished the day with 75. Not a good round of golf, but I drove the ball well and putted well with out holing anything this was due mostly to hitting my irons poorly and leaving myself too far away for birdies.