Today was the first round of the Final Qualifying event for this year’s PGA Europro Tour. With 240 players, two courses are being used this week. With each player playing one round over the Blue course and one round over the Red course, then the top 120 players will play a further round over the Blue course on Friday. So for me the Red course was first up at 9.35 this morning. I started on the 10th tee and after pushing my tee shot slightly into the fairway bunker on the corner of the dog leg, I hit a 5 iron down the fairway, which left me with another 5 iron into the green. I hit it on the green and two putted for an opening par. On the par 3 11th I hit a 5 iron online with the flag but about 20ft short, I hit a good putt which just slipped by on the low side. Two good shots on 12 followed by 2 putts gave me another par. Onto 13 and again I hit a good tee shot and I followed it up with a wedge shot that had too much spin and my birdie try from 25ft had a chance to drop, but stayed above ground. I went with 3 wood off the short 14th and ended up around 40yds away, from here I pitched up to 5 feet and didn’t give the putt for birdie enough break and it lipped out on the low side. A drive and an 8 iron to 20 feet at 15 set up another birdie try, I was too aggressive and knocked it 4 feet past, from here I rolled it in for par. Another 3 wood of the 16th left me in good position to attack the flag, I hit what I thought was a good shot only for it to spin back around 30 feet, with an uphill putt from around 40ft, I rolled the first putt 4 feet past and missed the return. I hit driver into the right rough down 17 and hit my approach from 140yds with an 8 iron to around 10 feet past the flag. I was left with a double breaking putt that I didn’t quite read right and watched as the putted slipped past and I knocked in the return for par. I decided to try and get as close to the 18th green as possible and went with driver, I hit it well but it landed a little soft and ended up around 40yds short of the flag, from here I hit a poor approach and two putted for par.
Onto the front 9 and I hit a solid tee shot down the left side of the fairway and I hit a good 9 iron into just under 10 feet, from here I hit a very good putt that found the middle of the cup for a birdie. Two good shots into position on the 2nd, followed by a pitch that flew over the top of the flag and a little long. I was around 18ft away and from here I hit another good putt that found the bottom of the cup for another birdie. I good drive followed by a great looking approach, but a touch long into 3, left me with 15ft for birdie, I hit a good putt here but this time it didn’t drop. On 4 I was between clubs and didn’t commit to the shot and pulled it left of the green, I decided to bump it up the bank infront of me with a 7 iron and judged it well and knocked in a 3 footer for par. A drive down the right center on 5 left me in good position and I again was in between clubs and went with a 7iron, this time I committed to the shot, but came up a little short of the flag. I two putted for par from around 30ft. I pushed my tee shot on 6 into the right rough, which actually made the hole play a little shorter. I hit what I thought was a good approach with a 4 iron, but it landed a little soft. I left my eagle try a little short and then missed the birdie try from around 3 feet. Onto 7 and hit my tee shot a little left on this dog leg left, just incase I hit a provisional that I hit further left. After the allocated time I couldn’t find either my original tee shot or my provisional, so I had to make the long walk back to the tee. This time I went with 3 wood and didn’t commit to it and found the right rough, I then hit my hybrid just right of the flag just under 20 feet away and rolled it in for a triple bogey. A good tee shot down 8 was followed by a pushed approach with my 6 iron which kicked right, from here I failed to get up and down. On to the 9th and hit my tee shot online with a 6 iron, but came up a little short, my birdie try just slipped by and I rolled in the return for a closing par.
So I finished the day with a 75 which is not a good score, but I played well for the first 15 holes and let the round slip away from me with 2 poor shots in quick succession. Tomorrow is a new day and a new course, I will be teeing off the Blue course at 2.05pm. Cutting out the mistakes and I will move up the leaderboard tomorrow.