My week started on Sunday with a five and a half hour road trip from the north west over to Norwich on the east coast. Not normally a drive to savour, but being a Sunday most people where at home relaxing and the roads were free of any delays.
By setting off early, I arrived just after lunch and managed to get a practice round in. This year there was a couple of new holes in play, replacing the old second and third. These have definitely improved the course, both of the new holes have water featuring heavily in their design, certainly daunting holes for the amateur golfer.
After seeing the course on Sunday and not being part of the pre-tournament pro am on Monday I spent the morning practicing on my game and then walked the course in the late afternoon, double checking my game plan. Everything seemed in place for a good week.
The morning of the first round brought a change in wind direction compared to the two previous days, but having played the course before this year in similar conditions, I had memories of how the holes would now play.
So I started out the first round with a couple of pars and then I started to drop some shots, in fact five of them in the coming 8 holes. A couple of bad tee shots accounted for two bogies and the others just slipped away, one going on the long par four 9th which was out of range for myself into a strong headwind.
So at plus five through 12 holes I was going the wrong way, but I managed to make a couple of birdies coming in and stood on the 17th tee at plus three. I then missed two great birdie chances on 17 and 18 which left me a little frustrated as that would have finished the round on a high note. But it was not to be and I signed for a 76 (+3).
It turned out that I was not the only person to struggle on the first day and I finished up the opening day in a tie for 36th and only five behind the leaders, one of which was one of my playing partners, so I had seen first hand what was best of the day and how tough the course was playing.
The second round started with a one hour delay due to a heavy morning frost, but the sun was out and it was shaping up to be a great day to be out playing, my score didn’t manage to match the weather and I fought hard all the way round to shoot 82. My second round pushed me below the cut line and an early exit from the season opener.
For a professional golfer with ambitions of playing on the European Tour, an 82 is never going to cut it, no matter which way you look at it. The world is full of excuses and no one is actually interested in them.
So I came away from the event disappointed in missing the cut, but happy with a number of aspects of my game and looking forward to the next event at Astbury Hall in 10 days time.
The scoring this week, showed that the course was playing particularly tough with only the eventual winner Dan Waite finishing under par for the week and only a couple of weeks ago he missed the cut at the qualifying school, which would have led to limited playing opportunities. This just shows how the strength in depth on the tour.
I would like to thank Sweetspot a company that supports me personally and is now supporting the tour with the sponsorship of one event later in the year and also by providing product to all the players on the first tee this week.
I hope you have enjoyed my first entry for the 2013 season and continue to follow me throughout the coming tournaments.