After a week off it was time to head down to Surrey for the third event on the PGA Europro schedule at Burhill Golf Club. The most talked of event of the year.
I have played a number of times over the Old course at Burhill in the past including the Faldo Series Grand Final and Team Faldo training, but I have never played over the New course, which was being used for this weeks event.
I made the journey down south on Tuesday in terrible weather and a very wet practice round was looking on the cards, but soon after pulling into the car park the rain stopped and the sun started to shine. I got a good look at the course and it was certainly in great shape.
The greens were true but not up to the speeds of previous years, this being solely down to the heavy rains of the previous days.
Wednesday was again Pro Am day which would mean a day of practice for me and with facilities such as at Burhill it easy to work on the game all day. I did split up the day by walking the course, like I had at previous events, just to check my lines and the green complexes.
Day one started for me from the 10th tee at 9.30 and after opening up with a couple of pars, I made my first birdie of the week at the par three 12th. I quickly added a further two birdies on 14 and 15 after two good approach shots and it was nice to see my name at the top of the leaderboard.
I lost some momentum at the next when I made bogey and I followed that up by a run of nine pars before another bogey on 8, a par at the last gave me an opening round of 71, which left me in a tie for 15th at the conclusion of play.
I then had nearly 24 hours before I would tee off in round 2 so I again made use of the great practice facilities and spent the afternoon working on my game.
Day two started out slowly with 4 pars before a 3 putt bogey on 5. Things turned around on the 7th when my eight iron approach pitched inches from the hole then horseshoed out of the hole, an easy birdie though.
Then with the honour at the par 3 8th I thought I had hit a good approach when it finished 7 feet from the hole from 170 yds, but it proved not to be the case within our group, as next up playing partner Sam pitched his in the hole and somehow it finished 2 feet from the hole. To make my tee shot look even more mediocre Ruaidhri, the third member of the group pitched his inches away from going in for an ace. So a combined score of 6 for the three of us, could quite easily been 4!
Two more three putts bogies would put me back to even par for the tournament stood on the 16th tee and after two great approaches into 16 and 17 that I went on to convert for birdies, meant I was again round in 71 and now into a tie for 9th going into the final round.
The third round got off to the perfect start with birdies on the opening two holes. A couple of bogies on 4 and 6 put me back to how I started the day. A very good approach into 4 feet on 9 set up another birdie and this got me moving in the right direction which was helped even further when I rolled in a good putt for birdie from just under 15 feet on 11.
A good up and down for par on 13 kept the momentum going and I took advantage with another good approach into 14 which set up my fifth birdie of the day. A couple of three putt bogies on 17 and 18, meant for the third day running I would sign for a 71.
This would see me move up the leaderboard again and a final position of tied 5th. There were many positives to take from the week and it was nice to perform well in front of the cameras. I now have 2 weeks off before the next event at Collingtree Park.