After two weeks off, it is now the start of a 5 week stretch of PGA Europro events with the first two of these being played on the west coast of Scotland.
This week was Rowallan Castle near Kilmarnock and despite being only a few years old, it is mature beyond its years, providing a very challenging but fair course.
Arriving late Sunday afternoon allowed me to play 18 holes and have a look at how the course was playing. The previous few days had seen the local area experience heavy rain, which came after weeks of warm, dry weather. This left a few fairways feeling a little soft, but they dried out overnight and the course was in good shape for a further 10 holes on Monday. The reason for taking it easy was that I was down to play in the pre-tournament Pro Am on Tuesday. So the rest of Monday was spent working around the short game areas.
I played the Pro Am on Tuesday, starting on the 10th, I opened up with five bogies, which is certainly not the ideal start to a round of golf. For the remaining 13 holes I rolled in a few birdies and felt like my game was back on track, I finished the round shooting 74. Despite the poor score I picked a few things about the course that I felt would put me in good stead for the tournament.
Round 1 started at 8.35 for me on Wednesday and this time I made a much better start, giving myself a number of birdie chances over the opening 9 holes, but I could only manage one birdie on the 2nd after hitting my tee shot to two feet. A three putt bogey on the 5th meant I was level par for the front nine.
A double bogey on 11 was very costly, my approach was very close to being perfect, but it toppled over the back of the green and I took four from them to get down. From then on I combined two bogies with a birdie and this meant I finished round 1 with a 74.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to play my second round along with the rest of the field as overnight rain left the course unplayable. The tour did try to get the players out, but further rain came down and the decision was made the cut would now be made from the 1st round scores and this left me two shots above the cut line.
It was disappointing to miss the cut in this manner, but it is only one event and I am still positive about things and looking forward to the coming weeks, starting next week at Mar Hall.