I talked recently about liking a course/complex and always doing well there and not being able to give a reason as to why. Well this week was another one of those places, Frilford Heath not far from Oxford. Coming into this week I had never previously missed a cut on either the Red or Blue course on the PGA Europro Tour schedule as well as progressing through European Tour qualifying last October.
So I drove down to Oxford late Monday in preparation for playing the Pro Am on Tuesday before the tournament starting on Wednesday. I got off to the perfect start in the Pro Am by making eagle on my opening hole, later on in the round I would add another eagle on the par 4 ninth after holing a 3 iron from 229 yards. I played pretty solid adding another couple of birdies and dropping just one shot for a 5 under 67 which wasn’t quite good enough to win as 66 took the spoils.
So this was perfect preparation for the tournament and I got round 1 under way at 9am, I didn’t make the start I was looking for covering the front nine in level par and I left it late in the round to make a move with birdies at 15 and 16 which got me 2 under for the round, which was where I finished up with a round of 70. I felt a little frustrated that I hadn’t got more out of the round but I was looking forward to getting out again in round 2 and moving up the leaderboard.
With not being off till 2pm on Thursday for round 2, I made good use of the great practice facilities at Frilford Heath, it has everything you could ever want in one place. So most of the afternoon was spent on the short game area, learning some new shots from John E Morgan. Shots you would never imagine were possible.
Having a early/late tee time combination over the first two days, is certainly my preferred option as it means you can get some quality practice in after the first round.
I started round 2 poorly trading bogies and birdies and again I made the turn in level par, this time having started on the 10th. I would fall over par after making bogey on 1 but birdies on the two par five’s on the front side meant I was round in 71 and heading into the last round on 3 under par.
The last round couldn’t have started any better with birdies on my opening two holes, which really should have been the first four having had a further two chances from 6 feet. I kept pressing trying to make as many birdies as I possibly could to try and move up the leaderboard. This resulted in a couple of bogies after 3 putts which dropped me to level par with 6 holes to play and again I birdied the two par five’s on the front nine and I was round in 70. This left me on 5 under for the week and a top 20 finish.
I now have a week at home to continue to work on my game and get myself prepared for a good run of events. The next event is at The Carrick Loch Lomond.