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So after a week off it was up to Scotland for event number 8 of the PGA Europro schedule and it was another new venue, The Carrick at Loch Lomond.
I left home early Monday with the intention of getting out on the course and have a good look at the layout. Having not played the course before I didn’t know what to expect. But I arrived around lunch time and got straight out there. I realised early that there was going to be a premium on driving this week, with deep pot bunkers strategically placed along with water lining a couple of holes and deep rough in abundance.
I was hitting it well in practice, but not quite hitting it close enough to the hole, patience was going to be key this week.
I got out on the course Tuesday and again I was hitting it well, now though I was starting to hit a few approaches close. The afternoon was spent going over the basics in preparation for round 1.
Round 1 started very slowly and soon I was dropping shots left, right and centre even though I wasn’t playing that bad. Tangling with the greenside traps was costing me dear and I made the turn at +4 but over the next five holes I picked up four birdies to one dropped shot and I was starting to salvage the round and I had more opportunities over the closing holes until a bad shot into the last hole proved costly as I racked up a triple bogey and I was round in 75.
To say I was frustrated was an understatement, I was livid after working so hard to get the round back to something close to par. I went onto the putting green and just did a few simple drills before going back to watch the football.
Despite the finish to round 1 I was confident and composed going into round 2, I just couldn’t get anything going and I was +1 for the round through 12 and +5 overall and sailing too close to the cut mark. But then I got on a charge, I nearly holed my approach to the 13th leaving a tap in birdie, which was followed up with a two putt birdie on 14 from 10 feet, on 15 I nearly holed my tee shot on the par 3 with a 5 iron and I tapped in for another birdie, the run ended there as I horseshoed for birdie on 16 before holing out for birdie on 17 from 10 feet and 5 feet on 18.
I was round in 67 and made a good move up the leaderboard and into the top 10 heading into the final round.
After a good nights sleep I was in confident mood and ready to have a go at winning my first PGA Europro event, after a solid par at the opening hole everything unravelled quickly and in no time I was +9 through 8 and it was now a case of trying to limit the damage and stop the slide down the leaderboard. The remaining holes were a slight improvement, but a final round of 81 sent me tumbling down to a final position of 31st.
The last round was very tough to take, but again I have been playing well enough to challenge for the title, so there was more positives to move forward with.
Now it was time to head home and soak up the atmosphere of the early practice rounds at Hoylake for The Open championship before heading back upto Scotland for the next event at Royal Burgess.