After a couple of days at home working on my game, it was time to head south for the next PGA Europro event being held at Prince’s, a former Open Championship venue.
It was the furthest event from home taking seven and half hours to get down to Sandwich, with previous commitments it meant I didn’t arrive until 10pm, that left me with Monday to practice and prepare for a Tuesday start. With that in mind I walked 9 holes in the morning before playing 9 holes in the evening. The course hadn’t changed much from last year’s Tour Champs, the only thing was it was just a touch warmer, only a touch though!
The course was in great condition, with some pretty thick rough just off the fairways, getting it in play was going to be key to a good week.
Round one did not start well and I was three over through four holes after finding the rough off the tee on a couple of occasions, for whatever reason I just didn’t recover and when I dropped a couple more shots over the closing holes, I had opened up with a first round of 77.
I was little more than frustrated after the round, it is always tough to open a tournament this way, leaving so much work to do just to make the cut never mind get close to the lead.
So after a couple of hours relaxing with some of the other players, I felt better about things and got some practice in before heading to the beach and some fish and chips.
Waking up the next morning I felt very confident for some reason and this showed in the opening few holes as birdies came at 2 and 3, another birdie and a lone bogey meant I made the turn in -2 and further birdies came at 12,13 and 15 and for the first time I was level par for the tournament. A second round of 67 meant I comfortably made the cut and was now inside the top 25 going into the last round. What a difference a day makes.
The final round was close to producing another low score but the putts never dropped and four birdies against two bogies meant a closing 70. A little bit of an upwards move on the leaderboard and my finishing position was 16th. A result I would of taken after the opening round and this gives me a lot of confidence moving forward, especially into next week at The Oxfordshire where I just missed out on a play off by a couple of shots last year.