With the Europro finished for 2015, its time to return to the Middle East. After somewhat of a disappointing finish in the UK, I finished 73rd on the Order of Merit, which meant I missed qualifying for Tour Champs in Spain. If you asked me how I felt about how my first year has gone so far, my answer is a bag of mixed feelings. Trying to stay positive, I’ve played good golf. But as I’ve found out good golf is not good enough on the Europro. Its been a massive learning curve for me, from where I can only push on and progress. Now that Im back in ‘The Sandpit’, its time to refocus my attention on the MENA tour…
The Dubai Creek Open kicked off at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club this week, and with scores of 76 & 73 (+7) meant another missed cut. The 2 rounds were summed up exactly, in the words of my playing partner; ‘started out like a Bugatti, came home in a coffin’. After being 3 under through the first 11 holes on day 1, it all looked promising. The next few holes were a bit of a blur in the memory, and I can only blame myself. No sandwich, energy bars or energy drinks in 40 degree heat, surely lead to concentration meltdown. 3 doubles in a row soon was the result. Physically sick was the feeling for the last 7 holes. Theres no excuses at this level of golf that someone of my capability should be walking off the golf course 5 over par, after being in such a comfortable position.
Day 2 was a struggle!! I wouldn’t wish the yips on my worst enemy. The yips I had today were not your normal yips and it didn’t involve the putter. On maybe 70% of shots I couldn’t take the golf club away, stepping off the shots every time!?! Its the first time something this has ever happened to me. Ive heard stories of other Pros having same problem (Robert Karlson having to withdraw from a tournament on the first tee because of it!). Not knowing where the ball was going, it was impossible for me to pull the trigger (horrible feeling), the diagnosis: Confidence and trust issues. Battling all round to get under par, I came to the 18th hole, probably one of the most daunting tee shots in tournament Golf (a narrow fairway lined with water left and a long bunker up the right, to an island green). Level par stood on the tee knowing a par would edge me over the line to make the cut. Proceeding to hit the ball in bunker and then into the water finished with a double bogey, missing the cut by 2. With how poorly I played all day, it was inevitable. Not the start I wanted but, I’m in a country, the other side of the world playing great courses in unreal weather. I have nothing to complain about. Back to work tomorrow to try and part the grey cloud over my head and gain some confidence, game head on for the next event at Saadiyat!!
On another note, I’ve just sorted my Visa with the help of the MENA guys and booked flights with Luke Joy to SAUDIA ARABIA! I’m exited but also slightly terrified! Bring it on in a few weeks time!! 😆