With birdies needed I started round 2 much more positively than the previous day. My approach to 4 feet on the first wasn’t converted but after a second unsuccessful birdie try on # 2 I managed to hole a putt on the short, downhill par 3 third hole. Under par for the day and stood in the middle of the 4th hole with a pitching wedge in my hand I missed another of Johor Country Clubs small greens, this time in the wrong place.
Short siding yourself is a term us pros use to describe missing the green on the wrong side, usually when a pin is cut tight to one side of the green. Is there a right side to miss a green? Well, yes. If you have more space between the edge of the green and the flag it becomes a lot easier to advance your ball towards the hole and gives you a few more options with club selection.
Anyway, well and truly short sided in the green side bunker I didn’t manage to negotiate the next couple of shots too well and walked off the green after some less than impressive short game execution with a double bogey 7. Ouch. Back to square one. Nothing much happened over the next few holes but as we walked off the 8th green the rumbles of thunder edged closer and the temperature dropped a few degrees. Sure sign here in Malaysia that rain is imminent.
I bogeyed the 9th as the heavy rain began to fall and the lightening struck. Sure enough the siren sounded and the short walk to the clubhouse was followed by a few more hours of waiting around for the weather to clear.
So what happens during a lengthy rain delay? Well, pretty much what you’d expect. Guys sit around, eat, drink and chat. We had regular updates from the Asian Tour and PGM officials but as the day dragged on it became clear we’d struggle to finish the round as the hours rolled by. Over in Singapore the Asian Tour Handa Classic was experiencing the same problems. Eventually word was given that play would resume at 5.30pm giving me just enough time to hit a few balls before heading to the 10th tee.
With no chance of finishing the round in daylight I clawed back a shot on the par 5 11th hole after a wonderful bunker shot. Unfortunately that was cancelled out by a bogey on the next and a further dropped shot on 15 after another visit to the jungle from the tee. On the 16th tee the siren sounded in the gloom of the evening signaling there was not enough light to continue play. The gloom was only matched by my mood as I felt the little chance I had of making the halfway cut slip away with that final bogey.
The 7.30am restart the following day gave me my final throw of the dice. I arrived at the club early and warmed up on the range in the darkness. I had 3 holes left and would need 3 birdies to even stand a chance of playing anymore golf. The 16th hole played a little longer in the early morning temperature and my 7 iron approach came up just short of the green. Desperate to make a birdie I was a little too aggressive with the chip and it rolled some 8 feet by. 3 putts later and it was clear that the 3 hole last ditch effort wasn’t going to be successful. A bogey up the tough 18th rounded off a miserable couple of days where I didn’t have my best golf with me. A combination of not hitting it as well off the tee as I had been and too many shots missing the small greens left me with too much to do with my short game.
It was a rain delay filled, action packed week with several strange happenings. Getting lost in Johor Bahru and ending up in Singapore was one! My caddie from day one quitting after winning the lottery was another! You can’t write a script for some of the things that go on out here playing professional golf in Asia but I’ll try and keep updating with some of the crazy stuff that happens.
I’m looking forward to watching the finish to the U.S. Masters tonight then it’s a week off for me, I’m flying to Vietnam with my wife for a much needed holiday :-)