This is becoming far too familiar a sight I’m afraid.
Another tournament, another weekend off 😦
In fairness, due to picking up a nasty cold earlier in the week I felt truly awful out on the golf course for the whole time I was in Melaka. After driving down Wednesday morning I decided 9 holes practice was all I could handle and headed back to the hotel to rest up. I started from the 1st tee at 8.10am full of cold and flu remedies and Panadol. If my head wasn’t throbbing enough on the first tee it certainly was stood on the 4th tee at +3 after some sloppy opening play. My 2nd 3 putt of the day came on the 5th hole where I was faced with another incredibly slow putt up the green. Just to really cap off the fun start I then blocked my tee shot from the 6th tee into the trees losing my ball and racking up a double bogey 7!
Feeling rough and with my scorecard quickly beginning to fill up with the wrong kind of numbers I managed to dig deep and produce a couple of birdies on the back 9. Despite that, an up and down back 9 of Even par meant I signed for an opening round of 78 +6 with all my dropped shots coming at the beginning of the round. I left the course, filled up again on drugs to try to shake off the fever and spent much of the afternoon sat in the cinema watching Spielbergs new movie, Super 8. I didn’t have the energy to stand on the range beating balls and after some food headed straight to bed for a record 11 hours sleep before round 2.
Knowing I’d need a good round to stand any chance of making the halfway cut I was more concerned with just trying to make it through 18 holes on Friday, feeling worse by the hour my 12.10pm tee time from the 10th tee meant we’d be playing in the heat of the afternoon. Thankfully the course at Ayer Keroh is tree lined with plenty of places to take shelter from the sun. Feeling decidedly ‘below par’ physically it was pleasantly surprising to see a monster putt drop in on my 3rd hole for birdie. Another birdie on my 6th was cancelled out by a couple of missed green bogies where I just couldn’t bring myself to hit the chip shots hard enough. The first wayward drive of the day meant a chip out sideways back into the fairway of the par 5 18th but another glorious wedge to within 3 feet meant I was able to scramble a par for an outward 9 of Even par.
I was in desperate need of some birdies but despite great wedge shots into 1 & 2 the ball somehow stayed above ground and I managed to 3 putt the 2nd! A bogey on the tricky 3rd hole looked to have killed off my chances but as my depleting energy levels sank still further I clung onto the chance of posting a reasonable score for the day with great par saving putts on 4 & 5. With 4 holes left it ‘felt’ like I’d need to come up with something special to make it into the weekend draw. My birdie putt on 6 agonisingly lipped out before I rammed home a putt from the back of the 7th green to pick up a much needed stroke. At +1 for the day I still had 2 good birdie chances left albeit one was the monster 646 yard par 5 9th hole.
A brilliant birdie putt across the 8th green stopped dead in the centre of the hole just millimeters short and despite giving my chip from the side of the 9th green a chance to go in I had to settle for a par and second 9 of 37 (+1) Whilst the score was much improved from the previous day it still came up just short of the mark. On a positive note, despite being ill for the duration of the tournament I managed to play some pretty good golf. I had much better control over my golf ball with very few off line shots and a swing that almost felt reliable at times! It was a nice feeling and one that I’d felt was in the pipeline for the last couple of weeks during practice.
A couple of weeks off now to recover and get on with some good solid practice. I’m hoping to get into another event here in Malaysia at the beginning of July before I return back to the UK for a chance to visit families and friends around the time of the Open Championship. I’ve been feeling better about my game for a little while now and with a bit more hard work I’m sure the scores are going to continue to improve.