ONE of my favourite courses is Crans Sur Sierre in Switzerland – home of the Omega Masters.
I have amazing memories of this course, from as far back as 2014 when I finished second in the World University Games.
Since then, I have played here quite a few times. Apart from its spectacular views, the fresh air and the quaint village, there is something special about this place.
The only thing left was for me to play better golf in this year’s event.
I knew my swing was starting to come together, but the question was: “Would it be enough?”
I didn’t have the best of starts on first day and finished four-over on a par-70 layout – no thanks to a triple on the par-5 14th after sending two balls out of bounds on the right!
I was obviously upset as I felt my game was trending in the right direction up to then.
So, after brooding about it that night I told myself that it was coming together and that I needed to put together a good round to make the cut. Maybe shoot a five- or six-under or something like that.
I shot five-under in the second round, which left me at one-over for the tournament. It was an agonising wait as the cut-line kept moving between one- and two-under. As things turned out, the cut-line was one-under and I made the weekend. What a nice feeling that was!
Overall, I could feel the game moving in the right direction, slowly but surely. I had sub-par rounds the next couple of days to finish T-32 and that felt really good.
Next was the week of the Italian Open. Making the cut was good and shooting all four rounds at level-par or under was the motivation I needed.
As you would expect, going into the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth I was brimming with confidence. I had my coach, Chris O’Connell with me and I was pretty comfortable with the swing.
We had been working on the takeaway and the downswing just so that I could be more consistent.
We were both happy with my swing and the quality of the shots, as I was getting into the positions I needed to be in.
However, come the first round, I hit my first ball out of bounds on the left. I may have been shocked somewhat after that and it led to five rough holes to start with.
Once I got over it I began to play some pretty decent golf.
Unfortunately, a bogey at the last left me at 6-over and with a mammoth task of trying to make the cut the next day.
Despite the uphill task, I began the second round feeling pretty good. I bogeyed hole 3 with an errant drive into the thick rough.
But, after that, I made seven birdies to bring myself down to level-par with one hole to go.
The cut was at 2-under at that point and I needed to eagle at the last to make it. The group in front had some issues and we waited a long time on the tee box.
When I hit my 3-wood, I sent it a little left, ending up just besides a tree. The conservative play would have been to take a drop and I could have still made par.
However, I needed eagle and my mind was just focused on that. Level-par or 4-over wouldn’t have mattered as I would have still missed the cut. So I tried to go for it and copped a 9 on that hole, eventually finishing on 2-under for the round.
It was not the result I wanted but there were many positives to take away. Yes, I was sad to miss the cut as it would have helped a lot in getting me some valuable “Race to Dubai” points.
I feel good about many parts of my game. I see progress and this in turn inspires me even more.
Although I know we’re not yet out of the woods, I see light at the end of the tunnel.