After the home comforts of playing close to home in Dundalk and Woburn I’m now back in Asia with 3 more events behind me. Frustrating is best way to describe all 3 tournaments but valuable lessons learned along the way too!
Panasonic Open India
India is very scary and interesting at the same time! I have been to Delhi to compete on a number of occasions so knew what to expect but what I see there still dumbfounds me. Its an absolute culture shock and provides great perspective on how lucky we really are. I am feeling fresh for this tournament after a great practice week in Hua Hin. Delighted to have tour caddy Barry Cornwall on my bag for a few weeks starting here in Delhi. Barry is a gent and a really good caddy. We worked really well together and Barry got me hitting it pin-high on so many occasions. Unfortunately we didn’t convert enough of our chances on the greens to pick up the silver but a 4 under final day helped us climb the leaderboard some-what. T20th finish and time to move on to Singapore.!
The World Classic Championship Singapore
I have to say, this is one of the strangest golf courses I’ve ever played. The greens are still a mystery to me and a cold putter didn’t help my fate here. I simply couldn’t describe the level of difficulty presents by the greens. During the practice round on the Tuesday I was on 3 greens and could not see the pin! I wasn’t alone in this and the cut falling at +7 tells its own story. A poor first round where I let myself get far to frustrated with the greens left me fighting an uphill battle during a rain and fog delayed second round which took a day and a half to complete. Missing out by one shot is excruciating to say the least. However it’s a lesson learned and I was proud of my performance in the second round. Barry again done a wonderful job on my bag and really feeling that it’s only a matter of time before we produce something really special together. Onwards we go to the Philippines.!
Resorts World Masters Manila
Where to begin with this story!!!!??. After a week in which I played so solid, I was really happy with my application and patience and finished the tournament on 8 under par, which secured plenty of ranking points. A late double bogey in the final round had arrested my momentum but a really satisfying closing eagle more than made up for that and I left the course, happy with my week. Happy that is until I discovered that I had signed for a closing 69 rather than the 70 that I actually shot. I really don’t know how I made such a silly mistake and can only blame a mixture of distraction and tiredness as contributing factors. I realise that this has happened to some of the biggest names in the sport but never thought it would happen to yours truly. Tiredness is easy to explain after spending 5 hours on the course in hot sticky conditions. Distraction came in the form of the way the scorer’s tent was configured. Normally there is a lady on hand to confirm my daily and tournament score verbally. So she would say something like “Ok Niall that’s a 70 for an 8 under total”. This does 2 things. It qualifies the round and the overall score, albeit verbally. That person wasn’t present on this occasion and while this represents no excuse for my massive mental error, I must have just got distracted and signed for the 69. I knew all along that I had finished 8 under and when I went for lunch to the clubhouse and glanced at the scores on TV and discovered I was 9 under, I knew I was in trouble. I sprinted back to the scorer’s tent and informed them of my mistake but alas, too late. I’d signed for a wrong score…. Disqualified! I was sick for myself and my caddy and my stupidity. Easy to say it won’t happen again but it simply won’t. Terrible feeling but I must put it behind me now and prepare for my next tournament which is the “Bluffs Ho Tram Open” in Vietnam. A stellar field will be teeing it up including European Tour figure heads, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn and many more.
Onwards to Vietnam,