29th September 2014 News

‘Lets hope we make it before midnight!’ That was the last sentence on my last blog… If only that had happened!! The swift arrival of the luggage was great and the car hire was surprisingly a breeze and a big relief!

The more you travel, the more you learn how to pack a car when space is limited… I did this pretty well and we set off to find the apartment. Sat Nav was plugged in but running low on battery and the in car charging port was broken! Not ideal!

We headed out of the airport and had two options – one was to go left and the other right. We had to make a decision quickly and after driving for a fair few miles (with the Sat Nav giving up!) we received a call from the guy whose apartment we were renting. Words you never want to hear especially late at night – we were heading North instead of South!!

Needless to say we turned around ASAP and headed South… However, it still wasn’t straight forward after that and to cut a long ‘journey’ short, we arrived at the apartment around 1.15am!! Just the 2.5 hours instead of the expected 45 mins!! It’s always been a ‘Ralph’ thing, getting lost!!

The roads en route to the apartment were really winding and undulating and with me the driver becoming more tired every minute, it was a relief to have made every bend successfully!
We finally flopped on our beds around 3am but luckily had a lie in to look forward to!
That afternoon (Monday), we went to the golf course and played the front 9 holes. Tuesday I played 9 holes again in the Pro Am with three fun guys. Wednesday I walked the front 9 with my wedges and putter and then played the back 9 for the first time.

The course was lovely and a good test. The views were amazing and it was a pleasure to hit shots in to greens with the mountains and sea as a back drop. (sun lounger would’ve been nice!)

So, Thursday was round 1 and I wasn’t too happy with my score. I felt I played much better than +4 but missed a few birdie putts and then had a couple of three putts which contributed to the bogies… The weather was calm in the morning but really windy in the afternoon, when I was playing.

Despite the score, I wasn’t worried as I knew I could go out again on Friday and aim for a lower score and fewer putts. I had no idea what the projected cut was after the first round (no wifi!) but I was only focused on my round and hitting one shot at a time. I played good again but was unlucky in that I hit my tee shot down the FAIRWAY on the 4th hole, proceeded to walk down but never found my ball!! Isn’t that the aim of this game!?

I, along with my Dad, playing partners and other caddies couldn’t believe it!! There are some stone edged steps all the way down the fairway so whether it got stuck in the edge or something, we will never know!!

I went back to hit ‘three off the tee’ and managed to get a good par with my second ball. It was very frustrating that something like that would cost me two valuable shots. My aim for the round without being under any pressure, was to shoot level par or better. So to have two shots added on to my score in that way, was tough to take.

I could have either let it affect me or get on with the round knowing that I had lots more holes to play and birdie opportunities ahead of me. I obviously chose the latter and finished the round shooting level par. I fought hard for that, playing well and actually holing some putts. I felt proud of the way I handled the adversity.

I played in the morning, again in windy conditions, though not as strong as the previous day. The wait to find out whether I had made the cut was horrible!

All I kept thinking about was that ‘lost’ ball and how it could prove to be the difference between making and missing the cut. This was a big tournament for me in that I wanted to make the cut at least to really make sure of securing my tour card for next year.

Finally, in the evening I found out that I HAD made the cut on +4! Such a big relief!
I was really happy and looking forward to getting back out on the course to make some more birdies. I had really nice playing partners all four rounds which helped.
The third round I played well again, steady golf and gave myself lots of birdie opportunities. I shot -2 but this could’ve been lower.

The greens were tough to read and very grainy – this makes it harder especially if you’re downhill, down grain! You only need to get the ball rolling! Also, grain is stronger than slopes so try convincing yourself that a left to right putt will actually move right to left!!
My putter was cold so I was a little disappointed not to convert more birdie chances but overall pleased to have shot under par.

The final round was a similar story re my putter…just freezing instead!
Again my golf was pretty solid but the putts weren’t being holed on the front 9 and I ended up shooting +1.
I had moved up places over the weekend which is always the aim and I finished the week in 33rd position. This meant (pretty sure this is certain!) that I HAVE secured my tour card for next year! No more trips to Morocco for Qualifying School – whoo hoo!!!! Karen will be relieved too!!

I’m again sat on the plane on our way home writing this (helps with the fear of flying!) and it feels good to know that after a solid week, I’ve achieved the ultimate goal that was set at the beginning of the year.

To have played consistently well in Tenerife was nice and part of that was down to the mental work I’ve done recently with Karen. Also, Chris’ input helped a lot and my chipping was really good. My Driver performed well and to be able to talk shots through and discuss things with my Dad on the bag was very helpful.

The course was undulating in places, especially the back 9 but I felt physically fit all week and never tired even towards the end of a long, hot week.

Thanks Andy!!

My Dad made it round too carrying my bag and a big thank you to him.
It was lovely to have my Mum out on the course supporting me. She’s usually at home in a state constantly refreshing the online scoreboard!

So, all in all, despite the eventful journey to the apartment, it’s been a successful week and it makes all the hard work my team and I put in worthwhile. It’s been tough at times but I have belief in my own game that it’s good enough to produce good results so it drives me on to keep going and the progress is exciting. I’m looking forward to next year already – I really feel like I can step it up another level. Plus, I’m learning to deal with the hot temperatures that we often experience out on tour – don’t expect to see me any less pale skinned than I am now but we can’t have it all can we!

Up next on the schedule is France but I’m currently 5th reserve as it’s a limited field, so it’s a waiting game to see whether I get in or not.

Last minute booking/traveling could be on the cards… That’s tour life for you – all glamour… And turbulence on the plane, as of now!! Lovely… Give me a 2 foot, grainy putt to win the Solheim Cup any day!!

Ps – a big thank you to Vinny who very kindly runs my website for me!!