Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent!
This is a phrase I held on to earlier this year, as 2021 is drawing to a close I am looking back on what the year has meant for me personally. After taking 16 months away from the game (and having seen the state of my game), I wondered what, or if, I could get back to playing and competing at the top end of leaderboards again…
Last week at the PGA Campeonato de España, I ticked off one of my season goals, which was to be in the hunt to win a championship with 9 holes to go, to be in position to have the opportunity to win. Coming back to playing consistently hasn’t been without its difficulties, from getting the body in ideal physical shape, to understanding my game under pressure again, to technical and mental tendencies that needed addressing day in day out. It’s been tough, but it’s all worth it when the adrenaline is pumping when you’re in a position to win.
Winning is Not Easy
Sadly though, this time around, I didn’t get it done, starting the final day 7 back of the leader I knew I needed something special. After 8 holes, I was -5 for the round and applying some heat, however lady luck wasn’t with me and 1 mistake, and a decision on the 11th, undid 3 days of solid golf, reminding me of what it means to stay in the present. Winning isn’t easy, no matter what level you are at. To get deep under par at any event to claim victory is a challenge, one that needs to be learnt all over again. This is the final step for me, learning how to win 3/4 day events. Putting it consistently all together to get over the line. It was a goal for that reason, you can’t win unless you’re in position and if you put yourself in position enough times, you will get it done.
People ask me from time to time, what it’s like on the road. People assume it’s all ‘Blue Skies and Green Fairways’, the reality isn’t quite like that. People forget the long commutes, the lonely hotel rooms, the time away from loved ones and the constant disappointments of tournament golf. The weekly barrage of ‘not quite being good enough’ to win the tournament or challenges faced at having to make birdies to earn your living. It’s worth it though for the weeks you do perform, they make it worthwhile.
On the Right Path
I ended up finishing 5th last week in the national championship, another positive step in the road to golf game recovery. The 5th meant I showed good form nationally to go with my 2nd place finish provincially at the Andalucian Championships earlier this summer. I am pleased with my hard work, with the aid of my coaches, I know I’m on the right path to achieving my goals. I see they are in sight and it’s just a continuous daily battle of one foot in front of the other to reach them!
This week I’m playing the Setune International Pro Am by Peter Gustafsson, it’s a great 3-day pro-am spread over 3 championship golf courses which are Finca Cortesin (host to Solheim Cup 2023), San Roque Old, and La Reserva (both held Spanish Opens). It’s ideal preparation for one of my other goals of the season which starts next week. To gain a full card on one tour for the 2022 season, I head to Italy for the Alps Tour qualifying school. First stage will be in Bologna followed by the final stage in Rome the week after. I’ll be updating all on first stage next week!
Wish me luck!