Monday, 14 May 2012

Florida 2012 an update

Victory on the Golf Channel Tour.

Arriving in early April, my schedule including 4 events on the Golf Channel Tour and 2 events on the Golf week tour. My expectations were not particularly high, but i simply hoped to pick up enough ranking points on both tours to qualify for the national Finals at Sawgrass and Hilton Head respectively.

                                               Fantastic Redtail in  Sorrento, North of orlando.

My first event at a windy Redtail introduced me to a guy I was to become particularly friendly with on Tour, David Bulger. I put up quite a decent performance considering I was only 48 hours of the plane. In the end a couple of holes were to prove costly, particularly a out of bounds drive on the 4th, after a wicked bounce of the cartpath. A solid back nine ensured a top 5 position and my first points on the Golf Channel Tour.
                    Magnificent palm Disney, were Luke Donald clinched the US Money List.

The following weekend saw the first Major a two dayer at Disney Palm and Magnolia, the same set up that hosts the PGA Miracle Clasic, so famously won by Luke Donald in 2011. I played much better here over both days, finishing 4th, just 4 shots off the win. A disaterous snowman  (eight) at Magnolias shortest hole the 3rd, effectively costing me the title. I actually hit the 135 yard green and rolled of the back behind a tree, then made so many wrong choices. However more points accrued.

                                                     Osprtey Ridge another Disney Classic

From here bouyed my improved play, i headed off to another Disney Course, were I finished second by one shot at the fabulous Osprey Ridge. Annoyingly I missed a Tiddler on eighteen which would have forced a play off. Getting closer and more points.

                                                   Lake Jovita  North Course

I then crossed over to the Golfweek Tour, were I had toe weekends to try and facilitate a return to Hilton Head for the US Nationals having qualified in 2009 and 2010 finishing both times in the top thirty . It was an opportunity to meet up with my great mate James Rearden. Lake Jovita North and South Courses, in Dade City, North of Tampa hosted The Tampa Tours first major. James and I are usually ultra competitive but this weekend, neither of us could handle the rock hard unbelievably quick, James had a good Sunday which propelled him to a close 3rd. Sadly I was a quite distant 4th.                                                                                  Southern \Dunes   Haines City

The following weekend, the Golfweek Tour returned to Southern Dunes, the scene of my Big major win in 2009. I was paired with James and Dana Turgeon, great Hilton hEad mates, so a fun round was assured. James played quite superb, blowing us all away on the front nine but after the turn, I became a par and birdie macine, climbing the leaderboard. The heat was horrendous, the round took 6 and half hours. I certainly think this cost James the title, he finished runner up. I hung on in their for another top 5 finish. 
                           Final hole  Watson Course at the Magnificent Reunion Complex.

Reunion is the closest course to my home in Florida, it features three exceptional courses designed by Watson, Palmer and Nicklaus. I had played the icklaus with  great supporter of Disabilities golf David Windsor but had not touched base on the others despite driving past many times over the years. Everything went well and quite simply I was sublime in my course management. Hitting and splitting every fairway to give me my victory by 4 shots over great guy David Bulger, fresh of his win at Grand Cypress the week before.

 I also this trip got opportunity to play with my Toys for Tots Winning Scrambe partner Scott Ramey and fellow Brit Mark. The round at Providence proving pivotal in my victory in the final Tour Event at Watson. On a difficult day, hard course, i compiled 36 points, level par, which put me in confident mood for my Floridian swansong. Equally my day at Reunion with Dave playing with a respected PGA Teacher also was key to my success. Finally, it would be remiss not to thank European PGA Legend and very close friend Mark Mouland who styed with me early in the trip whilst on the Champions Tour. Particularly his insight into the Sunday at the Masters will never be forgotte.  Thanks to you all GUYS.
Clubs packed, heading back to uk for summer. Fortunately after several close finishes, victory in my last tour event at reunion, a fitting reward I think for the hard work I have put in. 5th at Redtail, 4th in the Disney masters, 2nd at Osprey Ridge....also 4th at lake jovita and 5th at Southern Dunes.. Today's thought..... Never stop believing, work hard, accept the bad bounces, make the good ones count..Sometimes you just need to keep going to the well. Very proud that I have a lovely trophy to bring home, especially in Stroke Awareness month. Options to return for the nationals as well. Mission accomplished.