Blog

Queanbeyan Pro Am

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How quickly things change in this game. Last week my results were very ordinary and this week I have got off to the perfect start.

Playing the fantastic Queanbeyan Golf Club my game felt super sharp all day. For those of you that haven’t played there next time you are in the area it is definelty worth having a hit at. Pretty tight with tiny sloping greens that are typically firm and fast (yesterday they would have been the best greens we play on all year) it is a great test for all aspects of your game.

Arriving Monday I hit some balls on the range and had a putt and felt confident with how my game felt, after having success here in the past I was looking forward to Tuesday.

The first 12 holes might have been some of the best golf I have ever played. I was -7 during those 12 holes and was doing so easily. With the greens being as quick as they were it was very important to hit the ball in the right area so that you could have a decent putt at it and I was able to do that. I dropped a couple of shots coming home, simply by putting my approach shots above the hole and having very difficult putts however I had still played a great round of 65 (-5).

Ended up winning the day by 3 shots with only 3 players out of 53 breaking par on the day. Stoked to be back in the winners circle and this a nice confidence booster heading into the next 5 weeks.

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Still have 3 more events in Canberra with Yowani being played on Thursday, keen to keep the momentum going!

False Start in Johor


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After a big break from events in Asia I was super excited to get back over to compete. Beginning a big stretch of events in Johor I was looking to get the year off to a solid start.

After arriving late on Monday night after a full day of travel I awoke Tuesday ready to get stuck into my practice round. As this was a New event it was a course I hadn’t seen before. The Palm Resort Golf & Country Club was this weeks venue, and it was a tidy layout. Greens were very firm with relatively small greens by Asian standards so being in the fairway was a premium to try and get the ball to come in as soft as possible.

Feeling very comfortable with the course and my game I finished up Tuesday with a sense of calmness as I thought I was in a good space to get off to a good start.

It’s a very bizarre game, what happened on Wednesday during the first round sent me from one extreme to the other. Warm up felt great, really confident with my swing and I was very relaxed heading to the tee. A couple of soft bogeys from no where to start threw me off a little as I had hit pretty good shots but missed a couple of putts however started to steady the ship the 3 holes after that….from the 6th hole onwards it was like I was a completely different player. A very poor tee shot into the hazard left started 13 holes of frustration and complete disbelief. I went from feeling really confident with my swing and shots to having nothing at all…in the end I finished up shooting my worst score for sometime 81 (+9). This was not meant to be how it started.

Knowing I needed a really good one on day 2 just to be around on the weekend my game improved a little but was still a bit scratchy and un-polished. I was Even PAR for the round after 16 holes when a massive thunder storm rolled in a delayed play for the day, we would not continue until tomorrow. With only 2 holes left and sitting Way outside the cutline I decided to withdraw so I could get on an earlier flight that night so I could travel back to Sydney to get prepared for the events in Canberra next week.

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I will meet up with my coach over the weekend and work on a few things that popped up over the 2 days. Whilst this certainly wasn’t the start I was looking for it is only 1 event and a small speed bump in the overall scheme of things. Very confident I can turn things around quickly and start to post some good results over the next 5 weeks.

Thanks for all the support!

On the Road Again

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Well after 3 months of very little tournament play I am ready to get stuck back into playing and competing.

Over the break I have been doing work at Power Golf Castle Hill and Artarmon to get by but now the urge to get back on course has taken over. To start my year off I have a very busy 6 week stretch that will see me compete in events across Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Canberra.

Having stepped up the practice schedule over the last few weeks I have felt my game improve on a daily basis. Last week I traveled to Wagga Wagga to compete in a 2 day Pro Am and I shot scores of 70(+1) & 69(E) to finish T-31st. Was a great couple of days and I felt that for the most part my game was pretty good. I put myself in a position both days to shoot a good number however a few little mistakes on each day towards the end of the round ended up hurting. Confident that with some more competitive rounds under my belt that area of my game will tidy up nicely and I will be able to finish the rounds off strongly.

Below is the link to check out my upcoming stretch of events. I have played most of the events before and have had success at a lot of the venues so I am excited to get stuck in again.

https://martindivegolf.com/schedule/

Confident that 2018 can be my best year yet, I gathered so much experience playing a full season last year and I’m looking forward to putting it in action and starting the year off strong.

Good golfing!

 

 

Boonchu Ruangkit Championship

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The Final event of 2017 has wrapped up and It wasn’t the way I had planned to finish off. Needing to finish Top 2 or 3 to secure my Asian Tour Card for 2018 I knew exactly what had to be done. The Rancho Charnvee Golf Club was the venue, about 3 hours north of Bangkok. It was rather cold by Thailand standards with strong winds ripping in as well….first time Ive needed to wear a jumper in Asia all year. The course was a great layout with the greens particularly fast and undulating.

An afternoon tee time on day 1 and I got off to a nice start making birdie on my first 2 holes, I then played a 3 hole stretch that in the end hurt a lot, made a triple and a double bogey to lose all momentum and good vibes I had going. Grinded my ass the rest of the day but couldn’t get anything going. Shot 76 (+5) and left myself lots of work day 2 to be around on the weekend.

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Even though Day 1 went roughly I was still confident that I could turn things around and post a good score Day 2 and be around to make a charge over the weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better start, came out firing making birdies on 5 of the first 6 holes….this put me right back in the mix. Continued to play really steady for the next 6 holes but couldn’t capilise on the opportunities I had. After feeling really solid with the putter all day it deserted me over the last 6 holes, I threw in 3 late 3 putts to ruin what was such a good round of golf. Ended up shooting 69 (-2) to miss he cut by 2 shots. Absolutely gutted to throw away the good opportunity after giving myself a shot.

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Whilst the last 3 tournaments were probably my worst for the year and it was disappointing to finish that way I have to be happy with how my game was over the entire season. Given it was my first year playing in Asia, plying golf courses for the first time and travelling back and forth from Sydney I gave myself a great opportunity to play my way onto the Asian Tour, in the end I finished 12th on the OOM and missing out on the Top 5 that was needed. Still 2017 was a good year that saw me win my first International tournament, it has cemented in my mind that I am good enough to compete on the international stage and I feel Asia is a place I can compete and be in the mix regularly.

Finishing 12th on the OOM has given me excemption into the final stage of Asian Q school where I would be able to try and secure my card for the Asian Tour in 2018. If I decide to not head to Q School I will be fully exempt on the ADT and I can try and finish Top 5 to play my way onto the main tour that way. I know that after the experience from this year I will be much better prepared and ready to tackle 2018 and make it an even more successful year.

This is something I could not have done on my own and I can’t thank everyone enough for the continued support and encouragement. It’s been a long journey and I look forward to taking bigger steps in 2018.

Have a Merry Christmas and great New Year

Good golfing

Thongchai Jaidee Foundation Event

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This week saw me venture back to beautiful Thailand for the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation Event. It was the second last event on the ADT schedule and a big event to make a charge for the all important Top 5 on the Order of Merit. The venue, Siam Country Club Waterside was an awesome place, the course and the practice facility were easily the best we have played on the ADT all year, it was a treat to play.

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A couple of looks at the course had me keen to get out there. The course was rather long so it was important to drive the ball well to give yourself the best chance to attack the flags, it was also very important to be on the right side of the hole as the greens had plenty of slope and were pretty quick.

An afternoon tee time on day 1 allowed me to have a nice relaxed warm up. The range and short game facilities were some of the best I have seen so it was great to utilise them before and after a round. A solid start saw me -3 through 10 holes, playing steady without really doing too much wrong….how quickly things can change. A poor tee shot on the difficult par 3 11th saw me rack up a triple bogey 6 and halt any momentum I had going. For the rest of the round I just struggled to find that groove I was in early, hit some poor tee shots out of position and then tossed some 3 putts in as well. Ended up shooting 76 (+4) for the round. Extremely disappointing after the solid start I got off to, but the 7 hole stretch on the back 9 where I played +7 really hurt.

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I knew I needed a good one on day 2 so that I could be around on the weekend, and although things went against me the first day I knew if I played well it was easily achievable. Whilst I eliminated the bad shots that hurt me on day 1 I just couldn’t get anything going. When I made a birdie to get things going I would chuck a silly bogey in a couple of holes later. At the end of day I shot 72 (E) to finish the 2 days on 148 (+4) to miss the cut by 3 shots.

Bitterly disappointed in myself as this was a great opportunity to move up the OOM heading into the final tournament and apart from the 7 hole stretch on the back 9 day 1 my game wasn’t too far away. It’s a pretty simple scenario now, I need to win the last event to move into the Top 5….can still be done.

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Big thanks to Thongchai Jaidee for hosting the event. It was a fantastic tournament to be involved in. With the quality of field that was on show it is a representation of how much you are respected in the golfing world and it is awesome to see you give back to Thai golf.

PGM GlobalOne Championship

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What a bizarre week that was. In the end the tournament was reduced to 54 holes due to constant storms however it felt like the week went for much longer than that.

The whole week felt like we were forever waiting, apart from Saturday, the last day we were unable to complete 18 holes uninterupted . The first day I teed off at 12:45pm and I only managed to play 11 holes before the afternoon storm kicked in. We had a 2.5hour delay then and we resumed play at 5:40pm but were only able to play 5 holes, with this leaving me 2 holes to complete the next morning. Up until this stage I felt extremely comfortable on course, I would almost say it was the best I had felt on course all year. Sure I had made some mistakes but I was just really relaxed and confident with what was happening…..unfortunately these feelings did not last the rest of the week.

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Day 2 we resumed play early and I had 20 holes to complete, it was going to be tight as the storms were forcast to arrive earlier. After feeling great on the course yesterday it was the complete opposite this day, everything felt uncomfortable and I was really nervous about everything. I started the day with 3 straight bogeys, not exactly what I was hoping for. I was able to steady a little bit as the day went on but it was very much a battle. As expected with 3 holes to go the storm arrived and it was a beauty! It was 12:30pm when we got called off the course and as the afternoon went on it wasnt improving much. Finally after 5hours we were back out there, i was just hoping i could finish my 3 holes so i would not have to come back early. Was able to do this but only just, the siren to suspend play due to darkness came as I was hitting my approach to the last hole.

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I was relieved that I managed to complete my round that day, with the way that it was heading it was unlikely that I would play at all on the Friday. The afternoon field had to come back early to start and finish their second rounds which would then take them up until the allotted prayer time, 12:45pm-2:45pm on Fridays. After this is usually when the storm arrived, it seems to be a daily occurrence. My suspicions were right, 2:45pm right when we were supposed to begin the storm showed up. After waiting for a couple of hours to see if it would pass it was decided to cancel the days play and come back tomorrow to start and finish the 3rd and final round.

I entered the round full of hope as the scores were very bunched and I thought if I played well I could move up the leaderboard into a top 10 finish. This certainly didn’t happen, after a steady start my round seemed to go from bad to worse with nothing I tried seeming to work, finishing with a lost ball triple bogey up my last hole only 10yards off the fairway It ended up being my worst round of the year, not the move I was looking to make. Ended up shooting 72, 73 & 80 to finish 54th.

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It is a funny game golf, I certainly felt a wide range of emotions over the course of the week. The beauty is whilst I am bitterly disappointed with the result I can move on and refocus for the upcoming 2 Thailand events and it will have no bearing at all. Back home this week and will get stuck into some good practice and be ready to go next week in Thailand.

In the Mix at the PGM EurAsia Perak Championship

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Following a big day of travel from Pakistan on the Monday I settled in to the weeks venue and after a bit of rest I got stuck into preparing for week ahead. The course was Damai Laut Golf & Country Club, situated about 4.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur.

The course was fairly wet as they had experienced a lot of rain the 10 days leading into the tournament, however they had done a pretty good job to get it to the condition they had it in. It was a tidy layout with some really strong holes as well as some that felt like they gave you a chance.

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A solid days practice on the Tuesday had me feeling good about my game and I was confident I could continue the form turnaround that began in Pakistan.

A 4 hour storm delay on the first day was a slow way to start the event, but once the storm cleared we had nice conditions to get it underway. Game felt solid and I was able to limit the mistakes, felt like I had good control over everything which allowed me to get off to a decent start. Over the 4 days I was very happy with how my putter turned around, after really struggling with that part of my game the last month, and in particular my speed control had improved dramatically.

received_10155229586502903For the first 3 days I shot scores of 69 (-3) 71 (-1) 66 (-6) to be 1 shot behind the leader (my room mate John Catlin) heading into the last day. I was excited to be back in the mix  again, it felt great and I was looking forward to the challenge the final day

The front 9 saw a pretty tight tussle, I managed to draw level a couple of times but couldn’t edge my way in front at all, we both turned in Even Par which meant I was still 1 shot behind. Still thought I was a great shot at winning with 6 holes to go but that’s when I started to struggle a bit and he started to play better. In a matter of 4 holes I went from trailing by 2 to 7 behind. Was happy I was able to steady the ship the last couple of holes and finish with a birdie, which at the time I thought was going to possibly let me hang onto 2nd place but in the end I had 4 shots to the 3rd place.

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Shot 73 (+1) in the final round to finish the tournament on 279 (-9) and in 2nd place. Disappointed I wasn’t able to get across the line this time but absolutely loved being in the mix again. Congrats to my room mate John Catlin on the win, shooting 31 (-5) the final 9 holes to win was impressive. Have moved back into 10th place on the OOM with 3 events to go, still  great chance to finish in the all important Top 5.

Back at home with the girls for 1 week before heading back to Kuala Lumpur for the final Malaysian event of the year.

Let’s finish it off!!

 

ADT swings by Pakistan

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After a disapointing week in Malaysia at Templer Park Country Club where my whole game felt off I packed up my gear and headed to Lahore, Pakistan where I was a little unsure of what to expect.

What was put on for us exceeded all expectations twice over. The golf course and hotel were fantastic, probably the best we have had on the ADT all year and the hospitality from the locals was amazing, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The only downside for the whole week was the fog/smog we had to battle on a daily basis which caused massive delays and ended up making the tournament a 54 hole event.

2017-11-06_23.05.072017-11-06_23.06.27A couple of good days practice had me feeling much better about my ball striking and I was confident that a good week could be had. From tee to green for the 3 days I was very good managing to put the ball in play and give myself some great look on the greens, i hit 48 of the 54 greens in regulation. Unfortunately my putter was stone cold for the week, needing 101 putts for the 3 rounds.

I shot scores of 72 (E) 73 (+1) & 69 (-3) to finish T-17th

Whilst I know it was a week that could have been I am happy that I was able to give myself a chance to shoot a good score rather then feel like I’m battling from the outset.

Big day of travel yesterday to this weeks venue. Good days practice today and start the tournament tomorrow. Looking forward to keeping the game moving in the right direction.

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PGM Labuan Championship, PGM MNRB Championship & Combiphar Players Championship

Well it’s been quite a busy month. After falling sick and having to withdraw from the PGM Sabah Championship I recovered in time to compete the following 3 weeks.

First up was the PGM Labuan Championship. The course was pretty demanding with a lot of jungle either side of the fairways. It required you to keep the ball in play otherwise it was a reload. Throughout the week I struggled to keep it in play consistently, I would play a decent stretch of holes then hit a couple of poor shots and rack up a big number. Shot scores of 77, 75, 74, 74 to finish T-39th

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Next up was the PGM MNRB Championships in Sarawak. The course was located in an amazing spot, it had 4-5 holes along the beach and the rest located at the base of some surrounding mountains. It was fairly wet as there had been a large amount of rain in the evenings and we had a massive 6.5hour rain delay on the morning of the second day. The course though held up pretty well, it’s quite amazing how well the greens drain after so much water.

My game was fairly steady  the first couple of days without it feeling that good, i shot scores of 73 & 71 to sit about 20th. Unfortunately the last 2 rounds were similar to the previous week, I would play a decent stretch of holes and then make a big number which I couldn’t recover from. Shot scores of 79 & 77 to finish 43rd.

The final event of this stretch was held in Bali at the fantastic New Kuta Golf Club. It was my first time to Bali and I was blown away with how good the golf course was. Situated right on the coast line it was a solid test of golf which demanded complete control of your shots. The 3 signature holes 14,15 and 16 were right on The coast with no protection from the wind and they provided an unbelievable outlook.

My game started to feel a little bit better during my practice rounds and I was excited to get the week underway. The first day played very difficult as the wind was up for most of the day around 40-50km/hr, however surprisingly the last 3 days the wind was nowhere near as hard.

I shot scores of 79,70,71 & 72 to finish in T-38th. My last 8 holes on the first day really made it difficult for me to be in the mix, after starting the round really solid I played the last 8 holes in +8. My whole 3 weeks was really summed up in my last round though, I shot 72 (+1) but I had 2 triple bogies and 1 double bogey. It was either really good or really bad.

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16th tee shot
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15th green
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15th approach
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View from 14th green

Overall the 3 week stretch was not what I was hoping for. It is the first time this year that I have felt very uncomfortable out on course for a long period of time and my confidence levels were extremely low with every part of my game. Happy to have grinded out 3 solid rounds to finish in Bali after the disapointing finish on Day 1.

Looking back I think I put to much pressure on myself to perform well, as we are nearing the end of the year I really wanted to play well to move back into the Top 5 on the OOM.

I am back in Sydney for 5 days before heading back for another stretch of 3 events in a row. I will play in Malaysia, Pakistan and Malaysia. Will do some work on the game this week with the coach and will try and take a more relaxed approach into the final 6 events of the year. I am confident that if I play anywhere near my best golf in the remainder of the events I will be in the mix.

A big thanks to Karen & Bob Laing for coming all the way to Bali to support me, especially Bob who caddied for me everyday in very difficult conditions.


 

Ciputra Golfpreneur Championship

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After having 5 weeks off from tournament play (due to no scheduled events) I was chomping at the bit to get stuck into some tournaments again. This weeks tournament saw me head to Jakarta, Indonesia for the first time and the venue was the beautiful Jack Nicklaus Singnature design Damai Indah BSD Course.

The course was in great condition with plenty of water in play on a lot of the holes. After playing a practice round and competing in the Pro Am I was ready to get things started. Whilst I wasn’t completely happy with my swing I was confident with my game plan and knew that I could be patient and find a groove over the 4 days.

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The weather was just perfect everyday, hot and humid with some winds at times, the wind the last day was definitely the strongest. I never really found a groove the entire week, felt that I was struggling with my ryhtem and tempo and lacked a bit of confidence because of this.

I shot rounds of

Round 1 – 70 (-2)

Round 2 – 68 (-4)

Round 3 – 69 (-3)

Round 4 – 74 (+2)

Total – 281 (-7) T-34th

I certainly didn’t have my best stuff this week, actually felt a fair way off, whilst this is disappointing it was good to see me not that far away on the scorecard. Looking back I still had numerous opportunities to score better and this is a positive knowing I can have my B or C game and still be competitive.

Back home now for 2 weeks before beginning a massive stretch of events  (7 in 8 weeks) that will see me compete through Malaysia, Bali & Pakistan. Still in a solid position on the OOM heading into the back end of the year.

Look forward to posting good results over the next stretch of tournaments.

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