It amazes me how quickly things can change. At the start of July I was languishing towards the bottom of the money list, wondering how I was going to make my next cut. Fast forward a few months and I am getting ready to play my first Final Series event in Turkey with a great chance of making it to the season finale – the DP Tour Championship in Dubai.
My final two regular season events were the British Masters and the Portugal Masters, where I finished 60th and fifth respectively. The British Masters at The Grove was one of the best events of the year. The venue, golf course and crowds were all amazing. We also saw the start of some of the new initiatives introduced by our CEO including the Hero Shootout Challenge and improved Sky coverage during the tournament. The event certainly seemed ‘bigger’ and much more fan friendly. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully Close House can one-up the Grove next year and put the North East back on the golfing map with a bang!
My last event in Portugal was a huge personal success. It was great to be in the mix with some top players again. It provided me further proof that my game is improving and gave me another injection of confidence. Most of all, I felt fortunate that I wasn’t one of the ‘Bubble Boys’ around the 110 mark on the order of merit. I was genuinely gutted watching Eddie Pepperell and Craig Lee double bogey and bogey their final hole in round two to miss the cut, and ultimately lose their tour cards. While having these groups on camera is good for ratings, what you are effectively watching is someone getting sacked on live TV. It was gut-wrenching to see Graeme Storm lose his card by €100 – a margin so small that it makes you wince. Stormy is a top player so it was fantastic to see him re-instated.
I have experienced similar moments myself, so I can empathise with these guys. It also makes me realise that you can never become complacent. You have to keep improving and enjoying the good times because you never know what is around the corner.