Rising to the challenge

Chris Paisley ponders a question from the golfing gods

Since I last wrote my Tour Life column, I’ve had a frustrating month with three missed cuts.

The first came in Portugal, an event I have had a lot of success at in the past. I had battled back from a poor first round and was on the cut mark playing the tough 18th, but a pull left into the water followed by a visit to the hazard by the green added up to a triple bogey and a weekend off.

I also missed the cut at both the Scottish Open and BMW PGA. I am not one to make excuses, but I was certainly on the wrong side of the draw both weeks. My side of the draw was a full four shots harder in Scotland and a couple of shots at Wentworth. This combined with a very average performance meant another couple of free weekends. The weekends off don’t get any easier to accept.

The BMW PGA was a particularly sore one because I have missed the cut there every single year. I was convinced I was going to get that monkey off my back, but I just didn’t play well enough. One day I will have my vengeance! 

As I write, I’m in St Andrews for the Scottish Championship at Fairmont. Despite my poor run of results, I feel positive about my game. Nothing has stood out as being particularly poor, but it certainly hasn’t been at a high enough level to shoot low scores.

It has generally been a battle to get any momentum going lately. There are a lot of quality players out here and a small drop in performance usually means you are battling to make the cut. I seem to have been doing a lot of that lately, which is frustrating, but these periods are so important. My brother Andy said something to me about how I’m doing that struck a chord. Responding to one of my rants about my game, he said, “It’s just the golfing gods’ way of asking you, how badly do you want it?”

It’s so true. Every golfer is constantly being tested in one way or another. The tests start out small, but as you move up the ladder the challenges get harder and harder. Our job is to see the challenges for what they are and rise to them. If you do, then you have proven that you are worthy of the next one. The challenges I face as a golfer pale in comparison to what some people are going through, but they are my challenges and I know I am lucky to have them. 

I hope you are all doing well in the face of what could be a long winter. I’ll do my best to bring a little bit of golfing happiness to North East in the weeks ahead.