Counting the cost of missing the cut
AS you know, I played the Irish Open last week and I have to say, it is a weird feeling packing up the bag on a Friday night having missed the cut, despite playing 33 of the 36 holes in five under par.
The problem was that on the other three holes, I lost three balls. Three! I do not remember the last time I lost one ball, let alone three.
This added up to a double bogey and two triple bogeys, which is obviously not ideal. But I can take heart from my display on the Friday, where I felt I gave a good account of myself and showed my true ability.
To make matters worse, I got an excess charge of £190 at the airport. It always seems to happen when you miss a cut!
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Valid until: Saturday, April 05 2014
It is a shame because the course at Royal Portrush was right up my street. An impressive links course with 30,000 people watching each day; it really was one of the best events of the year.
This week I've been up at St Annes Old Links attempting to qualify for the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, where I'll be looking to join Matthew Baldwin, my ISM stablemate, who qualified at Sunningdale a couple of weeks back. It is important for young players to get experience of playing in major championships. I remember going to the Masters for the first time and it was an absolutely brilliant experience. The more golf you play, the better you become.
I've two top-five finishes at the Open already in my career and during a week off earlier in the year, I enjoyed a cheeky round at Royal Lytham, shooting a 65. I loved the course, although I know the set up will not be anything like it was once the tournament gets under way. But I've got to get there first. Playing 36 holes is never easy, particularly when everyone knows what's at stake. If I do make it, then great. But if not, it's not the end of the world, I'll keep working hard to improve my game.
Once Open qualifying is done I'll be flying to Paris for the French Open. It's another great course and one that can play a little bit like a links course once it firms up.
My dad is coming out for the week, too. It will be nice to have him out with me and the change of routine is a welcome one during this long run of tournaments.
I haven't shared a room with him since my amateur days, though, so I hope his snoring has calmed down. After 36 holes on Tuesday I'll be in need of a few good night's sleep! Funnily enough, when he's there I tend to do quite well; I feel relaxed.
I'm really looking forward to the event. Having seen another first-time winner on Sunday, the third on the European Tour this season, it gives me even more belief that I can cross that line sooner rather than later.