The Dutch Masters, The Dutch, European Senior Tour, Holland.
If you are in the neighborhood of Rotterdam, you need to drive by the Dutch and play this course. The course is designed by Colin Montgomerie and European Golf Design, and it has a very exciting lay out. Lots of water in play and the greens are very undulated with run off, so it is really a challenging course to master.
We had a very tough week, because of high winds and lots of rain complicated the tournament. It took us almost 6 hours to complete the first two rounds, with the alliance format in use. This format pairs two professionals with two amateurs, and with 108 players on course at the same time, it is bound to be a long round for all. The first two days were very trying, especially for the players teeing off late on Saturday. With high winds and the rain we got, it was close to unplayable weather. We all struggled with cold temperatures and freezing cold hands, which made it impossible to feel the club.
My first two rounds started with a double bogey, and I never got going after that. Actually, in the first round, I made a triple on my ninth hole also, and shot five over on the front nine. What a disastrous start to the Dutch Masters. I shot one under on the back to finish the first round at 4 over par, very acceptable. The second round was all about survival for us, the late starters. I hit 3 balls in to the water and shot 5 over par, I was happy with this score. I lost my swing completely in the middle of the round. Had to hit my 3 wood of the tee, because I couldn’t get my driver in the fairway. I moved one spot up in the field on Saturday with a 5 over round, it shows a little bit about the treacherous weather we had.
Before getting up for the final round Sunday, I spent most of Saturday night trying to figure out what to change in my swing to get it to work. My legs were doing nothing in the swing, I was hanging on my right foot at impact and I was scared of hitting through the ball. Getting steep on the ball and either having an open or closed face at impact. I decided to spend some time Sunday morning before tee off, moving the ball position forward, towards my left foot. I needed to be shallower and get my hands more towards the target going through impact. I started hitting the ball better on the range and the same thing happened on the course. I played well on Sunday and shot under par 70 to finish 20th. Not a great result, but I did my best and now I can go back to Florida for a week and work on my ball position and tempo before I return to England in a week to play the next tournament.
My putting was really good all week. Holed out very well and made some putts also. I am becoming much more consistent on the greens and it is a great sign. I am not scared, but very concentrated and relaxed over the ball. It really helps having Gordon on the bag, he is great at reading the greens and it gives me the confidence and commitment to stroke the ball on the correct line.
I remained in 26th spot on the order of merit, it would be nice to move in to the top 18, so lots of practice this week in Florida and back to England and the Forrest of Arden on October 16.
Until then, happy golfing ☺.