European Tour Qualifying - One shot too many!

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European Tour final stage 2012 – One shot too many!

European Tour qualifying 2nd stage was a great confidence booster, even though I suffered my greatest disappointment this year.

Going into the qualifying I was enjoying great form. I felt all aspects of my game was in good shape, except for the putting. My putting is getting better and all I needed to do was, stay patient. I had 72 holes to improve the putting, and I did improve my putting throughout the 72 holes.

I suffered the greatest disappointment this year because I started the qualification with a 7 over 78. It was a miserable cold, wet and windy day, but than could never be an excuse for the bad score. All of sudden I was so far behind the qualifying spots for the final, that the final qualifying seemed long gone. 

I really had a long afternoon and night to recollect my thoughts and energy towards the second round. I needed to play 3 really good rounds or go very low in one round and shoot under par the other two. My initial thoughts were, I needed three 67’s to be at 5 under par for the tournament and that would probably give me a spot in the final qualifying.

I played really good the 2nd and 3rd round, but was still not putting as well as I needed to, shooting 67 and 68. Going in to the final round, my goal was at least 4 under for the round. In the final round, I found myself standing in the 18th fairway, 3 under for the day, needing a birdie. I pushed a 5 iron 3 yards right of the green and did not manage to get up and down from a very difficult position. Making a bogey and returning a 69 for a total of 2 under par would never be enough.  I finished tied for 22 and with only 18 spots for the final qualifying, I had played one stroke too many. My 22nd place meant that I had to go in a play-off for the reserve spots for the final. We were three players playing for 13th, 17th and 21st. I won the four hole play off with par,birdie,par,birdie and got the 13th reserve spot for the final. It is highly unlikely that will get me into the Final Qualifying for the European Tour.

Looking back at the tournament, I have a lot of good things to built on. My swing and long game is still very solid. My short game has improved tremendously. I am happy with my mental attitude and once my putting is solved I will be right in the hunt for the tournaments I compete in.

In the days preceding the tournament I took the time to read Bob Rotellas book, Your 15th Club. My suggestion, READ IT. It is a great book, and I certainly learned a lot about how to train the unconscious mind to stay positive in difficult situations, on or off the golf course. I will use a lot of the exercises and tips from the book in the future, to stay mentally tuned and gain a higher self confidence.

Sadly, I have 3 weeks off from tournament golf now.  I will travel to Mauritius on December 2nd for the Final on the European Senior Tour. It will be a great reunion with a lot of old friends on tour and surely a lot of good golf.