Competition: April Medal
Date: April 7
Course Conditions: Dry and firm, unpredictable greens
Weather Conditions: Unseasonably warm, light breeze
Another Major goes by without a British winner. There were some fantastic performances at Augusta by players hailing from this side of the Atlantic but none of them were quite good enough. Despite their obvious talent our golfers just don?t seem to have the killer instinct when it comes to golf?s most significant individual events. They always do just enough to deny themselves a chance of victory. Justin Rose battled hard but scoring three double bogeys in the final round wasn?t what the doctor ordered. Luke Donald took himself out of the equation with a triple bogey seven at the ninth while Harrington and Casey were just a few strokes shy. British golf currently has such strength in depth it?s surely a matter of time before someone makes the breakthrough. They have the skill, they just have to believe.
Zach Johnson believes. In fact, he?s a man of faith. After he?d finished his fantastic final round of 69, good enough to see him win the green jacket by two strokes, Johnson said: ?It?s amazing what God can do.? I?m not sure of the exact rule that applies, but I?m fairly certain it?s illegal to let somebody else play your shots. If it can be proven that God was holing those putts on 13, 14 and 16 then I think Johnson should be disqualified.
I played my first Medal of the season on Saturday. I don?t think I had any assistance from an omnipotent force so my gross 67 seems even better. I couldn?t have hoped for a more successful start to the season, equalling my best ever Medal score, winning Class One and qualifying for the Medal Finals. I was calm and measured and plotted my way carefully around the course. It was really quite strange. Normally in Medals I?m as tightly wound as a coiled spring, nervous and twitchy, but for some reason this week I was relaxed and focused. I must examine my preparation carefully and see what brought about this state of tranquil concentration.
Well, I had a poached egg for breakfast rather than muesli because we?d run out of milk. That could be it so I?ll put myself on an egg orientated diet. In the morning I went for a walk with Jessie, Flora and Hector (the dog) rather than doing some work. OK, Saturday mornings will be work free. I didn?t go to the driving range to warm up ? no driving range visits. I bought a new golf glove. I hope that?s not it because I can?t afford a new glove every week. I?m pretty sure it was the egg.
Whatever it was I?m feeling very positive about my game at this early stage in the season. It really does pay off to continue playing in some shape or form through the winter. Most of the field was stepping on to the course for the first time in months and, as a result, CSS was high: 69. Through the summer it can often be 67. This meant I got a good cut and I?m down to 3.0, well on track for my target of 2 by the end of the year. There?s a mid-week medal on Wednesday so I?m hoping this form will carry on. I?m now heading up the road to our neighbours’ farm to see if their chickens have been busy.