Golf has to be one of the most, if not the most, mentally taxing sports there is. It is a hard enough sport without having any other external worries to add into the mix.
June turned out to be a tough month for me on the golf course. Unfortunately, I missed three cuts in a row, including not making it through regional qualifying for The Open.
- At Montrose golf course, in the Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters, I shot 67, 73 for 2 under total and missed the cut by 2.
- At Studley Wood Golf Course, in the PDC championship, I shot 73, 75 for 2 over and missed the cut by 5.
- At the Regional Open qualifying, I posted a 72 at Panmure (2 over) and missed out on a play off to make it through to Local qualifying by 3 shots.
- At Spey Valley in the Scottish Challenge Tour Event, I shot 78, 71 for 7 over and missed the cut by 6.
Towards the end of May, I started to feel pain in my left shoulder, a pain I haven’t felt since I had my operation in 2011. It definitely played a part in my poor performances on the golf course in June, as I was stressing about what was causing the pain. On the drive home from Spey Valley, I made the decision that I will go and get an MRI scan done so that I can have all the information in front of me. From there I can then form a plan on how to manage it for the rest of the season. Luckily, it is not inhibiting my golf swing. It is, however, more day to day movements but is mentally affecting me, especially when I am on the golf course and have all the time to think in between shots with the ‘What if” scenario.
The other decision I made on the drive down, was to put my worries to the back of my mind, especially in tournament play, and just go play golf. It definitely helped when I went to Longhirst Hall golf course last week for the Dawson and Sanderson Classic. I shot 71, 71 for 2 under and was inside the top 20 going into the last round. Unfortunately, I had one of those days when everything went wrong and I ended up with an 80 and finishing 58th, but making the cut was a step in the right direction.
Even though I didn’t play as well as I had hoped, I had no time to dwell on my disappointing last round. The next two days were the Scottish Open Qualifying at Kilmarnock Barassie, and I needed to focus. After a poor start, seeing me 3 over through 5, I signed for a level par round of 73. There were four spots available for the Scottish Open and I was 4 shots out of the qualifying number after round one.
The second round was one of the craziest rounds I have ever had: 2 eagles, 6 birdies, 2 bogeys, a double bogey and a triple bogey left me with a three under par 70. I finished tied 9th, which was three shots out of a playoff for the final spot into the Scottish Open this week at Dundonald. I was very pleased though, as it showed me that I am very close to bringing it all together.
Fortunately, I have had this week off so it has been good to relax and rest the shoulder. Started back on the grind yesterday and looking forward to the next stretch of golf – seven Europro events in a row, starting at Machynys Peninsula in the South West of Wales this week!