After having spent most of the last four years in America it is time for some new challenges. I wanted to turn pro immediately but it is a little bit more complicated than I thought so I will remain an amateur until the end of the season. Despite this setback I managed to get my first start as an amateur on the Pro Golf Tour in Germany. I honestly didn’t think I was going to get into the field but some players dropped out so I clinched the 156th spot in the 156 man field. It was very close.
I got the news on Thursday afternoon that I had an opportunity to play. With the event starting on Monday it was a race against the clock to pack my bag and leave for Munich. Fortunately I found a flight from Toulouse and got there on Saturday morning just in time for my practice round.
The course was interesting and very different to what I have been used to playing on. There were many doglegs and sometimes on par 5s some double doglegs. The rough was also extremely penalizing. Basically if you hit the ball into the thick rough it was pretty much always lost. Many players opted to hit less than driver off most of the tees because the key was accuracy. I chose a similar strategy.
My opening round got off to a flying start. I birdied two of my first three holes to move to two under par. My strategy was working nicely. Get the ball in play and then try to use accurate iron play and quality wedge shots to make birdies. In my first nine holes I carded three birdies and a bogey to make the turn at two under. At the start of the back nine I made two more birdies to get to four under but I then followed this by a run of poor holes… I played the last six in three over par and finished at -1 for the day.
The following round started much slower. I was playing some sub average golf and wasn’t creating many opportunities for birdie. It was difficult to make pars because my ball striking was off. In moments like these it is important to remain calm and adapt your expectations. I tried to hit very safe and simple shots. It worked for almost all of the round but two very poor shots on holes 16 and 17 lead to two bogeys which at the time placed me one shot off the cut line. I was in need of a birdie. I found the fairway with my tee shot and hit a wedge shot that came up very short. I had a must make 12 meter putt and somehow it went in! I finished with a score of +1 for the day and made the cut.
The final round was a solid round of golf. I played very nicely at the start and made three birdies in the first ten holes. I was trying to push and make some more to get up the Leaderboard but unfortunately it was not to be. I made two mistakes on the back nine trying to be a little too aggressive with my strategy choices and moved back to one under but then managed to make another birdie and finished at -2 for the day and the tournament.
The tournament was really good fun and I am so glad I had the opportunity to play. I finished T18 for the week. I am encouraged by the way I played at some moments and saw some areas where I need to improve. Having not competed in over a month I feel happy with were my game is at and I really hope I get other opportunities to play more pro events during the remainder of the season.