Posted on: 23 April
After 12 months on the sidelines it was great to get on a plane and head across the border to play some golf tournaments. 31 years as a touring pro and the thought of competition still gets the adrenaline flowing.
My playing schedule gave consideration to being able to return to WA without having to self isolate. 4 PGA Legends events in and around Melbourne and then onto NSW to play a mixture of PGA Legends (Fat bellies – over 50’s) and Ladbrokes Pro Ams (Flat bellies – young kids) events, finishing off with the NSW Open. This schedule meant I spent the required 14 days out of Victoria so that I could return to WA with no issues. Boarding pass (and COVID-19 border pass) in hand………… I was off!!
Event 1 – Settlers Run Golf and Country Club . 1st March, 2021.
Great course designed by Greg Norman. From sunny and warm Perth to wet and windy conditions I failed to fire on all cylinders. Welcome back to tournament golf!!!
Shot of the day – First drive of the day. It had been a long time.
Result – +1; 18th
Event 2 – Northern Golf Club. 2nd March, 2021.
A hundred-year-old course – a classic. Very early start. A 1 hour drive, an early alarm and cold and windy weather didn’t add up to my best effort.
Shot of the day – 10 foot putt with three feet of break for birdie on 17.
Result – Even; 7th
Event 3 – Portsea Golf Club. 3rd March, 2021.
A course Peter Thompson often used to prepare for the “British” Open Championship. A course worth playing if you’re in the area. Shot of the day – Holed a downhill 25 foot putt to start the day.
Result – Even; 8th
4th March, 2021.
Day off – Which on tour means catching up on other administrative things. I took the time to finalise my documents for international travel coming up in June – gotta get the government’s permission to leave Australia to play golf tournaments. Of course days off are also washing days – very glamorous.
Event 4 – Gardiners Run Golf Course. 5th March, 2021.
A new course with big fairways and quick greens. A mixed bag of shots.
Shot of the day – Drove the 16th green, a par 4, setting up a birdie.
Result – +1; 24th
6th March, 2021.
Day off……………. sort of. A 3 hour drive to the next tournament site on the VIC/NSW border. Then a quick 9 holes of practice before the following day’s competition..
Event 5 – VIC Legends PGA Foursomes. Rich River Golf Course. 7th March, 2021.
Finally the weather is warmer. Andre Stotlz and I partnered up to shoot the best score of the day.
Shot of the day – Holing out from 65 metres on the 10th hole for an eagle!
Result – -9; 1st
Event 6 – Moama Masters. Rich River Golf Course. 9th-10th March, 2021.
First round of the Moama Masters. The biggest prize money event during this stretch of Legends events. I shoot 6 birdies coupled with a couple of bogeys.
That evening is a sponsor’s function where we have a BBQ and play bowls at the local bowling club.
Second round and I’m in the final group. I play well, with an eagle and 3 birdies, and end up in a playoff. A par is good enough on the first playoff hole to secure a win.
Shot of the tournament – Hitting a 1 iron 220 metres in the second round on the par 5 5th hole to set up an eagle.
Result – -9;1st
Into the car that night (trophy strapped into the passenger seat!!) for a 3 hour drive to the next event site.
11th March, 2021.
Day off – A practice round at Griffith GC and the obligatory laundry takes up the day.
Event 7 – Leeton Golf Club . 12th-14th March, 2021.
Sponsor’s day on the 12th before the event proper. A dinner to follow ensures there is no chance to put the feet up.
Hot 37 degrees the first day and 23 the next day. Lots of birdies but a few too many bogeys.
Shot of the tournament – A 30 metre pitch on the second day from the trees on the par 5 14th setting up a nice birdie.
Result – Par;18th
Event 8 – Griffith Golf Club. 15th March, 2021.
Managed to score the right amount of birdies as well as keep the bogeys off the scorecard and have a win.
Shot of the day – Hitting a 4 iron on the par 3 5th to tap in range for a birdie.
Result – – 4; 1st
Event 9 – Yenda GC.
A 12 hole course; which is something different. I shoot 48…………… would be great for 18 holes!!!
Shot of the day – Chipping in for eagle on the par 5 8th.
Result – +1; 7th
17th March, 2021.
A short 3 hour drive to Wagga and straight out of the car for a practice round.
Event 10 – Wagga Wagga Country Club. 18th-19th March, 2021.
Plenty of birdies but gotta get those pesky bogeys off the scorecard.
Shot of the day – Blasting a 300+ metre drive in my first round on the very tight and difficult 6th hole.
Result – -1; 32nd
As soon as I finished the second round at Wagga it was straight in the car for a 5 hour drive to Sydney to get ready for the NSW Open.
Event 11 – NSW Open week. Concord Golf Club. 22nd-28th March, 2021.
The weather is atrocious. The next 4 days I just sit around and watch the rain fall. We can’t get on the golf course as it’s flooded. The practice range is flooded. Everywhere in Sydney is flooded! Eventually we manage to fit in a practice round Wednesday afternoon.
Over the first two rounds I shot 73,72 which unfortunately misses the cut. An early morning start for my second round on Friday meant I was straight on the phone to Qantas after the round, changed my flight and I was sleeping in my own bed on Friday night.
Shot of the tournament – On the second day rolling in an 18 foot putt on the 18th hole in front of the galleries.
Result – +1; 85th
With events, travel, sponsors days, event dinners and lunches it was a very busy four weeks away. It has been a great start back with three wins. I’m looking forward to the next time I play again which will be in May in WA before I get on a plane mid June to head over to Europe to play on the European Legends Tour.