Posted on: 25 June
On Tour – Michael Long Golf
Since turning professional back in 1990 there have always been pro ams and tournaments in Western Australia during May. Pros refer to it as “The May Circuit”. It travels the length of WA from Albany to Broome and inland from Kalgoorlie to Newman. Over the years the May Circuit has hosted tournaments such as the WA Open, WA PGA, Nedlands Masters, Cottesloe Open, Spalding Open; all have a long history and have helped launch the careers of players that have become household names of Australian Golf.
This year, the May Circuit has given me the opportunity to play some competitive golf against all the young bucks; sharpening my game for the European Legends Tour which starts in mid June. So with a win and 4 top 10’s it was a good warm up.
Kwinana Pro Am – 20th May, 2021
A golf course you should play if you get the chance. Quick, small greens and tree lined fairways makes this course a great test. A beautiful day for scoring – I had 3 birdies but there were also a lot of forgettable shots.
Shot of the day – A holed green side bunker shot for birdie on the par 4, 2nd hole.
Result – 74 – 16th.
Sanwell Cottesloe Open and the Lyndsay Stephen Memorial Trophy- 22nd and 23rd May, 2021
The weekend started on the Friday evening where 12 past Cottesloe Open champions were the guests of honour at a Champions dinner. The emcee was Tim Gossage and the guest speaker was Justin Longmuir.
Saturday’s round I only hit 9 greens in regulation so to have 5 birdies and only 3 bogies was a good result. Sometimes the ball doesn’t go where you want and that’s why practicing your chipping and putting is so important.
Shot of the day – A green side bunker shot on the 2nd to save par.
On the Sunday, the weather became progressively wetter and colder as the day went on and 3 birdies were cancelled out with a double bogey and 3 bogeys.
As the top senior golfer in the event (I managed to edge out Mike Harwood for the win) it meant I won the senior division and the inaugural Lyndsay Stephen Memorial Trophy. Lyndsay was a great golfer and won many tournaments around the world. He was also a great supporter of my golf and it meant a lot to me to win this trophy with his name on it.
Shot of the day – My 3 wood second shot on the par 5 4th to the centre of the green setting up a two putt birdie.
Result – 70, 74 – Cottesloe Open – 24th
Lyndsay Stephen Memorial Trophy – 1st
Toro Australia Pro Am, WA Golf Club – 30th May, 2021
Playing with my long-time friend Paul McGovern from Hino Trucks, I played a really solid game despite it being one of the coldest days in Perth for a number of years. 4 birdies and one solitary bogey.
Shot of the day – My drive on the difficult 13th which was my best of the day.
Result – 67 – 2nd
The Green Lakelands Pro Am – 25th May, 2021
A long day with a hole-in-one activation starting at 8am. 38 pros have three shots to try to score a hole in one for a competition entrant, with a block of land up for grabs. Unfortunately the prize didn’t go off but not surprising given the odds of having a hole in one – even for pros! The scoring in the pro am was red hot and unfortunately I only managed to make two birdies which left me a long way off the mark.
Shot of the day – A 9 iron on the 9th hole that was cm’s from going in the hole.
Result – 73 – 26th.
E-Z-Go Wembley Pro Am – 30th May, 2021
A very cold and wet day. I think winter has finally arrived and it made scoring tricky with the wind and rain whipping across the course. 4 birdies and no bogeys was very pleasing.
Shot of the day – Splitting the fairway with a driver on my last hole (Par 5, 17th) to give myself the opportunity of a possible eagle up the last.
Result – 68 – 3rd
Jetline Kerbring Pro-Am, Capel Golf Club – 2nd June, 2021
A beautiful winter’s day at a great country golf course. Beautifully manicured fairways, super quick greens in perfect condition and calm conditions lead to some good scoring. I made 5 birdies.
Shot of the day – A delicate pitch over a bunker on the par 5 18th to set up a tap-in birdie.
Result – 70 – 9th
Nexus Risk Services South West Open, Bunbury Golf Club – 5th and 6th June, 2021
The South West Open is a tournament with a difference. The professionals not only play for a prize purse but they are also paired with an amateur over the 2 days in a 4BBB competition. I played with my good friend Ian Barras in the 4BBB. The greens at Bunbury are notoriously quick but with persistent rain over the weekend they were a little less treacherous. It still didn’t help us as a team and we finished well down the list. Personally I had 6 birdies over the two days and felt there were a lot of positives to take away.
Shot of the weekend – Hitting wedge on the last from 118m to an inch. Always great to birdie the last and help bring you back the next day.
Result – 72,74 – 33rd
For me, this year’s May circuit was a shorter one as 5 days later I was on the plane heading to the European Legends Tour. Having travelled for over 30 years I can honestly say that this time I was a little anxious as to what travelling internationally would be like. There is a COVID test to take 72 hours before departure. The UK Government regulations require Passenger Locator Forms to be filled out and then another Arrival COVID test to be booked before we board a flight. And of course face masks that had to be worn from the moment I stepped into the Perth airport until I exited Heathrow airport. Roughly around 30 hours. Uggghhh.
Things have changed. Airports that are usually a hive of activity with passengers are now more like ghost towns. On my flight from Perth to Singapore there were no more than 40 people on it…including pilots and crew.
Being fully vaccinated will make travel around Europe a bit easier. I have a large supply of masks and hand sanitiser and I’ll be sitting on the couch watching lots of movies. ALL worth it to be playing international golf again.