Date: 5th - 8th September 2013
In order to get to Helsingborg in Sweden, we had to fly into Copenhagen. Quite surprisingly I'd not been to Denmark or Sweden before, so visiting both in the same day was an achievement.
Sahra and I hired a car for the week as we were staying with a lovely family who were members of Vasatorps Golf Club. We made the crossing over the impressive Øresund Bridge into Sweden, which came at a cost; €90 return! Gulp! After an hour of me driving (and Sahra sleeping), we arrived at Vasatorps Golf Club. We had a tired walk round, which was actually lovely. I really liked the course a lot. We then drove to Viken, a quaint old fishing village, to meet our hosts Kristina and Stene.
Tuesday was our chance to play the course and get a good plan in place. Conditions were perfect, the sun was shining and there wasn't a breath of wind. It was great. Big undulating greens and some well placed lakes, it was going to be a good test. Sahra had Stene on the bag, so we had some inside knowledge. My caddy was flying in on Wednesday, who was it going to be this week I wonder?!
Always one to make an entrance, I drove to the train station on Wednesday evening after a day of practice to pick up my one and only brother Phil. Thankfully I had an afternoon tee time for round 1, so it gave Phil a chance to recharge his batteries.
Thursday morning came and went, I'd finished my warm up and it was time to head to the tee. Quick glance at the watch to check the time, "Shit!" I was due to tee off in 2 minutes and the 1st tee was a good 5 minute walk away! I ran, leaving Phil with the bag, to try and make sure I was on the tee on time. I'd just made it. Walking up the fairway, I was then informed that they were reviewing whether I was late on the tee or not. I thought nothing of it. Two holes later, I'd been awarded a 2 shot penalty. A triple bogey to start! Ok, I thought, there's nothing I can do about it, lets just focus on playing well. I could tell Phil was dejected. "Don't worry about it" I said.
From that moment, it seemed that nothing went my way. I finished +6, and put it down as 'one of those days'. Phil wasn't going to hear the last of it though, and nor was I! The following day, all the watch jokes came out! Ha
Round 2. I needed a good score if I was going to have any chance of making the cut. So I was hopeful that with a morning tee time we might get calm conditions and I could take advantage. The moment I stepped out on to the range, the wind whipped up, it was strong and was only going to get stronger. Right then, I'm just going to have to go low in the wind! Oh and we made sure we were 15 minutes early on the tee this time, hoping we might get our 2 shots given back to us for being early. Apparently it doesn't work like that! :(
I started well, narrowly missing out on a birdie on my 1st hole (10th). Having missed the green with my approach to 11, I slam-dunked my chip shot! It was about time I had some luck. I continued to play steady in the blustery conditions, made a good 2 on 17 to find myself -2 through 9. I made an impressive par save on the 1st which kept the momentum going. Apart from the disappointing bogey on the par 5, that was my only mistake of the day. I made another birdie coming in and posted -2 (70). It was a great result in such tough conditions, I was extremely pleased with my efforts. I just had to wait and pray that I'd done enough.
It was a painstaking afternoon. It looked for a long time that I was going to miss by 1. I couldn't bear it. Phil, broke the news and incredibly I'd made it! I couldn't believe it, I'd jumped from 114th to 58th! Phil could breathe a sigh of relief. Time to climb that leaderboard.
After a delicious dinner and a good nights sleep, I was ready for the weekend.
It was yet another very windy day, so it was important to stay patient. Apart from the one blemish on my front 9, I was keeping it together. The wind was getting ever stronger and made putting increasingly difficult. Two three putts, cost me consecutive bogeys and it felt like the round was getting away from me. I was down in the mouth and frustrated. Phil gave me a much needed pep talk, "there's no reason why you can't birdie the last 5 holes, lets just start now!"
Well, I wasn't expecting miracles, however, the first birdie dropped, then another and another and before I knew it, I'd made 4 birdies in a row finishing level for the day! It's amazing what one can do when you get a kick up the backside! Tied 31st and moving in the right direction.
For round 4, I'd been drawn with the great Helen Alfredsson. This was her last round on the LET before she retired, so it was a real honour. I could only hope to have such a long and successful career as she's had. She says "its time to have a proper job!" Haha
Sadly, I had a miserable day on the links. The wind had finally ground me down and I lost the battle. It was a disappointing end to the week, and a round I'd rather forget. I continue to learn how difficult this game can be sometimes, it really doesn't owe you anything.
Overall though, this has been one of the most enjoyable weeks. All thanks to our host family whose hospitality was simply amazing, and not forgetting my brother for caddying; never a dull moment. :)