Date:March 22nd - 25th 2012
Preparations for my 1st tournament in Morocco were slightly disrupted due to a stiff neck. In the 10 days leading up to the event I wasn’t able to hit full shots. However, this didn’t stop me working on my short game!
Sunday 18th: Phil (my brother) and I are packed and ready for an early flight on Monday morning. Airports are normally boring places, but it was great to catch up with some old friends that I hadn’t seen for a while. :)
Ten hours of travelling and a terrifying taxi transfer later, we finally reach our hotel, where we were greeted by some very friendly hotel staff who looked after our bags, while we checked in. After a much needed sleep by the pool, to lower our heart rates, we decided to go and walk 9 holes around the Golf de l’Ocean. The course was about a 10 minute drive away. Shuttles were provided for us every day, running every half an hour to take us to and from the course.
Tuesday 19th: Gaining access to the course and areas within the complex were very secure. We had to display our ID badges to security wherever we went. i.e.: The players lounge or the toilet; so if you forgot your badge, you weren’t let in!
This was also the 1st practice day for the majority of the players, so it was a great opportunity to see the course, make some good notes and get a feel for the place. I arranged to play with a couple of good friends, Hannah Burke and Lucy Williams who had also brought their own caddies. We had great fun, and lots of laughs. Chris (Hannah’s caddy) had been told that ‘Goats climb trees’, so we spent most of the day joking about that! And no we didn’t see any goats up trees!
Getting used to the local food is something you don’t necessarily take into consideration until you arrive. Some players were quite ill in the first couple of days, so it made you quite nervous about what you should eat.
Wednesday 20th: In the morning, I had what’s called ‘Rookie Hours’. This enabled the Players Council to welcome the new kids on Tour and explain what goes on; Rules and regulations, fines, tournament entries/withdrawals and Media stuff. There’s a lot more to being a pro than you think. One thing that did stick in our minds from the meeting was the 800euro fine if your caddie doesn’t rake a bunker properly! Ouch
Thursday 21st: Round 1.
8:00am off the 1st. The alarm was set for 5:30am. If you weren’t a morning person, you will be by the end of the week!
As to be expected, I was a little nervy over the first couple of holes, but I soon settled down after I all but holed my 3rd shot into the Par 5 2nd. It also helped having my little brother on the bag, he’s not done much caddying for me before, but I think he had a lot of fun. He wasn’t bad either ;)
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st day, my only disappointment was making double on 17, otherwise I was pleased with how I had coped in a new environment.
Friday 22nd: Round 2
The second day of the tournament threw up all sorts of problems. There were very high winds, sandstorms and thunder. This lead to a 5 hour delay. I eventually teed off at 5:20pm, but could only squeeze 6 holes in before the claxon went for bad light. Unfortunately this meant a very early start the next day, as 85 players needed to complete their rounds to find out what the cut was going to be.
Saturday 23rd: Round 2 cont.
We were up at 5:00am and on the range at 6:15am, where it was still dark and the mosquitoes were out in force. We were all shuttled to position for a shotgun start at 7:30am. I restarted on the 16th hole (my 7th), which was a Par 3 over water, slightly unnerving, but I managed to get my head down and start with 5 straight pars. Despite not hitting the ball particularly well for most of the week, I managed to keep the mistakes to a minimum, with my putter doing a lot of the work. Having made an unlikely birdie on my 17th hole, I hoped it would be enough to make the cut. After an anxious wait, I sadly found out that I missed the cut by 1 shot. Of course, I was very disheartened, and Phil, was also disappointed for me. To think that out of 147 shots I could have easily saved 1 shot is very frustrating.
All in all, it’s been a great experience. I already love my new job and I can’t wait to tee it up at the next event.