After a couple of days rest following the tournament in Holland, I arrived in Lisbon for the next event on the calender. We were all looking forward to some warm summer weather and to ditch the umbrellas and wet weather gear. The course was about an hours drive from the airport and we were to play the event at Golden Eagle golf course. Like all other weeks, I was feeling positive about the week to come and was looking forward to a good tournament. (we have to say that you know. It's part of our job requirements! :) ).
I had been concerned after recent tournaments that I had lost some distance with my irons as I was hitting them almost a whole club shorter than I remembered from last year. While talking with the tours' club fitter in Portugal about options for new irons and shafts, he checked the loft on my irons to find that they were all about 2-3 degrees weak (ie. more loft on them)!! That equates to almost a whole iron in loft. No wonder I was hitting them all short!! He corrected all of the lofts and there was a noticable difference on the range. Now to take it out on the course...
The course was a beautiful layout with quite a few water holes, which included one par 3 with an 'island green'. Always gotta love those holes. My ball striking had improved a little for the week, but in the end I still couldn't quite manage to keep a good score together. Actually, one of my problems was that I started hitting the ball too far on approach shots to the greens! After spending some months adjusting to hitting the ball shorter, I was now back to normal distance with the correct loft on my irons. A little annoying but you'd have to say that hitting the ball too far is a good problem to have.
On the second day I had to shoot at least -4 to make the cut, so that was my goal. With renewed confidence after getting distance back on my irons, I was determined I could do it. Well, the round was going kind of slowly until I got to the 12th hole ...the par 3 I mentioned before with the island green. They had a couple of cameras filming behind the green and it would have been a perfect time to make a hole-in-one. I hit my 7 iron perfectly and it was firing straight at the flag. I yelled at it to go in and .....it landed oh so close!! (and you thought this was going to be my hole-in-one didn't you! ;)). When I got to the green, the ball had actually pitched 2 inches from the hole, pin high! ...damn! oh well, I holed the 2 ft putt for birdie.
The round continued a little up and down but I was still hanging in there. After making a rather soft par on a short par 5, I walked to the 16th tee and realised .."even if I make three eagles from here, I still won't make the cut". Well, it would be a nice way to finish either way. The 16th was a par three with a slightly elevated green. There was about 1 to 1 1/2 clubs of head wind with a distance of about 137m to the pin. I chose a 5 iron and picked my line about 2m left of the flag... and hit it perfectly. Laughingly I yelled at it to .."go in this time" (after just missing on the 12th). It landed and bounced a couple of times. Then it started rolling and curving in towards the flag ...and then it disappeared!! IT WENT IN!! Woohooo! haha
Well, there were no big prizes on this particular hole but having the satisfaction of a hole-in-one is something that will always be with you. I finished with par-par on the last two holes and was set to have the Sunday off. I finished the tournament on a high though and with some renewed confidence in my game. Now I have to go and refine it again.
As we were having the week off the following week, a few of us offered to play in a charity pro-am down on the Algarve in Portugal. I drove down with one of the other girls on Sunday where we were able to meet with the various people organising the event. The charity is an organisation that provides funding and support for underprivileged kids and their families on the Algarve: ACCA. It's a day that I have played in before and it's always nice to be able to contribute to a worthy cause. We played the pro-am at a Jack Niclaus designed course called Monte Rei. A beautiful layout and a great golf course. We had a good day in the pro-am and it was nice to see some funds raised dispite the current economic climate that the world is going through.
During our week off, a few of us stayed at Barringtons Golf and Spa Hotel on the Algarve and had a nice week to relax and practice. We were invited by some of the members at Quinta do Lago to join them for a couple of games during the week and we also managed a game at San Lorenzo. All in all we had a great week and it seems we managed to make a number of new friends while we were there. A big thank you too everyone at Quinta do Lago and Vale de Lobo for a great week.
Our next event is at Portmarnock in Ireland which is where I am now. It's a beautiful links course and it looks like we may even end up being lucky with the weather this week. Fingers crossed. Follow the results and live scoring on the LET website.