The year began early with a trip to China to play qualifying school after failing to keep my card in 2015. I was excited to get back to China to earn back my card and made a great start to my year finishing in a tie for 5th with scores of 70,68,78,71. (The top 15 gaining tour cards for the season) My best memory from the week was the way in which I prepared and executed my plan for the week. Cold mornings, high winds and substandard food meant a lot of players weren’t prepared.
Following my success in China it was a quick turn around to Melbourne for the Final stage of Australasian Qualifying School. I continued my good form and was able to negotiate my way through the event, finishing in 28th spot. (The top 40 gaining tour cards for the season). My best memory was the way in which I played in the final round under the pressure of Qualifying School. Sinking a 9m putt across the green on my last hole proved crucial in the final standings.
With a full schedule in 2016 from the two Qualifying schools It was a very satisfying start to the year. First up was the Victorian Open on the Australasian Tour. It was good to be playing another event in Victoria and at a great venue in 13th Beach near Barwon Heads. Scores of 75,69,69,72 saw me finish in 30th spot. My best memory for the week was my iron play. With lots of longer iron shots into the greens I was able to execute the shots required which is always very satisfying.
Following the Victorian Open It was a very quick turnaround to the Victorian PGA which was a midweek (Tuesday-Friday) tournament held at Huntingdale. I was excited to be playing my first Professional event on the Sandbelt and at a course that has hosted many championships over the years. It was such a good week learning how to navigate my way round an older style course. My best memory was holing out for eagle from 130m in my final round. I finished 56th for the week and was pleased to get four rounds of tournament golf on the course.
In between all the golf I managed to get home to New Zealand for a week in the south island with my fiancé. It was nice to get a few days away (in between two friends weddings) with no golf clubs and take in the sights and sounds of the South island.
Back to reality and back into my work I had 2 weeks preparation for the New Zealand events in March. I played 5 Pro Am’s across Victoria as build up for the NZ PGA which was held this past week in Auckland. Finishing in a tie for 20th on 12 under I was pleased to play some pretty good golf on home soil. This included a course record 64 in the 2nd round. My scores for the week were 73,64,68,71. It was also nice to have my parents walk the course over the weekend with me. Their support is always appreciated and it was nice to play some good golf for them to watch. I was most pleased with my putting during the event. I’m regarded as a very good putter on tour and this week was very satisfying.
I now fly down to Arrowtown for the New Zealand Open this week. I am excited to be playing in my National Open and feel very prepared following my solid start to 2016. I look forward to the big crowds, home support and the opportunity of winning my National Open.
Following the NZ Open I will travel to Toowoomba for the Queensland PGA. This will be the last event of the Australasian summer before the events start back up in May.
I hope you have all enjoyed a great summer of golf yourself. To those who are in the Northern hemisphere, It won’t be long till your back on the course. I appreciate all the messages of support and look forward to a big year in 2016!