Joburg Open 2011.
First round of the year. Felt a bit uncomfortable at the start. Got a few chances for birdies but almost played a little scared. Defensively. Not the most fun way to play. Then on 10 it all changed. Good drive and a good wedge to 8 feet. Hit a great firm (first distinct and firm putt of the day) that lipped out. I felt like an aggressive player again just because of that putt. Felt better at the next hole, 11th, with a wedge. Boom. In. What a change. Eagle. No birdies yet. Hadn´t hit it close all front nine and no I holed it. Felt unreal.
3 feet on the next. Birdie. Saved a par on the next. 2 feet for birdie on 14. Two putt birdie on 15. Save par on 16. Birdie 17 and save par on 18. Momentum is key.
I´m so happy how the day turned out. I was walking there on the front nine wondering how it would feel to play with confidence and aggressiveness. After walking off the 18th, I felt more confident than ever. Weird. So the key is tp play aggressively and confidently. But the best thing is that a small little putt is all it takes to turn everything around...
37-29 were my two nine-hole scores.
2011-01-12 I'm taking it back. Getting police escort is not cool. Our time is not more important than other's. Just because we happen to play a golf tournament. We save 5 minutes at the most on each way to and from the course. We drive by poor neighborhoods and as soon as we drive past some nice houses, you see three layers of barbwire around it. There is a big difference between rich and poor down here and I feel very uncomfortable when all the people on the streets turn their heads when hearing the sirens. I can hear them think: "who are these 'important' people"?
Anyway. Golf feels ok. Nice to see everyone again. I'm hoping for some good play. Who doesn't! Me and Oscar Florén had a nice afternoon. Watched a movie in which Oscar figured out the ending long before the end. Watched YouTube clips while having dinner. The clips are not loaded yet because of the not-so-fast Internet here.
Playing at 7.10 tomorrow morning. Can I have a wake-up call at 4.30? Anyone? None? Ok. I see.
This has happened today:
1. Pontus (my usual caddie) takes three weeks off. So I got Erik on the bag. The only other time we have worked was in Austria this fall where we finished 3rd so it might work this week as well.
2. Went in the Airbus 380 for the first time. No idea how it lifted and took us down to Johannesburg, South Africa. I don't care. It's just nice to be here.
3. Me and Erik got police escort to the golf course. It's the most ridiculous thing ever happened. Felt like we were big shots. Sweet.
4. My friend Jonas heard I had some pain in my elbows and rapidly texted and said; "Take it easy with the golf. Don't play too much so that you can play tennis as a retired man". Nice to know you care about me Jonas.
5. Played nine holes by myself and hit one millions shortgame shots and putts. I feel proud of myself. I'm gonna become obsessed about shortgame. That's my 2011 goal.
6. Enjoyed this crazy overworked sugar article for the coffee. South Africa is cool:
7. Played a very short par-3 today. Only 100 meters long. More holes like this please.
Played one course today. The other one on wednesday. Tomorrow, we'll see what happens.
A week has gone by down here in Monaco. It's been a normal training week where all days are so similar you have no idea what day you did what. What did I eat on tuesday. Eh, no idea. When did I learn that new bunker shot. Was that thursday. Could have been friday. Eh, no idea.
Shortgame in the morning. Lunch with a conversation what we should do in the afternoon. Followed by playing until it got dark and then a short workout. Looong drive home followed by dinner and a coffee to try to stay awake and make the week into something more than just training but that failed every time. Never stayed awake past 11 a'clock.
Feels sad to leave here since I really like it. I have no commitments down here. I can do exactly what I feel like. No tee-times, no necessary wake-up calls, nothing that is on somebody else's schedule. But, it feels exciting to go to Johannesburg and play now. 5 tournaments in a row is the plan. This one and then 4 in the Middle-East.
See you on the way!
Since it takes over an hour to drive to the golf course, I've deleloped new hobbies that I can do along the way. The one I like the most is to pass the many toll gates in the most smooth and fastest way. I grade myself every time and it makes the long trip so much more fun. There are a few crucial steps to do it great and it's tough to get the highest grades.
The weather is still chocking. Feels like the sun is gone forever. Fairways are mushy but the greens are the best they've ever been. Since I've hit too many balls of hard matts my elbows are a little sore so I only stay on the green. I now love putting. I want to love putting. I think that's a key to be a good putter. You must love to be on a putting green for hours. I'm trying to glue myself to it...
4th hole at Terre Blanche. Cold and mushy. Still enjoyed it.
Thinking of checking out Monaco tonight but the interval training makes me want to stay in and sleep until the sun comes out. Which will be a while.