WE left the house at 8.30 this morning to head to Brora as the boys are playing in the 5 day open. WE stopped at brodie for bacon rolls and coffee eventually arriving in Brora at 12.30. After lunch the boys played a practise round with Ross Powell. The course as ever is magnificent and the boys loved it. We had dinner at the Marine hotel which was lovely. WE are staying in the links apartments overlooking the course. Monday and Tuesday are strokeplay qualifying with 16 scratch and 16 net in each section qualifying for matchplay starting Wednesday.
A huge congrats to David Law on winning his second Scottish Amatuer title at Western Gailes. To win it once is good but twice is very special. Well done pal we are all very proud of you.
Marian and I were up in Lossiemouth yesterday and today watching Craig and Michael play for the North East District in a match against North District. They had a practise round on Wednesday evening then played foursomes this morning and singles in the afternoon. There were three age groups competing... 14s,16s, and 18s. The 14s and 18s won but the 16s were narrowly beaten. All matches were played competitively but in fantastic spirit.
My back is a little better but I've been taking it easy and haven't hit any shots yet.
We dropped Craig at Deeside for the Junior medal then headed into town to do some shopping then up to Cove to visit my Mum for lunch. Michael and I popped back down to Deeside for a few holes to try my back as I haven't played for a few days. Unfortunately it is still really sore so I have decided not to play this week which is so frustrating as I was looking forward to playing Killarney. I can pitch and putt no problem but as soon as I hit full shots it's nae good!
I managed a lie in this morning after getting back late from Gleneagles. I took the boys down to Deeside for the second round of the Conveners Trophy (Craig won) he's been playing really good after winning the North East Under 16s and the Peterculter Junior Open. As I was taking Michael's Powakaddy out of the boot I felt my back go a bit and was only able to hit a few balls before I had to stop. Fingers crossed it will be ok for the Irish Open next week.
Marian and I went to Pittodrie to watch Aberdeen play St Johnstone which they probably should just have won but it ended 0-0 and wasn't much of a game. Young Jack got sent off which I think the ref got right but similar challenges might go unpunished this season. Richard Foster deserved his Man of the Match award....I thought he played well. We had tea with the Reid's at Deeside which was really good......food at Deeside is excellent.
Open 4RD 73+70+81+73=297 (+17)We teed off at 8.10am this morning with Matthew Miller from Australia, it was breezy very early and ended up being the strongest wind of the week. I shot 73 +3 again, I putted very poorly missing 9 putts inside 10 feet which is so frustrating. I actually hit it really good today but when you putt like that it's impossible to score. We had a quick bite to eat then jumped in the car to drive to Bexleyheath to stay tonight as I have a Kalixa golf day tomorrow at the London Club. Overall this week we got the toughest conditions for the first three days and really struggled with the putter but as ever I really enjoyed this years Open.
Open 3RD 73+70+81=224 (+14)
81 blows today in the wind and the rain. I hit it poorly but the conditions were really tough all day. I got off to a horrible start thanks to a triple bogey at the 4th that was playing ridiculously hard straight into the wind and rain 495 yard par 4.
I was soaked through when I finished but not much you can do about the weather. We are back at house watching golf on TV.
Open 2RD 73+70=143 (+3)
We didn't tee off til 3.16pm today so we hung around the house watching the golf on tele in the morning then headed to the course at lunchtime. I shot 70 - level par which was the most I could have been as I hit it lovely today and missed quite a few chances. We got the rough end of the draw (again) as the wind really picked up just before we teed off. I made the cut on the mark which considering how poorly I hit it yesterday and the tough end of the draw wasn't too bad really.
I play tomorrow at 9.05 with Gregory Bourdy.
Open 1RD 73 (+3)
73 +3 today which was about right as I struggled with ball striking and only hit 9 greens in regulation. We certainly had the worst of the weather with a strong breeze blowing but it wasn't that tough and I'm disappointed with my efforts. I went to the range afterward and frustratingly hit it really good Ahhhhhhh. We don't tee off until 3.16 pm tomorrow so plenty of time to kill.
I teed off at 7.40 this morning with Kenny Ferrie, Rhys Davies and Tom Watson. The wind was pretty strong again making alot of the holes very tough. It was great to play with Tom again who still hits it really good and was a pleasure to play with (Legend). I spoke with the Scottish press when I finished then after a quick lunch I was on the Glenmuir stand for an hour signing autographs. It seems much quieter than normal but I am sure there will still be a good atmosphere tomorrow.
It was very sad to hear of the passing of Alex Hay who I had got to know well over the years. Great man, great character he we be sorely missed by us all.
We got up to the course early this morning to register and get all our tickets etc. We have the use of a lovely Jaguar XJ for this week which is really nice with loads of fancy gadgets. It was really windy today so I only played 9 holes and walked the other nine, the course is awesome and is playing like a proper links especially today with the wind blowing quite a bit.
Our rented townhouse is lovely and only a 5 minute drive from the course. Marian and I are going to the press writers dinner tonight in the R&A tent.
I left the house this morning with Craig to pick up his pal Grant Joss then take them to Kemnay for their junior open but when we got there the course was closed so junior open will be re-schedualed. I took the boys to Deeside where they played the junior medal. Craig shot 69 nett 66. And Michael 75 nett 66 Which is fantastic and both will be cut. Marian and I flew from Aberdeen at 5pm and have just landed and are in the courtesy car heading to Sandwich from Gatwick. We have rented a townhouse for the week.
The Open week is always the highlight of the year for me.
Scottish Open 71+64+70=205 (-11)
I had a final round of 70 -2 which wasn't exactly what I was looking for but you get what you get I guess. I had 33 putts again today which makes it so difficlut to shoot any lower. After putting nicely on Friday I was expecting a bit more today. The positives were I played good again from tee to green but its very frustrating with the putter. Congrats to Luke Donald who played fantastic golf this week. We drove home stopping at Fochabers for a chipper supper. I am taking Craig and his pal Grant to Kemnay tomorrow morning for the Junior Open, then myself and Marian fly down to Sandwich at 5pm......it's all go but all good.
Scottish Open 2RD 71+64=135 (-9)I had a very good day today, shooting 64 -8 to be nine under overall which at the moment is two shots behind the three leaders, Scott Jamieson, Peter Whiteford and Graeme McDowell. I played pretty much the same as Thursday but I putted really nicely (26 putts) I spent some time putting when I finished my first round and noticed my stroke had become to long again so I worked on shortening it and rolled it much better. I popped into the Radio Scotland booth for a chat with Richard Gordon and Rob McLean which was fun. I was in the middle of hitting some balls when the hooter went for lightening so we headed back to the house. We had dinner with Alan and Val Reid and their boys Callum and Logan in the Castle Tavern which was nice.
Scottish Open 1RD 71 (-1)I played in the pro am yesterday which was a shotgun at 1pm. The weather was horrible with it raining most of the way round. My team won with -23 which was a very good score in the conditions. I teed off today at 1.25pm with Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson. I shot 71 -1, I played good but had far too many putts (33) It was a little breezy but pretty nice. There was a really good atmosphere out there today as the crowd was pretty big following us round.
My neck has improved considerably over the last few days which is great. I managed to play 6 holes this morning and then Marian and I had a walk along the Deeside Railway line.
Congratulations and hard lines to Philip McLean who was beaten in a play off today for the Cameron Corbett vase at Haggs Castle. Nice to see Philip up there again as he has worked really hard lately.
I have managed to work on my short game a lot this week so hopefully it will be good at Castle Stuart.