A TOUGH first day which we finished with a team score of three under. My long game was strong today and I hit a number of good drives including one on the 10th green and made par. I also managed to drive the green on 11.
Despite getting into some great positions from the tee I don’t think I made the most of it. On one particular hole my caddie and I had a difference of opinion on whether I should chip or putt. I decided to listen to him and I chipped it about six inches – that didn’t go down too well but he’s one of my best mates so I didn’t give him too much stick! The old saying that a bad putt is always better than a bad chip is certainly true.
Our front nine was with the wind whereas in the back nine we were against it which I prefer. It’s tough but I tend to play better against the wind because I swing a bit easier and also I’m hitting shots further in. Where I struggle is with those little 50 to 60 yard classic Scottish pitch and run shots.
That’s definitely a part of my game which needs work.
Today marked the first time I played with my pro partner, Ross Fisher. Although we never quite got it going on the scoreboard it was great playing alongside him. We both struggled a bit on the greens but he swings the club so well. The rhythm, flow and constituency of the swing is really what sets the pros apart from the amateurs.
In golf there’s always room for improvement but I’m certainly not getting down on myself. The big thing for me is that I’m here, competing in this event and playing this great course in the sunshine.
I’ve been in Scotland for the better part of the last two weeks, first at the Ryder Cup and now here playing the Alfred Dunhill. The Scottish crowds are fantastic – they are very educated about their golf. They‘re very fair and will give you a bit of stick if you play a bad shot but they say like as it is and I love that outlook.
I’ll be at Carnoustie tomorrow, playing in a foursome with Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the best footballers England has ever produced. He is a super guy and I know my dad will be excited because he’s also a huge fan. It’ll be the first time I’ve played with Sir Bobby so I’m really looking forward to that and to hopefully improving on today’s round.