We were up at the golf club for breakfast at 8:30. The clubhouse opens March through to December at 6:30am every morning that includes bar, restaurant, pro shop & locker room attendant…..everything, January & February at 7. Again a lovely selection laid on for us, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes with lovely bread & juices….. lovely.
After breakfast we moved my notes over to Rick’s yardage book in his own words over a coffee….. He seemed calm and said he wasn’t nervous at all. (See later) We got the short shuttle journey over to the Academy for Rick to go thru his warm up. He likes to warm up for about 60-70 mins, he had his aim better aided with a couple of clubs on the ground.
It was cold again today with a good wind to test the players but at least the sun was out & out of the wind it was actually quite nice. We had lots of time to kill so when Rick was talking to another player I sneaked in to have a quick look round the Academy. It was like a maze with 4 teaching bays, a workshop to work on your clubs, 2 classrooms several offices, a gym & a nutrition room.
I even got to talk with the fitness instructor about what the kids do & there workouts.
Josh from the Academy said all college golfers carry there bags all the time, bit different back in NL. 😜
Anyway it’s time to go, I can tell how Rick’s feeling…. nervous but he keeps saying he isn’t, nothing wrong with being nervous it’s good to be nervous, to me it means you care about what you’re about to do, something you want to do & want to do well… nothing wrong with that, we get to the first tee in plenty time and see they have moved the tee forward 40 yards.
Rick is playing with another European from Norway & the 3rd player has been pulled out. (see later) It’s time the starter calls; on tee from The Netherlands Rick Hessing and he’s off.
As you can see he backs off from the ball several times, he’s nervous…. he did this all of the 1st 9, that’s where a good consistent pre shot routine, he even came over to ask what side of the tee he should tee his ball up on. He hit a great drive straight down the middle and a lovely iron on the green to about 15-18ft, he rushed his first putt 5ft passed, that’s adrenaline for you and he missed the return – :roll:hmm not the start he was looking for.
On to the 2nd and he hooked his tee shot against a bush & had to take a penalty shot… another bogey!!! While waiting on the 3rd tee he came over to me and said his legs were shaking on the 1st green…. A good tee shot the 3rd, where again the tee had been moved forward he rolled in for a 🐥birdie 2… ok back in track!!
A good solid par on the 4th , I bumped into a young man who was spotting on the 4th & as it turned out he was from Mexico & a student from The Greg Norman Champions Academy ….. he was the 3rd player meant to be playing with Rick & his partner… I asked why he wasn’t playing? He said he had missed an exam for school a couple of weeks ago & he had to do the exam again this afternoon at 3pm. So even if you’re a talented golfer, but your school is not up to standard, they will pull you out of a top tournament like this at his home club. WOW!!! Tough school!!! But, I like their ways.
Good pars at 10 & 11, he followed that up with bogey bogey on 12 & 13, so he’s now 7 over with 5 to go and the target was under 80. Solid pars on 14,15 & 16, he made a long putt for 🐥birdie on 17. Best drive of the day on 18 & good lay up he pitched over the water & 2 putted for par just before dark.
A good back nine to finish with a 78. Although several tees had been moved forward this was not to bad… driving back in the buggy Rick said “it felt like somebody had taken my balls😭 off me on the 1st then gave them back on the 14th” so yes he was nervous….really nervous, that’s how important it is to him.
78 leaves him in 16 place with the leader from Zimbabwe on 70….. Rick’s conclusion…… played bad!!! Mine……… to much indecision, standing over the ball then stepping out. Poor pre shot routine and not committing to the shots…. but hey he’s only 15, he’s getting there…. the last 4-5 holes are how Rick plays his best golf…. I’ve seen Rick play like he did in his front 9 & throw the towel in & put a mid 80’s score up there but he battled his way round and played better the back 9 & posted a reasonable score.
Hit 10/14 fairways 13 g.i.r 35 putts
Not to bad.
Rick & Garry