Country Club de Bogotá Championship
Nick played in his first tournament as an official member of the web.com tour in Colombia between the 31st January and the 3rd February.
Nick shot rounds of 72 and 68 to be at 1 under which after a few anxious moments was enough to make the cut to get into the final two rounds. He then shot 76 and 70 to be tied for 69th on 3 over. The tournament was won by Mark Anderson on 17 under par.
Nick had a quick turnaround to get to Panama for the next web.com event held between the 7th and 10th February at the Golf Club of Panama which celebrates its centenary this year. The quick greens and strong Panamanian summer breeze always prove quite a challenge on this course.
After rounds of 71 and 75 Nick didn’t make the cut. The event was won by Michael Gligic on 8 under.
In Nick’s own words….
What an experience!
It’s always difficult travelling to the other side of the globe and teeing it up in unfamiliar territory; you have limited time to absorb as much information as possible, both on the golf course and in the city around you.
What club are you going to hit off the 13th tee? Dogleg right. Bunkers right. Water left and long. Prevailing wind is usually into and slightly off the right. Does this change with a southerly wind, time of day, firmness of the fairway or potentially with different pins? We’re at altitude now – a 6 iron goes 220 yards (normally it would be 200 yards) and comes in hotter, can we adjust?
How about where you’re going to eat at night? Is there a grocery store nearby, laundromat, gym? Where does everyone else go? A few people had food poisoning, let’s avoid where they went and what they ate. How about speaking Spanish? I know pollo means chicken, thats a good start, I think? Got enough local currency to last the week, thoughts on getting a local sim? Lots of things to sort before teeing it up on Thursday!
It was a big jump in the deep end compared to the start of last year where I played in the NZ Masters north of Auckland. I thought I was ready to travel and compete on the web.com tour. The game had different plans; a wise man once told me “experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want”.
The worst case scenario is that we learn more about ourselves and our game in these unfamiliar situations, so really if that is the worst case scenario then how can we really lose? I’m a big fan of continued improvement and development, it’s harder to learn when you’re lifting trophies and much easier when adversity slaps that lesson right across your face.
In Bogotá and Colombia my game wasn’t too far off but it was off just enough to get out of position. I was battling with my start line with the short putts and my holed putt percentage inside 10 feet was a little down. My ball striking was also a little off – the driving was great (which is a cool sign for me) but my approach shots into the green lacked a bit of control. There were a few technical things I was fighting and some process related issues (wrong adjusted numbers). In summary I was making a few too many sloppy bogeys and fighting to make the cut.
Playing professional golf is like taking a long train ride – you start the train in the general direction of where you want to end up (PGA Tour, Majors etc.) and each week you get off the train to compete and collate information. After each week you review what happened and learn from it and then get back on the train headed for the next stop and then the next stop after that.
For me the underlying priority isn’t what happens at each stop and I try not to make big decisions based on what ‘stop’ is coming up. I’m more concerned with what actually happens to the train. Is it still heading in the right direction? If yes then perfect! If no, then what can you do to adjust the direction of the train, test it at the next stop and then go from there? A continued cycle of development and improvement is what this game is all about.
I’m on my last flight bound for Perth for the World Super 6 Perth, a co sanctioned European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia event. My flight route has taken me from Panama to Miami to Los Angeles to Auckland where I had a 12 hour layover and now we are on the last leg of the journey to Perth. It’s the less glamourised and documented side of professional golf. With my conditional status on the web.com tour, I can’t pick and choose my schedule at the moment and my ‘number’ doesn’t get me in this week web.com event in Florida.
Missing the cut in Panama could have been a blessing in disguise as it means that we have enough time to travel over to Perth and compete. Following Perth I have a week off in Auckland and then the New Zealand Open in Queenstown. Exciting times ahead and as always it will be great to play at home! Plenty of opportunities to learn, to grow and to steer this train in the right direction.
Fairways and Greens!