After the Italian Open took a week off at home in the United Kingdom before heading over to the US Open at Shinnecock hills where I played my first US Open back in 2005. To be honest it’s been my less favorite Major, best finish being T21 so arrived with no expectations but confident with my game. Everybody knows the traffic in NYC is a nightmare so started the week off in style by talking a Heli ride from JFK in a blackbird thanks to @heliflite.
With the World Cup starting and being a big football fan we did a shoot for Fox Sport which was fun on the Tuesday and started my preparation for the week.
Thursday got off to a good start shooting 1 under – 69 and sharing the Clubhouse lead. Friday really got hot and had it at 2 under with 2 to play finishing on the front nine. The 8th which ended being my favorite hole of the week (+6) bit me big time – after a drive in the middle of the fairway flared the approach out to right into the bunker. Being in an aggressive mode, forgetting my US Open plan I wanted to get up and down rather than expecting bogey worst time. Well, a thin over the back of the green into the rough, a chunk and 3 shots later I walked off with a 7, added a bogey on my last hole and I signed for a 72.
Anyway, after calming down I was still in the mix and felt good heading into the weekend. That’s until we arrived at the course for a late afternoon tee-time. You all know what happened on the Saturday so will not go into detail but in a nutshell the course became nearly unplayable, signed for a 76, then a 75 on Sunday and there you go a T25 finish! I do not normally comment on wins but have to say I am so happy for Brooks Koepka! Not because he is a friend of mine but to achieve back to back US Open – first player do to so since Curtis Strange back in the late eighties – is really something. French Open Had a few days off in between arriving back from NYC and heading over to Paris for the French Open which I have competed in 14 times. Looking back I found this picture from my archives to share with you below! This year of course it was important to see how it’s playing with my aim of being in that Ryder Cup team in September. It was unspectacular week finishing T21. But I put the new @titleist TS3 driver into play which I had been testing before heading over giving me a higher launch, lower spin and more distance. Not bad for a 42-year old with spaghetti arms, ha-ha.
Before heading up to Edinburgh we had a great family week starting off with a visit to Silverstone with Luke and Josh for the British Grand Prix with @paul_diresta taking me out in a 2 seater @f1 car. On the Saturday had the honour to meet Sir Jackie Stewart and watch him take his Matra MS80 from 1969 around the circuit, what a legend! Sunday race day we caught up with Lewis Hamilton pre-race time.
Monday with Katie we had an amazing day at Wimbledon along with a number of other tour players. We were invited by Philip Brooks – the chairman of the All England Club, and his wife Gill. Watched Sirena Williams and the legend Roger Federer and of course the famous strawberries with cream and handmade chocolates.
Flew up to Edinburgh Tuesday afternoon with the family and in the evening joined up with @RCABRERABELLO for the HERO CHALLENGE in Edinburgh castle. We did not win but had a lot of fun and what a stunning location! If you visit Edinburgh it’s a must to make a stop at the castle.
On Wednesday I played the Pro-Am in an England football shirt ready for the big match against Croatia that night (waiting for the fine from the European Tour!). Gutted with the score but all credit to the lads. What a great effort to get to the semi’s! Our national football team is looking good for the future. The week was steady with 4 rounds in the 60’s but never got it going and finished with a T30. To be honest felt real good heading to Carnoustie.
Well, least said the better… A week to forget! I entered the week in good spirits, booked in at the hotel overlooking the course and expected a good week. A grinding first round of 73 (+2) did me no harm starting late afternoon through I knew my game was off. With a morning start Friday was confident I would make the cut. Well, 81 blows later with a triple and 2 DBl’s my Open week was over. Easy Jet beckoned to take us back down South to spend a few days with the family until heading over to the Canadian Open.
Congratulations to Francesco Molinari! What a display this weekend! Huge win and huge respect!
Next blog with come from over the pond, playing another 3 weeks in a row, moving on to the WGC and then the last Major of the year – the PGA Championship.
Until next time.