New Zealand representative golfer Vaughan McCall missed the cut at the US Amateur this week. He talks us through his two rounds of qualifying.
Round 1 - Charles River.
For the most part of the day I played pretty solid. I failed to convert a lot of opportunities with the putter on the front nine but I was still playing good golf. On the back nine I let a couple of drives slip which cost me three penalty strokes. I continued with an out of sorts putter to total 35 putts and a total of 75 in round one.
Round 2 - The Country Club
I started out with a good attitude but was quickly knocked back and shocked on my first hole when I three-putted. Missing the fairway by inches on the next forced me to pitch out with a wedge and take bogey.
That was not the start I pictured, and I was very surprised.
I continued my front nine with some fairly solid play and few mistakes, but I wasn't making up any ground either. Then two missed shots and a three-putt caused three painful dropped shots around the turn. Needing to pull back five birdies, I only managed to fight out one on the course for a 76.
What I took away from this event.
I truly know what the majors on tour are set up like. The fairway grass is short, then it's straight into that thick long rough. Long courses and slick greens with tricky pins. It was a great window into what I am aiming for in future. I have identified that although distance isn't everything in this game, adding 10m to my irons would give me a huge boost. It would help me hold greens better and help me with options off the tee.
In round two, one of my playing partners said he was ready to go home on the third hole. I couldn't believe that mentality and wanted to fight for my round even more in order to play the next day. I also re-learnt the importance of patience. I love this word and use it a lot. I took a lot away from just one tee shot in round one, where I tried to pump my drive on a par- five to reach it in two. But if I was five-under at the time, would I have made that same play? Probably not.
This is a key point in what patience means. It takes discipline and belief in the strengths of your own game. I will take this example with me forever.
I would like to thank everyone for all their support back home. I have had lots of reply emails, which I love and think are great. I even had David and Ian Sherborne from Invercargill come to watch me on my second round. How awesome is that!
Now I look forward to getting home, playing a few Saturday haggles at Gore for a small break.
I can honestly say I'm looking forward to being back in my home environment.
- © Fairfax NZ News