I’ve just begun my long, 24hr journey home from Africa after the 3e Actuaries Open. I received an invite to this special event which is hosted in Equatorial Guinea. (Yes I had to check the map too!) The field is comprised of 60 men and 40 women, all from various tours throughout the world. It’s an event that is growing and this week received future backing from the countries president whom I met at the opening ceremony.
The experience of playing golf in central Africa was definitely different. We had a daily 45 minute commute from the hotel to the golf course so I had an opportunity to see some of the country. It was quite ery. Picture highways, carved through dense jungles with NO other cars to be seen. Include a number of armed security checkpoints. We were waved through these in advance thanks to the tournament organisers.
Most players took the local “caddies” including myself. However these guys and girls were just bag carriers as most residents of Equatorial Guinea don’t even know what golf is. Having two days of practice was useful as some basic caddy training was required. “Don’t stand there, stand here”, “Don’t take phone calls”, “Don’t push the trolley across the green”!! But it was all part of the spirit of the event and it worked out well. We the players also brought a number of presents for local children which were displayed at the closing presentation and each child chose a gift. The excitement and happiness on their faces was evident with even the simplest of gift. It’s an experience that definitely makes you realise how lucky you are and that simply being born in a different place can result in less opportunities and a vastly different lifestyle.
My golf certainly proved to be a little rusty. It was my first tournament since my injury withdrawal at Q School in September. I shot 76,74,73 and finished in T25th place. The conditions were tough and unfortunately round 4 was cancelled due to bad weather. Definite disappointment there as I was sharpening with each round. I would have finished with a strong score to finish higher up the leaderboard.
I leave feeling super motivated for 2018. I’m doing everything I can to allow me to play full time in the new year. My competitors are doing this and with the standards on tour today I must do the same. I have an excellent chance to get my tour card in 2018 and now that I’m more settled in the US it is my primary focus to make this happen.
I want to thank everyone for their continued support throughout 2017 which was a major stepping stone for me. I wish everyone a Happy Christmas & New Year and I will check in as soon as I have some news on a 2018 schedule.