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Summary of 2004

Date: 01/12/2004

As always the European Tour in 2004 started with 3 weeks in Australia. My favourite place in the World, its no wonder that I have a good start to the year there every year! I had one top 5 and two steady performances in the two European Tour tournaments. I stayed on for a couple more weeks practice and stayed with my friends Jamie and Sjaan Mathiou and their family. I had plenty of competitive golf matches with their kids Bianca, Jayson and Ben who are every bit as competitive as their Rugby league star dad. It wouldnt surprise me if we see their names on the World golf stage in time.

I didnt have to spend long in the winter cold until I was off to Tenerife and the start of the tournaments in Europe. It was the first time we were playing in the North of the island at Buenavista golf course. A beautiful course with panoramic views of the ocean. I felt at home in the windy conditions and faired well to take, what was in the end, a disappointing 3rd. Portugal was the next tournament, a three day event in Lisbon. I played good but didnt seem to hole half as many putts as the week before and finished T24th.

In the two weeks off before a nice run of tournaments I managed to break one of my big toes, feeling very stupid and in extreme pain I managed to hobble around the ironically hilly golf course in La Coruna, Spain and finished tied 13th . Unlucky for some! Although I was very happy with the result I was devastated about my favourite pair of footjoy classics. The slightest pressure on the top of my toe was excruciating therefore the only way I could wear a pair of golf shoes was if I cut a hole in the leather where my big toe was. The next two weeks werent as successful as I missed both cuts in the Italian and French Opens.

Having had a couple of weekends off, some rest for the painful toe and time to get my head together, I played some of the best golf of the year and finished 3rd in the KLM Dutch Open at the Kennemer. Kennemer golf club is a fantastic links course about 30 mins outside of Amsterdam. A gorgeous little place with a great town and very friendly people. It was the first time my cousin, Russell was caddying for me and we lead most of the week. We really got on well on the golf course; he was exactly what I had been looking for in a caddy. I had to smile on the first tee on Sunday morning though. Leading the tournament, last group out, spectators and cameras wherever you lookednothing like been thrown in at the deep end, eh Russell!!!

After the Dutch we had a rare week off before the English Open and the main stretch of the year, a 6 week run including the Evian Masters and the British Open. It didnt start too promising with a missed cut at the English Open at Charthills, a course I still have to master!!! However I had played well enough to qualify for my first Evian Masters and I was over the moon. I played better at the Ladies Central European Open in Hungary but so did everybody else! The Evian Masters arrived and what a magical placeI recommend everybody visit the gorgeous town of Evian Les Bains at least once. The golf course is stunningly beautiful, very demanding, and its definitely a course thats all the better for knowing. I faired well in my first Evian, I finished tied 43rd against the best women golfers in the World. What an honour it was to play in the event and hopefully I will return year after year.

The British Open was at Sunningdale; it was in spectacular condition and had some spectacular results during the week. I played very solid, apart from a few missed putts and a touch of the nerves coming inI missed the cut by a couple of shots.well it is a big event. I made the cut in the last two events of the year and finished 26th in Sweden and 44th in the Welsh, unfortunately due to hell bunker as I now call it, in the last round at Porthcawl. Having had my best season yet on the LET I made the year ending tournament, the Catalonia Ladies Masters, unfortunately I had to retire on the final morning due to horrendous blisters. Although it turned out not to be a bad thing, as I saw the doctor for the blisters and ended up having a jab for an ear infection. Unfortunately due to all the travelling you can pick up all sorts at the end of the year.

The ear infection was a nightmare because I was flying to America that same day to LPGA Q-School in California. The doctor nearly didnt let me fly because of the risk of my ear drum popping during the flight, not a nice thing by all accounts! Anyway he decided to give me an emergency jab and follow on tablets and the next morning I arrived slightly jaded and unbalanced on another practice ground. I only had one day to practice before the qualifying started and not feeling in great shape it was a disaster waiting to happen. I tried my luck again at the Florida qualifying with my cousin Russell caddying but unfortunately the game and the head just werent there. Despite the unsuccessful LPGA Qualifying, it had been a long but successful year on the Ladies European Tour finishing 19th on the Order of Merit. This was my highest position so far and in a year when personal and sponsorship problems had taken their toll, it felt like a top ten! I did continue to learn though, you have to give this great game your full attention or else its just not worth turning up!!!


Date: 15/02/2004

Its been a lovely winter break at home although you could hardly call it a break, as I have been working hard in the gym, on my swing change and my new improved putting stoke! It has all gone by so fast. I could only manage 5 days in Portugal at the beginning of February when a friends gorgeous town house came available. I played at Praia Del Ray, just north of Lisbon, a hidden treasure for golfers as the complex is first class and the golf course is a real test. Definitely worth the trip as I got more work done in 5 days than I would have in a month at home.

Manchester airport again! 10.00am flight to Sydney via Singapore over 24hours travelling, oh what joy! It has been wonderful to not have to think about flying for a while but now it starts all over again and definitely with a bang! I shouldnt have too much travelling this year though. After Australia it is mainly tournaments throughout Europe with only a few trips to the states for the U.S. Womens Open Qualifying and the LPGA Qualifying school at the end of the year.

I am really looking forward and am quite excited about Australia this year. I managed to do well in my first event last year and I do enjoy the country and the people. It is definitely a place I could live, if all my family would move with me!!! I am eager to see the results of all the work my coach, Mark Pinkett, and I have put in over the last year. We have radically changed things and all for the better, it is easier to swing the club these days and that cant be a bad thing! Last year playing on the LPGA I learned that you cant stand still out there, you need to keep improving and one main way I was going to do that was to improve my swing into a more consistent path.

I have arrived at the Gold Coast to find unbelievably hot weather. They have had an extraordinary stretch for this time of year when it is suppose to be cooling down! Hitting balls in 38 degrees takes some adjusting to when you have been used to 4 degrees! We decided to come out a little earlier this year and as it has turned out it was a great idea. It has allowed us to ease into it, I have played 9 holes each day so far and with a full pro-am to look forward to the day before the tournament that should be sufficient to not wear myself out before it all starts.

I am playing four tournaments in Australia this year two European events the ANZ Ladies Masters and the Australian Open and 2 Australian PGA events either side of them. Two weeks are on the Gold Coast, one week in Sydney and the last week in Newcastle, just north of Sydney. I have then decided to stay in Paradise for two more weeks and stay with friends on the gold coast. By the time I get home it will be the beginning of April and hopefully the weather will be bearable for golf professionals. Practicing in shorts and a t-shirt, eating fresh fish and drinking good wine .There isnt really anything to come home for!

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