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Summary of 2005

Date: 01/12/2005

2005 started in Singapore. We were to play the excellent Laguna National Golf Club, which the men had played the Caltex Masters on the week before. A tough golf course made even more difficult by the addition of the men, the ridiculous heat and for me only, a 72 year old local caddy that was constantly 40 yards behind me! After a swift missed cut I arrived in Brisbane, what feels like my second home! To play two tournaments on the ALPG before the LET event, ANZ Ladies Masters held at Royal Pines. Unfortunately the golf was nothing special apart from a 13th in the ALPG Players Championship and 3 solid days in the ANZ Ladies Masters which was ruined by a disappointing last day that dropped me 35 places!

Three very strange weeks at home due to the schedule and then back to the heat of Thailand for one week before flying straight to Tenerife. Despite all my grips sliding off on the practice ground due to the intense heat on my arrival I managed to play decent but bogeyed the last from a divot to miss the cut by one. Playing in that intense heat is definitely a totally different experience, it takes some getting used to and even then its not very enjoyable. Id take playing in a woolly hat over playing in a sauna any day!

Logistically from Thailand to Tenerife was a nightmare but with my parents to lean on both on and off the golf course in Tenerife, it allowed me to concentrate on the golf. Apart from an untidy front nine on Sunday I played solid golf and managed to putt okay on what were anything but flat greens! I had dropped from 5th to 20th on that horrible front nine and had to battle hard on the back nine to regain a position. I birdied 4 out of the last 6 holes to finish tied 8th!

The next stop on the LET was the Spanish Open at Panoramica GC. Despite flu and holing nothing, I had a decent finish. Im looking forward to returning there next year, as I enjoyed playing the golf course and I think it suited my game. The week off that followed was most welcome and got me in good form to tackle the Austrian Ladies Masters head on as I lead the tournament from day one with a first round 66, 6 under par. During that week the sky commentary team mentioned I was spectacular or poor, brilliant or average. Unfortunately they were correct, despite displaying some of my best golf of the year; I finished a disappointing and frustrating 24th.

Unfortunately that inconsistent form continued through the Italian Open, where I finished 33rd and in the French Open at Arras where I finished 27th. A confusing run of form that left me very frustrated as I felt I was playing much better than the scores. Another week off gave me time to pay some attention to tidying up my game. It worked, the week after I finished 9th in the Algarve Open, with a very nice Lancashire man on my bag. Again I felt that I played better than my scores and had that confirmed by Wally, my local caddy.

With Evian creeping up on us, everybody is continuously counting up valuable points to see whether they have a chance at playing. We had one more counting tournament before the cut off and that was the English Open at Chart hills. The pressure was on to get in Evian as I was borderline, unfortunately in my eagerness to gain valuable points I lost my focus on the tournament I was playing in and missed the cut by 1. A lesson learned as I drove home from Surrey, first reserve for Evian, guttered and deflated. However I was handed a lifeline when Seri Pak pulled out the week before and I was to return to the stunning Evian Les Bains once more. I love everything about Evian, I even enjoy playing the golf course which is surprising as I still have to play well there.I finished 53rd , a little disappointing but it is an achievement in itself to compete at Evian along with the best women golfers in the World. However, Im not satisfied with just that and look forward to returning to Evian and improving my position.

The British Open was at Birkdale this year, a great golf course but unfortunately my 6.45am tee time was in the worst of the weather on a most horrendously wet and windy day in July!!! I battled hard all day but had to settle for an 81 in the end. Even a 1 under par 71 the next day wasnt enough to make the cut and my British Open dream was over for another year.
Unfortunately the bad weather followed us to Sweden for the TPC championship hosted by Annika. After an encouraging opening 72 the weather nearly destroyed me on the second day and I eventually finished 53rd. If that wasnt enough bad weather we had a third dosing at the Welsh the week after, which again threw me out of the tournament. I finished 61st and vowed to get better at playing in wet and windy conditions

Not surprisingly after all that horrible weather I came down with flu in the Finnish Masters and retired after a few holes on the second day. The unsettled weather continued there as we experienced a freak mini tornado on the Ladies European Tour, which injured some players and many spectators. Thankfully there were no serious injuries but the tournament was shortened to 3 days and unfortunately had some impact on the qualifying Solheim Cup Team. Unfortunately for me I flew from Finland to Denmark with my flu still in tact and despite an enormous effort to make the cut at the Nykredit Masters, and staying with a lovely Danish family, I just wasnt myself.

After a week at home, some well needed rest and home cooked food, I was fit and looking forward to returning to one of my favourite golf courses on tour, The Kennemer for the KLM Dutch Open. A fantastic links golf course 40 minutes outside of Amsterdam. Well worth a visit if you get the chance. After a third place finish there last year I was looking forward to playing the course again. The first day was very windy as we have come to expect at the Kennemer, I played great though and had it not been for a ridiculous pin which made the 6th hole almost unplayable, I would have had a chance to win the tournament. A 10 that day at the 6th hole after flawless golf left me 6 behind the lead and I would remain there at the end of the week somewhat deflated!

A steady but not spectacular season qualified me to play in the Catalonia Ladies Masters which is the year end tournament for the top 30 lady golfers on the order of merit. I finished 16th and was glad to see the back of a tough season.

Estoril Ladies Open of Portugal

Date: 25/06/2005

Cascais, Lisbon should be re-named Chicago (the windy city) The flight from Barcelona was the worst flight I have had for 5 years..turbulence every second from take off to landing, how I didnt need to use the sick bag I will never know. We arrived at the golf course on Tuesday morning to 18 knots of wind, ridiculous conditions for golf. The four club wind we started with at 9.00am on the practice ground actually increased during the round, so much so that if the tournament would have been that day I think it would have been cancelled. The locals arent expecting much change to the weather apart from a slight reduction in the strength of the wind for the first day.

The wind did die down for Thursdays morning round but arrived back to the delight of the afternoon players.I shot 77 in the wind in the afternoon and couldnt wait for my calm morning the next day. Instead I woke at 6.30am to blustery wind, not a good sign for the day ahead. The morning players battled through the wind, myself included, only to hear the news that at 1.30pm that afternoon, play had been suspended. The afternoon players not coping as well with the blustery conditions meant that more than half the field had to finish off their rounds early Saturday morning. The cut ended up being plus 9 and we had a shot-gun start in the afternoon for the players that made it. I carried on playing the same golf I had brought with me to Portugal.not bad golf but not quite there and holing nothing, I eventually finished tied 60th.

From Cascais Saturday evening I drove down to the Algarve to play in a charity pro-am on Sunday with a few other players. It was held at the new course at Villamoura and very nice tooI played with some really nice guys that live out there and laughed all day! The club staff looked after us very well and on the whole it was a thoroughly enjoyable day which raised over 14,000 euros for charity. The only draw-back was that I only got to see the first half of the England game before I had to leave for the airport. However thanks to Jet 2, I did manage to get home in time to see the highlights! Come on England!!!!

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