The Amateur Championship
The next and for me the biggest tournament of my entire career is coming up. The Amateur Championship in Birkdale, is one of the biggest international amateur tournaments every season. Of course it is not as well attended this year as the years before due to travel restrictions.
I’m looking forward to playing on the Royal Birkdale course and hope to keep up with the players as long as possible. The format consists of two 18-hole qualifying rounds after which only the best 64 qualify. The top 64 will then play 18 holes against each other in the matchplay tableau to win and qualify for the following matchplays.
Day 1 (Round Cancelled)
I leave the first day just before noon and see that it is already stormy and rainy the whole morning and some parts of the course are already under water at 10am. I prepare myself and play 2 holes until the tournament committee decides to stop the game. The played two holes I could finish very solid with two good bogeys, but after 45 minutes of play I am already completely soaked…
In the clubhouse we are informed that in 45 minutes the next information will be announced.
after a long 45 minutes the tournament management cancels the first matchday and informs us that now the top 64 will qualify after the first round on the second matchday. So today’s scores will be cancelled and tomorrow the tournament will start from 0.
The weather for the second matchday seems to be better already and there are only some short rain phases in the morning, which should not be too strong.
Day 2 (1st round)
I get the start time sent to me and I see that I will be the first Swiss to have a start time in the morning. In the morning it is fresh and it rains more than expected. The first couple of holes it rains and winds quite a bit before it slowly tends to dry out after about 4 holes.
I start well and play very solidly at the beginning of my round. On the second nine holes I have to accept an out ball and some bogeys, which makes me finish the round with a total of 6 over par. Basically I am happy with this round under relatively difficult conditions in the morning.
After the round in the restaurant I see that the wind is decreasing and the sun is coming out. At this moment I realize that the results in the afternoon will definitely be better and that I will only be in the top 64 with 6 over PAR if I am lucky.
As speculated, with 5 Over PAR the players are still just in the top 64 and I only miss the qualification by a single shot. I am very disappointed and know that I could have easily saved 1-2 strokes in the morning with a little better conditions. Unfortunately I don’t qualify for the top 64 matchplay and have to end the tournament.
Very disappointed I try to take the positive experiences out of it and accept that I got the “worse” starting time for once, but i realize that the week before I was lucky to play twice without rain.
Now I have to use the remaining days as practice and prepare for the ETC in Hilversumsche (Netherlands) next week.