Greetings from the road. Well, Copenhagen to be exact.
Made in HimmerLand ended on Sunday but I remain in Denmark for one more day anyway due to Covid restrictions.
My son Jack and I drove to Copenhagen on Wednesday and played a round yesterday with Ross Fisher and David Horsey. Tomorrow we’ll finally be allowed to continue our journey to Hamburg for the Porsche European Open, which starts on Saturday.
New travel restrictions between the Britain and Germany are the cause of the disruption. The German government has put Britain on the red list for travelling which means anyone entering the country that has not been outside Britain for a minimum of 10 days has to follow a quarantine period.
The timing, just days before the European Tour was due to visit Hamburg, has resulted in this week’s tournament at Green Eagle Golf Courses being moved from its scheduled start today to Saturday and reduced to 54 holes.
Had we not changed the date then the Britain based players who had travelled last week to Denmark would not have been able to take part.
All being well I’ll manage a practice round tomorrow afternoon before the tournament gets under way at the weekend.
It’s not ideal but there are a few lads out here who are in the same position. It’s a pain and it is a test of your patience but the reality is those of us still in Denmark biding our time until we can travel on to Germany are the lucky ones.
Others such as Marc Warren, Oliver Fisher and Jamie Donaldson, who had stayed in Britain and planned to travel to Germany for the tournament, are the real losers in this situation as the change in circumstances means they cannot play in the event this weekend.
The revised tournament schedule is a compromise but clearly it still does not help everyone.
We have no alternative but to adapt. I’ve said since the outbreak went global in spring of last year that the repercussions of Covid would be far reaching for us all and sadly the situation we’re facing this week has become the new normal.
I know of guys in South Africa and Asia who have had real problems being able to play a proper schedule so far because of the restrictions depending on where they are coming from or going to.
You just have to adapt, stay positive, and try to focus. That’s easier said than done sometimes as in this game you are focused on a specific tournament on a given week and soon as it is finished you switch your attention to the next event.
That task has been a bigger challenge than normal due to circumstances outwith my control this week.
I’ve no idea how this weekend will go and it will certainly a new experience for me. I’ve played in tournaments that have been reduced from 72 holes to 54 due to the weather but this is the first occasion I can think of where I’m going into an event knowing it will be only by 54 holes.
It feels like it will be more of a sprint due to the revised format and I imagine we’ll all be more aggressive in how we tackle the three rounds.
Certainly, a good round like the 64 I had last Friday would put me in a good position.
If you have one very good day and two steady ones then you are not going to be far away this week and a top five finish could be enough to earn me a place in the US Open.
It’s a good course in Hamburg with plenty of long par fives so I know if I can get my game going then I can have a good three days there.
It looks like I may have found a new putter by accident too which is nice.
I arrived in Denmark without my clubs last week as they did not make the connection from Amsterdam. Titleist were able to make me an identical set just in case I was not reunited with my clubs in time for the first round but they did not have my putter so I chose one out the van.
After holing some putts I thought ‘this is pretty fantastic’ so I stuck with it and my putting was great all week. I’m hoping it was a small twist of fate and that my mishap with the clubs happened for a reason. We’ll find out soon enough.
Bob MacIntyre won’t be fazed by Ryder Cup support
It seems the list of admirers of Bob MacIntyre is growing after former captain Thomas Bjorn became the latest to back Bob for a place in the European team for the Ryder Cup.
Thomas says Bob is a top player and he’s not wrong but knowing Bob as I do I’m sure he will stay grounded.
He’s right on the threshold for Padraig Harrington’s team at this point but we’re just into June and a lot can happen between now and when the team is eventually decided.
Padraig is keeping tabs on him though which is encouraging. He has played with Bob in the last year and his vice-captains have also played with Bob in some events so clearly he is in the mix.
It’s nice to have a former captain talking up your chances too but Bob just has to block out the noise, keep his head down and focus on his game.
He has some big events coming up to look forward to starting with the US Open and he won’t let the attention go to his head, that’s for sure.