It’s hard to believe that the four Majors are already a thing of the past for 2016, but they will be remembered for a long time – especially by first-time winners Danny [Willett], Dustin [Johnson], Hendrik [Stenson] and Jimmy [Walker].
The Masters presented a different challenge. Strong, gusting winds combined with the slick Augusta greens made for a huge challenge and required patience. I started with a 72 and followed with a 77 to make the cut. On Saturday my 71 was some of the best golf I played and one of only two rounds under par on the day. Another 71 on Sunday placed me tied 15th.
Oakmond CC hosted the US Open and what a golf course! Narrow fairways, thick rough and very, very quick greens made for a true test controlling the ball from different lies in the rough and on the fairways. Sometimes you had to aim 20 or even 30 feet away from the pin to get the ball remotely close to the pin position. Rounds of 75, 65, 74 and 73 saw me tied 23rd.
Then it was time for my most favourite Major – The Open Championship – at Royal Troon. I was well placed after my first-round 71. I made the worst decision in changing shafts in my driver and was hammered with cross-winds. I had no control with my driver. I thought it was going to be a wet day so changed to a softer shaft. Man, did I get that wrong. Instead it was howling cross-winds the whole day. But what a show Sunday’s final round delivered!
On to The PGA Championship at Baltusrol GC in New Jersey. I was feeling good. Thursday was hot and humid and the staff had to irrigate the greens in between groups to prevent them from burning. At Baltusrol, the first nine you just hang in and go for pars and then try to fire some birdies on the second nine. I started badly being two over par after three, but recovered for a two-under 68.
The second round was played in cool conditions. Some of the greens were burned from the previous day and they were also slower. Come Saturday it was raining with a severe weather warning. We were called off the course; I had completed seven holes and then it was the long wait. Only a few players had completed their third rounds and most of us had to play between 30 and 36 holes on Sunday.
The weather again played its part with showers during the morning before clearing up in the afternoon. This made for soft conditions and we even played preferred lies on Sunday. I followed my 68 with two rounds of 70 and another 68 to finish tied 22nd on a score of minus four.