Mike Hoey's Tour Diary (Part 4): That Sinking Feeling Of Finding Out You've Made The Cut When You've Left The Country!

This year GCD is honoured to have five time European Tour winner Michael Hoey write his Tour diary.  You can follow Mike on  facebook here  ...

This year GCD is honoured to have five time European Tour winner Michael Hoey write his Tour diary.  You can follow Mike on facebook here and on twitter here.

So the last few days have been kind of exciting in the Hoey household.  I was playing in Denmark, the first event back since injuring my foot at Hoylake during the Open.  I was a little nervous as I hadn't been able to do all that much practice until the few days before I left, and I hadn't been able to walk any great distance, certainly nothing like six hours on my feet.

I flew to Amsterdam and then on to Aalborg.  The hotel was close to the airport but 50 minutes from the course.  It turns an already long week into a very, very tedious one when you have that long a commute each way, especially when the golf isn't going well.  There were thunder storms on Tuesday so I didn't get to play the course, just walked it between the showers with a wedge and my putter in hand along with Gerry and Johnny Foster (my coach).

The pro-am was long but good craic and my feet and legs were sore at the end of it.  This is a small event so my physio team hadn't sent someone out to it.  Shame cause I really could have used Shane's healing touch all week!  Instead I made do with the European Tour physio guys.  They are great but busy so I got 20 minutes with them instead of the normal hour with Shane Lawlor (of the Lawlor Clinic); the body sure notices the difference!

I played nicely on Thursday and Friday, was a bit unlucky and a bit rusty in places.  Two lost balls for two double bogeys and a three putt from 30-ish feet on the 18th certainly didn't help me regain the lost ground.  I'd been up near the top of the board for a while!  So I finished early (assuming I would miss the cut) and Bev looked up flights.

I was due to be flying KLM to Amsterdam on Sunday night and then on home with Easyjet on Monday.  It's a very glamorous lifestyle out here!  Anyway the flights from Aalborg, which is a tiny airport weren't plentiful and they were getting very expensive.  The wind had died so between Gerry, Bev and I we decided that I should leave on Friday night.  It was about £600 cheaper to leave on Friday night on a flight to Belfast rather than on Saturday morning for Dublin...... no brainer we thought!

The flight was at 6.40pm and we thought play would be almost finished before I had to board.  I think there was a rain delay or something so play was a bit delayed.  I checked the scores as I was boarding and I was about 70th; with no wind so you would assume the cut would move closer to par.  The course wasn't complicated and was soft so should have played easier.  Instead a few guys messed up.  I got into Amsterdam and Bev was checking the scores, I was 67th and there was an amateur in the field making the cut.  Amateurs always get discounted at professional events when the cut is decided.  .....This might have been an error.....

KLM had misplaced my clubs, they weren't at outsize, they weren't with the normal bags so with a heavy heart I joined the lost baggage queue.  Bev was monitoring scores from home and it basically came down to the last three ball.  If James Heath parred the hole I was okay, I'd made the right decision (to leave), if he bogeyed I'd made the wrong choice and would need to get back asap.  As would Dyson and Horsey who had both headed to Copenhagen to fly back to Manchester.   Bev started looking for flights.  There weren't any early enough the following morning and because I had to wait to file the report about my clubs I couldn't chance booking onto the Copenhagen, Billund or Aalborg flights just yet.  I was also starving as I hadn't eaten since 12 noon.  By that time it was 8.30pm.

I eventually got the report filed.  The system had no idea where the clubs were so I asked optimistically for them to be returned to Aalborg assuming I'd get there in time to play.  Bev was trying to get me on flights but we were too late, then onto a jet but the airport was now closed to private jets, and finally a train or a car to drive me overnight.  Nothing worked out and so at about 11pm she e-mailed the Tour to say I'd have to withdraw.

It's a funny situation to be in.  Do you stay knowing you're likely to miss or do you leave assuming the boys won't make mistakes? There are a few courses that you would stay at as they have a nasty finish, the one in Paris for example has a tough tough finish but this was easy.  The only thing I hadn't considered was the field was relatively weak and inexperienced at this level, maybe I should have considered that a little more!  But for the last group to bring about 20 guys in for the weekend is relatively unheard of, it generally always goes the other way!

I managed to get home on Saturday morning, a little exhausted from the stressful six hours running around Schiphol airport.  I am glad to say the foot managed it well, and is almost fully recovered now.  I headed straight up home to Portballantrae only to be greeted by the largest picture of myself on the West Strand in Portrush........ a little bizarre really but all in a good cause.

The NI Open is on next week.  It's a Challenge Tour event being hosted for the second year at Galgorm Castle Golf Club.  Tickets are free if you register online at www.niopen.com.  Unfortunately for me it clashes with the Italian Open so I'm going to forgo the chance to secure my Race to Dubai ranking by supporting my home event, because it's something I feel strongly about.  The Challenge Tour played a large part in my early career.  I would not be where I am without it and so I want to help ensure the local lads trying to make it out here get some of the same help I did.  Darren Clarke played the Benmore Developments Challenge Tour event I played in back in 2003.  Northern Ireland hosting an event helped me secure other invitations when I had no category and hopefully this one at Galgrom will allow some of the younger guys that chance too.  Please come along and watch, it should be great craic!

After the NI Open I'm heading on to the Omega European Masters, KLM Open and then to Wales.  It's great to back playing but I did enjoy the time too. I hit the gym and spent time up the North Coast with the girls and played some golf at Castlerock with my friends Niall O'Connor and Ronan Higgins.

Thanks guys, here's hoping for a little less drama in the next Tour Diary!

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GolfCentralDaily | Golf Parody Fun Gossip Jokes Betting Tips: Mike Hoey's Tour Diary (Part 4): That Sinking Feeling Of Finding Out You've Made The Cut When You've Left The Country!
Mike Hoey's Tour Diary (Part 4): That Sinking Feeling Of Finding Out You've Made The Cut When You've Left The Country!
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