Date: August 30, 2011

Griffin blog: finding form in the Thai heat

By Matthew Griffin Since my last post I have played the Thailand Open at the Suwan Golf and Country Club just outside of Bangkok. The Thailand events are always enjoyable weeks with delicious food, markets to explore and great golf courses. This week would be no different as we played a fantastic resort course that rewarded good play and punished poor decision making. As always it was an extremely hot week and as the wind fell away, the humidity rose causing the guys a lot of trouble and becoming physically demanding, especially when we played for 5 plus hours. I don t mind those conditions, given I enjoy the fitness aspect of the sport. I was joined by my trainer Scott Williams for the week, who came to experience the extreme conditions to help us to develop a fitness strategy to deal with such weeks in the future. The schedule this year has been rather disjointed and another 3 week break between events meant I wasn t quite sure where my game would be at heading to Thailand. Some hard work prior meant my game was in good order and I began solidly with a 2 under 70, which was a little disappointing as I had been 3 under earlier. Day 2 was extremely stormy and transport was also an issue meaning the 45 minute bus journey took 1 hour 45 minutes. Luckily I like to get to the course early so had allowed extra time but there where some stressed golfers on the bus. Despite the hold-up I started well and with a rain delay in the middle of my round moved to 6 under for the tournament with 3 to play and within range. A double on a par 3 was costly as the storm came in and with just a sand wedge into the last green the siren went as a massive storm was about to hit us. Frustratingly this meant a 6.45am restart and a 4.30 am get up to finish the last hole of day 2! Surely the storm could have waited! After closing out another 70, I moved to the weekend 5 behind and equal with eventual winner Andre Stoltz. Saturday scoring was really hot and another 70 was frustrating, as despite playing well I just wasn t going low enough to keep up. Sunday came around and I played really well for a 5 under 67, which could easily have been a few lower with a bit of luck and meant I finished 18th on 11 under for the week. It was however another good Sunday round, which is a good sign that I am getting back to my amateur final round form, which had been my best. This would be 10 behind the winner Andre Stoltz, who shot an incredible 17 under on the weekend around what we all thought at the start of the week was a tough course. Shows what great play does and the quality of golf on the One Tour now. The 18th place moved me up the order of merit enough to keep my status for next year which is nice given my poor start to the year and allows me to focus on the Tour School in America. It was also a fun week and having Scott up there will give us a lot of good information for setting a program going forward to make sure my body is at 100% under the toughest of conditions. From here it is another few weeks practice before heading to New Caledonia and the South Pacific Open. Following that it is the Dunhill Links at St Andrews a big European Tour Event and then the Korean Open. We then hit the exciting Aussie summer of golf including the Masters at my home course Victoria again and Tour Schools, which will set up a busy year of golf in 2012. I hope you all well and I look forward to seeing lots of you at the Aussie events at the end of the year. Matt Griffin is a former National Squad member and current member of Golf Australia&aposs Rookie Professional Program. This blog can also be found at his new website