Date: December 07, 2007
Author: Luke Buttigieg at Coolum

Percy recovers from luggage mishap

With golfers notorious for being superstitious and fastidious with their preparations, Victorian Cameron Percy could have been forgiven if he&aposd missed the cut at the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship. That&aposs because after contesting the six-round final stage of the qualifying school for next year&aposs US PGA Tour last week in America, Percy arrived at Coolum on Wednesday evening minus his luggage. Having withdrawn during the final round of the Q-School because he may not have made his flight home for the Queensland tournament, Percy was forced to wear the same clothes for three days in succession. He did receive some compensation from the airline for his trouble, which allowed him to buy a shirt and a pair of shorts to wear each time he had to wash his playing gear, but when he teed off on Thursday afternoon in the first round it was with borrowed clubs. “My stuff still wasn&apost here when I finished (on Thursday), so I thought I&aposd have to wash them again,” Percy said after following his opening round 70 with a superb six-under 66 that took him to minus eight overall after 36 holes. “Then they rang me at about six o&aposclock and said they&aposve arrived, so I had new clothes to wear this morning (Friday).” “They said we think your clubs are coming later on tonight, so I said &aposI&aposll pick them up in the morning&apos, and there they were, they were there and off I went.” Rather than distract him though, Percy believes having to use clubs that weren&apost his may have actually worked in his favour because he had to concentrate even harder as a result. “I played so conservatively yesterday because I didn&apost know the clubs and how they were going to react,” Percy added. “It sort of helped, I hit three irons off tees, laid up on par fives, just tried to get some sort of score in.” “It actually worked, because normally I play very aggressively, maybe take a bit too much on I think. Just got lucky I suppose.” Percy struggled in the USA even though he says he &aposprobably would have won&apos if he&aposd putted as well then as he has so far this week, revealing he had missed about 30 putts from inside eight feet. And as a result of not converting his good iron play into results, negative thoughts resulted when he bogeyed his third hole – the 12th – on the opening morning. “It was tough because I was pretty disappointed with last week,” Percy said. “I hooked a shot off the 12th, I was already one over early and I was struggling, I thought &aposoh here we go&apos.” “My caddie was pretty good, he had a pretty good attitude because he could have been down in the dumps too. (He said) &aposjust too bad, you&aposve just got to get on with it, away you go&apos.” From there Percy recovered the shot before the turn, came home with three birdies and another bogey, and then came out on Friday and followed another dropped shot at the first with nine birdies. The first six of them in a run of 11 holes took him to seven-under overall but back-to-back bogeys at the 13th and 14th threatened to undo all the good work until he grabbed a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th. “I really struggled, I didn&apost actually hit the ball good early but I was really struggling then all of a sudden I started hitting good,” he said. “All of a sudden I started hitting good shots and thought &aposhere we go, I&aposm actually hitting it alright now&apos.” Now that he has everything in order off the course, and his game seems to be in great shape on it, the weekend promises to be an exciting one for Percy, who may yet remain just one shot from the lead at the halfway mark.