Adri Arnaus: Rookie Tour Diary

I’ve had a busy few weeks since writing my first column for Worldwide Golf with four tournaments spread across different parts of the world, so there has been plenty of travelling on my part. Getting to grips with long haul travel is one of the biggest challenges since graduating from the Challenge Tour as there are events all over the world whereas the Challenge Tour is mainly based in Europe until the end of the season.

Course set up

But the biggest difference between the Tours in my opinion is the course set up, it’s crazy! I’ve started to realise that you need to bring your ‘A’ game every single week if you want to compete on a Sunday as any lapse in concentration or bad shot can really affect your scorecard. Despite the difficulty of the courses, I relish the challenge and love getting the opportunity to travel all over the world and play these spectacular golf courses – it’s a privilege. After my tied second place finish in Kenya I set off for Malaysia but I didn’t produce the golf I know I’m capable of. I felt very tired physically and my game just fell apart which led to me missing the cut. If you’re playing tournament golf every week and you aren’t in good shape or taking care of your body it can affect you in the long run, so I had to regroup and just work on the physical aspect of my game.

 

Another missed cut followed at the Trophee Hassan II as well as the British Masters but sandwiched in between was a top 30 finish at the Volvo China Open which was surprising as I wasn’t feeling very well coming into the event. I felt fatigued, my muscles were weak and my sore throat did not make things easier. However, it may have been a blessing in disguise as sometimes I over-practice, and that week I could not do that. I was just playing 18 holes and going back to my hotel to rest. The experience taught me that I don’t have to practice 24 hours a day to be a great player – it’s all about finding the right balance between resting and practicing to ensure I’m in really good shape physically and mentally to be able to go to different continents and play well.

PGA Championship

I wrote in my last column that a big goal of mine was to make the PGA Championship but after missing the cut in three of my last four events, I was unable to break into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking. It was one of those things that you try to achieve and make it happen but at the same time it is my first year and the fact that I even gave myself the opportunity to make it was really cool. It was a fascinating tournament to watch and Brooks Koepka’s performance was brilliant. He was solid all around, which was good to see from a former Challenge Tour player. Brooks is definitely someone that I look up to – I really like his work ethic, his attention to his physical attributes, and how he manages to overcome tough situations.

Matt Wallace also had a great tournament at Bethpage Black with a tied third finish. I played with him in Abu Dhabi earlier this year and we got along really well right away. We both won the Alps Tour Order of Merit and played on the Challenge Tour so I do see some similarities between us, not just in how our journey has panned out, but also in the way he plays and the way he approaches things.

Great summer of golf

I’m looking forward to a great summer of golf on the European Tour with almost every event being held in Europe so I’m hoping travelling to events will become easier for a couple of months. The one tournament that I’m really excited to play is the Andalucía Masters at the Real Club Valderrama. It’s actually going to be my first time playing there so it will be a good experience, I’m sure. So many great Spanish golfers have a rich history at the course and I’ll have my family there which will be special. Seeing your family again after a long period away is always nice and when they are with you at events it’s even better. I’m also looking to play the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath but I’m currently fourth reserve so I’ll have to wait and see whether I can make the field and have the opportunity to qualify for my first Major!

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