My second round at the PGA Championships here in Hazeltine almost mirrored the first. I had a great start with a birdie — this time on the 10th — and I closed with a disappointing bogey towards the end on the eighth.
After sitting at even par with three birdies and three bogeys, I finished with a 72 and I was quite disappointed at giving away the late stroke.
When I submitted the card in the recorders room and then glanced at the leaderboard, as most players do, I saw that I was around the 67th or so,
with 70 and ties going into the weekend at the PGA Championships.
But not even for a minute did I have any doubts, as the windy and blustery conditions were making it tough for the golfers and half the field was yet to come back.
So I knew a three-over was certainly in and it now remained to be seen whether it could drop to four-over and it did.
Well, as a first step, it is nice to make the cut at the Majors after some not-too-happy times at the earlier three Majors this year. Two missed cuts and one pullout means I am really keen to make up for all that and do well at the last Major.
It was a battle out there with strong windy conditions. And remember that the course at Hazeltine is 7,674 yards, the longest ever used for a Major. It is a test of both mental and physical strength.
After a birdie on 10th, I gave away two shots, one each on 13th and 16th, but turned in even par with that satisfying birdie on the 18th.
A bogey on third meant I was over par again, but I nailed my birdie on the very next to get to even and I was keen to finish there. But the dropped shot on eighth spoilt the finish.
The wind could have ruined any decent card at a single hole, so you needed to be patient, too. Try and get to the greens in regulation as much as you can and make sure you don't miss when you have a birdie chance. Though I must confess I missed a couple of short ones in both rounds. But I also holed a couple of good ones.
So, as they say in golf, be happy if the good and the bad even out. Rest is bonus. One did not need to go far to see that. My playing group had some dramatic results.
Justin Leonard looked to be cruising at even par and then dropped three on the second nine and just sneaked in. Meanwhile, Retief Goosen
after a 77 on first day was three-over after 10 in the second round. But the two-time US Open champion showed he is an amazing fighter with two birdies and an eagles on last eight holes.
Meanwhile, up there, the World's No.1 is marching imperiously towards his 15th Major. He came back strongly to steer clear of all with three birdies in a row on back nine, ending with a 70 that gave him a four-shot lead over Vijay Singh. Tiger is at seven-under, while Vijay is three-under.
Tied with Vijay are four others in second place with US Open champion Lucas Glover, Ross Fisher, who had a good British Open, defending champion Padraig Harrington,and Brendan Jones.