The first week of the 2017 season

It’s the first week of the 2017 season here in South Africa and it’s great to be back out playing. I was relieved to get my full card back and it didn’t look like it after the Portugal Masters and what happened there.

Now that I am back out playing, I am looking forward to the new season. It’s happened and I have learned from the experience. I want to look forward. I want to strive to play better and not worry about losing my card like I have over the last few years.

What happened at the end of last season, and Patrick Reed deciding not to play which gave me my full playing rights back for moving up to 111 from 112 in the Race to Dubai, was a huge relief. It’s difficult to really explain because it seems so surreal.

But that’s in the past. I am here in South Africa to basically restart my career and try to kick on. I want to use 2016 as a learning season and ensure that does not happen again.
And what a great place to start the season here in Leopard Creek for the Alfred Dunhill.

I am very fond of this place. I have finished top ten a couple of times. It is a great venue to get me started for the new season. Hopefully I can have a great week and I’m playing nicely too.
I am looking forward to this tournament before travelling to Hong Kong for the UBS next week and it would be great if these two first outings tee me up for a great Christmas and New Year!

Graeme Storm launches new junior competition….

Tour golfer Graeme Storm launches new junior competition.

 

YOUNG golfers from across the north are being invited to join European Tour golfer Graeme Storm when he hosts his very own competition.

The Graeme Storm Junior Open in association with Dyke House College is open to boys and girls aged between 7-18 and will take place on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

There is no handicap limit and the stableford format event at Hartlepool Golf Club will be the first time that County Durham’s most successful Tour pro has put his name to a tournament.

Storm said: “We have chosen that particular day to coincide with the US Masters in Augusta; that is a Thursday renowned across the world for brilliant golf.

“Hopefully there will be plenty of golfers taking part, there are some great prizes up for grabs and it should be a great occasion; one I hope will become an annual event and go from strength to strength.”

Storm, who is playing in Qatar on the European Tour this week before moving on to Dubai, has the support of Ryder Cup heroes Darren Clarke and Justin Rose for boosting junior golf.

Clarke, the Team Europe captain of 2016, said: “It’s great to see Tour golfer Graeme Storm helping to develop the stars of the future by trying to get more young people into golf. Good luck to everyone who takes part.”

And Rose, the former US Open champion and long term friend of Storm, said: “What a fantastic opportunity for youngsters of all ages to get a taste of tournament golf – and in front of a European Tour winner like Graeme.”

Through his contacts Storm has lined up prizes from TaylorMade and Druh belts & buckles, while the £10 entry fee will be donated to charity partner the Finlay Cooper Fund.

“I am keen to put something back into the sport which has served me so well over the years,” said the Hartlepool pro.

“I have really enjoyed working with young golfers like Jack Ainscough and Will Skipp as the golf consultant at Dyke House and it would be nice to pass on some of my own experiences to more young golfers across the region.”

Please download the entry form at www.dykehousecollege.com or email graemestormjunioropen@gmail.com for further details.

The closing date for entries is Thursday, March 24 2016.

US Open Day 1

Today Graeme kick started his challenge at the 114th US Open Championship Tournament at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. Graeme started his round from the 10th hole and opened up with a birdie 4 on the 608 yard par 5. He kept the momentum of his round going with 7 consecutive par’s and at one stage was only one off the lead. Bogeys followed at holes 18, 1 and 7 to complete an opening round of 72 which puts Graeme in good shape going into round 2.

For a hole by hole analysis, check out Graeme’s Round 1 score card below.

Day1-USOpen2014

US Open Bound

I have to say this is the strangest and most frustrating season ever. At this half way point through the season, I have managed to make only 4 cuts out of 15 events with some very below par performances. I have made a few changes over the past month, starting with a new caddie that has been the freshness I needed to kick start my season. I feel much more comfortable with my game and the swing is starting to become more repetitive which is giving me more confidence to just play the shots in front of me. There is no doubt that the first half of the season has been a huge mental battle and I feel that I am starting to make huge strides forward and hopefully the 2nd part to the season will produce some great performances and the main goal for the remainder of the season is to get the job done in retaining my card at the end of the year.

 
While this season has been a disappointing one, I have the chance to play in a major championship again after qualifying for the US Open for the 2nd time in my career. I decided to enter the qualifier to hopefully give me a boost in confidence and still prove to myself that I still have what it takes to compete at a top level in the game. After shooting 68 in the morning and getting the most part of the job done, I had to go out in the second round in the same frame of mind and that was to make as many birdie chances as possible and give myself the best chance to qualify. I managed to shoot 71 and cruise through without any real trouble. I also couldn’t have been given a better draw for the qualifier, getting to play with 3 time major winner Padraig Harrington and he was a really good guy to play with. Sometimes when your playing partner has a bad round in the morning they can withdraw after the first round in a 36 hole qualifier all in 1 day, but Padraig being the true professional that he is and after shooting 75 and needing a very low score in the afternoon, he was back on the first tee ready and raring to go.

 
A trip to Pinehurst could be just what I need at this very moment in my career, to give me that buzz of playing in a major championship again and hopefully put in a good performance for me to build on.  This is vitally important to me as I have a massive run of events coming up with lots to play for. I have taken a week off from the tour to prepare the best I possibly can for America, so will be spending lots of time on the range at Rockliffe Hall working on my wedge game that I think will be vitally important to passing the examination that the USGA will put in front of us on what I have heard is a world class golf course. From my past experience of a US Open, the short game is just as important as hitting the tight fairways from the tee and I hope to take my ‘A’ game with me.

Graeme qualifies for the US Open 2014

GRAEME Storm has qualified for next month’s US Open golf championship.

The Hartlepool golfer today produced two excellent rounds at the qualifying event at Walton Heath.

Storm carded rounds of 68 and 71 at the New and Old courses at the famous Surrey venue today to finish in a share of fifth on 139 with Max Kieffer, Shiv Kapur, Graeme Storm, Chris Doak and Brooks Koepka (USA).

Ireland’s Shane Lowry, fresh from a superb appearance at the BMW PGA CHampionship at Wentworth at the weekend, topped the qualifiers on 136.

But fellow Irishman, Padraig Harrington, a three-time Major winner, missed out after being 10 shots back after rounds of 75 and 71.

For Storm, it was a day to savour.

He will be at Pinehurst from June 12-15 when he will be taking part in his second US Open.

The Hartlepool Golf Club member played in the 2006 tournament at Winged Foot.

US OPen qualifiers from WAlton Heath:

136 Shane Lowry (Irl); 137 Niclas Fasth (Swe), Simon Griffiths (Wal), Garth Mulroy (Rsa); 139 Max Kieffer (Ger), Shiv Kapur (Ind), Graeme Storm (Eng), Chris Doak (Sco), Brooks Koepka (USA).