Each day the cauldron gets a little hotter and the pressure is amped up. Today there were a lot more spectators around, and the driving range and putting green were busy all day.
We’ve been fortunate with how the week has panned out, playing with Foxy on Sunday was a nice familiar way to start, yesterday with Matt Jones from Australia was slightly out of the comfort zone and today Dan played with two time US Open Champion and Golf World Hall of Fame member Ernie Els.
Ernie was amazing to play with, obviously an incredibly impressive golfer, but he is an even better person. He was so accommodating with his time, sharing his wealth of knowledge and taking a genuine interest in Dan.
It was amazing to see how he handles himself, every hole he would have fans yelling out “Go Ernie” or other words of support and each and every time he acknowledged them with a wave or a tip of the hat. He never turned down an autograph and did it all with a genuine smile.
One of the amazing things about golf is, today we had a 20-year-old amateur from New Zealand, who is playing in his first Major championship, having a practice round with a guy who has four Major championship victories (two of which, both US Opens, before Dan was even born!) and has 71 professional wins around the world.
I can’t think many sports where you can win a major championship in 1994 and then again 18 years later in 2012, and be at the top of your game for the majority of the 18 years in between.
Earlier this year, Ernie became the first (and only) player to rack up 300 career top 10s (Tiger Woods has just over 230). Wouldn’t it be great to see Dan get on that leader board with one this week!
Tomorrow Dan’s plan is to play 9 holes in the afternoon and complete a final calibration of his systems before getting a good night sleep (hopefully!).
He’s in a good space physically, mentally and technically and is looking forward to getting amongst it on Thursday afternoon.