I had eye-opening experiences exploring Russia this week and on the course I played well, shooting six under and tying for 12th place- seven shots behind the winner.
The Nicklaus-designed course was fantastic! It’s a difficult but fair layout through a forest. When you are on one hole, all other holes aren't visible. Since golf isn’t yet a big sport in Russia (there are only 40 courses in the entire country) and the tournament is over an hour’s drive from Moscow, there were fewer spectators here than at other tournaments. Frankly being in Russia with few spectators and playing holes carved out of a forest at times caused me to feel like I was on the edge of the world, but I didn’t have those thoughts for long because the course demanded my full attention.
Russia is an incredible country but much different than the U.S. The dichotomy between wealth and poverty is striking and the food takes some getting used to. Some of the countryside and sights, though, are very beautiful. While I walked around Red Square in Moscow on Wednesday afternoon (as a tourist) I couldn’t help but be in awe of the architecture of the buildings and in amazement of what has gone on within them.
I just got back to Virginia Beach. I’m looking forward to visiting my swing coach, who I haven’t been able to see for four months, and trying to find ways to build on what I’ve experienced. The European Tour is a fantastic place to grow and learn, and right now I don’t want to be anywhere else. The officials, players and volunteers at every event have been welcoming and helpful. Over the past year I haven’t felt uncomfortable anywhere I’ve been. But in the final analysis this is my job and I need to focus on growing and getting better.
All the best, Brinson
I wanted to give you a quick update on how things are going this trip.
I missed the cut by one shot in each of my last three events – Ireland, Germany and France. A player missing a cut by such a slim margin can only shrug it off, but when it happens three times in a row the shrugs get a little harder. Golf really is a game of inches. I’ve been playing quite well and holding my own with some of the better players. I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming events.
On Monday morning I flew from Paris to here in Aberdeen, Scotland. I’m hoping to play in the Scottish Open this week, which is one of the bigger events. Right now I’m first alternate but the field is set for Thursday and I’ll get in only if someone withdraws. I not, I’ll head back to the states on Friday.
I thought it was a good idea to come here, though, and see if there’s any chance I can get into the field because it’s such a big event and, of course, I’d really like to play. Also it’s my first experience with true links golf. Royal Aberdeen is an incredible links style track and the couple of practice rounds I’ve played have helped me learn about the dos and don’ts. It’s definitely a different style of play, but a neat one!
I’m practicing and training hard and working through things. I hope all is well with you and your family. :)
All the best!