He finished eighth in the Dinard Grand Prix, only a single shot out of the top five and an honorable showing for the first tournament of the year. In the second round, he was one under par going into the 16th hole, where he double-bogeyed. He also double bogeyed the 17th, hitting a ball out of bounds on a short par three. He finished with a three over par 71.
For the two rounds, he shot seven over and all seven over came on these two holes. If he had held his concentration, he could have finished easily in the top five. His friend Cedric van Wassenove shot a second round 65. "He never gets nervous," said an admiring Sam.
But there were many positives. He hit the ball "terrifically." His putting improved in the second round. "My stroke is good, but the fast greens scared me." The weather was springlike perfect in the second round and he should now be able to practice regularly after the long winter.
"It was an encouraging start," he concluded.