2013 was very up and down but fortunately a tale of
two halves. We renovated our new home throughout the
year which was a big undertaking, but a fun and worthwhile
experience. However, after being ready and in great
shape to head out to South Africa to start the season
we had a light snowfall back home. Friends came over
to see the house and whilst messing around in the garden
I fell and broke my wrist. Two days before flying out
it was a massive disappointment and forced me into a
changed schedule to follow the Challenge Tour for the
year and a different approach.
I struggled to find my swing after the 6 weeks out injured
and played awful until late summer. Fortunately my secret
weapon came to the rescue when Lauren caddied for me
in Northern Ireland and I lost in a playoff. This was
a kick start to the season and the starting point of
rebuilding my career. A late charge on the Challenge
Tour got me to the grand final but unfortunately I came
up short of automatic qualification to get my full card
back on the European Tour. Another visit to the qualifying
school was my last chance for the year. Six rounds over
the Stadium and Tour courses in Spain were all it would
I did the hard part well, ten under par for the four
rounds over the tougher Stadium Course was plenty good
enough however three over on the Tour Course was not.
I fell agonisingly short missing out by two shots. I
rallied hard all week after a few poor starts especially
the final day but it just wasn't enough. The year did
finish reasonably well however after good performances
in Mauritius and South Africa, making eight straight
cuts and gaining lots of momentum going into 2014.
was very much a year of one step forward, two steps
back for Oliver. The year started on a much more positive
note after becoming fit and healthy again; however,
the consistency never developed and problems with the
driver stopped him from capitalising on the good work
he'd done on the rest of his game. A full schedule of
playing between the European Tour and a few events on
the Challenge Tour gave him two opportunities to regain
his full playing status, but unfortunately he got caught
in a balancing act and ended up missing out. The end
of the year became focused on getting the right people
around him and creating the best possible team for 2013.
A change in fitness coach to Raphael Brandon has made
a massively positive impact on his fitness, and a return
to Mike Walker as golf coach, who was very involved
when Oliver was at his peak with Pete Cowen, has helped
regain some of the successful feelings from before.
The last significant change has been a move to International
Sports Management group to help guide Oliver through
the rest of his career.
the 2011 season did not have many highlights for Oliver
having struggled with persistent health issues and ongoing
swing changes. Despite all this Oliver did enjoy his
maiden win at the Tavistock Cup. Although a small field
and only over 2 days it was a world class field nevertheless.
Sadly the confidence that victory brought was short
Changes to his swing were still raw which proved problematic
in the windier conditions in Europe meaning the success
he enjoyed in the States was not continued over the
remainder of the season. Together with ongoing health
issues it was a difficult season for Oliver. However
towards the end of 2011 he began working with new coach
Graham Walker which provided immediate improvements
leaving Oliver wondering where he would have been if
he had made the change sooner.