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A frustrating week but lessons learned

Getting to Malaysia is always long trip; it took 13 hours going via Dubai with Emirates.  I'd decided to travel through Dubai partly because of the great service onboard Emirates but mainly because of the Sunday night flight from Beijing following the Volvo China Open.  It's a great feeling knowing you're on the way home when the tournament finishes on the Sunday. The new A380 is a great machine and I try to fly on it when I can.  The service and space in Business is fantastic, and after 9 years of travelling economy on long haul flights it's still a great treat.  I arrived Sunday evening feeling relatively good.  It's the latest I'd want to arrive as I tend to suffer badly with jet lag.  For me the Monday 8am alarm is always terrible as its midnight at home, but you have to drag yourself to the course to try and get on to the time zone.


I just hit a few balls on the range as it was 95 degrees and really humid.  I think 30 minutes is the maximum you want to spend hitting shots hard as its exhausting in the heat.  Putting is always important in weeks like this as you try to adjust to the grainy greens.  The colours tell the story, shiny is down grain, and very fast, while the very green colour means into the grain and much slower.  I played 9 holes with Peter Lowry on Tuesday; he's a lovely guy and such a straight driver of the ball.  It's always great to practice with him and his caddy Bo, from Ardglas is great craic.  I swung the club pretty good, focusing on my usual drills of leg stability, tempo and fade swings.  I spent plenty of time chipping afterwards as the ball sits down in the knarly Bermuda grass and requires the chip to be played almost like a miniature bunker shot. 


Lunch at the course is always good in Asia, a little spicy perhaps and lots of caddies and players I hadn't seen were congratulating me on the performance in Morocco.   It's always nice when that happens!


Wednesday was a 745am start for the ProAm, so I was up at 530.  I played with 3 great guys who are all members of a local club.  Unfortunately there was a 2 hour delay due to thunder storms in the middle of our round so I didn't finish until 3pm.  I played average and the team performance wasn't great.  I hit a handful of shots afterwards and was back in the hotel by 530pm for my physio treatment.  It was a long day! I tried to get to bed early but couldn't get to sleep so I took a sleeping tablet which knocked me out and I was a bit shaky on Thursday morning.  I played really badly!  My rhythm was too quick and I didn't have much awareness on putts and chips, my tweet on Thursday summing up my frustration.  I felt sharper on Friday and my swing was better but I missed two 5 foot putts which really needed to go in.  I was under par for the round after 9 holes when play was suspended for the day due to the thunder and lightning.  We had to resume on Saturday at 745am.  It was a longshot for me to make the cut as I needed 5 under for the remaining 9 holes.  I didn't drive the ball well until the penultimate hole when we resumed but two birdies to finish are always nice.  The nice swings are definitely a positive to take into next week in China.


I was shattered after the heat and humidity, so spent the remainder of Saturday relaxing and reading my book.  It was too hot to do much practice on Sunday so I went to the gym in the hotel and did my upper body workout, then met up with my coach Jamie and Peter for dinner.
It wasn't a good week - the lessons learned, be careful with sleeping pills and maybe avoid this week next year, I'm not sure I enjoy the humidity.  So it's off to China for the Volvo China Open, thankfully there's always next week in this game.


It was good to see Louis play so well after last week's disappointment at Augusta.  I'm not sure how the top players like Louis, Charl and Martin managed the journey from America and then play so well.  It's definitely something I'm trying to improve on within my own game but have yet to perfect!