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Antenatal classes and unpacking boxes make it an eventful week "off"

I was a little jet lagged when I got home at about 830pm on Saturday night.  I arrived into Belfast in shorts, t-shirt and a jumper and collected quite a few odd stares - mind you that often happens when you have your large golf Tour bag with you; it can look like you're transporting something very suspicious in it!  I was freezing cold as I walked out to the car park to meet Bev, even though it was over 10⁰C but that's what you get for wearing shorts!  It was straight home get some food and get into bed for me.  I hadn't really slept on the flights so I was really looking forward to my bed, and having not really adjusted to the time zone in China I was ready to sleep when I finally crawled into bed.


It was a really quiet, almost normal week for me.  Nothing much on Sunday and Monday; just relaxing around the house, trying to organize bits and pieces into some sort of order, mainly unpacking boxes and setting up my putting green!  A little bit of practice at Greenacres Driving Range on Tuesday in the worst of the weather, but still necessary.  Bev was there filming swings to send to Justin Parsons in Dubai for feedback.  I send him the video footage and have an analysed performance the next morning, sometimes the time-zones work in your favour!


We popped into Ikea on Wednesday to pick up much needed items of furniture for the house.  This was only my second visit and we decided to use both their pick and delivery services; Bev can't help me lift the boxes at the moment and I was fearful of an injury after tackling the last box a few weeks ago!  It costs a little more but with the bulk of the season just a few weeks away it really isn't worth me taking a risk of injury.


I attended my first antenatal class on Thursday night instead of watching the Players Championship from TPC Sawgrass.  The Players is one of my all-time favourite tournaments; the size and scale of it are impressive, but no Sky Sports TV means no golf.  The antenatal class wasn't what I'd imagined but it was very informative and I was glad to have a look inside the delivery suite rooms; I have at least some idea as to where we might be when the baby arrives.  There's not long left now and I'm starting to get more nervous and excited as the time draws closer.  One of the guys at the course recognised me, he's a complete golf nut and it always bemuses me a little when someone recognises me at an event like that.  It's a little unnerving and I'm not sure how Rory, Graeme and Darren manage that all the time!


I was off early on Friday morning to Liverpool with Johnny Foster (Gareth Maybin's coach) and my long-time friend.  We'd been given access to Royal Birkdale for the day and then I'd a putting lesson with Phil Kenyan in the afternoon.  Phil is a great coach and many of the lads on Tour work with him.  I find the sessions in his lab at Southport better than working with him out on Tour, so I'll be making this trip quite a few times during the year.  Royal Birkdale was in fantastic condition and we were accompanied on our round by our own rules official - Andrew Snoddy.  Andrew is another friend from Ballyclare who now works for the PGA in Birmingham; he's a great golfer and has passed his rules exams so will be out on main tour a time or two soon.  I'm hoping he never has to give me a ruling!


Bev had plenty of work for me on Saturday and Sunday - building all the Ikea furniture, not something I'd ever done before but it was something I actually enjoyed.  It wouldn't be something I'd fancy every day but as a one off it wasn't that bad!  At least now we have storage for all the golf items I have - shoes, travel bags, hats, balls, protein bars and spare clubs!


I didn't even manage to catch the end of the Players Championship but I believe it was very dramatic.  Tiger and Sergio tied with two holes to play, with Sergio finding the water twice on the 17th and again on the 18th.  I'm glad to see Sergio back up there competing but Tiger's form is starting to look a little ominous now; 4 wins in big events so far this season!  I think it'll be an interesting tussle between him and Rory for the next little while.  I was disappointed for David Lynn, another European player who's made the move to the States following his 2nd place finish in the USPGA last year, he'd been in amongst the mix only to card a disappointing 76 on Sunday, dropping him 18 spots. 


I've another week without an event before I head off to Wentworth, hopefully the weather improves a little so I can get some decent chipping and wedge practice in before the event itself!