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No more distractions as Wentworth arrives

It just didn't want to stop raining the week before the BMW PGA Championship which is not ideal practice for one of the biggest events of the season but what can you do?  I focused almost exclusively on the drills my coach had given me during the week; trying to concentrate on taking the club away on the outside, then filming a few to look at and plenty of putting drills.  I caught up with a school friend between practice sessions over a few games of snooker in the clubhouse, pretending to be Ronnie O'Sullivan for a minute, well until the break ended on about 10!


I had a gym session on Wednesday with trainer Rob.  I'd recovered poorly from the last session and so we decided to lower the weights and increase the number of reps I do, to maintain my conditioning at its current level.  This is good for midseason, but means off season will have heavier weights, something I'm not looking forward too.  It also helps me get the technique correct which is so important in the early stages of training and should help prevent injuries as well.


The sun finally came out on Thursday and it was finally lovely in May, just what Golfers live for.  I played the Wisley with Guy Woodman, a local pro trying to make it on the European Tour.  He got his Asian Tour Card earlier in the year and has struggled to make cuts; he works hard on his game.  It helps me to appreciate how fortunate I am to be playing on the European Tour, playing against the some of the best players in the World each week, and helps me keep on my toes knowing how many youngsters and other guys there are who are keen for my spot.


Friday was a frustrating day mainly spent on a visit to the US Embassy in London for a Business Visa so I can play the Bridgestone Invitational in August.  I queued for over two hours to meet for my interview which lasted less than five minutes.  I was informed that I was applying for the wrong visa and that I'd have to do it all over again another day.  I think it might have been a mistake as the phone helpline indicated which Visa I was to apply for and I'd followed their advice.  An appeal was lodged by Bev as I exited the building so hopefully I get it before the tournament in August!  US and Chinese visas are the most tricky to obtain and it can definitely be a pain at times, the queues are definitely the longest in those Embassies.
I practised in the morning on Saturday with Andrew Snoody and Bev after selling my old M3.  It was another adventure - firstly I got lost and then I had to give the guy I sold it to a geography lesson on the UK.  He thought Northern Ireland and Scotland were unrelated countries so it was amusing!
The in-laws arrived and we met with Colin Gibson and his wife Elaine for some food before jumping on the train to Twickenham.  George O'Grady (the CEO of the European Tour) happened to see us decked out in our Ulster shirts in the cafĂ© in Ascot so came over to say hello.  Even the 1440 train from Ascot was busy.  We had to stand for the half hour trip, squished in like sardines, thoroughly outnumbered by the Leinster fans!  It was great to stand outside the stadium and soak up the atmosphere!  So many people had turned up in fancy dress it truly was a spectacle!  Our seats were the very back row and we were an almost entirely Ulster row at the back of a Leinster segment - truly outnumbered!  But the craic was mighty and everyone had a great time, shame about the score.  It was disappointing for Ulster but a great achievement by the team and they should be really proud.  Hopefully there are plenty more finals in the years to come.  I can only imagine what the noise must sound like on the pitch, thankfully I never have to play in front of so many people!


We stayed around to watch the Champions League Final, in Twickenham.  The pubs and bars were all so busy, many flying either the Ulster or Leinster flag, like it was part of Dublin not London! We didn't get too close to a TV screen and in the end left before Chelsea had scored.  We ended up watching the final penalty over shoulders on the train station platform on the way home.


Thankfully I wasn't up too early for Guy's ProAm on Sunday at Stoke Park Golf Club.  Guy and his manager had organized the day to help pay for his expenses this year on the Asian Tour.  Sponsorship is hard to come by even at the top of the game and it's something Bev and I are always trying to cultivate for me.  I took a few signed items along for the auction and played with some old friends from Middlesborough.
Only one guest left over from the rugby and dinner with Rhys Davies and his girlfriend Deidre and it's the start of another week on Tour!  I can't wait!