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Playing with Royalty in Morocco

We arrived into Morocco directly from Malaga after the Open de AndalucĂ­a.

The tournament chartered a flight for the Tour as Agadir is a difficult location to get to. We rented a car, definitely an experience, especially when starting in the dark and set of following sat-nav to the villa we'd rented for the week. It should have taken 20 minutes but took us nearly an hour!

I had played well in Spain apart from two very costly holes out of the entire 72 and was confident with my game, especially my short game, so I was hoping to take some momentum into the week with me.

The Trophy Hassan II is played at the exclusive Royal Palace course, a Trent Jones design, and it was in excellent condition.

There are only a couple of rounds played on it every year. Security was tight all week, everyone was issued with photo ID to enter the Palace Grounds and we had to leave the hire car at the nearby Ocean Course and get a bus up to the course. The players' bus from the official hotel was even given a police escort.

We played Pro-Ams on Tuesday and Wednesday which is a bit unusual.

On Wednesday I played with the King's cousin and another gent who owns a golf academy in Marrakech.

It was a relaxed affair and great fun, especially as I made seven birdies. The conditions were perfect and I was really looking forward to the tournament. Conditions had changed by Thursday afternoon, it was windy and the course was playing much more difficult.

The greens are undulating and I couldn't buy a putt early on in the round. I had two really bad lies just off the fairway and found myself working hard for +2 while the leaders, including Damian McGrane, were at -7.

I hadn't been the most disciplined emotionally on the course and following dinner at the villa with Gareth Maybin and our coach Jamie Gough, Jamie told me a few home truths.

It's never easy to hear but sometimes you really need someone to set you straight. I've been working hard trying to sort out my technique and to get my body fitter so on course indiscipline can't be tolerated anymore.

I don't think any of the four of us slept well that night as the wind was howling. If was just like being back at home.

The high wind caused play to be suspended and we finally got to play some golf in late afternoon. We'd been up since 6am, for our morning tee-times and eventually finished the round just as the light was fading.

Thankfully I didn't have to get up early again to finish off the second round.

My game felt the best it has in a long time and I'd putted well but not brilliantly for a 67. So it was back to the villa for a "bria" with Jamie and Gareth, steaks, sausages and salad. Fantastic!

I started Saturday with the same swing feelings but just made a couple more putts for a 65.

I concluded the round with a bogey which is always disappointing, but I was in great shape for Sunday starting in the second last group.

On Sunday everything went well right from the start. I chipped and putted well and found loads of fairways and one ice bush but was even lucky with that. I found the best shots on the back nine, the lob on 16 being one of the best and pulled away from Damian.

Playing the 18th I thought I had to par it to win as I hadn't really been paying much attention to the score boards.

I've been working on dulling my intensity levels on the course as I have a tendency to get ahead of myself and then the swing gets fast and the ball goes everywhere.

Playing the final hole and realising you're in the lead is a great feeling, especially when the week started so poorly.

It's a lesson I hope to take with me, just to remain calm and know that I've been working on the right stuff that I can get close to the leaders like all the great players do.

It was also great to see Tiger back to winning ways, even though he beat Graeme at Bay Hill.

It's great for golf to have so many talented individuals and everyone - sponsors, fans, the media follow Tiger so closely that to have him back is huge.

Irish golf is also in great shape - Rory, Graeme, Darren, Damian, Gareth, Simon, Paul and myself on tour, hopefully we all bring our A game to Portrush.

What a week that would be!