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Victory followed by mayhem!

Whenever you win a professional tournament the high is quickly followed with busy times and lots of media. Even feeling like a celebrity for a few days. The charter flight back from Morocco, kindly put on by the tournament took us to London Gatwick. The spoils of winning meant we got upgraded to business - happy days and the front row of the plane! The trophy was a jewel encrusted dagger with an ivory handle and it was incredibly sharp. I didn't realize it at the time but the air stewardess took it from me and had it locked in the cockpit for the duration of the flight.

Bev, myself and Owen (my caddy) drove from Gatwick to our rented house in Ascot. We didn't get home until 4am, the glamour of pro golf - a late flight, delayed baggage and no celebration. After a quick celebratory breakfast we sent Owen back to Belfast and headed back home to catch up on chores and some phone interviews! We were already planning a trip back to Belfast the following day as part of my Mother in Laws surprise 60th Birthday celebrations.

I was excited about getting home to Belfast, as we hadn't been back since Christmas. Bev and I finally touched down into the George Best Belfast City airport on Tuesday afternoon, and headed straight to Shandon Park Golf Club with the dagger for the first of my TV interviews with Stephen Watson and the BBC. I hadn't really spoken with anyone at the club before my arrival but I caused quite a stir and it was great to be welcomed by everyone we meet. The weather was also unbelievable! Next stop surprise birthday celebration…..we had three parties in one and I was even surprised with a cake to celebrate the victory.

My physio, Shane Lawlor drove from Portlaoise to see me on Wednesday for a day of assessment and screening. It was 2 hours of fairly tedious stuff but the results showed improvements in flexibility and reflect the improvements my personal trainer Rob had noted in his assessment a few weeks ago. Things appear to be heading in the right direction, I got a pat on the back and everyone was happy. I guess the gym sessions will get a little more intense now that I'm progressing. I'd a few more phone interviews and then headed to see my own parents and extended family with the trophy. Everyone had the obligatory snaps taken and left my parents' house happy.
I spent Thursday with Bev and my sponsor Blackcube in Belfast reviewing our agreements and discussing plans for the future, hopefully things will move forward from a sponsorship point of view now, especially as Bev and I are undertaking it all on our own. I'd taken the decision to leave Horizon Sports Management at the start of the season and so we were trying to deal with the media and sponsors ourselves this week - a bit of a baptism of fire.

Friday was a really special day for me, Shandon Park (where I grew up playing golf) had arranged for me to host a clinic for the benefit of the clubs junior members, although a few of the senior members were there as well. I last did something like this in the snow perhaps 2 years ago, so Friday was definitely better. It was pretty nerve wracking demonstrating in front of about 250 people with the mike and TV cameras rolling. I demonstrated some of the things I'm working on with my coach for both long and short game, trying to emphasize fundamentals and giving some tips from the Tour. I hope it was helpful, I enjoyed myself enormously anyway. I have to say a massive thanks to Shandon for arranging the day - complete with banner, photos for the kids to have signed and photographer. It really was an amazing day for me and one I won't forget for a longtime, hopefully there will be a few more days like it in my career. The session started at 4 and I eventually left the club at around 8pm, exhausted but really happy. I even managed to catch the second half of the rugby, shame I hadn't made it to Ravenhill for the game.

And so back to Ascot and some hard work before I head out to Malaysia and China next weekend although I'll probably spend Thursday and Friday glued to the TV watching the Masters just like everyone else! Cheering on the local lads and watching, like everyone else will for Tiger.