With European Tour player Chris Paisley
Since my last column I have played my first two Final Series events. The first was in Turkey, followed by a trip to Sun City, South Africa. I didn’t perform how I wanted but played okay to finish 43rd and 49th respectively.
It was great to get a taste of two huge events – my wife Keri and I led the glamorous life that people think we lead all year round! Business-class flights, five-star hotels, huge prize funds – it was a great experience that made me hungry for more.
There were two standout moments for me during those two weeks. The first was playing with Charl Schwartzel in the third round of Sun City. It was a windy day on a brutal course and he coasted around in four under-par. He is head and shoulders above anyone else I have ever played with. That’s no disrespect to the guys I have played with so far – he was just that good.
It is a mystery to me why he has ’only’ won one major. He hits it a mile yet has so much control it’s frightening. It was the kind of round you feel honoured to watch. It filled me with pride to come from the fairways of Stocksfield Golf Club to mixing it with players like him (He only beat me by two shots that week by the way!). The other highlight was being greeted on the first tee by Gary Player – another moment of realisation that I have come a long way since I first picked up a club.
Since Sun City I have been in Orlando resting and preparing for Hong Kong. I say relaxing, we’ve been house hunting and trying to arrange a foreign national mortgage, which is much more stressful than any round of golf I have ever played!
The 2017 season starts in Hong Kong for me. I am excited to see what the year brings. I learned a lot of powerful lessons in 2016 and I think they will serve me well. If I can keep those lessons in mind and continue to steadily improve, 2017 can be a breakthrough year.
Thank you for reading my column this year. It has been therapeutic for me and I hope it has provided an honest and open insight to my life on tour.