Chris Paisley checks in from Valderrama and brings us up to speed following The Belgian Knockout and BMW International
Since my last article I have played two events on the European Tour – The Belgian Knockout and the BMW International.
In Belgium, I carded consecutive 65s to be number one seed going into the matchplay. I continued my good form into the nine-hole matchplay rounds by beating Sam Horsfield in the first round, but was knocked out by Gregory Havret in round two. It was a shame that it was a matchplay event in the end, because I had the lowest score of anyone after 54 holes. I loved the course, which reminded me a lot of the tight, tree-lined courses you get in the North East of England, and I just felt really comfortable. I have no doubt that I would have had a really good chance to win had it been a 72 hole strokeplay event. The disappointment didn’t last for long because I really do just enjoy playing well, irrespective of the result. I feel like my game and mind are in a great place so I am really positive about the rest of the season.
Following a two week break, I missed the cut in Munich, but again I wasn’t too disappointed. One thing you learn out here is that you can have a week where you are just a fraction off, you get the odd bad break, and before you know it you’re heading home on Friday! It was one of those missed cuts where you don’t really have a particular reason for missing the cut; I suppose the whole game wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I had a nice weekend at home in Hexham and worked on tightening a few things up.
As I write, we are playing at Valderrama, which is one of my favourite courses in the world. Preparation has gone smoothly and I feel as though I have tightened up my long game and putting since Munich. What I love about Valderrama is that it will let you know exactly how sharp your game is. Anything less than an 8/10 shot at any time and you are struggling to make a par. It’s the ultimate test of your game and mind. It’s always entertaining watching people lose their minds as the round progresses. There are some spots where you can be on the fairway and be stuck behind a tree. Some of the guys don’t handle that too well so I just sit back and enjoy the head off!