Chris Paisley on the success of the European Tour’s UK Swing and the importance of keeping all your plates spinning
We have finished the six UK Swing events and my form since my last column, which followed the first event back at Close House, has been mixed, but positive overall.
I finished third at Forest of Arden and followed that with a T-19 finish at Hanbury Manor. I then a missed the cut and finished T-27th in the two events at Celtic Manor before missing the cut by one at The Belfry. Unfortunately I also just missed out on a US Open place (for the top 10 players through five events) by a couple of spots. This was obviously disappointing, but honestly I gave it all I had. You win some, you lose some! It has been brilliant to play so many events close to home in the first UK Swing and I can’t wait to come back for the second one later this season.
Each area of my game has been brilliant at times. It almost all came together at Forest of Arden, but it feels like it’s just a case of getting it all to click at the same time. I suppose we’re always spinning plates as golfers, trying to get them all going at the same time. In general, my approach play has been letting me down more than anything else. My driving stats have improved on last season, which was a goal of mine, while my short game and putting stats continue to be among the best on tour. At Celtic Manor, I chipped the ball insanely well to make up for a poor long game. My caddy Jason would rather I didn’t keep short siding myself, but he does enjoy some of the up and downs I can make from impossible spots! If I can tighten up my mid and long irons then we should start seeing some great results. Next up is one of my favorite events, the Portugal Masters.
The tour continues to do an amazing job regarding Covid-19. The protocols have remained very strict, which shows in the fact we’ve only had one positive test in five weeks. It was panic stations for a day or two after that positive test. They closed all the restaurants for at least 24 hours, the entire hotel and clubhouse were deep cleaned, and the infection seemed to have been contained.
Some of the protocols appeared over the top at the beginning, but the tour can’t afford to take any chances and they really have done a wonderful job under difficult circumstances.
It seems this is going to be the new normal for a while, but it’s a small price to pay for being back at work. On to Portugal, stay safe everyone.