Life on the road, heading back to Europe and fond memories
As I type, it’s a Friday evening and I am in my hotel room somewhere outside of Beijing. I’m ‘enjoying’ a slightly dodgy burger after successfully navigating the 36-hole cut at the Volvo China Open – my ninth in a row and the longest streak of my European Tour career so far. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that I am coming up to two weeks in China and I can feel my body and mind on the decline. There are a few places I don’t enjoy travelling to and China is one of them. The people are lovely and the golf courses are great but it just feels so foreign…and the food is ropey at best!
I am very fortunate to be able to travel around the world playing golf, but these weeks feel much more like work – the odd tough week out of 52 is a good ratio though. The more I travel, the more I realise how lucky we are in the UK. Honestly folks, I know we have our issues but there aren’t many better places to live than jolly old England.
Back to the golf – nine cuts in a row is testament to my improving game, confidence and experience. I have not been at my best in the past five events but I am becoming really good at getting the most out of my game each week. I think a lot of this improvement comes from experience and necessity. When your pay cheque is based on performance, you soon learn to not fritter away needless shots and let your emotions ruin a round of golf. I have always been a perfectionist but I am starting to really enjoy scrapping it around.
It has been a really positive first quarter of the season. I have a couple of weeks off after this event and then the tour is back in mainland Europe for the rest of the summer. I’m excited to get back to Europe as I have had most of my best performances there. There is also the lucrative Rolex Series to look forward to too.
The highlight is undoubtedly going to be the British Masters at Close House in October. I remember watching the tour event at Slaley Hall as a kid dreaming of being in their shoes one day. Hopefully plenty of kids will be inspired just like I was.