My season has come to an end. Unfortunately my last three tournaments didn't go as planned, but not to worry. It feels good to be finished for the year; I have played a lot and so I'm ready for my winter break.
Last week was a bit like the last week of school when you were a kid. It can be hard at times to concentrate on the task in hand as you know it is near the end. I had to remind myself a number of times during the week that I was there to play a tournament and not to get ahead of myself and start thinking about my time off. My golf last week was fine, I played okay but just never got anything going. When I did make some inroads I gave the shots back. Some of my rounds could have been better and then at least one, my final round, was a good effort to shot one under.
I struggled to hole putts last week. It wasn't a case of hitting poor putts, in actual fact I hit a lot of very good putts, but I just had a week where they didn't drop for me. My long game was a bit mixed, I hit some very good shots and then some poor ones. However I know what was causing the poor ones and will be working on it over the winter. It was hard not to get working on it during week, but I knew that it was something that had to be done away from a tournament.
While the week didn't go as planned I left Dubai looking forward to my winter break so that I can do some good work and get ready for next season. Thankfully this season, like most of them since I have turned pro, was a winning one. Portugal is the highlight and gives me great confidence for the season's ahead.
I'm still looking at when I will start back on Tour next year so I'm not quite sure how long I will have off, but it will certainly be quite a few weeks.
I'm in Dubai for the last event in the Race to Dubai season and my final tournament of the year. I haven't played here since 2012; a lot has changed around the course in terms of the housing and the clubhouse but thankfully the course has remained the same. I've played a lot this year and as a result I am looking forward to my winter break. It's hard this week not to get ahead of myself and to think about my time off and what I am going to do, so I have to keep reminding myself that I am here to play a tournament.
I took Monday off as I travelled overnight from South Africa. This week we had the pro-am on Tuesday and having not been here for a few years I was happy to get out on the course to see if it had changed. There were no real changes other than the trees that have grown up a bit and some fairways that have been narrowed. It is still pretty much the course I remember and in great condition. The greens could well be the fastest I have putted on all year.
After the pro-am I spent some time with Pete going over what I had been doing and what I want to work on during the break. He has a few things to add which is great. Overall he was happy with what I was doing and where I wanted to go with it.
After Pete I spent some time with Paul Hurrion on the putting green. I hadn't seen him for a while and I wanted him to run his eye over my putting stroke. He was very happy with he saw and had nothing to add.
On Wednesday I did some practice and played nine holes. I wanted to get out and see the course in the afternoon as I had only played it early in the morning the day before. I played the back nine but only after taking part in the European Tour's Manequin Challenge, where I posed doing the Dab. You can check it out on the European Tour website.
I'm out early on Thursday with Ricardo Guieva at 8.20am. The draw is done based on Race to Dubai standings and as I am currently 52nd, I am out early. It's a big disadvantage to play early as the course plays much longer and tougher in the morning. The key is to get a decent round under my belt on Thursday so that I don't have to play early again during the week.