Life is a lot easier when you play badly and then all of a sudden you get in contention and win one. No one gets on your back. When you finish runner-up seven times, everyone is asking, 'Why aren't you winning?' It's much more fun when you jump into a win out of the blue. It's a much tougher game when you play consistently well.

KLM Open

Entry Date:
Sep 14, 2017

After my few weeks off it was good to get back playing, although when I was teeing off on Thursday afternoon I wasn't thinking that. The weather was brutal when we started - Richie Ramsay playing in front of me hit a good drive on the first and it went all of 174 yards! We played 5 1/2 holes before being called in and I have to say it was some of the worst conditions I've played in. The rain was chucking it down, it was blowing a gale and the ball was going nowhere. When we were called in I was level par thanks to some great putting.

That ended up being all the play we got on Thursday. It meant a long day of golf for us on Friday, but that was a big result considering how tough it was on Thursday afternoon. When we went back out on Friday it was much better, we got a few showers but nothing too bad. I finished off my first round and shot 1 over. The funny thing was that the previous day in the bad conditions I was holing everything but on Friday morning I wasn't able to buy a putt. I was hitting good putts, but they just wouldn't drop for me.

My second round I played pretty similar to how I played in the morning, but holed a few more putts and managed to shoot 1 under par to make the cut on the mark at level par. I was 1 under with 3 to play and cruising but a bad bogey on my 17th had me sweating down my last hole. In the end I had to 2 putt my last, the ninth, from about 80 feet to make the cut. As it turned out, in my match in practise with Dunners on Tuesday I had a very similar putt and found it to be slow. On Friday I hit the putt stone dead which was purely down to having hit it the same putt earlier in the week.

I played similar over the weekend but scored a little better. Rounds of 70 and 69 meant that I finished the week on 4 under, which was a long way off the leaders but over the course of the week I made two double bogies and a treble. I doubled the 9th in my first round from the fairway bunker by not paying enough attention to the lip. On Saturday I made a treble on the 2nd after pulling my drive into tress left. I tried to play it but left it in it and then had to take a penalty drop in them. Then in my final round I played a sloppy chip on the 5th into the greenside bunker and took three to get down from there for another double bogey.

For me there were a lot of good signs during the week. I hit my irons well all week and my proximity to the flag would have been very good. As the week went on I was getting more and more confident with my irons. Where I struggled a little bit was off the tee - I was afraid of the left side all week and ended up hitting a few right because of it. I'll work on this when I get to Portugal as Pete Cowen will be there. I was thinking about it and I may go back to stepping through as this helps with that problem for me.

The course in Holland played great last week. It was in super condition and it drained well considering the rain we had. I would say I would love to play it when it is hard and fast as it's supposed to be, as it would be a totally different test. As it was soft last week it meant that you could fire at the pins without being too worried about the consequences.

While I'm disappointed that I didn't have a better week in terms of my performance, I am happy with the majority of my game. I need to do a small bit of work with Pete when I get to Portugal but other than that I just need to be playing.

Talk soon,

After three weeks off I'm back in action at the KLM Open. I say three weeks off but really it only relates to not playing tournaments - I certainly was not taking it easy. I've done the most practice I have for a long time in the last three weeks. Having struggled the last two tournaments I played, I got stuck into sorting it out and was also doing some testing on shafts and plenty of work on other things, including my speed. So all in all, I can't really say I was off, in fact I'm probably coming back out to tournaments to take time off!!

I'm playing this week in Rotterdam on The Dutch course. It's a relatively new course and they played it here last year for the first time. I played 18 holes on Tuesday with Paul Dunne, my first time seeing the place. Normally I wouldn't play 18 holes on a Tuesday, as I play the Wednesday pro-ams, but the weather forecast was bad for Wednesday and I wanted to make sure I saw the course. Unfortunately I lost the money to Dunners in the chipping afterwards.

On Tuesday we had some heavy showers and strong winds so the course played quite tough. There is a lot of water on the back nine which, if it's not windy, is not really in play but in the conditions we played in, it comes very much into play. The course is in great condition and it's hard to find a bad lie out here. With the wind blowing it is a very stern test. I was glad to get out playing on Tuesday as I have hit a lot of balls over the last three weeks. I needed to get on the course and see how the ball comes out and what effect it has had on my game. Dunners and myself had a good game, we were both grinding hard and I have to say it was enjoyable. I find that practice days can be long so any chance to have a match like that is great.

On Wednesday the pro-am was reduced to 9 holes as it was so windy. If it was a tournament day we wouldn't have played. The course was unplayable, the ball was going nowhere and it was also moving on the greens. That said I was happy to get out and play 9 holes to get myself ready for the first round. It was hard to say how you played as it was so tough - I hit some good shots and some bad ones - I was just thankful that it wasn't a tournament day.

After hitting so many balls over the last 3 weeks I'm unsure what to expect. I can see that the work I have done is working but I can also see that it is distracting at times. I know that I have to stick with and accept that I may hit some bad shots, but that the good ones are much better.

I see this as a tough course if the wind blows which is forecasted. The good thing is that it is in good shape and is very fair. I'm playing with Nicolas Colesarts and Andy Sullivan at 1.15pm in the first round (12.15pm Irish time). As always I'd like to have another day or two to get myself ready, but then that will never change.

Talk soon,