It’s been a frustrating month professionally to say the least but a very rewarding personal one.
Started a 4-week run with the Italian Open, returning to the course where I won back in 2002. The week began with a bit of fun after picking up our rental car – a Ford ecosport Fiesta. Wanting to open the boot, guess what – we could not work out! At one point we had 9 people around the car searching for a button. I was posting it live on Instagram and many of you kept saying: Google it! But hey, we think we are smarter, right? Wrong – finally we gave in and found it on Google. Maybe that was an omen for the week… On the Wednesday I did a photo shoot of the clubs I used to win back in 2002. Take a look at these beauties from Titleist back then!
Honestly nothing to say about my golf, putting was just rubbish, just absolute rubbish. A missed cut had me leaving for Korea early but not before having the chance to visit the Vatican which was a total education and had me blown away. The map room at the Vatican Museum is simply breathtaking, I have never seen anything quite like it. Sometimes you take things for granted and afternoons like this exploring our past just makes you feel very humble. The level of detail and craftsmanship is beyond comprehension.
I generally play well here, the course fits my eye and after the disappointing missed cut I opened up nicely with a 69 to get things rolling. A 71 2nd round knocked me back a touch but followed up with a 66 including 2 eagles in Rd3 moved me up the leaderboard. A rather flat 71 last day left me T16 so all in all quite satisfied to get back on the wagon after the previous week.
Over to Japan for this event held for the first time on the PGA Tour and a really strong field. Two 71’s after the 2nd day being washed out was nothing special but then I caught fire over the weekend to finish with a 64 & 66 for another T16 finish. I have to mention Tiger equaling Sam Snead’s record of 82 wins, quite remarkable after all the injuries and some 9 weeks off! By the way take a look at this coffee truck, it’s quite remarkable as well. I want one!!!!
On to another of my favourite golf courses and after the last 2 weeks was really looking forward to this one. Spent the first couple of days with the young Chinese players coming through, great to see.
Unfortunately, my wrist blew up with a Ganglion cyst. It’s been a few years since I had an issue. Played through the first two rounds to see if the pain would ease off to be competitive but I was simply fighting to shoot level par. So, it was time to head home to Orlando and see my Doctor to syringe the wrist. My game was in great shape, should only need 48 hours’ recovery.
My personal reward for handling the disappointment of leaving China early was to come home and spend time with these amazing kids. Pat started this over 30 years ago and you all know I am the patron of this great charity. On Sunday I put on a special pair of trainers to go and meet @dreamflight_official2019. Back in 2017 I was introduced to very special brothers on Dreamflight: Fredi (to my left) and Ronni (to my right). Fredi’s dream was to become a trainer designer so with the help of @tommy_mallet Fredi’s dream came true. Sadly, due to Fredi’s illness he never saw the end result. Katie and I were lucky enough to buy a pair each before they sold out. Katie proudly wore her pair to welcome Dreamflight 2019 as they touched down in Orlando and she will continue to proudly wear them to welcome future Dreamflight’s. Fredi, you did good, buddy, and the lucky people who have a pair will wear them with such pride. You were an incredibly strong brave, kind and caring young man who always thought of others with a smile on your face making everyone laugh. An inspiration to all who had the good fortune to meet you. RIP
I cannot thank enough all of the volunteers both sides of the pond making this happen and to all of you that have supported this charity. It was very emotional seeing them get back on that plane. And you know what, we start again next month with my fundraising for 2020.
I have so many great pictures and memories from the week – we have created a gallery on the charity page on my website, I hope you will enjoy it.DREAMFLIGHT GALLERY
Happy I managed to pen this having a 15.5 hours flight to South Africa! Next week on to Dubai and wrap up 2019. I will try to post one last blog next month after the Dreamflight event, summary of my last 2 events and start thinking about Christmas. Wow, where has this year gone!
Until next time