I played at Castle Stuart this morning with David Law, Conor O'Neil and my son, Michael. The course only opened yesterday after being closed for a few months. There are new bunkers at the 5th and 14th holes and a few new tees. It was pretty calm and the course was in good condition. I struggled a wee bit today but got it round in one over. I fly to Augusta tomorrow for the first Major of the year......canna wait!
I was at Edinburgh Castle today to announce Aberdeen Asset Management as the new sponsors of the Scottish Open for the next three years. I spoke on behalf of the players. The commitment from Aberdeen Asset towards Scottish golf really is fantastic and also the Scottish government who have committed two million pounds over three years to secure the event is great news for everyone connected with the European Tour.
I played at Royal Aberdeen today with David Law, Kris Nicol and Ross Cameron. Today was the second round of our 36 hole comp. David shot 62 and won by two from myself. the scores were.....D Law 69+62 P Lawrie 67+66 K Nicol 66+70 The course was in excellent condition and the weather was amazing. David played some lovely golf and looks to have a bit of confidence back, which is great to see. I really enjoyed it and it was good to get two days of competition with the boys.
I played at Deeside this morning with David Law and Kris Nicol, it was my first 18 holes since Miami over two weeks ago. We are also playing Royal Aberdeen tomorrow so I decided to have a 36 hole comp with the boys. Kris is leading by one, he shot 66, I was 67 and David was 69 so it should be good fun tomorrow. I have received loads of well done messages re the Masters, which is really nice of everyone. I'm looking forward to playing Augusta again.
The boys were away to St Andrews on a golf trip with the juniors from Deeside. I hit balls in the morning then we were at the Mill Inn for lunch as it was Bert's (Marian's Dad) 70th birthday today. I watched the second half of the old firm game then played 9 holes. I have been feeling a lot better and have managed to play quite a few holes over the last two days. Let's hope we manage to stay in the top 50 of the World rankings for the Masters.
I played the 9 holer at Deeside this morning with the boys and my mate, Colin Fraser. Then after lunch I decided to skip the football and play golf in the afternoon with the boys, which turned out to be a good choice as apparently Pittodrie wasn't great. I felt much better today and it was nice to play golf again.
I was at Royal Aberdeen today to watch Craig play for Robert Gordon's College in the North of Scotland Independant Schools final against Glenalmond. The Gordons boys all won their matches to make it through to the British final at Carnoustie. Well done boys, great effort.
We were at Deeside in the evening to present the Junior Pennant team with a shirt and balls from the Foundation for their trip to Spain next week to play in the Home Nations Inter-Club Championship. It's a great opportunity for all the boys to play abroad. Well done to Deeside Golf Club for paying for their flights etc and to Frank Coutts for supplying shirts. I'm sure the boys really appreciate everything they've received.
I felt a little better today so hopefully I will be fully fit soon.
I was back in to see my doctor yesterday as there hasn't been much improvement. He gave me the same medicine again so hopefully that will do it. I'm going to take it really easy over the next few days and hopefully I will shake it off. I probably should have stayed indoors more last week but I find it hard to sit and do nothing.
We got some good news regarding the world rankings on Monday morning, I kept my position at 45th so hopefully I should get in the Masters now.
I have been put forward to receive a "Freedom of the City" which is incredible and a fantastic honour to be considered for such a huge award.
Thankfully I felt a little better today and the sleeping pills have been working a treat, which makes such a difference. I managed to hit a few chip shots this afternoon but I've been taking it easy as I'm still not 100%
Post WGC Cadillac
After a week at home, we were heading back over the pond. This time to Miami, and the Blue Monster course at Doral, for the second World Golf Championship of the year. My week got off to a flyer. After getting off the plane, I was about ten places behind Chippie at customs, but in a different queue. Within 30 minutes, I was through, and heading off to pick up my hire car. Chippie meanwhile, was stuck in the same spot, arms folded, and face fizzing. Them’s the breaks!!
We had three good days of practice, and had a good 3 ball for the first two days, playing with past Masters Champion Zach Johnson and Tetsuji Hiratsuka fromJapan. Thursday and Friday were pretty breezy, and Chippy was strangely a bit out of sorts with his ball striking, but putted nicely to be level par, which was mid table at the halfway stage. As the week progressed, Chippie’s accent, and choice of words became slightly more stateside. If he was unlucky he was “screwed”. If he didn’t like something, it “sucked”. This, alongside the odd yankee blaspheme, and he was well on the way to being christened, “Chippie the Yank”, or Chip for short.
Saturday was a similar story on the golf course. Struggling with the long game, and having to scramble on several occasions. When I got to the course on Sunday morning, one look at Paul explained his struggle all week. He hadn’t slept, constant coughing, and no energy. A bad bout of bronchitis had been working on him, and now had reached its peak. He wasn’t going to play, but had to peg it up; otherwise his money wouldn’t have counted for the Race toDubaior Ryder cup points. He battled away on Sunday, managing to get round in 77 which was a pretty good effort. We played with Dustin Johnson, who hits the ball a country mile, and has a deft touch round the greens. We survived the week, and headed off to the airport for the return flight back across theAtlantic. It had been unfortunate that Chippie had been struck down with illness, but at least there was good prize money on offer, making it a worthwhile trip. Hopefully Paul regains his health soon, in time for theUSMasters. Believe it or not, even I had some sympathy for him last week (nae much mind you). Hopefully it’s not contagious..!!
I was in to see Dr Watson this morning as I have been getting slightly worse. He said I have acute bronchitis and he gave me some new antibiotics and some sleeping tablets as I've only been getting a couple of hours sleep a night (Thanks Doc) So hopefully I will start to feel better over the next few days. I'm glad I decided not to go to Spain as I'm really struglling with coughing.
I had a very uncomfortable flight home as I couldn't stop coughing and spluttering. I got some antibiotics from the doctor but have decided to withdraw this week as there's no way I could play. I sent Miguel Angel Jimenez a text to say sorry but I'm not well enough to play, I hope he understands. I have spent all day on the couch, one minute sweating and the next minute freezing.
I haven't been feeling too well this week but last night I was up coughing most of the night. I was going to pull out today until I found out you have to complete 4 rounds for the money to count on the order of merit and ryder cup points so I decided to cough and splutter my way round, eventually shooting 77. This week even before today I have really struggled with ball striking to control the speed of my swing, so with the way I was feeling made it harder. I fly home tonight for a couple of days on the couch before going to Spain to defend the Andalucian Open.
I hit it slightly better today but struggled to score, eventually shooting 72 lvl. There was little or no wind so scoring will be good as the course is there for the taking. The bad news is this week has been a struggle but the good news is they pay you no matter how you play. I spent some time on the range again after my round working on rhythm as I've felt my change over has been quick this week, hopefully it will be better tomorrow.
I shot 74 today which was actually pretty good as I hit it awful all day. I hit so many low left shots which is not something I've been struggling with lately. We went to the range and I think I've sorted it out. It was a little calmer and warmer today which was nice and considering my ball striking my attitude was really good, which is a worry!
I finished up with 70 -2 today which was a good effort as it was windy again. I stuggled a little from tee to green but I did really well to get it round as my short game and putting was very good. After signing my card I was selected for a random drug test, which like last time took me ages to pee, which was so frustrating but I eventually managed to fill the cup.
It was very windy again today so I decided just to play nine holes and spend some time chipping and putting. We played behind the new world number 1 Rory McIlroy, there was quite a few people following him around even at 7.30am
We arrived into Miami on Sunday evening, when it was eventually my turn at immigration the guy asked me the reason for my visit, I said "playing in a golf tournament" he said "same one as Tiger?" I said "Yep" he said "You a pro?" I said "Yep" he looked at my name and then looked at me and shook his head and said "I don't know you man!" I said "that's ok, I don't know you either so we're even bud!"
It has been very windy both days of practise so it's been difficult to feel how the holes should play. I have been up pretty early again, which is ok as you get out onto the course while it's quiet. I tested some new Wilson wedges and a new three wood, which are all really nice and I'm looking forward to putting them into play soon.
I hit balls at Deeside in the morning and then Marian and I were at Pittodrie for the Aberdeen Celtic game which ended 1-1. Celtic were below their best and Aberdeen did well so overall a fair result. I fly to Miami tomorrow morning for Cadillac Championship at Doral.
I had a meeting with Sir Ian Wood this morning and then had some lunch at Deeside before meeting Michael Gannon from the P & J at the Marcliffe. I was back at the Marcliffe in the evening for the Gordonians dinner where my good friend Douglas Connon was guest of honour.
Marian and I were up in Turriff this morning, first of all to Morrison Motors to pick up my new Range Rover and also to buy Craig his first car. We bought him a lovely little Volkswagen Polo. We then popped down with Brian Morrison to see Eliis Duguid's beautiful new house overlooking Turriff golf course and to have a go on his golf simulator. I also gave Ellis my golf bag from my Qatar win for his spare clubs. Our next stop took us to see the new stand and hospitality unit at Turriff United's ground which is really nice and has been done very well, congratulations to everyone involved. We had lunch at Celebrations and then headed back to get the boys. It's always nice to pop up to see the Morrison boys and as Eliis always says "Turriff is a top tourist attraction" lol
I was voted the European Tour Player of the Month for February which is really good news.........it's always great to win awards.