I landed in Shanghai at 2.30am UK time, the flight was 11 hours 20 mins and I'm currently in a courtesy car on my way to the hotel, the driver thinks he's Lewis Hamilton...........hopefully we'll get there in one piece.
Craig and Michael had their Junior prize giving at Deeside yesterday afternoon and as you can see they both had a fantastic year. Well done boys, I'm very proud of you both.
Craig and I hit balls at Deeside in the morning and then Marian, Michael and I headed to Pittodrie for the Aberdeen v Rangers game at lunch time. It was a pretty even first half but it was a big blow when Milsom had to go off injured after a terrible tackle by Naismith (No booking though!) who also injured himself in the process. It eventually finished 2-1 to Rangers which was about right as they deserved to win.
Marian and I were at the Marcliffe in the evening with Alan and Val to celebrate our recent wedding anniversaries.
I fly to Shanghai tomorrow morning for this week's HSBC Champions event which I'm really looking forward to. I qualified to play with my win earlier in the year.
I was at Deeside this morning to give Erik Christoffersen and his 2 guests an hour lesson that he bought at the Lifeboat ball. We had a good laugh and I passed on some tips that seemed to help them (very unusual) I then popped into town to see Gilliam (cruncher) Mitchell. Marian and her Mum and Dad were up in Dufftown today buying ground limestone to spread on my green at home as we have algae appearing again. I changed the grips on Craig's clubs as he's now a large glove so his grips were a bit thin for him. We're all looking forward to the visit of Rangers tomorrw.
Marian and Bert at Parkmore Quarry
I was at Cruden Bay this morning for the North East Alliance. I played with David Law and Philip McLean but only for 6 holes. We had a bit of a delay before teeing off as thunder and lightening had flooded the course. Then after two really heavy downpours we decided to walk in at the 6th hole, soaked through. While we were having lunch the weather cleared and it was really nice so we decided to play 13 holes on the wee course which was good fun. I'm always banging on to the boys that you should never have a no return so today I suppose was pretty poor but it was extremely wet but it's no excuse....we should have played on.
Putting green before we teed off
Marian and I left the house at 6am along with Colin and Wendy Fraser to drive to Glasgow for the funeral of Adam Hunter. Colin and I were two of the coffin bearers. Douglas Connon and myself were asked by Adam's wife Caroline to speak. I went first and really struggled to get my words out, I knew it would be tough but it was much harder than I thought. There was a huge turn out for Adam which was expected as he was a very popular guy. After the service Caroline invited everyone to Sandyhills Golf Club for a bite to eat which was very nice. Adam's girls Emma and Beth along with Caroline were fantastic all day which must have been so so tough.
I first met Adam in 1987 at Banchory Golf Club where I was the assistant pro. He arrived in a Ford Escort XR3i with his name on the doors, he had a huge white pro bag, was dressed like a pop star with big buggy troosers, he twirled the club after shots and he was the first Tour player I ever saw close up.
We got to know each other when I started playing the Tartan Tour but became close friends when I got my Tour card in 1992. We regularly went to David Leadbetter camps along with other Scottish Tour pros and Adam was always the one asking the questions with one eye on one day becoming a coach and what a coach he turned out to be. His hard work and dedication to all his students was unbelievable. I lost count the number of times I was not allowed to leave the putting green until I had completed one of his famous drills. I also lost count of the number of times he drove up to Aberdeen after Iâd called to say I was struggling with something. I trusted him 100% with my golf game.
Both of us will always be known for what happened at Carnoustie in 1999. Adam took control after my final round and got me ready for the play off. He got me to hit balls, got me something to eat. He said and did everything right that afternoonâ¦â¦he was the difference. On the way to the first playoff hole he noticed I was very nervous so he told me to look at the faces of Van de Velde and Leonard when I got to the tee which was a Masterstroke as they both looked worse than me and I immediately felt better.
As you all know Adam had a fantastic sense of humour. I remember one night at the Holiday Inn at Heathrow we had all missed the last shuttle up the road so we decided to have a night cap. Adam spotted a piano and said he would play us a tune. Stevie Mac said thatâs amazing I never knew you could playâ¦â¦â¦.well he couldnât play a note. He had one leg up on the keys and was belting out great balls of fire which was just awful but so funny.
I have said many times Adam Hunter was the reason I became the golfer I am â¦â¦.no question.
Adam was my coach, sometimes my psychologist, sometimes my mother but thankfully always my friend.
Rest in peaceâ¦.wee manâ¦.rest in peace.
The last two days I have played golf at Deeside with the boys, it wasn't quite as hot as in Portugal!! On Monday it was freezing and started to rain so we walked in from the 10th, yesterday it was dry but really windy. I popped over to Altens for a meeting with Pat Sibille about a new Foundation event next year.
Today is our 20th wedding anniversary which is amazing.........Marian has done really well putting up with me for that long............or is it the other way around?
Craig and I played at Ballater today in the North East Alliance. Michael was going to play but he decided it was too cold as he really struggles with cold hands so he caddied for me instead. I shot 64 -6 and Craig did well to score 71 as he was +3 after 4 holes. We played a couple of holes in the snow and had one big shower but we still really enjoyed it as I hadn't played Ballater for years. I thought the course was in good shape for this time of year. It was nice to see some old faces from my time playing in the alliances years ago.
Portugal Masters 4RD 69+66+69+68 (-16)
Played and putted nicely today to shoot 68 -4 which could have been a few less as I burned the edge of at least 6 holes all good putts so at least that's a positive. I finished -16 for the week which is probably just going to miss out on top ten which was a good effort as my mind was elsewhere.
RIP wee man really going to miss you.
Marian and the boys have been with me this week which is always really good and the weather has been hot.
Portugal Masters 3RD 69 + 66 + 69 (-12)
There was quite a bit more wind today which made it a little tougher but scoring was still very good. I played nicely to shoot 69 -3 which was about right as I seemed to hit it to 20 feet all day which makes it tough to go really low. I felt sorry for Davy (caddie) today as I had a real moan about everything on the way round ... Mind you that's normal I suppose.
Nice win for afc today well done lads.
Portugal Masters 2RD 69 + 66 (-9)
Got off to a poor start by bogeying my first hole but then birdied seven of the next eight to be out in 30 -6 eventually shooting 66 to be nine under overall and in a tie for 12th. And the good news is the bin at recording area doesn't have a headache today.
Portugal Masters 1RD 69 -3
Teed off from the tenth at 8.40am this morning shot 69 played ok and putted much better even though I 3 putted two of my last four holes for bogeys which is a pity and so frustrating. I have gone back to my 2 ball this week which feels better. I have been driving the ball really good for a long time but I hit 3 or 4 hooks today which was surprising. Scoring will be low this week as there is little rough and the greens are rolling well and there are plenty of chances.
My behaviour was very poor after my round today kicking a bin close to recorders area for which there is no excuse but so so frustrating when you give away shots at the end.
Madrid Masters 4RD 72+71+74+74=291 (+3)Another two over 74 today which was about right as I hit a lot of poor iron shots and struggled to hit it close enough to make birdies. I hit some nice putts that didn't go in so that's a positive today.
Madrid Masters 3RD 72+71+74=217 (+1)I played lovely the first five holes (-2) and could have birdied every hole then bogeyed the 6th and 7th and doubled the 9th to be out in +2. I finished with a 74 to be +1 overall. I didn't hit it quite so good today and hit a lot of wrong clubs so I suppose two over is what I deserved even through it was a bit breezy again.
Madrid Masters 2RD 72+71=143 (-1)There was a lot more wind today which made it really hard to get it close especially with the slopes on the greens. I shot 71 -1, I hit it ok but missed a lot of greens on the fringe which is why my putting stats (28) were lower as I tapped in a lot today. Last night I went to a golf shop in town and bought an Odyssey White Ice as I didn't have a spare putter with me. I probably putted a little better overall. George Murray and I were a two ball for 28 holes as Simon Khan pulled out after eight holes yesterday with a pulled muscle in his neck. Right now -1 is just making the cut which is incredible scoring in the conditions.
Madrid Masters 1RD 72 (LVL)I went to the turn in 40 (+4) with four 3 putts ahhhhhhhh I played lovely but when you putt like that it's impossible. I came back in 32 (-4) to shoot level par. When I got into the recorders area I was informed that I was required for a random drug test. It took me one and a half hours to pee enough for the test. I had only just had a pee on my last hole but eventually after 5 bottles of water and a diet cioke I managed to fill the cup.
Dunhill Links 4RD 71+68+69+72=280 (-8)Level par 72 today which is a pity as I hit it good again but 34 putts was very frustrating. Huge congrats to Michael Hoey on winning and also to George Murray and Marc Warren who both secured their cards. We had a fair bit of rain this morning but the course was in excellent shape. I raced up the road to present the prizes at our re arranged Junior Open at Deeside which was won with a very good 68 by Christopher Lamb.
Dunhill Links 3RD 71+68+69=208 (-8)
Marian and I were at Pittodrie last night to watch Aberdeen trash Dunfermline 4-0. It's been a long time since we've seen AFC play like that, it was really great to watch.
We were at Carnoustie today which is always awesome, I shot 69 -3 and played nicely again. There were some showers and a bit of wind so overall 69 was a decent effort.