We hadn't played a competitive round since the British Open, as Paul's back injury had caused him to pull out of Denmark the week before, so we weren't sure what to expect. It was my first time in Prague, which is a fantastic city, and the Albatross course on the outskirts of the town was in very good condition. Our Wednesday morning pro-am was one of the best this year....Three good players, and we were round in less than 4 hours 30 mins. Our draw for the first two round was also good. Scott Jamieson, a fellow jock who has my best mate Ritchie caddying for him, and Danny Willet, who possibly may be one of the few players on tour who chunters away at himself more than the Chipmeister, although a bit more on that later.
Teeing off early on Thursday, Paul played very steadily, going round in a 2 under 70. Showing no real signs of rustiness, and holing a couple of nice putts, it was a solid start to the week. On Friday he actually played better, but the pins were tucked away, and he returned another 70. He was slightly frustrated, but managed to keep the heid all day, thanks to his new found attitude. In fact, playing next to Danny Willet, he looked like a saint!!! We even had time for some humour. I had to act as translator when he said to Ritchie, Scott's caddie..." How's that loon the bides wi' ye?" (referring to Ritchie's partner's son) Ritchie, hailing from Glasgow like me, hadn't been exposed to much north east dialect.."What's he talking about?" I replied "He's asking how Josh is" We all fell about laughing. Saturday was a bit of a different day. It was an all Scottish affair, playing with Craig Lee and Peter Whiteford, both with Scottish caddies, so anyone trying to listen in to any of our conversation wouldn't have a clue what we were talking about. Paul didn't play as good as the first two rounds, but had his scoring game with him, and was three under until a double bogey at the 13th halted the momentum.....I was expecting the first outburst of the week, but his reaction was a quick curse, then a whistle, then onto the next where he split the fairway ( honestly, I'm not kidding) He signed off for a 71 which held our position going into Sunday.
The final round was a blustery affair, and Paul probably played his best golf of the week, but scoring was tough, and a 74 was the score, which only dropped us a few spots, as conditions were tricky. All in all it had been a solid week, and something very positive to build on. I must give a special mention to Ken Herring, who had caddied for Marc Warren on his win the week before in Denmark. He was pulled in as a late replacement for Jamie Donaldson's caddie, who had booked a family holiday before Donaldson decided to play this week. Lo and behold Dinaldson goes on to win.....Two weeks, two wins, two different players. We think it's a caddying first. Your now in caddy folklore Ken.... Well done!!!