February 2017
2017 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

It had been two months since our last tournament in Turkey back in November. Christmas and New Year all went by too quickly, and all of a sudden we were away again. This was to be my 14th year on tour, and Paul's 26th !!!! It always amazes me how time goes by so quickly. This was our 12th year in a row at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and I can remember our first visit like it was yesterday.

Paul had spent the festive season on holiday here in Abu Dhabi, staying at the hotel next to the course, and had played it several times, so there wasn't any great need to arrive too early to see the course. Probably just as well. I hadn't been feeling too great, and on Wednesday went to see the doctor who gave me antibiotics for a chest infection. Two days later, Paul was doing the same. Talk about starting the year with a bang. Our early pro-am on Wednesday was a very civilised affair, and we we're ready for the tournament. We had an early tee time for Thursday, playing with Marcel Siem and Oliver Fisher, which was a good draw as Paul knows them both well, and my roommate Martin caddies for Olly..... Happy days. Our tee time on Thursday was 8.30 and the weather was perfect. Just a puff of wind and not a cloud in the sky. Both Paul and Marcel showed signs of the winter lay off, both scoring 73, while Olly cruised round in 66, much to the delight of my little roommate who chuckled his way round every time his boss knocked a putt in. We had work to do, with the cut looking like 2 under. A bogey and a double bogey early on in our 2nd round left us with a mountain to climb. Paul rallied well, but in the end it wasn't to be. As we were on a 3 week trip, there was no bag to be packed, as we would spend the weekend here practising, before moving on to Qatar. Hopefully the antibiotics will have kicked in by the time we reached Doha.....