My body clock had just got back to normal after my week in Arizona, and I was off again across the Atlantic, to Miami, for the second WGC event of the year. After a 90 minute delay at Heathrow, 10 hours in the air, 2 hours at immigration in Miami, and an hour in the car hire queue, I eventually got to my hotel. I met Paul at 9am the next day at the course in the onsite Starbucks. After a quick catch up, and a latte, we played 9 holes with Stephen Gallacher. The course was in great shape. Much better than last year. Just after last year’s tournament, the Doral Resort had been bought over by Donald Trump, and you could see the difference. We had the pleasure of meeting the man himself on Tuesday. He is exactly as you see him on TV, and talks the same way. “Hell, this course is in the best shape in 25 years and we’re going to dig it up next week… How about that?” And off he went, entourage in tow.
We spent most of our practice time messing around with drivers, as Paul had cracked his at the matchplay two weeks previously. We struggled to get one he was comfortable with, and that showed in his opening round. A 78 put us under the cosh straight away, as we resorted to the three wood for the final 9 holes. The second round was a much tidier affair. A one over par 73.In fact, Chippie hit the first three fairways… “Bloody hell min, that’s 3 for 3” I remarked after his drive at the 12th (our third) rested on the short stuff.. “Cheeky ******” was the reply, but it was all in jest….honest!!
On Saturday we played on our own, as a result of us propping up the field, and there being an odd number of players. We strolled round in just over 2hours 30 minutes, shooting level par 72. I have to say, I was a bit tired after Saturday. As a one ball, there is no break while your partners play, so the bag hardly left my shoulder. Sunday wasn’t much better, as we played with Robert Garrigus, one of the quickest players on the PGA Tour. Two hours forty minutes was the time, and I felt as though I had run round the course for two days. Sunday was Chippie’s best day, returning a two under 70, which had promised more , as he was four under after 12 holes. Still, it was a step in the right direction, and he had improved his score every day, so there some positives to take from the week. Also he had done a fair bit of work on his putting, and there were some encouraging signs of it paying off, as he holed a few putts he had been missing in recent months.
I flew home on Sunday evening, via Heathrow(no delays this time), and I was home for 2pm on Monday. We now have four weeks off before things start to get pretty busy, starting with the US Masters. I also have given myself a target of losing a stone during this time….A result of being a greedy so and so most nights at dinner…. Wish me luck!!!